Hearts Shattered By Murder

Dear Editor,

I’m Robin Freedman, sister of Mark Freedman. On Nov. 3, my brother was murdered while leaving his restaurant, Mark’s on Dolly Madison. Our hearts are shattered. Mark was a unique man, a wonderful brother and true friend. Mark lived in Greensboro for over 40 years, owned three restaurants and was committed to his art and to the community. 

It’s been over a month; the killer remains free. Since Nov. 3, there have been an additional 13 murders. On Dec. 11, I read: “Council Requires Police to Do More But Provides No Support.” There is a violent crime crisis in Greensboro. The City Council has ordered the Police Department to take on more work but has offered no additional funding or staffing. 

I salute law enforcement, put faith into their work. They are dedicated but overwhelmed. To solve these crimes, they need funding immediately, for staff and technical experts. 

As we continue navigate our grief, I continue to be touched by the outpouring of support we receive from the community. Greensboro is a special place; I understand why my brother chose to call it home for over 40 years. With that encouragement, I won’t give up until we find my brother’s killer.

Robin Freedman



The Real Ethical Concerns Over COVID-19 Vaccination

Dear Editor,

Before I begin this discussion, I’d like to explain previous letters. We haven’t developed a coronavirus vaccine despite intense efforts over decades to develop a common cold vaccine. Holding Americans hostage with draconian isolation policies with large scale attacks on personal freedoms and biased implementation until a vaccine was produced was despicable. The current development of a COVID-19 vaccine is a testament to medical science. It is also a testament to President Trump. Realistically, this vaccine is the best and strongest COVID-19 stimulus.

The problem is that medicine is not always as exact or precise as portrayed. There is valid disagreement among medical professionals about the COVID-19 vaccine. Like all medical interventions, risks may occur. We are currently entering the post marketing research phase of clinical trials. Often, we do not know the full extent of risks until this post marketing research occurs. There may, or may not, be negative side effects of the vaccine that have not been identified during earlier phases.

The good news is that earlier phases drastically increase the chance of identifying negative side effects. This new phase does include close scrutiny to reduce harm. However it is possible to have serious unknown side effects. Earlier phases have limited sample sizes that don’t always match the population characteristics. Historically, vaccines have been approved only to have approval removed once post marketing research demonstrated serious negative consequences. As an example the first, not current, rotavirus vaccine was removed in later phases of approval after the risks were deemed greater than benefits. The current generation of rotavirus vaccine is safe.

This is where ethics plays a huge role. In the current paradigm, individuals will rush to receive the vaccine, not because of realistically weighing medical risks and rewards, but to maintain individual rights and keep financially secure. The real medical risk of the virus is much less than felt due to over intense restrictions. The restrictions are encouraging individuals to take a vaccine to avoid restrictions. This is unethical.

Alan Burke