The fight against COVID-19 seems to be a never-ending struggle and is mirrored by a never-ending stream of letters, pro and con, about vaccinations. I hope the editors of The Jewish Link can tolerate one more letter on the subject. I would like to discuss the phrase “freedom of choice” which has come into vogue for those choosing not to be vaccinated.
In science or medicine there is rarely, if ever, complete agreement on any issue. There are only probabilities that certain actions result in certain effects, and even here, what seems absolute one day may be overturned the next.
With this in mind, even in an environment of very confusing and contradictory reports, virtually all reports (but never 100%) appearing in the media, seem to very strongly point to the case that the Omicron virus is much more infectious than the original and Delta variants, but is much less severe, resulting in greatly reduced hospitalizations and deaths. Even so, hospital facilities and beds today are overloaded with patients who are unvaccinated, and thus, cannot be used for other seriously ill patients, postponing their surgeries, examinations, radiation or other treatments, or other necessary potentially life-saving procedures.
The question then becomes, does the “freedom of choice” demanded by those choosing to remain unvaccinated only affect them, if it at the same time can also be harming others? Our society abounds with many other laws, mandates and regulations governing personal actions versus the common good: cigarette smoking in public areas, drug use, drinking while driving, burning of fossil fuels, noise ordinances, use of certain insecticides, plastic waste disposal, use of PFAs in air conditioners, building and electrical codes, etc., etc.
Thus, the concept that “freedom of choice” only involves individual behavior and is thus sacrosanct, may be a moot point if it adversely affects the health, welfare and well-being of fellow citizens.Max Wisotsky