The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion What vaccines mean to the people

A 5-year-old holds up her vaccine sticker after she got her jab in D.C. on Nov. 9.
A 5-year-old holds up her vaccine sticker after she got her jab in D.C. on Nov. 9. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)
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The Jan. 12 editorial “A threat to Virginia’s progress” missed the point. For a Supreme Court justice, there are only two questions: Does the current law provide the authority, and is it constitutional? Justice Sonia Sotomayor also missed the point when she erroneously cited numbers of children with the coronavirus when trying to support a vaccine mandate. The number of children with covid is irrelevant to her job as a justice.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) support for the rule of law is a refreshing change, not regression. 

Steve Henry, Springfield

Regarding the Jan. 12 front-page article “In the days of omicron, a united state of confusion”:

Guidelines have been issued by various agencies that call for vaccines, masks and tests. What’s the confusion? If you don’t get the vaccine — with exceptions for those who can’t — or wear a mask or get tested, you will either get the virus or pass it on to someone else. In reaction to these guidelines, public officials in various states have forbidden mask mandates while Congress rants about Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements, which did give people a choice between vaccinations and tests. Meanwhile, hospitals are full and many people — the vast majority of whom are not vaccinated — will die. Yes, there can be breakthrough occurrences of the virus, but they are largely far less serious if people have been vaccinated. 

It’s akin to any warning of danger: speed, and you might have a serious accident and hurt yourself or someone else; drink too much and drive, and you might kill or maim yourself or someone else. It’s dispiriting to hear all the criticism and blame that’s being thrown at the administration and doctors because they haven’t ended the pandemic. When you don’t follow the requirements and you suffer the consequences, you have no one to blame but yourself. 

The rest of us also suffer the consequences because of those who reject the proven treatments. Schools are shut down, businesses close, and the country remains in the throes of a crippling epidemic for which there are remedies. How ridiculous. 

Joyce Richardson, Arlington