Coronavirus

D.C. Gyms Want To Require Vaccination Instead of Masks. The City Said No.

Officials would rather if everybody were masked than vaccinated.

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Last week, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser reinstated a citywide mask mandate for all indoor spaces, even though the city's recent uptick in COVID-19 cases has not yet produced a rash of deaths or hospitalizations—and even though the vaccines are proving to be the most remarkably effective tool at preventing severe disease and death.

Masks, unlike getting the vaccine, are a perpetual irritation, especially in certain circumstances like conversing, eating, and exercising. On that last front, a coalition of Washington, D.C., gym owners decided to approach the city with a bargain: They would require customers to be vaccinated if the city would grant them a waiver from the mask mandate.

This deal was a win-win and should have been a no-brainer for the city. The vaccines are a much, much more effective and enduring anti-coronavirus measure than the masks are. Getting people vaccinated is the whole point: No one should want to wear masks forever. If business owners would rather require vaccination than masks, then the government should absolutely let them do that.

So of course, the city said no.

"I asked about the fitness coalition's request for a waiver from mask mandate if they go vaccine only," Christina Henderson, a member of the city council, said in a tweet. "DC Health is not granting waivers at the moment. I asked what metrics we need to meet to rescind the mask mandate. They are hesitant to tie to any particular metric."

One would be forgiven for thinking that the city's government likes masks better than it likes vaccines. The city is certainly failing to do everything in its power to encourage vaccination, and it's unwilling to spell out the conditions under which it would even considering lifting the mask mandate.

But requiring masks in all indoor public spaces indefinitely is impractical. Bowser certainly knows that this is impractical, since she isn't bothering to follow it herself: Indeed, she officiated an indoor maskless wedding mere hours after implementing the mandate. Given her penchant for rank hypocrisy on this front, I'm surprised she did not personally decline gym owners' offer while teaching a maskless yoga class.

NEXT: COVID-19 Is Probably 99% Survivable for Most Age Groups, but PolitiFact Rated This False

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  2. Who on earth can possibly believe an old tee shirt across your face would stop any disease?

    1. It’ll stop the droplets!

      1. It vaporizes droplets so it carries further in the air.

        1. It quantum-shifts the droplets so they can infect people in other dimensions!

    2. some diseases spread in a significant way from large respiratory droplets…. just not this one

  3. Getting people vaccinated is the whole point: No one should want to wear masks forever.

    Unless you’ve got the power to force people to wear masks. Then you want people to display your power wherever they go.

    1. Yup. Getting vaccinated is a one time thing and doesn’t create an ongoing spirit of compliance and submission. They need something with daily tangible acts of obedience.

      1. Getting vaccinated is a one time thing and doesn’t create an ongoing spirit of compliance and submission.

        Perhaps we need to go the other way and require unvaccinated people to get a scarlet letter – perhaps a “U” – sewn onto all of their clothes. Or better yet, maybe a yellow six pointed star.

        1. Here we go again. Another lazy Holocaust reference.

          1. https://twitter.com/PaulADW/status/1424756929763610630?s=19

            French police have started checking covid passes for people having drinks on the terrace of restaurants (yeah, outside too ????). This shit show never stops on giving. [Video]

            1. Yes yes. And vaccination cards for schools are the same as the Holocaust too. And driver’s licenses for driving are also the Holocaust. And having to show a passport for international travel is also the Holocaust. If all of it is the Holocaust, then nothing is.

              1. And having to show a passport for international travel is also the Holocaust.

                If it were all just one vast empire, no passports would be needed. Holocaust averted!

                Unless you live in or visit NYC, San Francisco, etc.

              2. think about it though, i mean, yellow stars and such werent really the holocaust, the actual holocaust was rounding them up into camps and killing them. the yellow star, and all sorts of tracking, were a first step to prepare society and assign targets. How implausible is it really that our society would want to “quarantine” unvaccinated people next?

            2. Did you know that there are a group of people out there who think that employees should have to show proof of citizenship before being legally able to work in this country? OMG! Sounds like the Holocaust!

            3. And, that there are also a group of people out there who think that a person shouldn’t even be allowed to set foot in this country unless they have the proper set of permission papers from the government? How outrageous! It’s totally like the Holocaust!

