Last month, Gov. Kate Brown offered Oregon businesses a novel choice: They could allow patrons who showed their vaccine cards to go maskless. Oregon is the only state to propose such a policy. Brown’s idea flopped. No major retailer in the Portland area has started checking vaccine cards, instead continuing to require all patrons to wear masks. On May 25, 10 national business associations sent a letter to the Biden administration calling Oregon’s requirement that businesses check vaccine cards “alarming.” Here’s what our readers had to say:
SOSPortland, via wweek.com: “I just don’t get why Gov. Brown (and Commissioner [Deborah] Kafoury) don’t trust people. The federal government and the CDC trust people to be honest enough about their vaccine status. Fourteen other states that allow vaccinated people to go maskless seem to trust their community. There haven’t been any noticeable spikes in COVID transmission or deaths resulting from these good-faith policies.”
Kerry Moore, via Facebook: “First of all—trust??? We’ve had lots of time to learn that we can’t ever trust the anti-mask/anti-vaccine mob. I wouldn’t trust them if they said the sky was blue. And asking some poor underpaid dude at the grocery store to ask for proof of vaccination, determine whether or not it’s a forgery bought off eBay, or be shot by someone who compares vaccination rules to Nazi death camps is a horrendous idea.”
CentralOregonFred, via wweek.com: “Except, Oregon isn’t requiring shops or their employees to check vaccine cards. Shops can continue to do what they’ve done all along; namely, require everyone to wear a mask. That’s what most places are doing. I go to a couple of small local shops that have signs that say ‘masks required or show us your vaccine card,’ but it’s just easier to put on a mask for the short time I’m inside. I don’t get all the butthurt about wearing them.”
Malcolm Reilly, via Facebook: “Granted, it’s not the greatest policy, but it did give businesses a choice. There is no requirement that the businesses actually check people’s vaccination cards.”
BobTheJanitor2, via wweek.com: “I really don’t get what the fuss is about. I already show some sort of documentation when I buy booze (driver’s license), or get on a plane (passport), or pick up an order I placed online (emailed receipt,) or any number of other things…And in most of those cases I’m showing it to businesses, not the government. Another place to show documentation really isn’t government overreach, and if I don’t like it I can just wear a mask (like I have been for the last year).”
Angie Meres, via Facebook: “24 Hour Fitness asks you to show your card if you want to go maskless…my point being there is at least one business doing it. I show mine every visit. I have no doubt the employees at the front desk are not thrilled to be in this position.”
Jeff Roth, via wweek.com: “Right? What’s the big secret here? Ever had a tetanus shot? Nobody keeps that a secret. Polio vaccine? Not a big deal. Rabies shots for your dog? Nobody cares. For some reason a COVID vaccine is some kind of violation of privacy? GTFO of here, people.”
Alli Sayre, via Facebook: “I don’t think it bombed at all. I think it’s pretty clear the governor wasn’t ready to rescind mask mandates but felt forced to do something after the CDC announcement. This is a win/win for her—people can’t complain she is ignoring the CDC and everyone will still wear masks because 99% of businesses aren’t going to want to check cards.”
Matthew Helsley, via Facebook: “They should just keep mask wearing mandatory until they’ve vaccinated 70% of Oregon. Keep it simple: Everyone wears a mask. No exceptions for vaccinated folks. Don’t want to wear a mask? Then get vaccinated, get your kids vaccinated, encourage your friends and neighbors to so that we reach that threshold sooner.”
Letters to the editor must include the author’s street address and phone number for verification. Letters must be 250 or fewer words.
Submit to: 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210.