Re: “Hundreds gather in Santa Monica to protest against proposed vaccine mandates” [Aug. 29, Nation & World]:

Protesters around the country have generally framed the issue as one of personal freedom and choice, and the “government shouldn’t be telling me what to do.” However, I believe that individual rights are only part of the issue. Another part seems to be a lack of trust in government. Maybe you don’t have much trust in the government, but take a look around at hospitals filling to capacity with the COVID-19 delta variant, and more than 90% of the patients are those who have not been vaccinated.

I believe another part of the issue has to include the matter of individual responsibilities. As citizens living in society, each of us has certain rights. At the same time, citizens also have a social responsibility to act in a way that does not put yourself or those around you at risk, like getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public. Common sense cries out that this is the right thing to do as we continue to be in the midst of a nationwide health crisis.

Edward Parks, Mercer Island