Recently, I walked by a local entertainment venue (that I have supported for many years) and saw a sign announcing that admission was restricted to vaccinated people, and they would be allowed to remove masks once they were seated. I respect the venue’s authority as a private business to set rules for patrons inside their establishment, and I have no opposition to businesses asking people to wear masks. But the policy to exclude unvaccinated people makes no sense.
As we have seen with delta, vaccinated people may be less likely to get seriously ill and die from COVID-19 but are clearly able to contract and transmit the virus to others. In an indoor setting, coronavirus can spread through aerosols — regardless of whether the people sitting in the seats are vaccinated.
Excluding unvaccinated people perpetuates the false narrative that the only people contracting, transmitting and getting sick with coronavirus are the unvaccinated — and that is wildly untrue. This falsehood leads to policies that violate civil liberties, such as vaccine mandates for federal employees and contractors, health care workers and military personnel. OSHA’s regulation compelling certain employers to collect proof of vaccination from employees or absorb the cost of weekly testing — or face significant fines — is designed simply to coerce individuals into getting vaccinated — not to address the spread of coronavirus.
How do we know that with absolute certainty? If the goal of these policies truly was to prevent the spread of coronavirus, OSHA’s policy would be to test all individuals on a regular basis, in an attempt to detect both symptomatic and asymptomatic infection. And more importantly, vaccine mandates would allow an exception for individuals who test positive for antibodies, whether from a vaccine or from naturally acquired immunity, which has been proven to be stable and at least as long-lasting as antibodies from the vaccine. Likewise, if this business was concerned solely with preventing transmission of the virus, they would not be excluding customers based on their vaccination status alone.
COVID-19 is an aggressive virus, but is not deadly to more than 99.5% of people who contract it (I am one of them who has had a full recovery). Age, weight and some medical conditions may cause a person to be more severely affected by COVID-19 — but for healthy individuals and children, the risk of hospitalization and death is close to zero. We are still learning about the side effects associated with the multiple vaccines. The decision to take a vaccine should be an individual’s choice alone, based on their own cost-benefit analysis and their understanding of their own vulnerability to serious illness — not a response to political pressure.
This local business is among many private and public institutions that are perpetuating vaccine dogma — pretending the shot provides a different kind of protection than it actually does.
— Anne Lancaster
Editor’s note: Johns Hopkins University reports a U.S. observed case-fatality ratio of 1.6%. (avl.mx/aqk)