An open letter to Rep. Scott Krug

I write the following in response to Rep. Scott Krug’s September 10th edition of Update from Assembly District 72.

“It led to catastrophic levels of unemployment, it led to the eventual permanent closure of scores of businesses statewide, it created unhealthy outcomes for patients in need of routine care.”

The reason for what you reference in your statement above is COVID; not the mask or vaccine mandates that you choose to blame. The continued spread of COVID is the result of people refusing to wear masks, social distance, and get vaccinated.

Hospitals are being bogged down by unvaccinated people requiring treatment for a preventable illness. People who need hospital beds so that they can be treated for life threatening illnesses are being turned away. I know people in your district this has happened to. This is happening because there simply are not enough resources to treat all of these irresponsible people who are suffering from severe cases of COVID due to their refusal to be vaccinated as well as people who have non-COVID related illness. Wasn’t the Republican party supposed to be the party of personal responsibility? Why are you and your colleagues so supportive of people behaving irresponsibly?

Many people, especially those in a medical profession, are quitting their jobs because they are afraid of catching COVID. They are stressed out because so many right wingers chose to politicize a pandemic and spread misinformation. The nurses who treat COVID patients get harassed because of this misinformation. These saviors should be celebrated, not denigrated.

In regards to infringing upon a person’s right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, people who are immunocompromised, like myself, have suffered infringements on our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness from everyone refusing to wear a mask and/or refusing vaccination! The only way people like me will ever be truly safe is if enough other people are vaccinated!

Until herd immunity is reached, people who rely on immunosuppressive therapies must choose between remaining prisoners in their own homes or risking their own lives. It sucks to live this way. I thought getting vaccinated would keep me safe, but even after a third vaccine, I must avoid public places, mask up, and limit the people I come in contact with. Without the federal government mandating vaccination, people like me were destined to always be denied our basic freedoms. Even with the mandate, there will be people who remain unvaccinated.

I have an uncle who is refusing vaccination strictly for political reasons, and his presence at family functions means that neither I or my caregivers (people in my family) can attend. I want to spend holidays with my whole family, and see my cousin get married, but if my uncle continues to refuse vaccination, I am forced to miss out on these things.

I remember being required to have certain vaccines as a child. The vaccine mandate is nothing new. It has been commonplace throughout the history of our nation. Maybe a mandate would not have been necessary if members of your party hadn’t vilified the vaccines; two of which are the result of the Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed. Unlike a lot of Democrats, I have no problem giving Trump credit for that; along with signing “Right To Try” into law, it was the best thing he did! The Republican Party should have owned that! It was a miracle of modern science to get these vaccines produced so quickly. It showed that things can get done when we remove the barriers of bureaucracy. If Ayn Rand we’re alive today, she would point out that this was the exact point she was making in Atlas Shrugged!

I fear that without mandating vaccination, we would most certainly be headed for another shutdown, and no one wants that. Everyone should want this pandemic to be over with.

I will never understand why the GOP has chosen to politicize things that should have never been political. Your party did this with climate change, and decades of inaction has resulted in more severe weather events, increased incidents of vector borne illness, costly damage to infrastructure, and death.

The way we get back to work, back to school, and back to normalcy is through herd immunity; that is best achieved through widespread vaccination—not everyone getting sick. A patriotic response to a pandemic is to urge people to unite together to take the appropriate safety precautions. We need to support those who fight for our survival: our scientists, doctors, and nurses. So many on the right have done the exact opposite of that! Members of your party have continued to wage their war on science, logic, and reason. That is truly shameful, and it must end.

You and your colleagues can still be part of the solution. Urge your constituents to get vaccinated. Urge your supporters to behave in a civil fashion. Too many people are behaving like jerks. Someone like me might be able to feel safe going more places if we didn’t have to worry about people getting in our face because we need to wear masks. Once COVID is under control, I will likely still need to wear a mask in crowded places because I need to be on immunosuppressive therapy for the rest of my life. I was hoping that maybe the pandemic would normalize masks to the extent that people who need to wear them because of receiving chemo or some similar treatment wouldn’t be so stigmatized. Right wing media cheering on people who lash out is ruining our communities. We need people of all political affiliations to encourage civility.