I am baffled by people refusing to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, or taking common sense precautions recommended by medical professionals to protect themselves, their families and their community. Aside from the pseudoscientific, fact-free nonsense, the basic argument is personal freedom/constitutional rights. News flash, the constitution is not a suicide pact.

Currently, the U.S. has more than 664,000 deaths from COVID, and over 3,200 more deaths each day. Auto accident deaths in the U.S. are about 36,000 to 38,000 annually, and deaths resulting from drunken/impaired driving are about 10,000 annually. Compared to COVID’s one-year death toll of more than 450,000, driving is only 8 person as deadly, and drunken driving only 2 percent as deadly. Yet we have laws requiring every driver to take tests, pay fees, and obtain a license to drive, and we criminalize drunken/impaired driving with harsh penalties.

Many states require voters to present a valid government issued ID to vote. Voting is a constitutionally protected right. Yet people object to showing proof of vaccination to dine in restaurants, not a basic constitutional right. The same people who usually demand “strict construction” or “originalism” in constitutional interpretation (at least when it results in the outcome they want, otherwise not so much), now demand the courts find a right not to wear a mask in schools or in public (hey, what about a right to public nudity) and a right to “control their bodies” even if it endangers or kills others. Strange, I thought that reasoning was “liberal nonsense.”

— Ralph McKnight Jr., Bakersfield