Novel nCov Coronavirus

Vaccine Passports

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This is where business and law intersect, and not peacefully.

If you’re following the news, and most people are not, at best they’re hung up on opinions, which are a dime a dozen and often removed from the facts, you know that Norwegian Cruise Line is in a kerfuffle with the state of Florida. Ron DeSantis, the governor of the Sunshine State, who recently signed a “voting rights” law that he only allowed Fox News to cover, has also banned vaccine passports. But Norwegian wants them, because of the liability, because it doesn’t want to sacrifice its business. Norwegian is threatening to pull all its ships from Florida, which 60% of all U.S. cruises embark from, and the resulting economic devastation and blowback from hoteliers and restaurants…will be loud and proud, just like it was from these same outlets, especially restaurants, when governors insisted they close.

Now if you want to be really depressed, you should listen to Friday’s “The Daily” podcast:

“Why Herd Immunity Is Slipping Away”: https://bit.ly/33snFjE

As a result of covid variants, we now need 90% of the population inoculated to achieve herd immunity. The variants are more aggressive, spreading faster and further, and therefore the old figure of a year ago, of 50-60%, no longer applies. But a huge swath of the American population refuses to get the shot, most basing their decision on inaccurate fears, but there will be consequences. Not only in the lack of herd immunity, but the inability of these same people to live their lives as they want to.

If you listen to Frank Luntz on Kara Swisher’s “Sway” podcast, you’ll learn that he believes it’s just a matter of terminology. And one must listen to the pollster who changed estate taxes to “death taxes” and so much more. Luntz says we must stop calling them vaccine PASSPORTS, because the word “passport” has such a negative connotation, most people don’t have passports and don’t go anywhere, and call them vaccine VERIFICATIONS!

Hmm… On the surface it sounds good. But in truth would this really change the thoughts of the reluctant?

I don’t think so. But it would be worth trying.

Now the last time I checked, they called it the music BUSINESS. And even nonprofits have cash running through them. And Live Nation is a public company, and just like Norwegian Cruise Line, Live Nation cannot put its entire business in jeopardy. Bottom line, if you want to go to the show, you’re gonna have to show proof of vaccination. Definitely.


You’ve probably noticed that concert companies have yet to address this issue, because they’re fearful of pissing off potential customers, becoming the “enemy.” But the day is going to soon arrive, where these promoters are going to want to shove anywhere from 75 to 60,000 people in a venue, and if even one person attending is infected with covid, even if they are showing no symptoms, what you’ve got on your hands is a superspreader event. You can’t social distance at a show. At least not profitably. In order for the concert business to work everybody needs to be up close and personal. SO THEN WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE 30+ PERCENT WHO REFUSE TO BE VACCINATED!

We’re about to experience a two-tiered society. And it won’t be driven by woke liberals, but businesses, who refuse to put their enterprise on the line. Also, if a business is not woke to a degree, it’s castigated and a large segment of the population protests against it, sometimes just with their voices, but sometimes with their feet too. This is why corporations are standing up against restrictive voting laws in Georgia and Texas, they’re fearful of pissing off the majority of the population, the same majority which voted Biden into office, despite the delusional beliefs otherwise.

So now you’ve got the corporations on the side of the woke and vaccinated. Let me see…who is on the other side? In the past it was said corporations, afraid to take a side on anything, wary of even one phone call or e-mail from an outraged parent, but now it’s just Rupert Murdoch and his apparatchiks, most vocally Tucker Carlson, who is driving his minions into the river under the banner of “freedom.”

So what we’re heading towards is another January 6th upheaval/uprising/protest/conflagration, when the “free” people find out that their viewpoint has closed doors to them. Yes, this is going to happen. Arguments about masks at retail establishments? That’ll be nothing compared to concerts and cruises and other mass events, a battle is brewing. Only in this case, the battle is not with the government, not even the “libtards,” just corporations.

Have you ever worked for the corporation? They’ve got legal staff, either in-house or outside counsel, always on call, ready to deal with lawsuits. Operate a business, and you’re gonna get sued. Many are nuisance suits, insane trolls looking for money, and unfortunately sometimes it’s cheaper to settle than to fight, but a good number of these lawsuits are genuine. This is the tort world that the right keeps denigrating. But these lawsuits are what keep the rest of us safe. In cars…all over our country. I was in Colombia and I tripped on a jagged upraised curb. The truth is unsafe curbs are in the minority in America, because the city or building owner is wary of getting sued.

