Earlier this week I got a text from a friend asking me which shows I would be going to this weekend. Casbah really wants staff to show up for Thursday's Ben Johnson night with the Creepy Creeps, Mrs. Magician is playing on Friday at Soda Bar, just a 7 minute walk from my house, and on the daily I get more emails about shows and tours coming up.
While for those tours later in the fall I haven't been shy about making my photo pass requests for outdoor and indoor shows alike, I haven't been able to commit to anything immediate. I would love to have drinks with friends, on the condition that they come to my house to have drinks, because I'm not ready to go to a bar.
I'm not really ready to do ride share either, and after the shitty way the corporations treated their workers with Prop 22, I don't know that I will ever take one again. It's personal, being that they had already put Darren's Rose Cab out of business until he started Darren's Van and they made sure to put that out of business, too.
Until the pandemic hit, he sucked it up and drove for both major rideshares and saw his income diminish from his old taxi years, and left with no choice but to keep driving more, with customers acting worse, and getting paid less and less. It is actually a miracle that California paid gig-workers unemployment being that those companies pay nothing into the system. It's the only way we survived the last year and a half.
And then there are my spots. Places I would go, no questions asked, before the pandemic. But now there are questions. Places that stayed open when they should've been closed. Places that flouted pandemic rules. Places that fought losing parking spaces to bike lanes but suddenly supported and over-eagerly encouraged pedestrian palisades and curbside seating and in-the-street restaurant extensions, violating permits and fire codes and simple 'layered mitigations' to keep everyone safe. And now they're crying that they were illegal and shouldn't have to take them down.
I'm not with it. So you can establish your risk and I'll establish mine. But I know that I'm a grudge-holder. It's not a good quality, but like fear, it's there for a reason. There are businesses I cannot forgive, places where I was a regular where I don't see myself going again, and if I vote with the limited dollars that I make, that is what I shall do. For now. Maybe the grudge dwindles. Maybe conditions change. But for now, my risk assessment says no way.
And let's be clear, Casbah and Soda Bar and Belly Up and Music Box all did everything right, but with the under 30 year olds still holding steady at low vax rates, I trust the venues and the staff of the venues, I just don't trust the people bumping elbows with me in those spaces to have done the right thing. It's a direct conflict with my job, but with my dad so sick and having only received one J&J jab which is showing lower resistance against the delta variant, my dad isn't a sacrifice I'm willing to make for a show. Not now. Maybe that will change. Maybe numbers will flatten back out after 4th of July is longer behind us. But for now, outdoor spaces are thumbs up, indoor spaces are a no go.
Stay safe out there.
- US coronavirus cases are rising again, doubling over three weeks - AP News/Stars & Stripes (7.13.21)
- OPINION: It's Time to Require COVID Vaccination in the Workplace — Case increases demand prioritizing community health over individual rights - MedPage Today (7.12.21)
When a threat to an individual becomes a threat to society as a whole, that individual's autonomy must give way to the greater good. Thus, despite the potential harms done by vaccine mandates, such as rare adverse reactions or loss of employment among those who refuse, the societal benefits to universal vaccination, including ending the pandemic, must be our moral and ethical priority. It is a calculus that we must accept and promote. It is time for our national, state, and local policymakers to endorse workplace vaccination requirements and lead the way with guidance and public declarations of support.
- County Board Accepts $24 Million for COVID-19 Response in High-Risk Populations, Receives Vaccine Survey Results - County News Center (7.13.21)
- California Roars Back: Governor Newsom Highlights Immediate Relief for Californians as Part of Largest Economic Recovery Package in State History. (7.13.21)
- Two out of every three Californians to get Golden State Stimulus checks, providing $12 billion in total – the largest state tax rebate in American history
- Over $4 billion for small businesses under the largest small business relief program in the nation
- $5.2 billion for largest rent relief program in the country, additional $2 billion for overdue water and utility bills
- California Roars Back: Governor Newsom Signs $100 Billion California Comeback Plan to Accelerate State’s Recovery and Tackle Persistent Challenges (7.12.21)
- Deploys immediate relief to two-thirds of Californians with Golden State Stimulus payments and provides unprecedented support for small businesses
- Major new initiatives and investments to take on persistent challenges including homelessness, disparities in education and opportunity, wildfires and climate change