Letters to the Editor

Vance, Sarber owe Homer apologies

After reading another tiresome letter from Homer’s own self-appointed COVID-19 apostle and perpetual font of half-truths and disinformation, Mr. Greg Sarber, I would submit that it is he and Ms. Vance who owe the citizens of Homer an apology for continuing to steer people towards unproven and ineffective solutions to the ongoing COVID pandemic.

While it is true that highly vaccinated populations are having a resurgence of COVID cases, the rest of the story is that the vaccines remain highly effective in doing what they have been promoted and proven to do: keep people from getting severe illness from the virus, getting hospitalized, requiring ICU care and dying. This allows overtaxed health care systems some capacity to treat the traumatic injuries, cardiovascular disease, cancer and the other myriad maladies of humankind that continue unabated during the pandemic.

While some unvaccinated regions of the earth may have seemingly been spared some of the worst ravages of the disease, those are also the regions where very little testing is being done. And while it is true that India did have an early trial of using treatment packs containing ivermectin, that effort was abandoned some months ago due to lack of demonstrated effectiveness. It is now only used in India as a part of ongoing clinical trials.

Do we need a Plan B, as Mr. Sarber puts it? Of course we do. Despite even best efforts (or no effort on the part of those opposing masking and vaccines), we will continue to have COVID cases that will need treatment. The recent development of effective (but expensive) treatment drugs by Merck and Pfizer show great promise. Might Ivermectin be part of the mix? Sure, if rigorous clinical trials demonstrate that, rather than wishing it were so. Until then, though we’re all tired of hearing about it, the effective approaches to reigning in this scourge remain masking, social distancing, vaccination and early treatment with monoclonal antibodies.

Randall Wiest, M.D.

Brooks family is grateful

A huge thank you to the Homer community and beyond for all your support, kind words, hugs flowers and donations in the sudden loss of our son, husband, father and brother, Josh.

We just can’t believe and are overwhelmed by the love in this community for Josh. We always knew he was a force to be reckoned with and lit up any room he walked into. He loved his family, fishing and music. If you fished with him, you better be ready to have a good time!

The love from everyone at his Viking funeral and memorial was awesome. We are still in awe of this amazing community, including his musical tribute on KBBI.

November is a time where you are supposed to be thankful for everything we have, and what is reassuring is we had our son Josh for 45 years and he gave us three beautiful granddaughters and a beautiful daughter-in-law, Joleen, and for that we are grateful.

As the holidays are upon us, our wish for all of you is to hug your spouse, partner, kids and pet everyday, and tell them you love them. We never know when our time is up on this planet!

The Brooks family is so honored to be part of the community. Josh would have loved it all, and we believe he was present from of above. Rest in Peace son!

The Brooks family: Barney, Susan, Shane, Sara, Joleen and girls

Winning the argument?

Dear Editor,

In yet another failed attempt to attack Rep. Vance, the lefties have moved on from the argument that “therapeutics don’t cure COVID” to the argument that “drugs are dangerous, you aren’t a doctor, so don’t self-medicate.” They inadvertently make Rep. Vance’s point for her.

Despite what many believe is their effectiveness, doctors are currently prohibited from prescribing life-saving therapeutic medications by local hospitals, pharmacies and the state medical board. People are left to their own devices to get these drugs and then have no other option but to figure out dosages for themselves. This is one of the reasons why the representative proposes allowing doctors to treat their patients with therapeutic medicines before they require hospitalization.

This is not an either/or proposal. Nobody is suggesting eliminating vaccinations, but we now know that even if vaccinated, you can still catch COVID and die from it. This may become even more true with the newly discovered Omicron variant of COVID, which doctors suggest may not be covered by existing vaccinations.

How many vaccinated people must die of COVID before we recognize that something is needed in addition to vaccination? Therapeutic medication should be available to any individual or physician that wants to treat this illness early and aggressively. This is really a no-brainer, and all reasonable Alaskans should support Rep. Vance’s proposal.


Greg Sarber