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ALBA FARFAGLIA, San Clemente

I believe that the pandemic has brought out the worst in us. The saddest thing is that this pandemic, which has caused the death of nearly 750,000 Americans, has been politicized. So many people have died, and they have not all been the elderly.

Vaccines not only protect the person getting the shot, but everyone in the community. We “take one for the team.” It has nothing to do with one’s liberty, one’s political opinion. COVID-19 is a disease, which can strike anyone. We are all in this together.

The gentleman who said that COVID was no big deal for him, he took hydroxychloroquine and was fine, is misinformed. Hydroxychloroquine is a drug used to treat malaria, and it is used for autoimmune diseases like RA and Lupus. 

I take this drug on a daily basis, and it does not cure or prevent COVID. He might as well have said that he took aspirin. He was lucky, but many people were not so lucky.

Then there were references to Communism, an economic system of governance that has nothing to do with vaccine mandates. A government based on Capitalism would want the citizens to get vaccinated, so people would not be afraid to venture out of their house, shop, and eat at restaurants. 

The mandate protects all people from this monster of a virus. Your vaccination saves a life somewhere. And it’s free. You don’t have to pay for it. 

A child in school can bring the virus home to parents and extended family, to neighbors who are vulnerable. Shouldn’t we care about them, our loved ones, our friends and neighbors?

The Declaration of Independence tells us that we have inalienable rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” So, it’s not just Liberty. It’s Life, too, and the Pursuit of Happiness. You have to be alive to enjoy liberty and to pursue happiness.

Who are we if we do not want to protect the life of others? We are all linked to one another. This is why we have a mandate for the vaccine. It is not just about “me.”  It’s about all of us. 

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