Letter to the editor: Please, our lives are at stake

To the editor:

First, let me thank Gerry Pees who is a friend and fellow physician. This is not a time for anger about vaccines but rather a time for helping people understand the importance and safety of vaccines and masking.

For 41 years I worked to improve children’s health. I want to continue that. Some hesitate or refuse to get a vaccine and mask. I told thousands of teenagers that they were free to choose actions but not free to choose consequences. I know that vaccines and masking are the only way out of this pandemic because of science and personal experiences.

I admitted five patients for flu with masking and other similar illnesses at LMH over 17 months and the last three weeks I have admitted seven for flu and respiratory syncytial virus. That is a 1,700% increase without a mask mandate. Three people here died from COVID over Labor Day weekend, two grandparents and a parent, which is a 1,400% increase coinciding with cessation of mask mandates. Vaccine inoculation is far safer than COVID. Three of four COVID deaths were unvaccinated. It’s likely the one vaccinated death was at risk and exposed to an unvaccinated person.

Remember, there are consequences to not vaccinating or wearing a mask and that is not just one’s own possible death but that of others. Once again, we cant’ choose the consequences of our choices. Choose well. Please, please vaccinate now and wear a mask.

Terrance P. Riordan,



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