As the Delta variant of Covid-19 strengthens its foothold in NYC, lame-duck Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this morning that proof of vaccination will be required for indoor activities such as dining, performance venues, and gyms, starting in September. City Hall hopes this move will push more folks to get vaccinated, which seems to have worked in Paris.
All I have to say about this is GOOD. And I don’t often say that about this mayor.
While hospitalizations and deaths remain low, positivity rates in the city continue to climb at an alarming rate. After 16 months of working from home, keeping my unvaccinated 10-year-old safe and educated, and dealing with the nerve-wracking uncertainty of being part of the city’s hospitality sector, I’m over it. I’m over this virus, I’m over the variants. But I’m especially over, D-O-N-E, with Covid deniers and anti-vaxxers. Business leaders in New York think their employees and customers need more “inspiration” to get vaccinated. I’m not sure why “avoiding a strong possibility of death” isn’t incentive enough, but if denying people access to Planet Fitness is the thing that pushes them over the edge, I’m fine with it. I hope all of the folks who have been complaining about “when will the city come back to liiiiiiiife” are paying attention and get their jabs.
There will be a multi-agency set of inspectors to help with enforcement, and there will be fines for businesses that aren’t confirming vaccination statuses, although de Blasio didn’t have many details to share this morning. Nor did he have specifics on how vaccinated adults attempting to bring unvaccinated children into venues will be handled. But we have the long, hot, non-mandated month of August ahead of us for details to be worked out. I’m looking forward to all of the plague-rats rushing to get their funtimes in NOW before this goes into effect. Note to self, stay indoors this month.
As far as providing proof of vaccine status goes, there are a couple of vaccine/test result apps floating around New York right now (Excelsior Pass and the new NYC Covid Safe app.), but they have their faults. Excelsior only applies to those who have been vaccinated in New York, and apparently, the new Covid Safe app will allow you to upload basically anything as proof of vaccine.
As I explained to @WNYC today, New York City's new #NYCCovidSafe app isn't exactly cutting edge technology. It accepted this portrait of Mickey as proof of vaccination.— Albert Fox Cahn (@FoxCahn) August 2, 2021
We need to get New Yorkers vaccinated, not another City Hall PR stunt.
Listen Here: https://t.co/GRGIWtuK2j pic.twitter.com/O1wS73FbGV
But everyone still has their paper card. The card they told us not to lose. Y’all still have that, right? Yes, I know those are easily forged, but there’s a pretty hefty penalty if you’re caught using a fake card (it’s a federal offense, you know.) And they’re the same all over the country. So if you’re vaccinated, and healthy, and want to hit up the MoMA, bring that with you!
The main takeaway here is, if you won’t get vaccinated, stay out of New York. There’s nothing for you here. No Times Square, M&M Store, no Chelsea art galleries, no hipster dining in Brooklyn. No shows, no concerts. Nada, nothing. If you won’t keep yourself, your family, friends, and neighbors safe from this disease by getting the vaccine, then New York doesn’t want you. Stay home. Even if that home is Staten Island. Maybe especially if that home is Staten Island.
Header Image Source: Getty