Let’s recap the vaccine mandate situation in New York City. Nobody can work without showing proof of a covid-19 vaccination. You must be vaccinated to earn a living in the Big Apple. The mandate is in effect in all sectors, for all workers regardless of position. Even a teenage babysitter is expected to show proof of vaccination if asked. Unvaccinated city workers are put on unpaid leave or terminated, and unvaccinated private sector workers get fired. Capiche?
This, even though there have been MORE deaths classed as Covid in 2021 when vaccines were available, than in 2020 when there weren’t. It is fully acknowledged that the vaccines do not stop viral spread. And we can’t even be sure that the fabled claim that “the vaccine prevents hospitalization and death” is true. This data analysis of covid patients showed that hospitals declared those admitted with unknown vaccine status as “unvaccinated.” Once the vaccine records were matched and verified, the unvaccinated cases dropped by a third. And, the initial numbers of hospitalized vaccinated patients were shown to have been “grossly understated” by THOUSANDS.
The truth is, we are all still learning about what these vaccines do and do not do. There is no public safety or moral justification for coercing people to take them and there never has been. Full stop.
The “Key to NYC” program expired on March 7, which means the previously banned unvaccinated are once again allowed inside restaurants and other venues. But the mandates made it socially acceptable to discriminate, so some businesses keep up those nice, blue city-made “unvaccinated, do not enter!” signs in their windows.
NY Nets basketball star Kyrie Irving made waves last year for his refusal to vaccinate. When previous NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio put forth the private sector mandate last December, that meant Kyrie couldn’t play for the Nets. Eventually, they let him play again, but only for road games. Why? Because Kyrie would be in violation of the mandate if he played home games, in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. He was allowed to play with his team in other cities because those cities DIDN’T have mandates. The virus stopped being a problem when Kyrie left town.
The virus also stops being a problem when unvaccinated VISITING players come to town. An unvaccinated player on the opposing team can play at Barclays Center (because he’s not an employee of an NYC business).
When the “Key to NYC” expired, that meant the Barclays was no longer off limits for unvaccinated spectators. So, Kyrie Irving attended a home game a few weeks ago, as a spectator.
To recap: Kyrie Irving, unvaccinated, could not play basketball at Barclays because of a vaccine mandate. But unvaccinated visiting players COULD play inside Barclays. And Kyrie could play with his team, but ONLY if the Nets were out of town. And then, Kyrie Irving COULD enter Barclays as a spectator, but NOT as a player. The virus is or is not a problem, according to rules about certain people entering certain buildings. Got it?
So, it’s pretty stupid that Kyrie Irving can be inside Barclays as a spectator but not as a player, right? When pressed about the hypocrisy and downright absurdity of the vaccine mandates, Mayor Eric Adams lamented that he couldn’t bend the rules for Kyrie because “it would send the wrong message just to have an exception for one player when we’re telling countless numbers of New York City employees, “If you don’t follow the rules, you won’t be able to be employed.”
Got that? Being vaccinated isn’t about health. It’s about following rules.
But, it turns out that being an elite athlete who makes millions of dollars has its perks. Now, the rules WILL be bent for him and other unvaccinated NYC athletes (and performers). They can play at-home games now. But for all other workers, the vaccine mandates are still in effect, indefinitely.
Hear ye, hear ye! King Mayor Adams decrees that he “really wants that ring” so he will allow Kyrie Irving the privilege of playing his game! I say, unjabbed athletes may play now at the pleasure of the King, who is a big NY Nets fan! Be it known however, that the peasants must continue to abide by the King’s mandate! This exception is for multimillionaire athletes and entertainers only! Hear ye!
NYC has allowed a horrible (and dangerous) precedent to be set. Now, one person with power can stop millions of people from exercising their basic right to work for a living if they don’t follow his absurd, illogical, unscientific and inhumane rule. Your ability to work in NYC is now contingent on following an arbitrary rule (not a law), not voted on by anyone, put in place by someone who happens to be a mayor, who can have it apply whenever and to whomever he wants.
Kyrie Irving was very happy about playing home games again, but he did say this: “Any special privilege or exemption, I think there are a lot of people dealing with real consequences from being unvaccinated. I don’t think it’s talked about enough in terms of our essential workers and people on the front lines. It’s a whole community of us that really want to stand together.”
Consequences like job termination with no unemployment benefits and social ostracization, Kyrie? Can you be more specific, please, even though the truth sounds harsh? It would be so righteous if Kyrie really did stand with his fellow unvaccinated New Yorkers, and refused to play until the mandates were lifted for everyone and people got their jobs back. Somehow, I doubt that will happen.