Letters to the Editor: Oct. 22, 2022

Bad officials are elected by good people who don’t vote! If you don’t vote, you have no say in the issues to be considered or the officials who will ultimately decide them. Only the voice of those who do vote will matter. Politicians only pay attention to voters. If only a small percentage of registered voters vote, then only a smaller fraction of the population will decide who will be given the power to decide issues that affect all of us. The midterm elections are important because they impact what directly affects us locally. Not only is it important to vote, but to do so responsibly. That means fully understanding the issues and evaluating the candidates before casting your ballot. A good start is to go to VOTE411.ORG where you can find the issues and candidates that will be on your ballot or refer to the League of Women Voters’ guide. Unfortunately, when candidates decline to participate in debates or respond to important questions, the voters are deprived of valuable information that can help them make informed decisions. What is it that they don’t want the voter to know? Simply relying on name recognition or the (D) or (R) by their name is not good enough.

- Beth W. Schaeffer, Dayton

The article written by Josh Sweigart and Julia Haines entitled, “Childhood vaccines for diseases like measles, polio dropped at area schools amid pandemic” spotlights an indirect impact that COVID-19 left on the US healthcare system. The article shares that mistrust of the government, and the healthcare system has led to more parents not vaccinating their kids and using religious or philosophical exemptions. An article by Bridget Balch of the Association of American Medical Colleges News, entitled, “How distrust of childhood vaccines could lead to more breakouts of preventable diseases” offers a vaccine promotion in churches as a remedy to the low uptake in childhood vaccines. In the Sweigart, Haines article, they also mention how charter schools have the lowest vaccination numbers, which could be related to socioeconomic status and healthcare access. The best way to increase vaccination rates would be more community outreach and vaccine clinics. Locate vaccine clinics at schools with, parental permission, and have church members who are healthcare providers help to host vaccine clinics at places of worship. These initiatives would be costly but investing in prevention is the only way to avoid the resurgence of deadly diseases that many people thought were long gone.

- Anna Roland, Dayton