Letter: Valid public health concerns should outweigh some basic personal liberties

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Lindsay Brown prepares a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a drive-thru event organized by the Utah County Health Department in Spanish Fork on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021.

The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution reads: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” The implied concept was clarified by President Abraham Lincoln as part of his famous Gettysburg Address where he eloquently stated that the purpose of government as being, “Of the People, By the People, and For the People.”

The newly passed Constitution was soon amended to provide individuals rights, which has occasionally created questions or conflicts between societal laws and individual rights. When early humans started building cities, they realized the importance of standards and rules to protect the health and well-being (promote the general welfare) of everyone. Yes, this was spotty and unevenly applied until people-based governments like ours took public health seriously. Examples of public health making life better include sewage handling, clean water distribution, safe highways and cars, and yes, disease mitigation and prevention.

In my opinion, valid public health concerns should outweigh some basic personal liberties; what I perceive as “promoting general Welfare” and being “For the People.” Vaccination is one of the best medical treatments we have available. When my wife was treated for cancer, the combination of surgery and chemotherapy struck me as being like hunting a fly in the house with a shotgun. Vaccinations on the other hand are more like a rifle or laser shot aimed at only the offensive pathogens in our bodies.

If you or your children are not yet vaccinated against COVID-19, please make an appointment with your primary health care provider today and get the jabs asap. Together, We the People can weather this storm.

Wayne Wilson, West Jordan

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