The personal freedoms of others should not endanger my child

Through Kara Sorbel

Updated: 13 minutes ago Posted: 27 minutes ago

Over the past two weeks, the Anchorage Assembly has heard testimony about the proposed mask ordinance. I did not attend these meetings, not because I am not very attached to the issue, but because I have unvaccinated children and the room was full of unmasked people, probably unvaccinated. This includes Mayor Dave Bronson, who on Thursday asked the Speaker of the Assembly to clarify the difference between “standards” and “rules”.

I understand Mayor and Assembly Member Jamie Allard’s commitment to personal choice regarding the pandemic, vaccines and masking. I understand that they ran for election on this platform. I respect people with principles. There is a time, however, and we all risk going, when principles turn to stubbornness.

There is also a time when “harshness” turns into cruelty. Staff at Providence Hospital, the state’s largest hospital, must sort care not just for Anchorage residents, but the state as a whole. They are begging city leaders to take the simple step of demanding masks in certain settings to ease the rush to hospitals.

Our young daughter received chemotherapy in Providence two years ago, and I thank God that it was a few years ago and not now; we were frequent patients in the emergency room in Providence when his immune system was destroyed by cancer treatment. Now, still too young to be vaccinated, she would not receive the immediate care she needed and she would most likely have died, either from the lack of medical care that would otherwise be available or from the COVID-19 case that she would likely have. caught. in the current setting.

I am curious as to why a child’s life is worth less to the Mayor and Ms. Allard than their commitment to an abstract and malleable principle of “freedom”. Typically, the government steps in when people make public health choices that can kill or injure others, ranging from banning drinking and driving to banning restaurants from stocking their side of beef. in the toilets.

I’m also curious about what they see as their role as a public official. It seems to me, basically, that the role of public servants is to serve the public. They seem to view this “service” as a protection against the government itself. The problem, of course, is that they are currently are the government. Who is left to protect people like our daughter from their stubbornness and callousness?

We are living in a public health emergency. Mayor Bronson and Mrs Allard might be ready to die for their principles. But nothing – nothing – gives them the right to enlist a sick child who does not feel the same way. I urge them once again to listen to the experts, even if those experts do not say what they want to hear. The mayor asked the President of the Assembly for a list of “standards” on Thursday. It is a standard that people will try to protect their neighbors and their children from death. People do not follow this standard, so the Assembly has no choice but to resort to rules.

Kara Sorbel lives and works in Anchorage with his family.

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