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RACHEL WALTERS, Dana Point

In response to Rosemarie Allaire’s question about opposition to a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, I hear and understand your fear. I have immunocompromised family members who are triple-vaccinated, because that is the best choice for them.

Along with many parents, I am not opposed to the vaccine, but am to the mandate, especially when we have no long-term data on the effects on children.

In our schools, everyone is masked indoors, and unvaccinated teachers are tested weekly. CUSD COVID-19 cases are low, in a state with a low case rate. Children have been in public schools in person during COVID since October 2020. We do not need to lose medical freedom, bodily autonomy, and the right to in-person education over a mandate for a vaccine that doesn’t prevent people from getting or transmitting COVID. 

 Based on estimates I’ve heard from those tracking participation at the rallies, if the mandate was to be enforced, CUSD could lose 40% of its student population, which would cripple the district.

 Reports from the CDC and WHO show that COVID is endemic. It is not going away. We need to learn to live with it while retaining our personal freedoms and right to in-person education.

To follow “the science” means to continually seek out data with a critical eye and understand that one perspective is not the only perspective. It is possible to be a critical thinker, while allowing others to also be critical thinkers who come to conclusions different from one’s own.

We are a nation based on freedom and acceptance of diversity. The lack of civil discourse over this matter and so many other issues is another deeper level of trouble the mandate reveals.

Our country needs us to do better and have respectful discourse and honor diversity of choices. Our government needs it. Our schools need it. Our children and their futures need it.

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