The hardest nuts to crack are either boldly declaring their opposition to the shot — claiming a deeply held belief — or walking quietly among us, hiding it from the world.
The edict from Dr. Linda Marraccini goes against the spirit of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ efforts to protect the vaccine-hesitant from any kind of requirement.
Brnovich argued that masks work on airlines without a whiff of irony that the airlines require them but Arizona has opposed mask requirements. That’s some impenetrable logic.
There is growing support for some vaccine requirements. ABC News/Washington Post surveys have asked Americans whether they support businesses requiring that employees who come in to work get vaccinated and the trend suggests a fairly decent increase in support for that requirement, from 45% in April to 52% in a survey released in September.
There are a multitude of vaccine dramas playing out in professional sports, and the more vaccinated teams have the competitive advantage.
Two quarterbacks. Tom Brady and the entire defending NFL champ Tampa Bay Buccaneers squad are vaxxed. They’re here to play.
Kirk Cousins, the extremely well-paid Minnesota Vikings quarterback whose tenure in Minnesota has been not great? He’s not getting the shot. And as a result, he couldn’t play recently. Teams could conceivably forfeit games over Covid quarantines this year.
While not mandating vaccines for players, the NFL has created a system that makes life much more difficult for unvaccinated players, who have to mask, get tested, adhere to stricter distance and live by different rules.
Giving in for the greater good. Buffalo Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie got his first dose after the NFL sent him a letter including specific dates and times where he, as an unvaccinated player, had violated mask policy. McKenzie posted a selfie with his vaccination card to social media. “For the greater good … ,” he said. Earlier he had posted a letter of reprimand from the NFL that included the surveillance about his mask violations.
Keeping tabs on the unvaccinated. The Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer said he was taking players’ vaccination status into consideration when deciding who to cut, although that comment drew scrutiny from the players’ union. And while Patriots coach Bill Belichick said quarterback Cam Newton’s vaccine status had nothing to do with his being released by the team, his release does end the headache of how to deal with an unvaccinated key player.
Room for improvement. Vaccine verifications are clearly something for which there is a strong market. But they’re operating in an unregulated vacuum.
A professor in New York recently used an image of Mickey Mouse to hack an Excelsior Pass, the state’s verification system that allows users to flash their vaccination or testing status, something that will be required to eat indoors at a restaurant, go to a Broadway play, work out at a gym or any number of other communal indoor activities. This piecemeal approach to verification will have to do since President Joe Biden long ago ruled out the idea of a federal verification program.
They are “allowing users to upload photos of their vaccine card — or of anything — and leaving the onus on business owners to determine if it’s real. (To date, countless counterfeit vaccine cards have been sold on the dark web and US border patrol has seized thousands of fakes.)”
Americans seem unlikely to ever agree to that kind of intrusion. But with their emphasis on freedom to be maskless and vaccineless in parts of the US, the entire country will pay a price, in lives and infections.