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A Danger to the Public Health

Nearly 70 percent of those eligible have currently received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. Nevertheless, COVID-related deaths continue to sweep our country due to highly infectious Delta variants, especially in more conservative states.

The uptick in deaths is primarily due to those who have refused to be vaccinated. Had the majority been immunized immediately as the vaccine rolled out, America would be at or close to immunity from this deadly disease, and variants would be non-existent.

Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) of Star Trek fame once famously said:

“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few . . . or the one.”

How do you feel about those citizens whose questionable decisions have threatened the health and safety of our citizens, especially our children, who are ineligible for the vaccine?

We once had no laws against driving under the influence, driving while texting, smoking in public, driving without seatbelt or airbags, or carrying a loaded gun into public places. While America is the so-called land of the free, our freedoms are not unbridled. This is not the wild, wild west where the strongest or best gun prevails. We have no rights or freedoms to put others at serious risk.

Should a child be required to suffer from a completely preventable disease in the name of senseless personal “freedom?” Would you pull out your gun and shoot a defenseless child? Of course, you wouldn’t. So, why would you needlessly expose them to a deadly disease?

State and local governments and their leaders have resorted to offering incentives such as lottery tickets, free food, etc. to simply get people to love thy neighbor. Businesses offer financial incentives to unvaccinated employees or require customers to show proof of vaccination before entering their premises. Still, there are many resisters, primarily in red states, even those who have become seriously ill or infected loved ones who become seriously ill or die.

The stubbornness of anti-vaxxers delays herd immunity, which will, eventually, benefit those who have refused to contribute to it. Shame on them and their selfishness. Their arrogance harms millions of immunocompromised adults and children, still disqualified from receiving the vaccine. Their unneighborly behavior encourages the spread of the virus and prolongs the day we defeat it. If “no” had long ago become “yes” to masks and vaccines, we would have no COVID crisis in America.

America is a free country; many anti-vaxxers are quick to tout this rather limited status. However, there are consequences to bad behavior. The Bible preaches “Thou shalt not Kill;” no one should die as the result of someone’s absurd definition of “freedom.”

I, for one, believe there should be legal consequences for such unconscionable behavior, civil and/or criminal. Our elected leaders should grow a set and stop appeasing those who ignore science and public health. Politics as usual should not apply to pandemics and climate change.

I applaud President Biden’s efforts in recent weeks, mandating that all federal workers and medical facilities’ employees be vaccinated, employees of companies with 100 or more workers be vaccinated or subjected to weekly testing, and calling on governors to require teachers and school administrators to be vaccinated. He also requested that large venues holding entertainment events require attendees to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result and got tough on commercial airline passengers who refused to wear masks, warning that fines would be doubled.

On the other hand, for far too long, probably because of the politics, he failed to implement these policies. And he failed to do more.

America is at a crossroads; the needs of the many do, indeed, outweigh the needs or the so-called freedoms of the few. Bottom line: Would you sacrifice your child’s life, health or safety for vaccine or mask freedom? Of course, you wouldn’t. So, why is it okay to sacrifice your neighbors’?

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