San Francisco Chronicle - (Sunday)
Don’t hesitate to ask for proof
Tell Congress we can’t tolerate constant police shootings
California’s overwrought vaccine eligibility criteria have fallen away, oncescarce vaccination appointments are proliferating and half of American adults have experienced the oddly joyful soreness of a shot in the arm. It’s a triumph of international science and a success — if a delayed and heavily qualified one — for local, state and federal logistics.
A little over a year since the arrival of the novel coronavirus in the Bay Area and the United States, we’re on the brink of protecting a majority of the population from the deadly disease it causes.
The easing vaccine supply problem, however, is all too rapidly giving way to a demand problem. After the state at long last opened up vaccinations to all Californians 16 and older, Napa County’s largest vaccination site went from overwhelmed to undersubscribed in less than a week. Its shots are now sitting in freezers awaiting all comers, no appointment necessary.
Granted, doses are still being snapped up in more heavily populated areas. Expanded vaccine supplies are part of the reason demand can be more easily accommodated now. And California officials said total doses administered were still on the rise as of last week.
But given that more than half of Californians have yet to receive a single shot, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the slowdown we’re seeing could be a harbinger of hesitancy. And that could stand in the way of herd immunity, allowing the virus to maintain a foothold in our population.
As we know from the extremist revolts that greeted efforts to strengthen school vaccination requirements in Sacramento even before the acronym “COVID” entered the lexicon, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have long facilitated the spread of vaccine misinformation. They have magnified a fringe movement and further seeded the wellearned mistrust of governmentbacked medicine among certain minority communities who have been historically mistreated. Leaders who failed to con
The author is on the mark with “Police killings of Black people are lynchings” (Letters, April 17). The Black killings going on in our country are outrageous, and the author is right to call it contemporary lynchings. I have learned there is an Emmett Till Antilynching Act that got passed in the House recently, and has been stalled in the Senate by Sen. Rand Paul. Let us all join together, to get this senator removed from Congress, and send a big message across our country, that these acts by police are not tolerated. We are democracy for all people and our future depends on us working together as one people. So be it.
End restrictions on care
Regarding “Bill scrutinizes UC’s deals with private hospitals” (Front Page, April 20): When UCSF prepared for a merger with Catholic St. Mary’s Hospital, the UCSF doctors protested because of its restrictions on women’s health care, and the merger was canceled.
By imposing Catholic dogma on the delivery of health care in the hospitals ironically named “Dignity” Health, these hospitals display the antithesis of Jesus Christ’s teachings about loving thy neighbor and not judging others. Patients in California’s rural and urban areas benefit greatly from collaboration with UC student doctors, nurses and administrators.
If Catholic hospitals really favored Dignity, they would suspend their restrictions on the full range of women’s and transgenders’ health care, as well as endoflife care. Medical professionals who employ these nonevidencebased sistently confront this growing antivaccine constituency — among them former President Donald Trump and Gov. Gavin Newsom — haven’t helped.
Over a third of Americans are at least somewhat reluctant to be vaccinated, according to recent polling, and resistance is higher among certain groups, including Republicans, white evangelical Christians and African Americans. Approaching vaccine penetration of 70% or more, the level estimated to confer populationlevel protection, will likely require making inroads into groups who are unsure about inocrestrictions are violating their Hippocratic oaths. End the restrictions, not the collaboration.
Focus on older projects
Regarding “HOV lanes coming to 2 S.F. corridors” (Bay Ara, April 21): The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s idea of putting HOV lanes in Crossover Drive and Park Presidio Boulevard is about as impractical and as high a priority as the school board’s renaming of our schools.
Park Presidio northbound in the park is down to two lanes as it is because of the ulation if not outright opposed.
Getting out of this mess will be more difficult than getting in. Research shows people who are vaccineresistant are less likely to respond to scienceheavy harangues from on high than the considered advice of people they know and trust, such as their doctors, religious leaders, friends and family. The evidence of declining hesitancy in recent months suggests this principle is at work. As vaccination becomes more commonplace in people’s inner circles, reluctance is giving way.
Proof of vaccination can also be part left turn lane going onto 25th Avenue. Removing one of the three lanes on an already busy northbound 19th Avenue will create a reliable traffic jam that the 19th Avenue residents will have to choke on and get to deal with. I believe that this will no doubt be as temporary as the removal of all of the metered public parking spaces in Civic Center that were replaced with city employee permit only parking spots.
The removal of public parking meters in Civic Center not only made it more difficult for the average citizen but the loss of parking meter income has to be in the millions by now. The SFMTA should complete the Van Ness Avenue and Geaof the solution. Like masks and distancing measures before them, “vaccine passports” have been decried by demagogues who want to portray them as one more condescending demand from oppressive elites. But the same credentials could just as easily be framed as a respectful request from one’s neighborhood barber or bartender for an assurance of their safety and that of their customers. It’s in that spirit that more Californians should be cajoled into joining the vaccinated crowd — and presenting their “passports” without hesitation. ry Boulevard projects and see if they provide all of the promised benefits before they take on any new projects.
Regarding “Is sustainable fish a scam, like Netflix documentary ‘Seaspiracy’ suggests?” (April 5): Not always. Alaska’s state fishery policy of milking salmon for their eggs and sperm throughout the fishing season, artificially inseminating them and giving them a couple of weeks’ head start in a controlled environment before releasing them into the wild to live most of their lives in the open seas, has dramatically increased their salmon stock since the policy began. In taking advantage of salmon returning to the streams they were born in, or it turns out, released from, Alaska has managed to create not merely sustainable aquaculture, but a reallife example of the elusive plussumgain scenario.
They are an example to the world and a dramatic departure from the status quo, “take without giving back” mentality of most food producers regardless of being meat or vegetable. Consumers should reward their ingenuity rather than throw all seafood/meat providers into the same ideological category. The truth is that zero animal byproducts from agriculture equals more fossil fuel fertilizer which equals more climate change, fewer wild ecosystems and less biodiversity. If we raised cattle on grass, fed compostables to pigs instead of landfills and ate less meat overall, this wouldn’t be an issue!