Dolphin injured by irresponsible boaters
We recently went for a sunset ride on our boat and as we motored past the docks at the end of Gordon Drive, a dorsal fin caught my eye off the starboard bow. Never ones to pass up an opportunity to interact with these “locals,” we paused. But it was the odd behavior from this lone dolphin that caught our curiosity. Floating on top of the water, we made sure she was breathing, and suddenly, we noticed how injured she was. Across her back were five fresh gashes made by a propeller. Wounds that ran from behind her blowhole to her dorsal fin, all at the same angle, a collection of white and pink flesh, raw. Her movements were slow and labored. She approached our bow, getting a closer look at us, as if to say "help me."
Sorrow filled my heart. This gut-wrenching moment left me wishing for a way to scoop up the dolphin and save her. We reported her location to FWC and I prayed that the biologist made it in time. It is clear that we have a plethora of irresponsible boaters and it's only getting worse. They're blatantly disregarding shallow water warnings, intimidate smaller boaters, ignore speed and safety rules and leave our native wildlife to suffer silently. To my fellow boaters I say to you, when you see something, say something. It is our responsibility to keep our waters safe.
Yvette Sechrist McGlasson, Naples
No shark encounters in 45 years
I just finished reading the article "Shark diving must stop for sake of sharks" in today's paper. He mentions "social media feeds are littered with clips of sharks cruising the shallows passing under surfers or paddlers chasing fish. While living in Florida at any given time something is always trying to kill you. I have a secret for all of you who enjoy going to beaches in Florida: you are already swimming with sharks..."
Before you start looking for sharks swimming around you on your next visit to the beach or are never going in again let me offer what I know from 45 years of ocean swimming and canoeing right here at the city beaches. For 40 years I averaged 10 miles a month swimming and many many more canoeing. I'm down to eight miles a month now. If anybody was going to have a shark encounter it would be me. Not only have I never seen a shark swimming or paddled over one canoeing, I have never seen a shark fin on top of the water. Twice in all my years living here I have seen in the news where people wading in the water have had their calves or ankles nipped that require stitches to close. Most probably nurse sharks. Hope you enjoy your next trip to the beach.
Peter Jenks, Naples
COVID-19 prevention versus treatment
In the current pandemic, some people are dangerously mistaken in their beliefs about COVID-19. They are getting bad advice from unqualified sources. They believe that treating people with monoclonal antibodies or antiviral drugs after they have become ill with the virus is more important than prevention. If we were all vaccinated, keeping a safe distance from others, wearing masks in indoor public spaces, and testing before small gatherings, the pandemic would be much closer to ending. There would also be no hospital overcrowding, and there would be only a limited need for manufactured antibodies because most people would be making their own.
When people acquire the virus, they can pass it to others without ever knowing they have it. This means that family, friends, coworkers and other close contacts are placed at risk. Vaccination does not entirely guarantee that the virus will not be contracted, but any illness it causes is likely to be far less severe and passing it on will be much less likely.
The new omicron virus has caused the deaths of adults, children, and babies, not all of them, just some of them. COVID is mostly preventable by vaccination. We don’t know omicron’s long-term effects. Other variants have caused “long COVID,” which may include disease of the heart, lung, kidney, brain, chronic fatigue and others.
Yes, we need anti-viral drugs, and we need monoclonal antibodies to treat those who contract this illness despite vaccination and reasonable precautions. Treatments are in short supply because so many people have the disease.
Freedom is a balancing act, allowing as much individual freedom as possible until exercising our freedom harms others. Opposition to vaccination and mask wearing in favor of monoclonal antibodies means letting the infected become ill, passing around the virus and then trying to rescue the sick with high-tech, high-cost measures.
Florida has become a far more dangerous place than it needs to be. Encouraging vaccination, testing, and mask-wearing will go much farther toward ending the pandemic than expensive and scarce drugs.
Susan Krauter, M.D., Estero
Shame on Manchin, Sinema
Two senators are holding up what the overwhelming majority of the country wants! A Build Back Better and a Voting Rights bill, both of which this country and their two states need! West Virginia has some of the highest child poverty in the nation. Arizona had the worst case of accusations of voter fraud, all of which turned out untruthful.
Manchin and Sinema are a disgrace to the nation and to their own constituencies! Shame on them!
Franklin Warner, Fort Myers
Governor's misguided regret
Gov. DeSantis has announced that he now regrets not speaking out "much louder" when President Trump told the nation to stay home at the start of the epidemic. Perhaps Mr. DeSantis might take some comfort in knowing that his failure "to speak out" at that time clearly saved the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of people. An intelligent person would be proud rather than regretful. How sad.
Pamela Maza, Cape Coral
Jan. 6, Vietnam protests not equivalent
Regarding Fred Fiske's guest column in the Sunday paper, the writer is entitled to his opinion, but I disagree. If the Vietnam protesters stormed the Capitol building and tried to prevent our peaceful transfer of power, they should have been charged with sedition. I agree that the Jan. 6 rioters could not succeed, but it was their plan to stop the process, stop Mike Pence. Just because they did not succeed does not mean that they were not trying to overthrow the duly elected president-elect. So if someone conspires to commit murder and are not successful, should they just walk away?
As for the Capitol police not being prepared, I think that is one of the things we need more answers on. Were they told to back off by the administration, which hoped that Pence would not do his job and thus help Trump remain president? These are the types of questions the committee is looking into.
I also disagree with the author saying that the Capitol building is just another building. That is like saying the American flag is just another piece of cloth. Not to me, it isn't. These are symbols of our democracy.
I do agree with him that the center held, and our democracy is intact. We survived the Civil War and we will somehow survive the divisions that are in place now. America is stronger than the extremists on either side.
I don't care if it is a Republican or a Democrat, any president who spreads lies and disinformation in order to remain in power after losing the election is fomenting sedition.
Cris Ryker, Naples
This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Letters to the editor for Thursday, January 20, 2022