Your Views for February 16

‘Big Pharma’ wins

Just had to comment on Sunday’s Commentary page.


As hard as it is to think about how the Earth may have passed the tipping point for global warming, there is ample evidence that it’s true. Is geoengineering the answer? As probable as it is that we can find a way to do it (as a PV owner, I’ve seen the dramatic effect of sulfur dioxide to block solar radiation), there are two insurmountable problems to this “quick fix.”

For one, who will decide “what” and “where,” and who will decide, who will decide? Relative to the whole world, we are a small island with a tiny population, but even we can’t agree where to put a telescope or how to change a lava flow.

The Earth’s weather patterns are complex beyond human understanding and all interconnected. So, what might be beneficial for one country will be to the detriment of others, and we fight wars just to keep control of oil supplies.

Then again, we are a society that thinks we should just eat anything and do anything that satisfies our desires and take a pill later to combat the consequences. And that’s just fine, in fact great, for “Big Pharma.” Which brings us to the other subject.

It’s true: It’s not fair or humane for only the richest countries to get the COVID-19 vaccine first. If our consciences outweigh our purse strings, and there’s enough outcry from bleeding-heart liberals, the richer countries may even foot the bill for the poorer ones.

After all, it’s in our best interest to slow the spread and avoid worse variants. Maybe, maybe not.

Some 50 years ago in biology class, I learned that a pathogen that is lethal to the host it relies on for replication and transmission is not very successful. So, the mutations will lean toward less lethal strains if the organism is to achieve longevity.

That doesn’t mean vaccines aren’t useful in the meantime. I’ll certainly take my dose when it’s available. But it’s funny no one has reported the actual cost of a dose.

Politicians are so quick to praise Big Pharma for coming up with a vaccine in record time. Heroes? Really? Believe me, it’s in their best interest to be quick. Quick to beat their competitors to market and get the first lucrative contracts. Quick to sell as much as possible before the virus mutates beyond the scope of the current vaccine or becomes so innocuous that a vaccine is no longer critically needed.

I’m not so cynical as to suggest they created the virus just to sell us the cure. But, believe me, this is the greatest shot in the arm for Big Pharma since Valium, Viagra and Vicoden. And since many of our politicians are on their payroll, they are happy to send us the bill on April 15.

It’s so much easier to get someone to take a pill when they don’t know how big it is.

Roger Simons


Fast and efficient

There is no shortage of commentary on the shortfalls of government.

Citizens receiving COVID-19 vaccinations at the civic center drive-through distribution facility, however, can only marvel at the efficiency and effectivity of that government program.

With prior online preparation, the patient is expeditiously shuttled through the process by knowledgeable and friendly people. never having to leave their vehicle. It is a robustly staffed, well-oiled machine.

Thanks to the various organizations and volunteers who make this service available to the community.


Richard Hoeflinger


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