I have so many black widows living in my house I've given up trying to get rid of them. I leave them alone and they take care of flies and leave me alone. No brown recluses live in my state, but still people here worry far more about the benign, nonexistent brown recluse than the much more potentially dangerous and prevalent black widow. Or they get all bent about the big tarantulas here, which are so harmless that little kids (who know the truth) collect them and keep them as pets.
Snakes are a similar story. We have a lot of rattlesnakes where I live, and they're dangerous if you get bit and don't go to the hospital. A better plan is just not to get bit, and that's generally pretty easy with a snake unless you surprise it. I relocate rattlesnakes when I find them in my yard and my neighbors call me to relocate them from their yards, but the prevailing mentality in most people is to kill the snake first and ask questions later. Which is a shame since most snakes in the U.S. are nonvenomous and all snakes decrease the population of vermin like rodents that carry nasty diseases like plague and hantavirus.
People need to get over their prejudices.
The author of this piece and my uncle most likely knew each other well, it seems they've published papers quoting each other and some pop news stories about brown recluse spiders mention both of them.
Brown recluse bites are definitely thing, and particularly dangerous for small kids. Not super common, but he threat is real.
One article says he used to see about a dozen bites a year, which increased in recent years to about two dozen.
Just because Rick Vetter wrote this article specifically about not finding them in Cali, it doesn't mean they're something to be ignored where they're more prevalent, ie the Midwest.
I'll tell you, I was freaked out at how many Black Widows I saw when I came out here. I now more or less expect any pile of wood, any bucket on its side, any low deck to have Black Widows under/in it (and I'm generally right).