Letter: Public health should be paramount – Portland Press Herald – pressherald.com

Letter Public Health Should Be Paramount Portland Press Herald Pressherald Com

Vaccinations aren’t actually a matter of personal choice. They are a matter of personal responsibility.

Think of it like property taxes. As a group, we all pay for our roads and schools and fire department, regardless of whether we have a car, children or have a house that is currently on fire. The point of operating as a society instead of millions of individuals is that we get many benefits from pulling together. Those benefits are not free, but if we share the cost among everyone, it’s a lot cheaper than funding your own personal school or fire department.

Public health is the same concept. We each have a responsibility to the group to do what we can to maintain our own health. If a person had syphilis and then had sex with as many people as they could, wouldn’t you think them at least irresponsible, if not a sociopath?

Allowing yourself to be a conduit for COVID by being unvaccinated is the same thing. An unvaccinated population allows the virus to fester and mutate, and it is in every virus’ best interest to become as strong as it can, to spread and grow and perpetuate itself. The delta variant’s strength shows this biological imperative. COVID will continue to mutate and get more virulent if we let it.

The more people who get the vaccine, the more we protect public health, so it’s not about your personal choice to get sick and die if you want to. It’s about your responsibility to protect the children and the immunocompromised now, and to prevent the virus from mutating into something that could more easily kill us all later. Those are American values. To do your part to protect us all. True patriotism is a love not just for America, but for Americans. All of us.

Veronica Garrett

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