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Feedback from March 4 and Beyond 

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"No Woman Need Apply" March 7 cover story
Good to see Christopher Smart writing for the City Weekly again.
@jredwblack
Via Instagram

"Freedom of Choice" March 7 Private Eye column
I got my first Moderna vaccine last week. I was 100 days out from my so-called mild case of COVID. I never want it again and only want [Arizona Rep.] Paul Gosar to get it. Weird aftereffects of COVID-19 have me in debt to the dentist, of all things. Get your vaccine and celebrate carefully.
Kay Hale
Via Facebook

The Narcissist in Chief got the vaccine in private. He's afraid he'd lose his anti-science and anti-vaccine supporters.
Larry Smith
Via Facebook

Vaccine for me, conspiracy theories for thee.
Blaine Lafreniere
Via Facebook

Outbreaks Create Isolation
When living in Chicago years ago, I was involved on a philanthropic mission with the historical leper colony at Kalaupapa on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. What started out to be a single mission to support the final 90 leprosy patients in a community that for 150 years had been home to thousands of patients became a 15-year endeavor.

The community is still occupied by a final few residents, even though now there is a cure for the disease and the mandatory quarantine at the isolated location at Kalaupapa was lifted in 1969.

The extensive publicity and exposure of our efforts brought alarming phone calls—even death threats. At the time, there was an awful leprosy racism, and after our visits, we were targeted by individuals and groups. Some made a point to avoid me in stores and gatherings because, to them, I was "a heathen spreading a disease."

As Jenny Poplar mentioned in her "Only the Lonely" Feb. 25 opinion column, when the AIDS virus arrived in the late '70s, the media made frequent references to leprosy—Hansen's Disease—and made generalizations about both viruses with no basis or medical documentation.

For a while, AIDS was regarded in much the same way as people thought about leprosy: Both were considered highly infectious, creating a need for those with the illnesses to stay away socially and avoid contact with society. The ignorance of leprosy and AIDS for years created stereotype situations. The result was lonely, unknown individuals who said nothing and avoided exposure of their condition until medical research provided a cure or a way to manage the disease.

And now with COVID-19, a disease that is indeed highly contagious even without physical contact with someone who has it, a similar plight has been created for patients, putting the at-risk and the infected in isolation, giving rise to the "unknown patient" that Poplar mentions in her article.

And all three diseases have in so many ways delivered millions of lonely, unknown patients.
Robin Pendergrast
Salt Lake City

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