Your Papers, Please: NY, The Lame Apple

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We all know how we got here (see The Lost & Found Year(s): COVID Trip Report), but the question is how we will get out of here. By here, I mean the bureaucracy of dealing with the Covid mess. Having spent the last two years in Puerto Rico, one by necessity (see COVID 2020: TPOL’s Most Productive Year), there was no way I could justify staying for a third, especially with the continued idiocy of PR’s Covid response (see Covid Test to Enter Puerto Rico: Another Asinine Policy). To get away, I booked a trip to NYC pre omniforce in the hopes of getting my Where to Party NYE list back on track.

I arrived on December 29th to find no party. Instead, I found a city beaten to the core. After months of suffering blow after blow, it was not a surprise that the city is on life support. What was a surprise is how this dreadful situation is accepted as the new normal. From midtown to downtown, I did not see anyone dressed for a day at the office. The suit and tie are dead. Everyone cashed in their stimulus check and adopted Costanza’s sweatpants policy, signaling that they too had given up on life.

Besides the demise of the office is the demise of personal accountability. Why are workers forced to ask patrons for their papers? Every bar, restaurant, brothel, and hotel greets anyone seeking admission with the intrusive line, “Your papers, please.” Those without ID and vaccine cards are denied entry. Those with both meekly accept that such intrusions are necessary for normalcy.

Wake up New York! It does not have to be this way. Enough of these mitigation measures. They are not working. It’s time to accept the reality that the anti-vaxxers will never be vaccinated, the vaccinated can still get Covid, and the vulnerable will always be vulnerable. At this point, we should demand the old normal where risk of death is the trade-off for having [a] life.

I’m sure this mask is protecting me and you. Let’s wear it forever.

39 COMMENTS

  1. Disagree wholeheartedly. I want to be as safe as possible, particularly indoor restaurants where they are squeezing as many people in as possible.

    • Well you won’t be safe indoors. It’s a myth. Once the mask is off, whatever is in the air is in the air. To think otherwise is naive and a convenient excuse to rationalize measures that don’t work.

    • So, a person walks in to an establishment with a mask on, sits down six feet away from others and takes it off to rest or eat, puts it back on to get up and walk to the restroom or exit the establishment, thus, effectively one only needs “papers” to enter and exit, but the “papers” mean nothing once seated?! And this so-called safety measure works because… COVID doesn’t exist at the seated level? How will someone with or without “papers” make it safer for anyone or be protected from anyone if everyone can get COVID whether or not they are vax’d? Whether or not they have almighty “papers” that act as a mystical shield? And… why the hell isn’t natural immunity good enough to get a “paper shield?” The policies are nothing more than “because I said so” and do nothing to curb the spread, let alone protect anyone. That said, I am vax’d, not because the gov’t told me to, but because of personal reasons and in order to improve (I suspect) my chances of survivability. I’m taking my chances being vax’d (e.g., myocarditis or something else unknown) as much as others that are unvax’d (potentially worsened symptoms and/or survivability based on specific treatment). I believe in the vax, but the science says age, health, and side effects are predominate survivability factors. Thus it comes down to a persons own decision, and I, for one, have not problem or bias toward anyone for the decision they make, because their decision only affects them, not me. Good luck not getting COVID with your “papers.” It’ll be sad, but very ironic, and likely, if someone with “papers” spread it to you. How’s your “papers” working out for you now? Mark my words, EVERYONE will eventually be inflicted with some flavor of COVID. Enjoy life. But don’t buy-in to changing the way I live or hold my job over my head because of the govt’s misguided fear-mongering and their “because I said so” control policies that change nothing to eradicate COVID or any other disease.

  2. Sharon’s right. The virus doesn’t have papers so its not allow inside restaurants. Just eat your dinner through the mask.

    PS. Stay home if you are paralyzed with fear and leave the rest of us alone!

  3. ” It’s time to accept the reality that the anti-vaxxers will never be vaccinated, and the vulnerable will always be vulnerable.”

    With all due respect, it’s also time to accept that even if you do get vaccinated, you can still catch and spread Covid. That’s the reality. People need to stop blaming the unvaxxed, because the vaccinated are also catching this and spreading this with relative ease.

    The CDC director Rochelle Walensky admitted the other day that 75% of Covid deaths were to be with 4 or more comorbidities. These are people in really, really terrible health if they have 4 or more comorbidities.
    If you are concerned Sharon, then get into better shape and you will be fine. If you are already in great shape– then you don’t have anything to worry about.

    • Actually I’m in great shape but i am recovering from lymphoma (blood cancer) so I have a comorbidity.

      You might want to read Ms Walensky’s clarification to her sound bite. She misspoke. What she meant was that 75% of Covid deaths FROM VACCINATED PEOPLE were because those people had ONE of 4 comorbidities (not from people who had 4 different comorbidities.)

      IMO it’s not too much to ask that Americans show proof of vax to save their fellow Americans who may not be as healthy as you and keep the economy humming.

      Not going to spend my time going back and forth with you. We all have the right to our opinion but you all might be more comfortable back in Puerto Rico or other localities that dont care about their fellow Americans. Selfish and short sighted INO. Stay safe and healthy and enjoy your day!

      • Yeah nice final paragraph. Way to generalize and name call. Very useful for advancing the discussion. If I had an underlying condition or if I die from complications, that’s my problem. I’m not going to ask anyone to accommodate me at this point. We’re not all in this together. Everyone for himself. That’s the way forward.

