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Making it personal

“I’m a firm believer in personal choice,” Ring said. “We’re all free to make our own choices, but we’re not free of the consequences of those choices. I’m not anti-vax, but I’ve never taken the time to get the vaccine. I’m not anti-mask, but I’m not very good about remembering to wear one.”

Mr. Ring made his personal choice and its consequences public so it seems appropriate to publish a personal reaction.

He is among a fairly noticeable fraction of the citizenship that has chosen to frame the issue of pandemic restrictions as an assault - or at least an affront - on their personal freedom. Former City Commissioner, now U.S. Representative, Scott Franklin famously and fiercely declared his support for freedom of choice versus a widely supported mask mandate. His successor, Mike Musick, more or less sang the same song.

"I'm going to support the personal freedom aspect."

Seems like support for what may be the most central American ideal: freedom. But, as my mother often noted, "your freedom to swing your arm ends at my nose".

While she - and consequently I - firmly believed in your right to live your life as your see fit, she was just as adamant that you have no right to endanger mine. Personal choices that impact others are no longer personal, and therein lies the rub. How to be "free" while adhering to restrictions?

Do you stop at STOP signs?

A silly question perhaps and only the first in an almost endless list of silly questions regarding our willingness to conform to rules and regulations that protect us all from each other's freedom to choose.

The simplest compromise is for the unvaccinated among us to make themselves known. People who are not wearing masks in public places my be the inoculated or the resistance. It's impossible to know at a glance, but it seems that the anti-mask, anti-tax, or merely lax owe the rest of us that information, just out of common courtesy.

I know Mr. Ring to be courteous.I am sorry for the consequences he is suffering. I wish him - and his like-minded cohorts - no ill. I just wish I knew who they were.


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