Mandates for Non-Essential Activities Would Work

There’s a somewhat amusing story from Washingtonian about the restaurants and bars that require vaccination for entry (boldface mine):

The Pug on H Street Northeast began test-driving the new policy last Friday with no issues. But things started to turn a little sour when it officially rolled out the new rules on Saturday.

A couple came in. She had her card. He didn’t. And I could tell from her expression, this surprised and shocked look like, ‘Are you saying you’re not vaccinated?,’” bartender Chaz Powers recalls of what may have been a first date. He wasn’t the only one caught cardless that night either. Asked for their vax records, several people just stared like deer caught in headlights then turn around and left without a word.

I believe a bunch of people were outed. And there were more than I thought,” Powers says. “It’s like that horror movie They Walk Among Us. How many people are out there? These were not low-down characters or anything. These were your 25- to 35 year-old hipster metropolitan people who you would think have the sensibility and awareness to have that card.”

Things got more heated when one guy with his mask pulled down sat at the bar without a vaccine card. “This guy got totally belligerent to the point where his friends were yelling at him to leave me alone,” Powers says. “He was like, ‘Are you forcing me to get a vaccination?’ I said, ‘If you want to come into this bar and drink, yes, I’m forcing you to get a vaccination, if that’s the way you want to look at it. But it’s for your own good as well as everyone else’s.’”

Powers ultimately diffused the situation by offering the guy a different kind of shot—Irish whiskey—as an incentive to leave.

Again, no ward, even the well-off ones, high-vaccination wards are where they need to be in terms of vaccination (at least 80% fully vaccinated, probably more). I’m certain there are people in my building who are still not vaccinated (and access isn’t an issue for my neighbors). A city-wide requirement for vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours would get a lot of people vaccinated–and at this point, that needs to happen (needed to happen about a month ago, akshually).

Of course, Bowser, who is too timid and cautious, not to mention ‘business-friendly’, won’t require such a mandate. But a vaccination requirement for non-essential businesses would not only make certain spaces, erm, safe(r) spaces, but they also would convince people to get vaccinated, including those who believe erroneous information.

D.C. should require vaccination for entry to bars, restaurants, gyms, and theaters*.

*To the best of my knowledge, every stage theater in D.C. already has such a requirement.

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