Letters to editor for Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Readers write about getting vaccinated vs. COVID and legislation about voting by mail…

Letters to editor for Wednesday, March 17, 2021 1
Letters to editor for Wednesday, March 17, 2021 2

VA ‘efficient and caring’ with vaccine

A 95-year-old World War II veteran’s letter published Sunday, March 14, stated his difficulty and frustration in still not being able to get a COVID-19 vaccine.  As a fellow 95-year old World War II veteran, I have special sympathy and concern for his plight.

His letter noted he registered with three locations, but he did not indicate whether any of them is the VA. The state government’s handling of vaccine distribution appears to be chaotic and has been accused in newspaper letters and other venues of incompetence, favoritism and corruption; but I personally found the VA to be highly efficient and caring.

When the availability of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were announced, I called my primary physician at the Cape Coral VA facility and asked to be put on the eligibility list. Shortly afterward, I received a phone call with a date and time for my first “jab.” Four weeks later, I got my second shot. At each visit, there were many other veterans experiencing the same quick, easy, efficient process.

Robert Hilliard, Sanibel

‘Efficient mass vaccination experience’

Kudos to the Florida Department of Health for its vaccination process!

Six weeks ago, I registered to be put on a waiting list for vaccination. Last week, I received a recorded message that I would receive another call from a scheduler later that day. When that call came, I made an appointment to get a vaccine, not only for myself but also for my unvaccinated mother, age 94.

We arrived at the large parking lot of the old Southwest Florida airport, were directed to an open parking space and walked to a short line for our 2:30 pm appointment. After showing forms that we pre-filled online and our Florida drivers’ licenses, we were given paperwork about the Moderna vaccine and guided by more volunteers to the large tent where vaccines were being injected into arms. A very nice EMT administered our shots, after checking our forms and IDs once again.

Once vaccinated, we were directed by another volunteer to the checkout area, given our appointment for the second shots, and sat in a large waiting tent for 20 minutes to be sure we had no reactions to the shot. Chairs were set up at 6 feet social distance and everyone was wearing a mask. Of the 200-plus people we saw in the tent, most were senior citizens, many couples, some using wheelchairs, walkers or canes, and all looked as if they had survived being vaccinated.

About 35 minutes after arriving, we drove home. Thank you, Florida Department of Health and volunteers, for a well-organized and efficient mass vaccination experience.

Linda Lindquist, North Fort Myers

COVID vaccination in Naples quick

I had my first COVID vaccine shot (Feb. 26) at the Naples fire department’s station on Eighth Street S. I want to reassure residents that Fire Chief Pete DiMaria and his staff have been able to organize a system that works for residents.

I called and got an appointment for 1:45 p.m. When I arrived, I was directed to the sign-in table, and within minutes I had my shot. The uniformed staff were very helpful and I was finished in 30 minutes. I also got my appointment for my second shot in 30 days.

(Editor’s note: For details on how to get the vaccine, see https://www.naplesgov.com/covid19.)

Johnny Nocera, former Naples vice mayor

Bill ‘to disenfranchise Florida voters’

State Senate Bill 90 proposed by Gov. Ron DeSantis would restrict voting rights retroactively, requiring some Floridians who already are registered to vote in his upcoming gubernatorial race to re-register.

Not a single county registrar of voters requested this. Indeed, the League of Women Voters and every registrar in every county in Florida came out in opposition to the legislation leaving committee. Nonetheless, Republicans in committees advanced the bill toward the floor for a vote.

Those who believe in democracy should contact their state senators and House representatives to demand a vote against this shameless proposal to disenfranchise Florida voters.

(Editor’s note: SB 90 also would eliminate drop boxes for returning vote-by-mail ballots and, among other provisions, restrict delivery of such ballots to immediate family members. The bill was approved 5-4 by the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee on Feb. 16 and 4-2 by the Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee on March 10, according to a Senate web page. After a reference review Thursday, it was sent Friday, March 12, to the Senate Rules Committee, where it remained Monday.)  

Ellen Starbird, Cape Coral

What to make of today’s GOP?

All Republicans (in Congress) voted against the recent $1.9 trillion (COVID) relief act, after passing a $1.9 trillion tax cut bill primarily for the rich (in 2017).

Conservative members of Congress denied (the validity of) the election; and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., called the thousands who attempted to overturn the election real Americans,* even though (some of them) killed a policeman and hurt 140 officers (during the Capitol riot Jan. 6). What ever happened to the party for safety and protecting the police?

We had never had a president who led an insurrection by words or actions. But on Jan. 6, our Capitol was attacked for the first time by America’s own citizens, promoted by a president and his big lie that he won the election (except for) voter fraud.

Trump had a background of extra-marital affairs, financial bankruptcies, and racial bias from the Central Park Five to Charlottesville. He didn’t attend church, denied the effects of COVID-19 and left the country with record debt.

Conservatives, especially the evangelicals who supported him, went against almost all of their own principles. Trump and his cultish followers left the conservative values of the Republican Party. The GOP now is going to the elephant graveyard.

(*Editor’s note: In a syndicated radio interview Thursday, March 11, Sen. Johnson said of the Jan. 6 protesters at the Capitol: “I knew those were people who love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break the law, so I wasn’t concerned.”)

Glenn Mueller, East Naples

Girl Scouts’ cookie sales aid ‘Heroes’

Each year our Girl Scouts deliver donated Girl Scout Cookies to Hometown Heroes —essential and frontline workers, first responders, active military, veterans and local food banks. Proceeds from the sale of donated cookies also support community service projects, troop trips and other activities for Girl Scout troops in underserved areas in our council.

Our goal is to donate 75,000 packages of cookies this year, but pandemic challenges have strongly affected traditional avenues for cookie sales and the Hometown Heroes program. With the Sunday, March 21, end of Girl Scout Cookie sales near, we are short of our goal.

If you would like to provide Girl Scout Cookies to our Hometown Heroes, as well as support activities for Girl Scout troops in underserved areas, please go to https://digitalcookie.girlscouts.org/scout/troop314999-314 and select “Donate Cookies.” Each package of donated cookies is $5, a case is $60, and $1,500 provides 25 cases.

Donations also can be sent to Hometown Heroes, Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, 4780 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota FL 34233. All donations are tax-deductible.


As we rise above this time of economic challenge, our girls need your support to honor those who have been there for us during the pandemic.

(From the CEO of Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida.)

Mary Anne Servian, Naples

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