We’ve just spent days in remembrance of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. Firefighters and other first responders knew that not only is freedom not free, but life itself sometimes is not free. Merely three decades before that, convinced that the spread of communism could cost us our freedom, we spent the lives of many tens of thousands of mostly young men, large numbers of whom served not at their own choice, to stop the advance of an atheistic and authoritarian threat in Vietnam.
We know that some things aren’t free and require us to do things we’d not otherwise choose. So, why the cry of “You’re trampling on my American ideals of freedom,” if we should get vaccinated or wear a mask? Fighting the threat of “communism” to maintain “freedom” calls us to acknowledge rather nebulous terms. Is there anything we don’t understand about death, about forcing businesses to cut back, when we’re called to mask and get vaccinated against COVID?
Some people’s rabid reaction to the threat of government overreach is mind-boggling compared to the benefits of keeping commerce working and keeping people out of hospitals. If nothing else means anything, there are real and crushing economic costs to the continuation of the viral threat caused by what some call protecting their freedom.
The numbers from the hospitals and morgues are not made up. At least one of our available vaccines is now fully FDA approved, as if millions of takers during the emergency use authorization wasn’t convincing enough. How is it that facts that each of us could verify about the caseloads and the overwhelming effectiveness and safety of the vaccines is not persuasive, while some clown on the internet or on TV convinces us otherwise?
Be very careful about your own motivation in choosing what to believe, and to whom you listen. Gosh, it just seems there are so many spoiled people out there living in a world of their own choosing. “I don’t like masks and I don’t like needles and Biden’s a Democrat,” so the tens of thousands of servicemen and women who put all their lives on the line makes sense, but wearing a mask and getting vaccinated is too much of a sacrifice?
Yes, we treasure freedom. Use it to make the choice to help everyone get through this. It might even be patriotic.
— Jim Durand
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