To the Editor: Caring for the common good 

To the Editor: 

Wishing to open myself to other opinions, I read “Choosing between a jab or a job,” [in the] Nov. 11 issue. The author, Blake Russo, misses an important point. 

Vaccines are developed not only to prevent an illness, but for the “common good.” That means you do something to help everyone, not just yourself. That’s how we make a society better, caring for the “common good.” It’s why we provide education, have traffic laws and develop food pantries and homeless shelters. 

The pandemic probably would have been over by now if people had gotten the vaccine when it was available to them. Instead, by their inaction, the unvaccinated have encouraged and prolonged the spread of this virulent disease. 

Perhaps Mr. Russo is too young to remember polio and how that ravaged so many lives. I remember it, having had a friend who walked with a brace and a limp all of her life. Many people died from it. Everyone was absolutely thrilled when Dr. Sauk developed the polio vaccine, and people rushed out to get it. The result was the eradication of polio in my lifetime almost all over the world! It was like a miracle! The same can be said for other diseases, such as smallpox and diphtheria. 

It is highly unfortunate for our country that this issue has been politicized. We could eradicate COVID, too. Instead, we may have to live with that virus and its variants. Not a very pleasant thought, is it?  

I’d rather live my life for the “common good” and urge others to think about it. 

Jan Varnum 

Bar Harbor 

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