We have been working to keep Vashon safe from the COVID menace for many months, side by side with hundreds of fellow volunteers.
Vaccination has been — and continues to be — the most effective tool we have. That’s why vaccination is more important than ever as we face a rising number of cases from the Delta variant and from the desire of so many to “go free” and relax safety precautions. Science has been our guide through all this and numerous studies show vaccination reduces infection, hospitalization and death from COVID-19, including for the Delta variant now circulating among us. Get vaccinated. It’s more important than ever right now. We say again: COVID is not done with us.
We were as surprised as anyone to hear about Chief Krimmert’s decision. We worry for his safety just as we worry about all our other neighbors who are not yet vaccinated. Sadly, we also worry that some may seize on his position as a rationale against vaccination. Although we disagree with his choice, we also feel we are duty-bound to recognize our work with him over the pandemic months and for years before that. Whatever his views, much of what has been accomplished would not have happened without his support. It is a simple fact that no other Chief we served has done as much to support the work of the VashonBePrepared coalition.
What’s next? It’s not our job to decide that. We can, however, promise this. We continue to work hard to help the island beat the pandemic and we look forward to many more years of effective collaboration with VIFR.
These are, of course, our personal views. We choose to speak as individuals and we will not be inserting the groups we lead into whatever controversy arises from the Chief’s decision. The next steps are up to the Fire Commission and the Chief.
Vicky de Monterey Richoux
Dr. Clayton Olney
Dr. Jim Bristow
Editor’s Note: These individuals responded to a request for comment from The Beachcomber. They have been leaders of Vashon’s effort to fight the COVID pandemic.