              1. “Being in public is the same as immigration”

              2. Your argument only makes sense if you think the Holocaust was the only bad thing Nazis did. In fact, there were a bunch of bad things they did, and comparisons to those bad things are valid, and so is noting that those bad things led to the Holocaust.

                  1. And? Godwin’s law says nothing about the validity of analogies to Nazis.

                    1. 99% of analogies to Nazis are not valid.
                      This one isn’t either.

                    2. 99% of what fantasy collectivistjeff says isn’t valid, and his objection here certainly isn’t.

                    3. *fatass collectivistjeff

                      Fuck you, big tech

                    4. You should attack analogies by pointing out how they are different from what they are being compared to, for future reference.

          2. Here we go again. Another dipshit with no sense of humor.

        2. Yeah, my friend who grew up in Germany suggested a yellow star. I was aghast. Change it something else and it’s a somewhat valid idea. I would still oppose it, but it’s still a valid idea worth of discussion. Not everything worthy of discussion needs to be something I agree with.

          1. Holy crap.

    2. Nothing excites a Progressive so much as forcing people to comply visibly with something that makes no sense. Masks are only one aspect of this, but are especially visible and pointless.
      You can see them getting excited.

      1. What if we agreed to use gender neutral pronouns in exchange for not masking during hot yoga classes?

        1. What if we just don’t go to hot yoga classes?

      2. “How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?“

        Winston thought. “By making him suffer”, he said.

        “Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”

      3. Same shit, different day. Your comment applies equally to neocons and airport security on September 12, 2001. I’m not disagreeing with your general premise, but you could replace “Progressive” with “any bureaucrat or politician” and it would still hold.

        1. Neocons are progressive

      4. Oh, please. Progressives do dumb things. Conservatives also do dumb things. There’s no evidence they do it to get off.

        1. You forget the First Rule of Right-Wing Reason:
          Lefties are cartoon evil villains.
          Righties are simply misunderstood.

          1. You’ve:
            – claimed being white makes one inherently racist, and one’s condition is not a result of his/her own efforts but the product of a racist system, which you claim must be given more power to solve the problem it’s responsible for
            – closed and destroyed small businesses for months at a time to “slow the spread” but allowed large corporations to continue operating
            – rioted for 4 months straight, burning poor neighborhoods and murdering dozens, to defund the police while simultaneously calling for more gun laws
            – sent infected people into nursing homes when other space was available (to juice mortality numbers)
            – advocate seeing every other human being as a threat you must be protected against
            – forced children to wear masks all day
            – lied about everything covid related as you switch between fatalities, hospitalizations, or cases to focus on based on whatever could possibly be used to terrify the populace into accepting top down totalitarianism
            – vilified and smeared effective treatments like ivermectin and HCQ while conspicuously avoiding the role of exercise and sunlight (vitamin D) in vulnerability
            – are lobbying companies to make an experimental gene therapy (that doesn’t prevent infection or spread) a condition of employment
            – are lobbying governments to institute vaccine passports (except at the southern border) to allow people in public
            – insist that masking and vaccination are necessary measures to “defeat” or protect against the virus, yet must be done simultaneously because neither work on their own

            That’s just a quick list covering only a couple months, and leaving out mention of the ridiculous election “fortifications” or claiming half the country are white supremacist terrorists committing insurrection who deserve solitary confinement without a trial.

            But if others would like to add anything, feel free. Green New Deal, inflation, censorship, Supreme Court are all possible topics.

            1. How cartoonish…

              https://twitter.com/RashidaTlaib/status/1424936953296957442?s=19

              Mike Brown is a tragic reminder that state sponsored murder exist. He and many others serve as angels of our conscious to keep fighting for true racial justice.

              Those who are complicit and standing on the sidelines enable this injustice to continue.

            2. Yup. I think doing away with leftists is a good idea.

  4. They gotta keep you scared, so you’ll obey.

  5. holy fuck what of the Epsilon Variant?

    1. DOOOOM!

    2. They’re going to have a real problem when they run out of Greek letters.

      1. “They’re going to have a real problem when they run out of Greek letters.”

        That’s okay. They will just switch to the Chinese “alphabet,” which consists of over 135,000 unique possible characters. Hmmm… Chinese. Sort of appropriate, no?

