Discourse

Why I will boycott New York's vaccine passport

Boycott vaccine passports, boycott them in every shape and size, do not submit, do not comply, do not give up your rights in service to a promise that doing so will restore them to you.
Libby Emmons
Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY
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New York state has launched its Excelsior Pass, "a free, fast and secure way to present digital proof of COVID-19 vaccine or negative test results," and there's no way in hell I will get one.

I fully intend to get vaccinated, but I will not present proof of my medical status, nor will I consent to be part of a system that grants rights and privileges to those who do and refuses entry to those who do not.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of this pass, and nursing home scandals and sex scandals aside, for this alone he should be impeached, removed from office, and should himself be disallowed from being part of proper society.

The government website touts the pass, saying that obtaining and presenting this digital vaccine passport will allow the bearer to "attend sporting events, arts performances, and more!"

I want life back, I want to move around freely, but I do not want it at the expense of a truer freedom either for myself or for those who do not have this pass.

The state says that the "Excelsior Pass supports a safe reopening of New York by providing a free, fast and secure way to present digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative results." They write that we should "think of it as a mobile airline boarding pass, but for proving you received a COVID-19 vaccine or negative test."

No, thank you, I will not.

I have worn your masks, I have spent a year socially distancing, not participating in normal life, not seeing plays, not hearing live music, or traveling at my leisure. But now the state is telling me that I cannot do those things unless I download an app, which will track my medical status, and show proof of that status to gain entry. I have two words to say to that, but being as this is a proper publication I shall refrain.

The government is offering this app for free, but as we know nothing is truly free. It's not only entry into sporting events and normal life that we can gain by showing our new medical passports, but entry into a future where proving your medical status to the government is a commonplace occurrence. I will not step into a future where the government can limit my movements based on my willingness to tell them about what pathogens are or are not in my blood.

"Businesses and venues can scan and validate your pass to ensure you meet any COVID-19 vaccination or testing requirements for entry," the state says. But they don't stop there.

The government says that it's not just the vaccine passport that will be requested, but that "Along with your Pass, you’ll be asked to show a photo ID that shows your name and birth date to verify that the Pass belongs to you."

Previously, I could buy a ticket for a play, in cash, at a ticket booth, and then attend the play. No one at the venue needed my name, or my medical history, and certainly the government of New York state was not even remotely involved in my purchase or my activities.

If the intention of the state, and those businesses that have teamed up with the state, is to disallow me entry to their events if I do not comply with being tracked, monitored, and identified to their satisfaction, they can take their cultural and sporting events and burn in hell.

And no, the passport declaring we are clean and cleared for entry is not enough. The state tells us: "Once you and your party enter an establishment, you will still be asked to follow State and CDC guidance regarding social distancing, face coverings and hand hygiene."

Mask, social distance, get vaccinated, get a vaccine passport, and under no circumstances can we restore normal life. That is the message, that is the dictate of the state. I would rather be excluded under these terms. I will not trade my current cage for a maximum security prison with entertainment.

As if on cue, the government, after this missive, swoops in to allay the fears of those who have concerns about the criteria, saying "Participation in Excelsior Pass is voluntary." But is it? They write: "New Yorkers can always show alternate proof of vaccination or testing, like another mobile application or paper form, directly at a business or venue."

This New Yorker will not participate. This New Yorker would prefer to be denied entry to your pretty, gilded parties, to your social season, to your glorious city, if doing so means sacrificing my freedom on the altar of your fascism.

We have given away too much. Do not give even one inch more. Get vaccinated if that is your choice, but you are under no obligation to prove it to anyone for any reason.

Boycott vaccine passports, boycott them in every shape and size, do not submit, do not comply, do not give up your rights in service to a promise that doing so will restore them to you. It is a lie.

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