Reactions to new vaccine requirements for indoor dining in Philly, starting Jan 3.
Yep, yep, you already know what time it is. It’s your girl, POC, here to talk about how establishments that provide food and drink in the city – including casinos and stadiums — are now asked to comply with a vaccine mandate for indoor dining.
Before the regulation went into effect January 3, 2022, 30% of the city’s restaurants already voluntarily required proof of vaccinations. Philadelphia has been on the offensive with COVID in 2021, activating one of the most effective community engagement projects in the country. Working with the Black Doctors Consortium and other trusted groups, Philly Counts knocked on 68,000+ doors in high-risk neighborhoods to help the city reach an impressive 77% adult vaccination rate, the highest of all large US cities.
Now with the Omicron variants spreading faster than all others, including Delta, the city is requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to dine indoors. Some business owners are worried this requirement will mean a decline in business, and fear it’ll turn their staff into “vaccination police,” antagonizing valued customers. So I hit the streets of Philadelphia to ask residents: How do you feel about the new indoor dining mandates for proof of vaccination? Are you Mad or Nah?
Neighbors sound off! NOTE: Some speakers provide their names & neighborhoods, some don’t. Check out their voices in the original recorded interviews, transcribed here:
- No, it doesn’t bother me. I just am kind of like a little secretive about vaccination stuff because of my family issues. I think it’ll drive people in both directions. People who are against it, I think will be even more against it. From personal experience. I know some people who are really against it, and they’re really pissed at being asked to wear a mask or being turned away or whatever. And they take it as a personal site, rather than just the restaurant’s doing what they’ve been told to do. – Resident, Bryn Mawr
- Maybe they doing what they gotta do, you know. – Resident, Philly
- When you think about it, it’s safety first. Because this pandemic, you know, it shook up everything. So you got some careless people out here. You got them going in there, infecting other people. That ain’t cool, you know, I’m saying we’re all trying to live. I didn’t want to get the vaccination. But this is the catch 22 Because you want to do things? You want to go here, do this, do that? Oh well then you gotta get vaccinated. It’s like going to school, going to college – you want to go, get vaccinated. You’re already vaccinated, what’s the difference it’s just one more? They’re gonna get you one way or the other – Resident, North Philly
- It doesn’t make me mad, necessarily, it’s to protect us. But at the same time, if I wasn’t vaccinated, I would be a little mad because I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere with my friends or family. And like, if I didn’t want to cook, I’m just stuck ordering takeout. And that’s so unhealthy. So I’m not personally mad cuz I’m vaccinated. But I get it. – Chassidy, Southwest Philly
- I think it’s crazy. Because it’s my body. I’ve got the right to do what I want with my body. And I don’t trust the government at all. They’ve never done nothing for us as a people. And if you’re not going to allow me to go to work and do the things, spend my money the way I want to spend my money, well they’re gonna suffer too. – Resident, Philly
- I think it’s a great idea. I think it’s helpful, obviously, things are spreading very fast right now. And Kenney needs to take all the action he can. – Resident, Philly
- Business is gonna do what they want, anyway, but I hope not. People need to be vaccinated. – Resident, Germantown
- I think a lot of businesses are going to suffer. I think it’s up to them. I mean, I’m vaccinated but might not work for someone else. – Resident, NE Philly
- That’s fair enough. I would say. I work here, and the mask mandate in the Market has not really… I’d say probably 60% of the people I serve aren’t wearing masks. But I’m over it, man. I’ve been a really good sport, I’m so over it. – Resident, Northwest Philly
- Yeah, man. I don’t think it’s fair for anybody else to say. You have an option. You want to wear a mask, you don’t want to wear a mask. You want to take it or you don’t. This is America right? – Resident, Philly
How ‘Bout You?
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 December 27, 2021 on WHYY.com and on 90.9FM.
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).