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Letter: Liberty over life, happiness?

Letter: Liberty over life, happiness?

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Sharon Stoolman, a pediatric hospitalist at Children's Hospital & Medical Center, testifies in support of a mask requirement inside Omaha schools. “This is not our grandparents’ COVID from last year,” she said. “The delta variant is different. It clearly has a different impact and affinity on children and the unvaccinated.”

I am increasingly disturbed that Gov. Pete Ricketts and state government is placing liberty above all other values and ethics that we hold dear as U.S. citizens.

Our Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness ...”

In opposing mandated public health measures such as masks and vaccinations, our leaders are saying that individual liberty is more important than the health (life) and well-being (happiness) of other citizens -- including patients seeking healthcare, healthcare workers, essential service workers, school children or our immunocompromised friends and family.

Surgeries are being cancelled for some citizens because others refuse to wear masks or be vaccinated — impacting their life, liberty and happiness. Children are losing happiness in attending school in person and immunocompromised individuals have been nearly imprisoned in their homes for more than a year. What about their liberty, life and happiness?

Nebraskans have always prided ourselves on being “nice” and willing to help others. Where is our altruism and neighborliness? Where is our concern for others? When did we become so selfish and self-centered? When did your liberty become more valuable than our entire community’s liberty, life and happiness?

Making small sacrifices for the common good (such as masking and vaccines) are the ties that bind us together and enable us to leave the pandemic behind and achieve all of our American dreams.

Lynn Borstelmann, Lincoln



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