Thanks from Pine Forest
Pine Forest took a shaky breath after teams of firefighters miraculously steered the blaze away from our neighborhood, once again saving our homes. Since the 2015 Twisp River Fire came within a couple soccer-field lengths of our south border, we’ve done our Firewising: thinned or limbed up our namesake pines across 75% of our neighborhood, buffered our homes with gravel, scrabbled out brush and needles and grass.
But looking at those towering plumes just up the ridge, we wondered if it was enough. Then we were rescued again. We vow to re-double our efforts to make our neighborhood more resilient and safer for those who put themselves so bravely between us and the flames. To those more experienced in preparing for wildfire, we are grateful for your guidance and eager to pass along all we have learned.
And to firefighting teams both local and from across the West, county emergency management, local law enforcement, Washington National Guard, countless other agencies and many, many neighbors, our heartfelt thanks.
Pine Forest Owners board president
Unvaccinated are the problem
Drunk driving kills more than 10,000 people every year. Over 230 children were killed in just one recent year.
Can you imagine the outroar if these drivers claimed that driving drunk was a matter of personal freedom? Public outrage would be universal. Well, I and a lot of other people are outraged at the claim that not getting vaccinated — and then not even wearing a mask — is a matter of personal freedom.
Right now there are about 2,000 children in the U.S. hospitalized with COVID. A high percentage are in states with low vaccination rates. Unvaccinated people are now responsible for most new COVID cases, for the renewed need for a mask mandate in Washington, and for most deaths from COVID.
Texas and Florida have some of the lowest vaccination rates and the highest COVID hospital admissions and deaths in the country. Texas alone has seen nearly 9,000 COVID-19 deaths since February, 2021, of which 99.5% were unvaccinated people. Ironically, both states have Republican governors who loudly fight vaccine mandates but themselves have been vaccinated. Ex-Pres. Trump has also been vaccinated!
Ninety-eight to 99% of COVID hospital admissions nationwide are people who were unvaccinated. They have filled so many hospitals that they are regularly forcing doctors to postpone treatment for cancer and other diseases and injuries because there are no beds available.
Is there a medical problem with the vaccines? Over 190 million people in the U.S. have been vaccinated. The number of deaths known to be directly caused by the vaccine is under 100, while there have been over 600,000 deaths from COVID in our country. So, why are so many people betting their lives on refusing to be vaccinated? One answer came recently on the local Internet bulletin board: “Screw science and facts.”
Even if you don’t care if you get sick or die of COVID, what about your friends and family and all children too young to be vaccinated? If you aren’t vaccinated, you could be the cause of their suffering and dying from COVID.