A “me first” attitude is killing us

Thank you for issuing the call to arms for vaccination and recognizing that during this global pandemic the actions of each individual impact the lives and livelihoods of all of us. Along with individuals, public policy must also step up. The business, educational and medical communities should make it easier for all to be vaccinated — by paying for child care during vaccine appointments, by providing dedicated vaccine sick days for appointments and potential side effects, and expanding vaccine appointment hours.

Yet those with zero barriers, who remain unvaccinated by choice (think WSU’s football coach) threaten the lives of children too young to be vaccinated. They threaten the immunocompromised. They threaten the ability for school, life and work to go on, as it had only just begun to do.

One of the ironies is that, when the unvaccinated by choice get COVID-19, they expect doctors and nurses to risk their lives to save theirs. When they flood hospitals, those who need surgery for cancers, accidents and heart attacks, are unable to get timely care. They demonstrate a “me first” attitude, and their perceived individual right to remain unvaccinated creates a ripple effect of death and destruction that touches all of us.

Nancy Dickeman, Seattle

For the good of the community

Yes! We need to ensure that everyone gets vaccinated for the good of the community, the state, the U.S. and the world. It is beyond ridiculous that people are doubting the science of the vaccine as well as some still doubting the existence of COVID-19.

I’m a retired pediatric nurse. My three grandchildren are 2, 8 and 11 and cannot get vaccinated yet. I don’t know why the FDA is dragging its feet on emergency authorization since kids are routinely the most vaccinated population. Children are once again the lowest on the totem pole when health and well-being are in danger.

Gov. Jay Inslee needs to step up and require vaccination, and I would not even grant a religious exemption. Please people. Protect us all. The Delta variant is already horrid. The next variant could harm or kill more of us. We must stop the continued spread of COVID-19.

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Karen Kropp, Kirkland

It’s the responsible thing

I am completely fed up with people not getting vaccinated. They are against shots but will certainly take up beds in hospitals. They don’t want to wear masks but may end up on ventilators. What poor choices.

My husband and I and many others have done the responsible thing. We stayed home, wore the masks and got the vaccines. I’d like to get on a plane and visit my new 2-week-old grandson without worrying about some passenger in the airport who is not vaccinated. Do they care that I may carry the virus to a new baby? Apparently not. So I have to wait, thanks to these “freedom fighters.”

Make it as hard on these folks as possible. Mandates, extra testing, vaccine cards. Fine with me, so we can all get past this pandemic.

Georgi Krom, Seattle

Follow common-sense rules

Thank you so much for asking readers’ opinion on vaccine mandates! My husband and I are all for it. We’ve followed by the rules and suggestions and finally, gleefully, got vaccinated.

Now we find ourselves unable to enjoy the rewards. We are frustrated, disappointed and angry at those who won’t vaccinate. It is a very selfish thing. We are looking forward to more vaccine mandates by more businesses!

Regina Jensen, Quincy

As kids, we all got vaccinated

Being 68 years old on this planet, I remember being lined up down the hallway at school more than once. No protests, no one being singled out, just another drill. Polio, smallpox, TB tests, that’s how it was.

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I can remember when I got my first passport at the age of 17. I needed another smallpox vaccine shot to get my little yellow CDC vaccine book stamped so not to get out of the USA, but to get back inside.

Yes, get the vaccine, I have both COPD and emphysema so wearing a mask really makes breathing a problem. If they still won’t get the shots, please stay home. If you didn’t believe in science before, why would you believe science can cure you?

Paula Simonet, Federal Way

Restrictions are caused by unvaccinated

The decision to mask up or get a lifesaving vaccine morphed early on from a health issue to a left-wing versus right-wing thing. Every unvaccinated person that has ever complained about social distancing, mask mandates and shutdowns are once again screaming the loudest as those restrictions are reinstated. The unvaccinated bear responsibility for the need to again impose restrictions.

If COVID and its variants hang around, proof-of-vaccine documents may soon become the order of the day. Thanks to the unvaccinated, that time may already be here.

Bruce Howard, Freeland

Selfish refusal to contribute to a public good

I support vaccine mandates. I sought vaccination as soon as I became eligible in mid-April. I reasoned that everyone owes society something in return for the benefits society provides us all, and incurring the small risk posed by the vaccine was well within the debt owed. Furthermore, I wanted to avoid the moral culpability of potentially infecting others with the disease, and of making my body available to the virus as a laboratory for developing more dangerous mutations.

So, I think it’s reasonable for businesses to require vaccination for in-person employees and customers, and for educational institutions to require vaccination for in-person students and instructors. I would not allow religious exemptions.

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Mandates imply enforcement, for which I think we need a national vaccine passport system that is easy to verify and hard to falsify. I should be able to display a QR code on my smartphone that anyone can scan to find out who I am and whether I’ve been vaccinated, and all enforcers should be able to rely on that single method for everyone.

In the widespread refusal of COVID-19 vaccinations, I see a selfish refusal to contribute to a public good.

John Franco, Seattle

Trust Washingtonians to make their own health care decisions

Having been fully vaccinated for COVID since February 2021 and likely to get the booster when it becomes available to me, I am opposed nonetheless to Gov. Jay Inslee’s vaccine mandates. I trust my fellow Washingtonians to make personal health care decisions for themselves.

A disease that has consistently exhibited a 95% recovery rate is not worth this political power grab.

However, if the governor is sure that coercion is best, then may I suggest vaccine mandates for those receiving welfare benefits, food stamps, unemployment and eviction moratoriums.

I’d wager the unvaxxed rate in that population is higher than among schoolteachers.

Let’s see if Gov. Inslee has the backbone to stick it to someone who may not really care all that much if they’ve got a job they’d like to keep.

Linda K. Gragg, Kennewick