Letters, Aug. 30
Jackson County is now in the center of a major COVID-19 outbreak, an overwhelming rate of hospitalizations and a steadily increasing number of deaths. Yet on Aug. 26, Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center was sadly met with picketers expressing personal opposition to vaccination mandates.
While our medical professionals and health care staff should be applauded and supported for their diligent commitment under strenuously difficult conditions to saving lives, local citizens were more focused on self than a public responsibility to the health and well-being of the community at large.
My conduct has direct impacts on the lives of others, but it should never place the greater community at risk because of my choices. The critical impact of the deadly pandemic has now reached us. It would have been much better to honor our medical professionals with signs of support than a personal protest over choices that have life-altering impacts on the health of others.
Martin Luther King Jr. stated it well when he once said, “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
Rights and responsiblities
Many people who refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccination claim that it is their “right” to do so. While the “right” to harm yourself and others is questionable, let’s accept the premise that they have this right.
But with rights come responsibilities. We have the right to go to a casino and gamble, but if we lose our bet, we are responsible for the debt. If we gamble away the rent money, it is not our neighbors’ responsibility to give us their rent money and face eviction themselves.
It is immoral to be refusing medical care to non-COVID patients because the ER and ICU are filled with non-vaccinated COVID patients. Non-vaccinated people should be put on notice that they will only receive care on an as-available basis, and may be sent home if their bed is needed by a vaccinated or non-COVID related patient.
If anti-vaxxers want to exercise their right to not protect themselves with a vaccination, they may have that right. But they also must accept the responsibility for the potential outcome. It is not their neighbors’ responsibility to give up their rent money nor their lives for someone else’s questionable decision.