The Chieftain published a series of Opinion letters arguing the "pros" and "cons" of COVID preventative measures.
The "pro" camp presented objective, science-based facts showing vaccination and masking to be safe and effective against COVID hospitalizations and death, consistent with conclusions of infectious disease experts and our county’s physicians.
The “con” perspective challenged the safety and effectiveness of these measures and questioned the ethics of vaccinating children. This opinion was not substantiated by credible scientific research or endorsed by public health authorities.
Vaccinated county residents (65%) obviously side with the "pro" science camp. They chose wisely since the unvaccinated account for the overwhelming majority of our local hospitalized COVID-sick patients.
The debate has now turned ideological. The "con" camp argues for personal choice to refuse vaccination and masking mandates. Implied is liberty to also infect others, overcrowd hospital beds and pass onto taxpayers costs to treat preventable illness. Our county’s 12 COVID deaths and 560 diagnosed cases argues against the "con" camp libertarian position.
I’ll weigh into the ideological debate as a clinician who took care of combat-wounded veterans for 31 years. Those veterans courageously stepped up to take a bullet in the name of patriotism, defined as "devotion to and vigorous support of one's country.”
Libertarians who won’t brave a needle stick and inconvenience of a mask might consider walking in the footsteps of those who secured their liberty through sacrifice, while reflecting on JFK's imperative to “ask what you can do for your country."