I read with incredulity the comments in last week’s Sentinel-Times by our elected federal Member of Parliament, Russell Broadbent, concerning COVID-19 and vaccines.

While it is impossible to overestimate the hardship many people now face due to lockdowns, which have robbed them of their livelihood, separated them from loved ones, and triggered significant mental health concerns, the overwhelming evidence from the scientific experts tells us that the only way out of this nightmare is vaccination.

Society functions best when we all work towards the common good, which sometimes requires constraints on our personal freedoms. But the ‘downstream consequences’ of letting Delta rip – with minimal restrictions, and unvaccinated people gathering whenever and wherever they want – is outright alarming.

I want Christmas with my family this year. I want theatre and sport and our main street businesses buzzing. And I want empty ICUs.

And if I have to prove I’ve been vaccinated for that to happen, then so be it.

Pee-Wee Lewis, Arawata.