I've been reading about the recent flu epidemic in our region and across the country. I've noted that there has been a huge amount of suffering and even death at the hands of the flu.

When schools close they are typically disinfected. This is a good thing. It has been shown, however, that the most effective preventive measure against the flu and many other diseases is inoculation.

Schools require mandatory inoculations for many diseases. Many of these diseases carry less of a risk of mortality and morbidity than the flu.

Why then do school districts in our area and across the country not require flu shots in the same manner that they do for other serious diseases? This would make scientific and health sense. It would reduce the morbidity and mortality of a nasty, dangerous disease.

One would think that the health of our school children would demand it.

James Larson


Trump can't be CEO in the White House

From Latin to English, "quid pro quo" roughly translates as "this for that," i.e., "you do this for me and I'll do that for you." This activity is as old as humankind. "If you'll give me some of the vegetables you gathered, I'll give you some of the meat I hunted." "You may live on my land if you'll give me half of the crops you produce." "I'll give you $5 for this vase you're selling at your yard sale."

"This for that" is basic to all economies. As CEO of his businesses, Donald Trump excelled at quid pro quo, profiting himself and his associates in real estate, entertainment and many other fields.

But when he became president, he wasn't supposed to work to profit himself and those close to him but the good of the United States. His quid pro quo deal with the Ukraine is said to have withheld much-needed U.S. military aid from that country until its newly elected president would investigate a Trump political rival. This "deal" was more for President Trump's personal and political benefit than for the good of the American people.

He is POTUS, not CEO-OTUS.

Grady S. Burgner



Death conversations can be very healthy

No one will join a group that promotes death conversation. Nevertheless, death is a very important topic of discussion. It is one of the great questions of life but ignored to talk about. All people basically are alike, and everyone shares the same fear and grief when death occurs. Every dying person needs care and compassion; therefore every person needs a sound understanding of how to care for the dying.

In a TFP article, "Death Over Dinner Invites Taboo Conversation," the director of Welcome Home of Chattanooga helped create the event. Several people gather around the table, enjoyed good food, and talked about death and dying.

I believe this type of group discussion can help each individual gain an understanding of their fears and anxieties about death. The end of a life is not something any of us can easily accept, but the fact does not go away if you ignore it. The real challenge is to fully live the time you have without anxiety till death surprises you.

Death Conversation Group is an essential medicine for the dying. It also helps us all understand better how to face and deal with death whenever it occurs.

Amos Taj