      • @Sharon…

        Thank you for reiterating Walensky’s clarified statement. Either way, you know what this says to me? COVID kills vax’d and “papered” people. So, again, how does “papers” protect you from anyone?

        And, you said it, “we all have the right to our opinion.” But if my opinion disagrees with yours, then I have to accept yours? Even if you don’t agree, then at least be open-minded enough to understand where the other side is coming from.

  4. I agree with you. It’s time to just cancel all the BS as of, say, a week from now. It’s one’s own risk to go out an about, as it’s been for years before and again needs to be.

    And now, people who now get covid, by and large, are no sicker than a bad allergy day for others.

    I cancelled a NYC trip on the same date you were arriving — primary reason was there would be a shell of what I expect actually there when I would have arrived. Nope, not worth the cost and trouble.

    In short, +1 to cancel the masks, cards, etc. and move forward as a world.

  5. Don’t always agree with you but it’s always entertaining!! Personally I think you nailed this one. I’ve had Covid (some chills) just got over Omicron (a wicked cold). I double vaxxed and boosted. It’s all such BS. If you have health conditions protect yourself. But asking the whole world to protect you by shutting down cities schools and travel is getting to be a little much.

  6. Remember when vaccines would ‘stop the spread’? – lies
    Remember when they were ‘safe and effective ‘ – lies

    Remember when masks showed efficacy – (well, not a lie, since no study ever showed that)
    Remember when we said ‘stay home’ – wrong (turns out, being outside is safer for a respiratory virus)

    Remember when health people, closed gyms? So, uh… we could all get fat?

    You guys got sold a bridge to nowhere, on the public dime.
    And for two years you all CHEERED.

    Thank you for waking up. Team Reality welcomes you back with open arms!
    Welcome 🙂

  7. Do we think office occupancy is was low in midtown and downtown because everyone left for the end of the year? I certainly did. Haha.

    And honestly, I agree with you about vaccine mandates in practice but I also like knowing that the people in my favorite bars and restaurants aren’t complete anti-vaxxer idiots.

    • I’m sure no one was in the office but basic grooming! I don’t think I’d walk around Milan in Christmas and see such slobs.

  8. This was one of the dumbest tales I’ve had the misfortune of reading. I can’t disagree more with your take on people supposedly giving up on life. People not wearing suits is the future I’ve always dreamed of.

  9. That’s all fine and well, but the entire opinion rests on the assumption that we as a society are entitled to the labor of healthcare workers. Healthcare is not a true market good because hospitals generally have to accept and treat as many patients as they are able and, even when they are not, resort to triage medicine to attempt treatment on as many patients as possible. The reality is that mitigation measures reduce the spread in a way that, in their absence, would result in more hospitalizations for vulnerable and unvaccinated people, and that increases strain on a healthcare system that has been running essentially at or just below capacity for the past year and 10 months. Plenty of folks in my social circle are nurses or doctors, and none of them wants to see mitigation measures scrapped because *checks notes* it is slightly inconvenient to show a vaccine card? They all suffer these same inconveniences when they would like to dine out or otherwise participate in society as well, and have been on the edge of burnout for more than a year. When last I looked, we’ve basically resumed normality, as I can’t think of a single thing I’m prevented from doing that I was allowed to do pre-pandemic.

    • Oh yes the flattening the curve argument. I have a solution for that: no one unvaccinated can come to the hospital for anything. Problem solved. Halfway joking.

      Don’t overlook the bureaucracy of for profit hospitals and their role in this.

      Finally, give me a break thinking that vaccine cards=less transmission. The no mask protection because I’m eating is a farce. And it’s impossible to fake a vaccine card. The have as many holograms as a hundred dollar bill.

    • Really? Can you travel on an airline without having to wear a mask? That was the first lie: vet vax’d so you don’t have to wear a mask. While your vax status seemingly returns you to your pre-pandemic lifestyle, it’s not the same for all vax’d people, like myself, and even worse for the unvax’d. I’ll spare going into detail.

      Healthcare workers don’t need to suffer the inconveniences, either. I have three nurses in my family; one is vax’d, two aren’t, but one of those refuses the vax at this point because they’ve already had COVID and now have natural immunity. I’d hate to see a healthcare worker have their hand forced, let alone other anti-vaxxers, notwithstanding those that can’t get an exemption for having natural immunity. It’s ashamed to call healthcare workers yesterdays heroes but today’s zeros because they refuse the jab. No matter who a person is or what they do for a living, those that want the vax/booster have gotten it or can get it. Those that don’t want the vax shouldn’t be forced to and aren’t putting anyone else at risk anymore than a vax’d person that can still contract and spread COVID puts another vax’d person at risk. The vax does not stop the spread, just improves chances of not being hospitalized and surviving COVID. And, to your point that indeed impacts a hospital’s capacity and capability. While getting more people vax’d may reduce the strain to hospitals, COVID is indiscriminate. Everyone is at risk.

  10. Kudos to your closing paragraph. IMO, many people are seeking a no-risk environment. There’s no such thing. Never has been, never will be. Life (and Business) is all about assessing the risks and then choosing those which are and are not acceptable.

    Most of the COVID “safety measures” are irrational, easily manipulated, and ineffective, but they provide the illusion of safety, much like the TSA at our national airports.

    • I need all laptops out of the bag. I need all shoes off. No liquids or gels. We have accepted that nonsense as normal. Every winter are we going to have to wear masks and have a new vaccine check? Meanwhile pharma gets richer.

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