But you have insurance!

No carrier is going to write insurance against lawsuits from concertgoers saying they got covid. How do you even calculate the risk?

So this is what is going to happen… More people are going to get vaccinated. Because your principles are secondary to your desires. I’ll take it to the zenith, I’ve got more than one Catholic friend who was anti-abortion until their sister got pregnant. So, you can rail against vaccine passports/verifications all you want, but when you want to go on the cruise, when you want to go to the concert, you’re gonna get one.

This is going to come into focus when the country truly reopens. Right now with so many places still shut down, with people afraid to go to even open places, the issue has not come clear, but it soon will. And then?


We’ve heard from the outraged public, not wanting their bodies “violated,” but we have not heard yet from most businesses where people are packed tight. Concerts were amongst the first businesses to shut down, and will be amongst the last to open back up. Because of the RISK!

We live in a society where everybody believes in strict liability. If I lose, it must be someone’s fault, and they must pay, this is the mind-set, not only of the liberals but the conservatives. You sue your neighbor when you slip in their house, you assume they have insurance for this sort of thing. And many people do, but not all. And the truth is the system is not one of strict liability, you don’t always recover, so you have personal responsibility, however…

You can be drunk and drive your car off a cliff, but GM can’t make an unsafe car that inherently puts you at risk.

Live Nation can have security at the show, but it can’t ensure that you don’t take a drug at home and O.D. at the concert.

In other words, at some point it truly does become an issue of personal responsibility. You want to do what makes you safest. And the enterprise wants to do that which absolves it of liability, because it doesn’t want to take the financial hit, never mind the bad publicity.

And the government has a responsibility to keep its citizens safe too. Look at that Chainsmokers show last year on Long Island, the organizers were fined! Don’t enforce strict covid rules and the government is gonna keep you in line. Even Florida. Never underestimate the duplicity of governments, they’re just run by people. Sure, Florida can say no vaccine passports are required, but as soon as people get infected at a show…they’re not going to say it’s their own damn fault, politicians are afraid to say this.

So, ultimately the decision whether to get vaccinated is a personal one. And what I mean by that is the tribe won’t save you if you get infected and die.

As for death… Even the experts said deaths would hover in the neighborhood of 1%. So sure, you got covid and didn’t die. But half a million people did. As for the long term consequences of infection…every day there are articles talking about the hidden effects, now it’s diabetes.

It could be the most powerful person in the battle for covid vaccinations is Michael Rapino. And Rapino has historically been willing to hang it out there alone, to say and do the right thing. Will all the smaller promoters let him take the risk? Unfortunately, probably. But if the concert business were smart, it would form a coalition today, insisting that all concertgoers be vaccinated. In this way they would be spreading the risk/attention of said declaration. You might hate Live Nation or AEG or whomever, but can you hate ALL CONCERT COMPANIES??


Just like you can hate all cruise companies?

Bookings are way up for 2022, people are “dying” to go on a cruise. And cruises can be very cheap vacations. Which is one of the reasons why they’ve boomed in the past two decades, they’re not only for the rich, as a matter of fact their inclusive nature at rock bottom prices appeals to…many of those who refuse to be vaccinated.

Let the games begin.

“Cruise Line Threatens to Skip Florida Ports Over Proof-of-Vaccination Ban – Norwegian Cruise Line plans to require Covid-19 vaccine documentation from its crew members and customers, but Florida recently enacted a law that bars businesses from doing so.”: https://nyti.ms/3hdFXNZ


Responses from Bob’s readers – please note that these comments are not edited for grammar or content and do not necessarily represent the views of CelebrityAccess or its staff.

From: Phil Brown

Subject: Re: Vaccinations

My sister and I were talking about polio today. I’m 74 and she’s 72 and people born after the late 40s have no idea about polio. Think you’re afraid of COVID? Multiply that by one hundred and you’ve got polio. And multiply again by X because pretty much every school class had a kid in braces who’d sort of recovered from polio so you had a daily reminder of the horror. Every summer the disease returned in force. People born after the vaccine have no idea of the fear. Swimming pools seemed to spread it so no swimming. Anything could spread it. COVID may put you in the hospital for a while but polio put you in the hospital FOREVER. COVID long haulers? I have a friend my age who recovered from it in childhood and then in her 50s the symptoms returned.

I will never understand the anti vaxers at all. If they had lived through the polio epidemics they would get down on their knees and thank God for the vaccines. I do.

