EDITOR, Daily News:

This quarrel about “Individual Rights” vs “Vaccine Mandates” is, in my opinion, a false and misleading argument. Our leaders are attempting to defeat a virulent and unrelenting virus that has killed over 650,000 American citizens in the past 18 months. It has unraveled our lives and upended society in ways that were unforeseen just a short time ago. The vaccines that have been developed are very effective, but the virus has mutated, just as the CDC predicted it would absent a high level of vaccination earlier in the pandemic. We are now faced with a more dangerous variation of the virus, and it just could be that we will need a booster shot to fight it. It is unknown if those who have had COVID in the past are now immune from getting the Delta or MU variants.

 Those hanging their hats on “individual rights” should consider a few things; 1) If you don’t want to get a vaccine, no one is going to drag you into a clinic and force a needle in your arm. Maybe you won’t be able to work in a certain business without continuous testing, or attend some meetings or gatherings, but you won’t be forced to take a shot. That is your choice and yours alone. You aren’t helping in the fight, but that’s your right. 2) I would like to take my Smith and Wesson 40 in my shoulder holster aboard my next Alaska Airlines flight to Seattle. But, hey, someone says I can’t do that. My “individual rights” have been denied. 3) In 1970 I was forced to join the Army. Where were my “individual rights”? 4) While I was in the Army, I was forced to take about 20 vaccinations. Hey Drill Sargent, how about my individual rights? 5) I once travelled to Africa. I was forced to show proof of cholera and smallpox vaccinations, by the U.S. government, before I could return to the USA. What about my “individual rights”? 6) I would like to drive back home after three martinis at Salmon Falls (never happened by the way). But the State Troopers say I can’t do that, and what’s more, I must wear a seat belt! What would George Washington say about that?

The bottom line is, if we don’t get a high percentage of the population vaccinated, we are not going to beat this virus any time soon. More of our family, friends, and citizens, both liberal and conservative are going to die. There are those, I know, who are now saying that we might as well give up; that the virus is going to be here forever, and we will just have to live (or die) with it. If that had been the attitude in the ‘50s we would still have kids dying of polio. Same with smallpox. This virus can be beaten, but it is going to take the defeat of fear and paranoia to do it.

You can be an eagle or an ostrich. Your choice.