      2. yoga chicks ^^^ will ease the pain?

  6. That’s why everyone should ignore these people.

  7. I think they’re inching their way back to lockdowns.

    1. ^This^

      Unfortunately.

    2. Inching? I think you meant “sprinting”

      1. ++

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  9. a coalition of Washington, D.C., gym owners decided to approach the city with a bargain: They would require customers to be vaccinated if the city would grant them a waiver from the mask mandate.

    This deal was a win-win and should have been a no-brainer for the city. …

    So of course, the city said no.

    Power tripping egomaniacs are gonna power trip. In other news, water is wet.

    1. Appeasement only leads to more aggression

    2. Can’t comply your way out of tyranny.

      1. Well you can, but, in the end the tyranny will still be here and you won’t.

  10. You know what causes spread? Living with someone else.

    It is time to mandate living alone. No more family. No more roommates.

  11. Given her penchant for rank hypocrisy on this front, I’m surprised she did not personally decline gym owners’ offer while teaching a maskless yoga class.

    Yeah, right, like that cow could actually do yoga (or any other physical activity for that matter).

  12. Yeah this is completely dumb. Why would you not want vaccines instead of masks? Vaccines are way more effective.

    Perhaps they are thinking that if they grant a waiver to this one group, then every group will demand a waiver. That may be true, but if they would all get waivers on the same terms, requiring proof of vaccination, that would seem to be a win-win, no?

      1. *In the present context*? Of course the much better solution is to not have a mask mandate. But *if* there is going to be a mask mandate, granting a waiver in favor of proof of vaccination would be better than not granting a waiver, no?

        1. Fuck you and your mandates and waivers.

          1. Of course the much better solution is to not have a mask mandate.

            1. Then stick with that.

        2. No.
          Fuck you, and fuck your “acceptable” totalitarianism

    1. Dude, the vaccine is chipped. Only fools who laugh at foil hats get the shot.

      1. Nobody thinks that.

        1. https://www.oregonlive.com/coronavirus/2021/07/false-claim-that-covid-19-vaccines-contain-microchips-emerged-from-entrenched-theory-about-world-elite.html

          An Economist/YouGov poll this month found that 20% of Americans worry that the COVID-19 vaccines might contain microchips.

          1. Polls. Always accurate.

      2. What kind of foil? You have to use tin; this is where most people go wrong.

    2. Perhaps they’re just stupidly stubborn. That’s the rule. Just shut up and do as we say. Because we said so, that’s why.

  13. Douglas Murray finally admits his male privilege.

    Perhaps I am wrong and I have merely been able to express my views on trans issues either because nobody has noticed what I have written or because everybody knows I am a lost cause and highly unlikely to be bullied into silence. But then it may simply be the fact that I am a man.

    After all, countless female authors have written articles expressing scepticism towards the transgender movement — many of them more moderate than my own. Yet almost every time, I have watched in horror as online and offline mobs are stirred up against them and not me. Julie Bindel, Kathleen Stock, Selina Todd, JK Rowling, Abigail Shrier, Helen Joyce — some of these women have been subjected to physical assault; the rest threatened with it.

  14. It’s because of hospital capacity. Masks are necessary for the vaccinated because breakthroughs are sending the unvaccinated people around them to the hospital, and it’s causing emergency wards to shut down.
    I would like for vaccination rates to be high enough to stop Delta, but we aren’t there yet and we won’t be for a long time. Until then we have to go back to the strategy from the beginning: Flatten the Curve.

    1. Except that hospital capacity isn’t an issue, even with all the new cases.

      1. Sorry, “putting words in my mouth” not “bait and switch”

        1. Dammit Reason, there’s something very wrong with your mobile site as it keeps opening up reply boxes unwantedly

          1. And now it thought I flagged another comment for review when I was trying to scroll. Something is very broken here.

      2. Not an issue or not *yet* an issue in DC?

        1. I don’t have a crystal ball so I can’t say for sure, but so far hospitals are not struggling to keep up with the new cases. I figure the must vulnerable have already been killed, so the worst is over. Now it’s just politicians trying to hold onto emergency powers.

