To the editor:

Businesses are suffering due to COVID-19 shutdowns. Of much more importance, hospital workers are suffering burnout, burnout that was avoidable. Of greatest importance children have suffered, are suffering and will suffer as schools may have to close again. All avoidable but for the selfish people who will not get vaccinated. So businesses, hospital workers and children are paying for the selfish stupidity of those who will not be vaccinated.

Some businesses and school districts say all solutions don’t fit every situation; that there should be leeway for each business to make their own policies regarding health and welfare.

They are wrong. One solution does fit all: Require proof of vaccination and wear a mask. Then all businesses and school can stay open and hospitals will not be overwhelmed. Nurses will not have to continue to treat the dying unvaccinated, or quit in droves because they are expected to perform the horrible tasks caring for people needlessly dying. Variations in policies is how we got into this mess in the first place. No school, business or hospital is an island. Policy variations make no sense. A shopper who carries COVID doesn’t just go into one store — he or she goes into several, goes home to relatives, meets with friends, picks up children from day care, travels. To think one can islolate is illogical in the extreme. What happens in Stop & Shop doesn’t stay in Stop & Shop. It travels and infects multiple people and places.

We are the only developed country that expects businesses, health care workers and, tragically, children, to pay for some selfish citizens; right to not vaccinate and therefore put us all at risk.

Leaders are not helping. They need to treat the unvaccinated for what they are: people who do not care about the common good and children’s education.

And for those stalwart Republicans who still watch FOX lies: Ask where Trump, DeSantis, Cruz, Carlson send their own children to school.

Expensive private schools that early in the pandemic installed high-end air filters and enforce vaccine mandates! They get paid bundles of money to lie about the virus but pay to protect their own children in vaccine-mandated schools.

Leaders need to get a national vaccine mandate in place. Then all can stay open and yes, we’ll have to learn to live with COVID and future pandemics but not protect the unvaccinated at the terrible expense to children, health care staff and entrepreneurs.

So many of us regular citizens who feel an obligation to support the common good by being vaccinated and wearing masks are organizing among ourselves: researching businesses who don’t require masks, and refusing to work or play with those who are unvaccinated.

CG Johnson

Rockport

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