Minneapolis’ vaccination mandate – The Minnesota Daily
The vaccine mandate is critical to ensuring the health and well-being of Minnesotans.
We first heard about the Omicron variant at the end of November, and since mid-December Omicron has been on everyone’s mind. This extremely contagious variant seems to quarantine everyone. For weeks, my social media feed has been flooded with people who tested positive for the virus. During the holidays, it seemed like everyone got sick. In Hennepin County alone, our cases skyrocketed and are still very high to this day, averaging 1,461 cases per day.
For months, people have failed to adhere to mask recommendations put in place by the state and local businesses, which has continually put our frontline workers — myself included — at risk of contracting the virus. By the end of January, I felt like almost everyone I knew had been exposed to the virus. Yet people have still failed to complete an easy and simple task: wearing a mask. Although awareness of the cases is extremely high, many people still do not have the common courtesy of wearing a mask in public spaces to protect their fellow customers and the employees who operate businesses – the same people who often work at the minimum wage and for whom losing two weeks of salary could be detrimental.
The vaccination mandate in the city of Minneapolis was badly needed. At this point, most of us have had ample time and opportunity to get vaccinated and prevent the spread of this virus. There have been countless occasions for people to even be rewarded for being vaccinated. Now people have even more incentive to get vaccinated or, at the very least, get tested.
However, like all other COVID-related restrictions put in place, we have seen opposition from residents and businesses. A group of bar and restaurant owners, including the Gay 90s and Sneaky Pete’s, have filed a lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis, arguing that Mayor Jacob Frey lacks the authority to issue such a warrant. They have claimed to support vaccinations, but their actions appear to challenge those beliefs. Fortunately, the court did not rule in their favour.
While I recognize the COVID-related struggles businesses have endured throughout the pandemic, I don’t understand the problem they have with requiring vaccinations.
In Minnesota, over 64.% of people are fully vaccinated and over 69.3% are at least partially vaccinated. In Hennepin County specifically, 78.6% of the population is at least partially vaccinated. The numbers are rising, and in order to limit cases, we need these policies in place.
If we are serious about fighting this virus and getting back to “normal”, we need to work together, not fight and disobey these policies. So why can’t we agree? Why are we still fighting against proven vaccinations? This should not be a political question, or even a subject of debate. At this stage, getting vaccinated should be considered a civic duty. It is inhumane to neglect the health, safety and well-being of others because of conspiracy theories or falsified information.
If sacrifices have to be made, it should come from our daily routines, or something as simple as getting vaccinated, without sacrificing the well-being of others because of our inherent selfishness as human beings.