by Paul Moomjean 
paulmoomjean@yahoo.com

On June 15 the state of California is going to be allowed to reopen at full capacity. This means restaurants, movie theaters and similar venues will be able to return to business as usual, while the California white collar workforce will still have some restrictions involving mask wearing and making sure everyone is vaccinated. While all of this sounds wonderful, one concern that keeps popping up is the issue of having to show private medical documents to get to play with others. With 51% of Americans vaccinated, it appears that people are taking advantage of the vaccine, but how do we move forward when so many want to stay behind?

First off, one truth to never forget is that some people will always rock the boat or challenge the status quo. As a high school teacher, I once had a pizza party for my AP English students and someone complained because pizza had too many carbs. So, if we are waiting for everyone to get on board with vaccines, it just won’t happen. 

Yet, that doesn’t mean once we are vaccinated we should live in fear. As someone who has been wearing my mask since March of 2020, I also have been out and about going to restaurants, movie theaters, and performing stand-up comedy indoors. Because what’s the point of being vaccinated if you are going to act like we are still locked down? Some people seem scared they’ll get sick if they go out, even vaccinated. And while there are cases like the fully vaccinated talk show host Bill Maher getting COVID, he said he felt nothing, which appears to be a public case study in the effectiveness of the new medical cure to coronavirus. 

We can’t live in fear. For both our economy and our wellbeing. As restrictions decrease, our desire to go out in the world must increase. 

The problem seems to be how to live in a world where some people are crying that they are being bullied for not wanting the vaccine and wanting to rip off the mask. In public venues, the state is letting businesses move at their own speed. 

“Businesses and venue operators may also utilize self-attestation at point of registration, during ticket purchase or on the day of the event prior to entry into the venue,” according to the state of California. 

This of course means that businesses could face people wanting to yell about how they don’t have to wear their mask, only to be told by a 16-year-old kid that this business says they do. Funny how libertarian-mindset people don’t accept when businesses want to run their businesses in opposition to their comfort. 

Meanwhile, in the white-collar workplace, more nuance is being applied.  

According to The Desert Sun paper, “Conflicted California workplace regulators approved controversial rules Thursday night that allow workers to go maskless only if every employee in a room is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.”

Where this is problematic is that now people who might be against the vaccine will have to declare their private decision for HR to create new office protocols. So, when the boss says masks have to stay on because some people in the office aren’t vaccinated, this could cause potential backlash and discrimination. 

If anything, companies should be under the same guidelines as entertainment and food establishments. Why can I be maskless at the movies but not in the morning meeting? Consistency has to be the one measure we can all adhere to.  

Though one area of life that is still going to make post-pandemic life more complex are bigger entertainment venues requiring patrons to show how not sick they are.  

To be able to attend a concert or other large event the Desert Sun added, “A COVID-19 test must be conducted before 72 hours of an event. A printed document, email or text message displaying the test results must be shown [. . .] A vaccination card, a photo of a vaccination card or documentation of vaccination from a health care provider can be used to show proof of vaccination.”

The next three months of summer are going to be messy. But it’s important we do our part to keep ourselves and others safe, to help businesses get back to where they were, and to reconnect with others. It’s a hot vaccine summer. Let’s try to enjoy it.