OK, bear with me. This is a completely unbaked but possibly brilliant idea related to the vaccine-hesitant.
I live in an area in which a significant minority of the population is refusing the Covid-19 vaccination. Their justifications are varied and often contradictory, but these vaccine resisters are a part of my community. You probably have some of those people in your community, too.
Under normal circumstances I like to encourage a variety of opinions and lifestyles. Usually, those things just make life more interesting. However, because I am mostly housebound because of the virus, I am more than just a bit annoyed by all those people who would have me self-isolating for even longer.
I am not qualified to evaluate all the fears, defences, rationales, and explanations from the vaccine avoiders. All I know is that they are making the return to normalcy less likely to happen this year. That interferes with my plans in a dozen different ways, and that makes me more than a little bit cross.
So, here is my idea. Let us say, for argument’s sake, that it is perfectly fine for you to refuse to be vaccinated for any reason. The proviso, though, is that your employer has to publish the percentage of their employees who are vaccinated. If the business engages directly with the public, then that information has to be provided to all potential customers or clients. If the business is retail, then the percentage of vaccinated staff must be displayed on the front doors.
If that regulation is made official, then I can choose which companies or services I prefer to do business with. For example, if my grocery store or library or hardware store has a sign on its doors that says “Staff 75% vaccinated” I would probably be ok with that. I would do business there. If, on the other hand, it said “50% vaccinated” I would have second thoughts.
At present, not all adults in my province have had the opportunity to get even the first shot of vaccine, so my plan cannot be implemented right away. I get that. But perhaps in the interim we could have signs that said “65% vaccinated, 15% intending to vaccinate.” That way we could know what to expect when we walk through those doors. As it stands, I have no idea how many of the people I interact with have chosen to put their own and my life at risk.
The alternative, I suppose, is for us all to have vaccine passports on lanyards around our necks so that everyone knows we are less likely to be a threat. Or, we could have armbands to signify the unvaccinated, but that has nasty historical connotations so I doubt that idea would fly.
For the time being, I am still afraid to take public transport or to spend much time in crowded stores. I just don’t know how risky it is. And it has been a long, long time since I felt safe around strangers. Can we please have a plan for people like me so that we can make informed decisions? Please pass on my idea to your local politician so that, perhaps, we can get a movement started. After all, we’ve done our part and I think we should get the social benefits sooner rather than later. At the very least, we have a right to know how safe we are.