When I was a small child, I had an immunization on my arm for smallpox. I think I got it at school. There was no vaccination at the time for measles, mumps or whooping cough, and I had all those diseases, missing school for two weeks for each disease. Later, polio vaccine and the Salk immunization came along and I got them. I do not remember whether my parents had to sign anything, but I know they did not want me or my siblings to contract polio, too. I have had tetanus shots, diphtheria, shingles, influenzas and a couple of others that I cannot recall. I am happy to make it to age 85.

When I had an opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccinations, I was grateful, because I did not want to experience the virus. I did not think about possibly spreading the disease to others. I had been wearing a mask to save myself, but now I wear the mask to save others. I know that I could be a carrier even though I have had the vaccine.

My personal freedom has not been violated by getting vaccines or by wearing a mask; as an adult, I made the choice to protect myself from disease. Now, my personal freedom is not violated when I wear a mask, because I do not want to be responsible for someone else being sick. This is my choice. So, I cannot understand how other people feel so upset about being required to be vaccinated or wear masks or be tested. I have heard of no one who has been ticketed or put in prison for not wearing a mask or getting a vaccine, although it is possible it has happened. It is possible that someone could be sued for causing the death of another because of COVID-19.

Regardless of any requirement or mandate, I do not wish to cause harm to anyone else. I do not wish to cause health professionals to serve until exhaustion due to my disinterest in their plight. I do not want children to forfeit their education because the pandemic continues indefinitely. I do not wish to cause hospitals to fill up with COVID-19 patients making it impossible for people with other health problems to have the care they need.

Even though I am vaccinated for COVID-19 and willing to wear a mask, I want to be able to be admitted to a hospital for treatment if I seriously need treatment for illness or for another face-plant injury in front of the post office.

Evelyn Swart


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