Skip to main Content
Letters to the Editor

Letter: Get vaccinated or wear a mask

  • Author: Peter Jenkins
    | Opinion
  • Updated: July 21
  • Published July 21

As reported in your paper on July 14, 51% of Alaskans are fully vaccinated. Most of the stores I go to have a sign that states fully vaccinated people are not required to wear a mask. On entering, I note very few if any people have masks on. At the same time, your paper reports increasing rates of positivity, number of infections and hospitalizations.

The CDC reports that 99% of COVID-19 deaths are occurring in unvaccinated people. The non-mask-wearing unvaccinated in enclosed public places are putting at risk all the other non-mask-wearing people in the same space. Even if you tested negative two days ago, you might be incubating the virus today.

We have made good strides in dealing with this pandemic in this country, but until everyone takes full responsibility for their behavior, it is going to a long slog until it really is under control.

Vaccines work. In 1964, I was still doing smallpox vaccinations; now smallpox is gone from the world. The last case of polio in this country was in 1979. Numerous other vaccines have reduced death rates for some diseases almost to zero.COVID-19 vaccines are readily available and free. Until you are fully vaccinated, wear a mask in public places. It’s simple.

— Peter Jenkins

Eagle River

Have something on your mind? Send to or click here to submit via any web browser. Letters under 200 words have the best chance of being published. Writers should disclose any personal or professional connections with the subjects of their letters. Letters are edited for accuracy, clarity and length.