Readers' Forum

Manufacturing disinformation

It is disappointing to see our own Tribune-Star used as a pawn corrupting the tools of logic and critical thinking that today’s children will so be in need of as adults. To take the position that a supposedly innocent burst of misinformation appeared in only the weekend edition of comics is not much of an excuse. Please suffer an explanation. (”Here we go,” groans the editor.)

In the March 6, 2021, edition of the Bob Weber Jr. and Sr.’s strip “Slylock Fox and Comics for Kids,” the answer posted for the question “Which two scenes are exactly alike?” is clearly a puddle of mud. The answer given was “Numbers one and two.” This must be an attempt by the cabal of conservative-owned media to indoctrinate children into believing the Trump cult’s big lie that “alternative facts” are every bit as valid as the truth.

Look closely once more at the four options “Slylock” presents. In option one, the little mousie’s shorts are blue. In number two, they are brown. Quite obviously, not identical. The correct answer would have been “Numbers three and four,” not “numbers one and two.” Duh. Parents, you owe it to your children as well as yourselves to teach the young ones to detect and repudiate such chicanery.

The tactic having been employed here is no doubt familiar to purveyors of certain cable news programs: Find a minor, even insignificant, “irregularity” (real, perceived or manufactured) in a particular story, then blow its importance all out of proportion. In this case, it should come as no surprise that “Fox” was responsible for the disinformation. Typical. Isn’t that right, Mr. Aitken, Mr. Conner, et al? Slylock indeed.

On a different note, it would not be premature to begin a discussion about how the U.S. will facilitate COVID-19 vaccination of third-world countries or any others in need of assistance. In a few months, most of our own country’s adult population will have been vaccinated. But that’s not good enough.

If the COVID-19 virus is allowed to continue to proliferate in other lands, it will mutate further. As it mutates, it is likely to develop even more sophisticated defenses against our vaccines and to thwart their effectiveness. If that happens, we’re in trouble. Those already vaccinated might lose their immunity. Perhaps scientists can tweak existing vaccines in time to stay ahead of the virus’ mutations, perhaps not. A more virulent strain anywhere is a threat to people everywhere. As we have seen, this virus respects no borders. In order to protect people here at home, we must protect people everywhere.

Why should the United States lead the way in seeing that the rest of the world gets vaccinated? It is the right thing to do. It is for our own good. And we are still the only ones who can do it.

— Clay Wilkinson, Terre Haute

Celebrating gifts of hospice volunteers

April 18–24, 2021, is National Volunteer Appreciation Week. This provides us the opportunity to recognize the millions of Americans who provide volunteer service in communities across the country. Hospice of the Wabash Valley and The Gibson Family Center for Hospice Care would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to our volunteer team. 

 Given that hospice volunteers accompany people along the journey toward the end of life, they serve an essential part of our care team. By sharing their time, energy, and expertise, our volunteers bring compassion and caring to the lives of those in need and we celebrate them not only during National Volunteer Week but every day.

Our hospice volunteers provide important services to our organization and the people we serve. Whether it’s providing companionship to a patient in the final months and weeks of life, sewing lap blankets or bears, offering support to family members and caregivers, helping with office work, helping with community outreach and fundraising, or serving on our board of directors, the contributions of our volunteers are essential to the important work and services provided. Every single volunteer deserves our appreciation and grateful acknowledgement.

According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, there are more than 430,000 trained volunteers working to support the work of our nation’s hospices and the patients and families they serve by giving more than 19 million service hours every year.

I encourage others to learn more about Hospice of the Wabash Valley or The Gibson Family Center for Hospice Care volunteer opportunities by contacting our office at 812-234-2515 or by visiting our website www.myhospicevna.org.

— Julie McBride, Volunteer Coordinator

Hospice of the Wabash Valley/Gibson Family Center for Hospice Care

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