The past year has been sad. Sad for the lives lost, sad for the isolation, sad for the hostility that has somehow occurred over measures to protect public health. To those who continue to spin a story that vaccines and masking take away your freedom: I’m sorry. Sorry you feel this way and sorry for all the other things you feel we do to restrict your personal freedom to protect you, others, and the wellbeing of this country.
I’m sorry you feel we’re taking your freedom while our true priority is to protect the innocent, protect those who can’t protect themselves, and minimize lives lost to preventable things.
I’m sorry you can’t see how masking is helping you save the lives of those you don’t even know.
I’m sorry you can’t see how our recommendations to get vaccinated are intended to help all of us get back to the life we once knew – a life no longer restricted because of an unpredictable virus.
I’m sorry that, while you will turn to a mechanic for car advice, a lawyer for legal advice, and an architect for building advice, you refuse to use experienced physicians and public health experts for medical advice.
I’m sorry you are offended by our enthusiasm to get people healthy and keep them healthy.
I’m sorry you’ve chosen to rely on social media and unqualified individuals for medical advice – individuals who have never stepped foot in a hospital as a health care professional.
I’m sorry you think your higher power will save you when the time comes while, in fact, your higher power has already provided you a lifeline in the form of a vaccine.
I’m sorry you continue to refuse our best protection against this virus despite its well-established success, but then, when you get sick from that same virus, beg us for medical treatments that have little to no proven success.
I’m sorry that when you bring your school-aged child to me for their annual check, I’ll screen them for scoliosis instead of letting their spine be free to grow how it wants.
I’m sorry we take away your freedom to drive fast through work zones so those helping to create safer roads can stay safe themselves.
I’m sorry your child’s school may require a pre-participation physical so we can detect issues that, if gone undetected, might rob your child of the hopes and dreams they have.
I’m sorry you can’t see how being unvaccinated is analogous to drunk driving – placing others at risk because you felt compelled to do things your way.
I’m sorry smoking is restricted in public spaces, so you don’t have to be exposed to harmful carcinogens of cigarettes should you choose not to partake yourself.
I’m sorry you think a public health department’s diligence to trace contagious diseases is a method to track your every move and action, while in reality, it is to save you and your loved ones from preventable disability and death.
I’m sorry times of a pandemic disease call for shared sacrifice, which you’ve spun into an imposition on your individual freedom.
I’m sorry your feeling entitled to individual freedom has superseded your duty to the greater good of this country so that we all may be free again.
I’m sorry you can’t take a step back to see that a refusal to mask and vaccinate based on individual freedom is actually keeping the rest of us from our freedom.
I’m sorry you are living a delusion of being bulletproof and believe that a virus cares about your supplements, keto smoothie, or dedication to the gym. While consistent healthy behaviors are important to a strong immune system, pathogens of pandemic diseases could care less.
I’m sorry your kids are learning that individual entitlement supersedes shared sacrifice on the moral continuum.
I’m sorry your tightly held grip on the word “liberty” has blinded you to the efforts our very own founding fathers made to keeping the public safe from epidemic diseases – including the encouragement of vaccination and quarantine when needed.
But mostly, I’m sorry that you’ve chosen to create stories about medical prevention, safety, and public health measures. Because the rest of us are out here just trying to save lives – every life. You’re the one choosing to make it something more than that.
The author is an anonymous physician.
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