If, as polls suggest, 20-30% of Americans refuse to be vaccinated, the pandemic will not go away, but will become endemic, and this plague will last forever. 

There is a simple solution to this problem, however. Anyone who wants to attend an indoor mass gathering or fly in a plane must show proof of vaccination. Some may have genuine concern about the safety of the vaccines. The science is no longer in doubt — over 100 million Americans have been vaccinated. We feel great! Nevertheless, everyone must do their own cost-benefit analysis. Do the benefits outweigh the risk? 

Some refuse to be vaccinated because they believe that their rights outweigh those of society in general. Fine, you can choose not to be vaccinated, but you do not have the right to kill your fellow Americans by infecting them with a deadly disease. Similarly, you may choose to drive drunk, and I personally don’t care if you run into a tree, but you do not have the right to kill other drivers or pedestrians. 

Yes, you have the “right” to refuse to be vaccinated, but this choice prohibits you from participating in group activities where your ignorant choice endangers others. This is the risk-benefit analysis we all must do.

Tom DeCoursey, Oak Park

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