Friday, June 18, 2021
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Hats off to these freedom fighters

| June 11, 2021 1:00 AM

They’re unheralded stars, true defenders of liberty and freedom.

They’ve made sacrifices. They’ve endured discomfort, and sometimes outright pain. For the good not just of themselves and their families, but of their neighbors and even strangers, they rolled up their sleeves and got to work.

They got vaccinated.

This is not a put-down of those who, to this point, have chosen not to get vaccinated. Shaming, taunting and ridiculing them advances the cause not one inch. People have a right to say no, and the rest of us possess no veto power or authority to force a needle into those arms. We’re all free to choose.

But for those who have chosen the vaccination route — welcoming one or more injections of a pandemic-snuffing substance that was created in record time — we applaud you. Wearing a mask, while important in the battle against COVID-19, has been a critical tool, but it is not invasive like a pair of shots. Getting vaccinated is a major step beyond self.

The percentage of positive cases in our area remains significantly higher than the rest of the state, and it’s our hope that more North Idahoans will roll up their sleeves — if not to protect themselves and their families, then perhaps to boost the drive toward herd immunity.

This really is a freedom train. With herd immunity, we can put our masks away until the next pandemic arrives. Businesses can tap into a broader employee pool, and our simmering economy can reach a full and healthy boil. The restrictions that have upset us all can die a quick death.

No matter what motivated you to take action, today we salute you who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Rather than just talking about freedom, you’ve actually done something to assure it for yourself and others.

You're ushering in a new and most welcome Independence Day.