          1. No, the South is littered with hospitals that are at capacity and shutting down critical services to make room for more COVID wards. While DC doesn’t have nearly as much of the population unvaccinated, there’s still more than enough people without immunity for an uncontrolled spread to crash DC’s hospital system.

    2. Until then we have to go back to the strategy from the beginning: Flatten the Curve.

      That will only take two weeks.

    3. Masks are necessary for the vaccinated because breakthroughs are sending the unvaccinated people around them to the hospital,..
      And yet you wonder why some don’t bother to get vaccinated.

      1. Nice bait and switch. I said breakthroughs for a reason. The population of people with breakthroughs has different statistical risks and benefits from the population of all vaccinated people.
        If you want to make a point about the efficacy of vaccines then you don’t use the same statistics as making an argument about the necessity of masks.

        1. Sorry, “putting words in my mouth” not “bait and switch”

    4. Except masks have never been effective at stopping the spread of viruses. They aren’t working in Japan, are they?

      1. It sounds like you only heard the headlines about Japan. The actual data that shows that East Asian countries are the best in the world at keeping COVID rates low due to their high rates of masking.

        1. Many Asian countries also distributed high-quality masks to everyone in their country. So, nobody is running around with a mask made out of an old t-shirt.

        2. It is so under control they had to have the Olympics with no audience in the stands.

          1. You’re not making the point that you think you’re making.

  15. The replies are of course rational, organic, and totes not full of completely made up anecdotes…

    https://twitter.com/RandPaul/status/1424399282447298563?s=19

    We are at a moment of truth and a crossroads. Will we allow these people to use fear and propaganda to do further harm to our society, economy, and children?

    Or will we stand together and say, absolutely not. Not this time. I choose freedom. [Video]

  16. Getting people vaccinated is the whole point: No one should want to wear masks forever.
    Being a science student I want to state that vaccines are the antibodies that make your body resistant to disease it doesn’t mean that you will never be a victim of coronavirus you might be but the point is you have immune your system already with coronavirus so that will be not that much intense as it would be…
    Wearing masks I think It’s become a part of our daily lives so that we should keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and healthy

    1. Getting people vaccinated is the whole point: No one should want to wear masks forever.

      Get vaccinated and wear a mask, and remain locked down.

      1. I think the only option at this point is to take off and nuke the planet from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

  17. https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/dance-till-we-die

    “From January onward, key public health messengers voiced constant doubts about whether vaccination would do much of anything to lift restrictions. … And as late as May, even the CDC recommended that people should continue wearing masks in most situations even after getting vaccinated.

    This last example is worth lingering on. Covid vaccines, remarkably effective and created in record time, are as close as one gets in public affairs to a magic bullet, a once-in-a-generation technological solution to a grueling medical, economic, and political crisis. Yet we somehow wound up with public health influencers voicing more doubts about what vaccines would achieve than they ever did about masking and lockdowns. This is odd, to say the least.”

    1. Can we still say “linger”?

  18. “…I asked what metrics we need to meet to rescind the mask mandate. They are hesitant to tie to any particular metric.”

    IOW, “when we tell you; that is all.”

    1. I asked that question in March 2020 of last year I wanted to know how they were going to create and lift mandates. They used the scapegoat phrase of you aren’t following science. I replied I didn’t disagree I just asked how are you determining when you will lift these mandates. No reply.

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  20. Vaccine (social) passports are the goal it seems, but it is a slippery slope, till any gathering will require vaccine passports. (religious gatherings, birthday parties, it would never stop…) Why all the time being spent on making passports unless the long term view is to never go back to pre-covid state of affairs? All the masking is to drive the people to want to stop and get behind the passport push… How much 9-11 emergency rules have been put back to previous levels. Seems the same path society is walking with all these vaccine/mask rules…

  21. It will never cease to amaze me how terrible vaccine messaging has been and how ardent people are about not getting vaccinated. The amount of stupid that underlies are society is just staggering at this point.

  22. Wait, you’re a libertarian, and you prefer vaccine passports to mask requirements? You’re a libertarian, but you support vaccine passports? You’re not a libertarian. What the fuck is this site? I’m done. I’m just fucking done with this place. Goodbye Reason, you turned fascist and I’m outta here.

    1. Indeed. Once again, an author at Reason has ceded the Statist ground and is quibbling over the details. Nothing new here.

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