To the editor: No one likes wearing a mask. No one likes getting a shot, especially if they feel unwell for a brief time after. No one likes being told what to do. These are givens. No arguments there.

One of the foremost religious tenants is “Love thy neighbor.” The mask mandates and vaccination requirements do not restrict people’s freedoms. Quite the contrary. They allow everyone the freedom to live a more normal life outside the confines of their own homes. Masks and vaccinations provide another layer of protection to you as well as your neighbors who may not have as robust an immune system as you.

As a child, the polio epidemic was a nightmare. When the Salk and the Sabin vaccines became available, people rejoiced. The horrible scourge of this dreaded disease was virtually eliminated. People did not complain that their freedom of choice was in jeopardy. They were grateful for a human lifeline.

Religion, science and public health are not in conflict. They can and should work together in harmony for the greater good.

Margery Metzger, Pittsfield