In response to “Coddling who?” (letters, Aug. 20), I remind the writer that deciding whether to get vaccinated is not simply a personal choice, but also a matter of public health and the common good.
The preponderance of people who choose not to be vaccinated is the only reason this country is still in a pandemic. I understand some people have valid medical reasons or logistical difficulties in getting vaccinated, but for most of the unvaccinated that does not appear to be the case.
So perhaps Ms. Lempert, in the referenced column, would like an explanation because many of us are resentful that the socially irresponsible, the paranoid, and the conspiracy theorists have doomed us to remain stuck in this cycle of virus surges for many more months, if not years, to come.
How many people have been hospitalized or have died unnecessarily because of this intransigence? To ask us to “understand that there is a world of difference between someone who’s so sick that he or she can’t get to the hospital or a doctor’s office and those who don’t believe in vaccinations for say political reasons” is sadly ignorant, and refusing vaccination solely for political reasons is appalling. Consider that many medical experts now believe that for the unvaccinated, it’s a matter of when, not if, they catch the virus. Compare that to the infinitesimally small percentage of people who have had significant adverse reactions to the vaccines. Further consider that those who refuse vaccination, even if they have no symptoms, could then spread the virus to people who may, in fact, become so sick that they can’t get to a hospital or a doctor’s office in time. And consider that the unvaccinated are indeed being coddled, simply by being tolerated.