Bette Grande, in her recent column, continues to misinform. Over 600,000 Americans have died of COVID-19. Many others have been ill, including children. Grande encourages parents to refuse masks and vaccination. This is not based on science. The Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization encourages those who are eligible to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

The pandemic is not over as evidenced by continued illness and death locally and worldwide. Variants continue to develop. If not masks and vaccination to stop the pandemic, what is the plan?

Everyone who is interested in keeping businesses open and lives saved (especially the children you love), should be vaccinated. Pregnant women who get the vaccine may pass on immunity protecting their newborns. If you had COVID-19, experts say to be best protected, get vaccinated. Despite rare findings of adverse events, the vaccine is still advised.

If we are asked to mask again, it will be a healthy, patriotic decision to help keep your community safe. Masking may be the difference between schools open or schools closed. It may be the difference between saving a life or causing another to lose theirs.

Free speech is important, but spreading dangerous misinformation such as not to vaccinate was recently likened to yelling fire in a crowded theater. It is not in the best interest of anyone.

Regarding Critical Race Theory, read and learn from credible sources. Promote anti racism in your homes. Please do not repeat false statements designed to divide us further.

Terri Hedman is a registered nurse living in Fargo.

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