One of my favorite writers, Amanda Marcotte, says it’s okay to blame the unvaccinated, because they are robbing the rest of us of our freedoms:

One of the primary arguments being rolled out by conservative media is that refusing vaccination is about “freedom” and “personal choice.” But that is a lie. We know it’s a lie because Republicans are generally fine with all other vaccine mandates. But most importantly, by refusing to do the right thing, the unvaccinated are stripping freedom and choice from every other American who got vaccinated. We stand by helplessly watching restrictions pile back on and our freedoms dissipate, all to protect those who won’t protect themselves. Polling shows that most Americans support vaccine requirements and no wonder — we want our freedom back. 

In some corners of social media, it continues to be popular to scoff at those who want their freedoms back, snarling “it won’t kill you to wear a mask in the store.” But the freedoms the vaccinated are sacrificing so that others can selfishly refuse the shot are far greater than that. It’s not just my loss of a beloved gym class. The stories of people’s losses are stacking up: A musician who was eager to get back to work is now watching his concert dates get canceled. Folks missing weddings of friends and family because the couple wasn’t brave enough to disinvite the unvaccinated. And, perhaps worst of all, the people who are giving up their basic right to be healthy, to free up medical resources for people who turned their nose up at basic preventative care. 

In Texas, Republican leadership and right-wing ideology has led to low vaccination rates and subsequently to hospitals overflowing with COVID-19 patients. Gov. Greg Abbott, being a Republican, refuses to do anything to mitigate the spread of the disease. So instead, he’s leaning on hospitals to deprive other people of necessary medical care, such as delaying surgeries, to keep hospital resources free to tend to the waves of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients. However angry I am at losing my gym class (also important for physical health, I’ll point out), it likely pales in comparison to the rage of someone who has to put off surgery to fix a debilitating but not fatal condition, all because some Fox News junkie thought a quick jab in the arm takes away his “freedom”. Not being able to walk because your knee surgery keeps getting delayed is the far greater loss of freedom. 

Read Marcotte’s full piece here.