Phil Brown

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From: Shari Ulrich

Subject: Re: Vaccine Passports

Travellers to certain countries have been required for eons to be vaccinated for certain diseases, and if the traveller elects not to, they don’t get to travel there. Pretty simple. People are being asked to get vaccinated against Covid for their own protection, their friends, their families, and strangers they may come in contact with. The exponential economic impact alone on the medical system should they become ill thanks to their determination that it’s “they body” and “the man” can’t tell them what to do, is staggering. Business owners, venue owners – they all have the right to create a safe space for their clients, and those clients or audience members have a right to feel safe entering. Period. As a society we have allowed personal “rights” to override any consideration for our fellow man or even our very survival. You don’t get to hold this up as a “Human Rights” issue. Your right to refuse to give a crap about anyone but yourself does not get to prevail and put countless other people at risk.

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From: Toby Mamis

Subject: Re: Vaccine Passports

Good piece.  I think even “Vaccine Verifications” is too strong.  I’d go with “Vaccine ID.”  Like a driver’s license.  You are not required to have a driver’s license, it’s strictly voluntary. But if you want to drive, you have to have one.

It’s not just Rapino and/or AEG (which reminds me, when LN launched Crew Nation providing millions of $ for out-of-work tour personnel, and the Grammy gang offered millions more $ from MusiCares to crew and musicians, what did AEG do?).  It’s SPORTS.  The Buffalo Bills have already announced that all fans during the upcoming 2021 season will be required to show proof of vaccination to attend their games.  Other teams are likely to follow suit, though teams in Florida and Texas (and possibly elsewhere) may have problems due to their state governments.  And the NFL is requiring higher level employees, who interact with the teams, to be vaccinated.   And the NFL is big business, with a lot of fans who may be in the non-vax camp.  I think we need to watch, and maybe pressure, NASCAR, to do the same.  Basketball and hockey are nearly in their playoffs, but they play indoors and might follow suit in the fall.  Major League Baseball, outside of Texas, are still not at full capacity, but they all want to be.  So they’ve got incentive as well.  And thanks to the Buffalo Bills, nobody else has to be first.

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From: Corey Bearak

Subject: Re: Vaccine Passports

Interesting.

If you follow what’s going on in NYS, Yankee Stadium and Citfield have Vaccine sections and non Vax sections.  So as of May 19, 75% capacity but if no vax very limited seating options.

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From: Dave Conklin

Subject: Re: Vaccine Passports

Yep. Fuck ’em. Bring on the MAGA-free shows. Can’t wait to hear how ticketed events have anything to do with their constitutional rights.

Because of the seasonal timing, we’re going to see events open up in the outdoor venues first, where the atmosphere is inherently safer.  Later this month, the two NY baseball stadiums are opening 100% capacity in designated “vaccinated” sections.  If you’re unvaccinated, you’re in pod seating, 33% capacity.  You think these teams want to sell 33% capacity sections instead of 100%?  Prices have been low thus far because all the seating was pod style.  Moving forward, I expect the unvaxxed seats to cost more.  At Citi Field, they’re offering on-site single shot J&J on the way into the games!  Ok, fine, push push push.  But at a certain point, soon, we’re going to max out on converting hearts and minds.  All we’ll have left is making it inconvenient.  Live events, cruise lines and air travel.  I’m already over the bribes, the freebies and the bonuses.  If you don’t want the shot, we get it – we heard your solipsistic decree of independence, now fuck off.  The rest of us have some living to do.

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Subject: Re: Vaccine Passports

Venues should install glass walls and have that 25% portion of the venue be available for ‘socially distanced unvaccinated tickets’

The genera population vaccinated pays $50 and the behind the glass wall ‘tradesman entrance’ ticket costs $250. I would bet my bottom dollar that the ‘not me’ contingent would all rush out and get the ‘free shot’ all of a sudden.

If it’s financial and not political, we would be at herd in two seconds haha!

Loved this letter – best yet.

Paul Clegg

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From: lizzz kritzer

Subject: Re: Vaccine Passports

Bob, I live in the Hamptons and my friends sister died today from Covid, she lived up island, around Hampton Bays, still Suffolk county.  Anti Vaxer/Trumpsters.   This isn’t over.  She was in her 50’s.

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Subject: Re: Vaccine Passports

I got my first shot today.

Thank you for helping me make my decision and my heart goes out to you this day Your first one without your Mom . . .

My prayers are with you towards your continued good health.

Mark Flores

Guitar

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