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The vaccine pool grows, and the fight goes on

A group of children wait for the doors to open at a vaccination clinic for those age 5 to 11 at A. W. Coolidge Middle School in Reading on Nov. 5.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Hope renewed as kids get their shots

Nov. 4 was a good day. It was the beginning of the end.

That statement doesn’t sound positive, I understand. But that was the day my children got vaccinated against COVID-19 (“Parents waver on vaccines for youngest: Uncertainty fueled by misinformation,” Page A1, Nov. 4).

We have formally been in this pandemic since March 2020. That is 20 months. We have not been inside a public building without a mask on in 20 months. My daughters have gone through three school years — first, second, and third grade for one, and fourth, fifth, and sixth for the other — with some form of pandemic preventive layering.


We have not eaten in a restaurant in 20 months. My youngest still will not eat inside the school with her peers and has not done so in 20 months. How soon she will make the transition to feeling OK doing so remains to be seen.

But today is a good day. Today we have more hope for resuming activities of the past that we miss. Today we have more hope that we will have Christmas with our family. Together again.

Patricia A. Janulewicz Lloyd


The writer is an assistant professor in the department of environmental health at the Boston University School of Public Health.

Time for state leaders to let kids be kids again

This is an edited and abridged version of a letter the reader wrote to Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, and state Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley:

I am the parent of two elementary school-age children (5 and 8). Although children are at low risk for severe illness and death from COVID, I got both of them vaccinated with the first dose this week. As a parent, I don’t think they needed this shot, but I decided to do my part in the hopes that we will finally see an end to the restrictive practices occurring in schools, particularly with respect to masking.


The state set the bar incredibly high, requiring 80 percent of children in a school to be vaccinated in order to lift the mask requirement. Now people have ample time to get their children vaccinated by Jan. 15, 2022, when the current school mask mandate ends. At that point, masking in school should be at the discretion of parents.

With no state of emergency, and vaccinations now more widely available, local districts should not have the authority to require masking. The past year and a half has shown that districts will default to implementing the most restrictive protocols — despite state recommendations — based more out of fear and emotion than any public health guidelines.

It will take months to unwind this approach across school leaders, school boards, and local boards of health. Without clear requirements from our state leaders, our children will continue to be penalized in school for just trying to connect, socialize, and be kids again.

We need our state leaders to ensure that local districts are providing children an educational environment in which they can recover from the ongoing isolation, stress, and disruption of the past 20 months.

Monica Studer


‘What would Jesus do?’ (asking for a friend)

Re “Hospital workers cite faith as they refuse shots” (Page A1, Nov. 6): In response to Christians claiming religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccinations, I can only ask, “What would Jesus do?” This once-popular question seems to have been forgotten in the COVID era.


I can only imagine that Jesus, given a way to prevent illness and death, would have been quick to mask up and promote social distancing and then get a vaccination when it became possible. After all, he said, ”What you do to the least of these you do to me.” So, focusing selfishly on purity and possible side effects rather than making a small sacrifice that would prevent deaths leading to orphans and widows seems un-Christian.

Helga Burre

Hyde Park