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Chris Roemer: The unvaccinated are responsible for their own outcomes | COMMENTARY

As soon as the vaccine was available to my age group, I took advantage of the protection it provides against COVID-19. For me, it was a no-brainer. I prefer not to get COVID, and the vaccine pretty much guarantees I won’t, at least to any significant degree.

There are people who have chosen not to get vaccinated. I’ve heard their reasons. Some are a stretch as far as I’m concerned. Others I find a little more valid. Either way, we live in a free society and those types of decisions are rightly left up to the individual.

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Personally, I think the unvaccinated are taking an unnecessary risk, but hey, that’s their business. I’m vaccinated. My family is vaccinated. We’re protected. I think something like .004 percent of vaccinated people get a breakthrough illness. That’s a risk I can accept.

Those who have chosen not to get vaccinated apparently have a higher risk tolerance for illness than I do, and they have every right to accept that level of risk. What they don’t have is the right to tell me, because they’ve chosen not to get the shot, I must take extra steps to protect them by again wearing a mask or limiting the social settings in which I engage.

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I believe I’ve done the responsible thing and what I had to do protect myself and those with whom I interact. I feel no further obligation to take steps to protect others who have made a different decision.

There are consequences for every decision we make in life, and we must be prepared to accept those consequences. For me, that’s a pretty simple concept to grasp.

If I borrow money to pay for college, I will be required to pay back that money. Some believe if they borrow money to go to college, the government should pay it back.

Had I chosen to drop out of school, I would not expect to have the economic success those who stayed in school are likely to enjoy. Others believe the government should make up the difference.

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If I enter the country illegally, I expect to be deported. Unless, of course, I utter the magic word “asylum,” in which case I will be introduced to the blessings of the American welfare state. I won’t be required to get vaccinated to gain entry, either.

And if I don’t get vaccinated, I may very well get sick, unless of course, those who have gotten vaccinated are required to take extra steps to make sure I don’t.

With freedom comes responsibility. Government’s role is not to protect me from myself by acting to blunt the consequences that flow from my decisions. However, millions today believe the government does have that responsibility. It seems to me that mindset only enables poor decision making.

There are no guarantees in life. That’s a cliche but one that once enjoyed pretty much universal acceptance. Even people who make all the right decisions - if there are such people - must deal with outcomes they never anticipated. No matter how much we protest something isn’t fair, that’s just the way life is, and the sooner we get used to that fact, the more likely it is we will do what we need to change our circumstances. Too many of us sit back and wait for someone else to act.;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Deluding people into believing someone will always be there to make things right is not compassionate. It condemns them to a life of unrealistic expectations.

Knowing firsthand the number of parents who run to their child’s rescue to shield them from the natural consequences of their poor choices at school, I can understand why so many children grow up believing that dynamic will continue into adulthood. Every time a parent bullies a teacher into giving their child a grade they don’t deserve or makes excuses for why their child shouldn’t be disciplined for breaking a school rule, they are setting them up for hard lessons later in life. Best to let kids learn the concept of “natural consequences” when they are young.

We are all responsible for ourselves. If someone doesn’t like their lot in life, it’s up to them to do something about it. Suggesting they can’t, that it’s up to the government to do it for them, is hardly empowering and ultimately self-defeating. Government programs may help in the short run, but any lasting change almost always comes from within.

Anyway, if the unvaccinated are concerned about getting sick, there’s a simple solution readily available to them. If they refuse to avail themselves of that solution, don’t look at me.

“Freedom is the nature of man; every person is self-controlling and himself responsible for his thoughts, his speech, his acts.” — Rose Wilder Lane

Chris Roemer writes from Finksburg.

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