To the Editor:
My dad was a newly promoted staff sergeant stationed at Fort Bliss when as a pre-schooler I underwent an unexpected surgery. As part of my recovery, the nurses instructed me to walk around the children’s ward. It was then that I first saw a young boy my age encased in a startling metal tomb. I asked him why he was seemingly trapped in a huge metal cage. He stared back at me from a mirror above his head and agreeably explained that his “iron lung” allowed him to breathe. Otherwise he would die. Still puzzled, I asked him to explain further. He said simply, “I have polio.”
Polio was the scourge of my youth. Thankfully, vaccines developed in the 1950s by Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin made polio a historic relic. Surely no one today questions the necessity and efficacy of the vaccines they developed or argues that being inoculated against polio is an infringement of one’s liberty and freedom of choice.
Likewise, in the aftermath of nearly 700,000 COVID-19 deaths in America, it is unconscionable to not get vaccinated against coronavirus, unless one’s doctor advises not to do so.