Neighbors react to new mask mandates & vax requirements as COVID variant surges.
It’s your girl, P.O.C.! I’m back in these Philadelphia neighborhoods speaking with community residents as the Coronavirus Delta variant causes a new spike in our area and nationwide. On Wednesday, officials announced new restrictions, including a requirement that all city employees must be vaccinated by September 7th (and academics/healthcare providers by Oct 15).
In addition, Philly has reinstated a mask mandate. Businesses now must either require masks or confirm the vaccine status of all employees and customers. No more honor system for vaccines, either, those “v-cards” are going to be very important moving forward (ED note: if you’ve lost yours, email COVID@phila.gov for a replacement or call 215-685-5488).
Restaurants, bars and venues are beginning to require proof of vaccination before people can actually gain entrance. So I hit the streets to ask locals:
“Do these new COVID regulations make you Mad or Nah?”
Neighbors sound off! NOTE: Some speakers provide their names & neighborhoods, some don’t. Check out their voices in P.O.C.’s original recorded interviews, transcribed here:
- Well, as much as I personally feel I would like everybody to be vaccinated. I feel a little terrified to the fact that it’s mandatory. I want personally as a human being that everybody gets vaccinated. But the moral and political implications of forcing people to do something is what threatens me because today, I’m all for it. But maybe tomorrow is gonna be something else that I’m not for. So there’s part of me wants everybody to get vaccinated. The part of me that defends democracy wants it to be a choice. – Resident, Fishtown
- No, it doesn’t make me mad. It doesn’t at all. We’re stuck. And whatever needs to be done needs to be got and if you don’t like the rules don’t go. This is how I feel. – Cheryl, SW Philly
- No, it doesn’t make me very mad. We’ve been having a variety of different opinions with the market, especially with people wearing masks, or whether it’s gonna be mandated again. Me personally, I don’t mind, you know, just make sure everyone’s OK. And make sure everyone’s comfortable with the environment. So I think it’s up to the business or however they want to handle that situation. — Rob, West Philly
- Should I put a mask on or shouldn’t I put a mask on? We know the vaccine that went up. We know the news, it be washy sometimes. As for it being safe? I guess it’s best. Like getting on a bus, you have to wear a mask. So it’s a thing of, well, I took my shot. Should I wear a mask? You do. Because we don’t know who did it who didn’t. So in situation you don’t mean damned if you do damned if you don’t, but it’s good to have your shot. You really don’t know if a person got the shot or not. So put your mask on be safe. – Resident, North Philly
- No, not at all. I appreciate it and hope more places do so. We did our part to help this go away. And I wish that everyone would do their part also. – Jennifer, North Philly
- Not mad, but I believe that the requirement to prove it and show it I feel like it’s invasive. – Resident, West Philly
- I think it’s definitely an invasion of privacy and certainly an invasion of freedom of speech and ability to decide for yourself what to do. And I think it could be a little bit of a slippery slope of requiring that for like almost anything before you get like you know, you have to for a job or before you cross state lines, stuff like that. It could be a little bit of a slippery slope and kind get of crazy. – Resident, NW Philly
Mad or Nah is an original woman-on-the-street interview series from REVIVE Radio that asks Philadelphians about issues impacting their everyday life. This edition originally aired Aug 11, 2021 on WHYY.com.
Tamara Russell aka Proof of Consciousness aka P.O.C. hosts and produces a variety of award-winning shows featured on Uptown Radio 98.5FM and Philly’s WHYY/NPR/PBS outlets. Read more in our feature on this multi-talented motivator, Wouldn’t It Be NICE? (June 2021).