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Michael Kroning

We hear a lot about freedom and personal liberty today in regards to the pandemic. Many declare their right not to be vaccinated as an absolute right without limitations. They decry any governmental authority to protect public health and safety as government overreach and “tyranny,” as so described by our local CATs and RATs (Citizens/Republicans Against “Tyranny”). Yet, rights are limited when they disregard the rights of others or cause bodily harm and injury to others. Personal responsibilities are intrinsically linked to our personal rights, if not legally, then at least morally.

When the fear of polio was rampant in this nation in the 1950s, playgrounds and community pools were closed, parents kept their kids from playing with others, and many aspects of American life were altered or suspended. The Salk-Sabin vaccine was hailed as a God-send to many who feared for their children and themselves. President Eisenhower, a Republican, mandated the vaccine for the American public and there was little, if any, resistance to his order. Why? First, people were SO THANKFUL for this miracle drug as a means to prevent the deadly disease of polio. Also at the time, there was not the mistrust of government as there is today. The 1960s age of rebellion had yet to occur, nor the effects of Watergate. In addition, there was not the widespread availability of misinformation as there is today. Social media, a multitude of information choices, the internet, and the widespread availability of opinion media did not exist back then.

No one is happy about the pandemic. It has disrupted our lives and significantly affected our economy and way of living. But it is a public health phenomenon, not a “Dempanic” or politically motivated act, as some would claim. Unfortunately, we have so many conspiracy theories, demagoguery, and outright LIES being disseminated as “news” across many media platforms, including locally. Worse, people have been trained by cult leaders to dismiss the “mainstream media” as so-called “fake news” in order to invalidate any real news sources from reaching their viewership. Let’s be clear, they hate the mainstream media because it applies strict journalistic standards, which the opinion media does not have to meet, and because it represents the mainstream of American thought, which the extreme opinion media fears. They rail against CNN and CBS News precisely because it can See B.S. “News” and call it out. So they have been trained to only listen to those views and opinions that line up with their cult and tribe, and have the blessing of their cult leader. This is one reason why there is so much opposition and utterly false misinformation about the life-saving COVID-19 vaccine and public health policies intended to protect the public.

Your choice and personal liberty comes with consequences as well. If you choose not to protect yourself with the vaccine, that is your choice, although it increasingly puts others at risk and the likelihood of the virus mutating into more deadly variants. Health care workers and indeed all who serve in a public capacity should adopt the credo of “Do No Harm.” This is especially true when being in proximity to vulnerable people, seniors and children. Our children under 12 do not have the option of protecting themselves with the vaccine. Many long-term care patients are also especially vulnerable. Should an unvaccinated health care worker be able to infect long-term care residents and cause some to be hospitalized without any personal accountability? I think not. Employers have the right to protect their employees, and health care providers have an obligation to protect their patients, period. If you demand your personal liberties, please be willing to accept the consequences of potentially being suspended or dismissed without complaint, unless you comply with reasonable requirements seeking to protect health and human life. While it is your choice to refuse the vaccine, you do not have the right to dictate that your choice results in others being placed at risk of serious disease or even death.

What about those who work with children in classrooms, day care, nurseries, Sunday School, Sabbath School, or Hebrew School? Spiritual leaders, are you putting your children in vulnerable situations with unvaccinated workers? To those who cry liberty and personal freedom, are you so callous to put others in danger, including little children? These are questions that should be explored because we know that the delta variant can and does infect ALL persons, including small children, some of whom have already died from the virus! Please think about your responsibility to protect others and may the liberty you so zealously demand, do no harm!

Michael Kroning worked in the health care field for more than 14 years prior to his retirement. He has also served our military as a national security analyst and been a ministry leader in several churches. Though he once held office in a county Republican organization, he is currently a political independent and lives in Winchester.

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(7) comments

FormerDemocrat

Mike, I wholeheartedly agree with your remarks on personal responsibility and getting the Covid vaccine. It’s unfortunate that you couldn’t just leave it at that. When you insist on making it political and divisive with talk of fake news, evil cult leaders, and conspiracies, you lose the exact people that your words need to convince. I refuse to let politics get in the way of protecting my family and others, and I can only hope others can get past the politics that help no one in this situation.

Gimpy

Michael, what a wonderful essay on the blights of modernity: The virus, anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers, anti-sciencers, unparalleled selfishness, the infantile schadenfreude, threats of violence, and a bewildering displays of the Dunning–Kruger effect. The COVID vaccine is life. According to testimony from medical workers, the only people who are dying are the unvaccinated. We all have to do what Michael so clearly outlines. Vaccines are the imperative of our survival.

Scomo

You lost me at “they hate the mainstream media, because it applies high journalistic standards”

Everyday, the lame stream media demonstrates that it has NO journalistic standards. They defend Fauci when it has been proven he was funding the gain of function work at the WIV that produced this scourge.

Gimpy

Now that IS fake news. Does your mommy know that you're using her computer to post unwarranted attacks against the man who has dedicated himself to saving as many lives as he can, including yours. Be good, Scomo, and get your shots. Wear your mask when you are inside public spaces. Social distance. Read outside the literature of your cult. You can do it!

NJ

And if it wasn't you, the premiere conspiracy squawker, readers just might check out which media speaks the truth. It certainly isn't in any of your posts that provide no proof despite all your belligerent toddler whining.

Dphillips2717

Please people listen to the experts, get vaccinated. The next illness could be your children or grandchildren. This new varient of the virus is no joke.

Mike

[thumbup] Well said.

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