Letter: Most vulnerable among us have rights, too

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 20, 2020

This is in response to Elizabeth Hilton’s letter published Friday.

Individual rights are the rights of an individual while collective rights can refer to the rights of a group or society as a whole. Sometimes, individual rights and freedoms conflict with the broader public interest such as public health or safety. It is selfish to think that your rights are more important than the safety and health of others. Isn’t it a bit presumptuous to tell others what God does or does not consider to be right or wrong?

I would have a hard time believing that the God I believe in would consider your actions and protests that could put other people in harm’s way, cause serious illness or even result in death would be pleasing in his eyes, but then I can’t presume to know what God thinks.  The only one who can speak for God is God.

You talk about your individual rights, but then I and the most vulnerable should have some rights too — the right to expect others to respect social distancing, the right for others to wear masks in public to prevent the spread of germs and the right to expect others not to congregate in large groups where social distancing is impossible and the spread of illness is inevitable.   

Everyone wants businesses, stores and churches to reopen, as do I, but it must be done in the safest of ways. It is the people who claim their rights are being trampled on, who don’t feel they should have to wear masks or social distance who are spreading the virus and therefore delaying the safe opening of these establishments.

You are not the solution; you are the problem. It is one thing to unintentionally cause someone else to become sick.  It is another thing to consciously and knowingly do things that almost guarantee others will become sick and still others might die. How would those who object to doing the things that have been proven to slow the spread of the virus feel if it were their parent in the hospital on a ventilator?

— Carol Pomeroy