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To the Editor:

As we enjoy the turning of the season, we this year can be especially grateful to live in Vermont, our “Brave Little COVID Desert.” We all owe a thank you to Gov. Scott for his impressive educability in public health science, to Dr. Levine and his excellent Department Of Health staff’s development of rapid PCR testing, case tracking and public education.

I earned my master's in public health at Berkeley 40 years ago as part of a National Foundation neonatology fellowship and haven’t used it full time in over 40 years of full-time clinical care, realizing that the tact and patience Phil and Mark employ so well over the eight months of this pandemic are not in my intensivist’s tool kit.

Do you know that if Vermont’s COVID mortality rate had been enjoyed by the rest of the US, that instead of 222K Americans dying of it, there’d be 30K? We’ve got a huge statewide hug due to each other and to our humble, hardworking leaders. I figure we’ve got 6 months to go so folks, don’t let our guards down!

James Canfield,



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