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Letter: How to prioritize health care

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) American Fork hosts Copper Hills in boys football on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, where the school requires people to wear masks at the game and tickets were had to be purchased in advance.

So it’s come to this: Utah hospitals are proposing health care prioritization rules to the governor, and one of the rules would be “the young get priority over the old, since older patients are more likely to die.”

I propose a more logical rule: People who’ve done all they can to protect their health and the health of their community get priority.

Those who refuse to wear masks in public places, in spite of clear data about the value of masks in minimizing the spread of COVID-19, have demonstrated their indifference to the overstressed health care system and exhausted health care workers. Those who attend parties, reunions, sporting events, etc., without observing the simple precautions of masking and social distancing, have clarified that they don’t mind getting sick or making other people sick. Those who think the “mommy code” is good public policy have announced their willingness to risk the lives of their families and friends for their personal convenience. Any reasonable system would take these people at their word and turn them away when the hospitals run out of room.

A great many of us “old” people make choices and take actions, as we have every day for many years, to maintain our health and protect those around us. If I get this virus, it will be because of someone who couldn’t be bothered to behave like part of a community. So how does it follow that I should be the one who is denied care?

Think that over, Gov. Herbert. Would you try to correct a child’s selfish, thoughtless behavior by letting someone else bear the consequences of his actions?

Trina Clayton, Salt Lake City

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