To the editor:

Due to COVID-19 and its variants, a 24-year event, Rockport New Year’s Eve, will not take place. This year, with new strains of COVID-19, the Rockport New Year Eve Board of Directors first voted to have the event.

With no mandate from Rockport Board of Health, on Dec. 20 Rockport New Year Eve directors voted to cancel Rockport New Year’s Eve (RYNE) for this 25th year. Before the buttons were ready to sell, the RNYE board voted against checking vaccine cards or recent test. A sticker on button was rejected. A reason from a Rockport employee stated, “That is not sensitive.”

“Sensitive” to all is a correct discretion under normal circumstances. Still, when safety is paramount and contagion is rampant, sensitivity goes both ways to protect all people. Ironically, a RNYE venue, Shalin Liu, maintains protocol of proof of vaccination or negative test results. If the decision to check vaccine cards or a recent test with ID to match, RNYE 2022 could take place. We know this is a violation of rights as Americans. Sensitive to all sounds appropriate.

However, the COVID-19 virus is not afraid of offending people’s sensitivities. If we want to enjoy ourselves, we must either get vaccinated or show a recent negative test. Furthermore, masks are imperative. Naturally, we all have rights in the United States. However, you do not have the right to spread COVID for the sake of sensitivity. Freedom has two sides. One is responsibility, and the other is equal inclusion. We must have both to maintain Freedom.

Bill Tobin

Rockport

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