Vaccine Passports for Session Pubs…

Vaccine Passports for Session Pubs…

"Here in Scotland", The Parish Cooncil are presently having a debate about introducing vaccine passports or similar for certain venues and events.

It’s very likely to pass even although most of the Opposition parties are against it.

Personally, I don’t think it’s a bad idea and, in most cases, it won’t affect me as I don’t usually bother going to large sporting events nor large "standing" music concerts. My night club days are over too, although this could still be an issue as I’ll discuss here…

The latter scenario re "night clubs" is a little problematic, in my view. The Scottish Govt intend to come to a decision as to what a "night club" is, albeit after the vote has already taken place!
So, this may include large pubs which feature music especially if they are open late.
Most session pubs won’t fall into this category but some of the larger ones might.
Also, sessions at folk festivals and the like can get very busy with lots of people "mingling" and "carrying on". Admittedly, it’s more often the punters than the musicians who do this but the latter can be quite wild too at times when they are "off duty". 🙂

Therefore, I would argue that some sessions or venues(at least) fall into the category whereby they could be considered to be treated in the same way as night clubs.

Of course, it is possible that pubs which feature our kind of music could and should continue to be strict and I would be in favour of this. However, a vaccine passport/covid test requirement would also allow them to be more relaxed and have more people through the doors.

Personally, I’m happy to show some form of proof of vaccination but I’d prefer to have paper documentation. Although I own a "smart phone" and I’m quite capable of downloading the QR code or whatever, I’d rather not do this out of principle…. :-|

Anyway, how do you all feel about this? Would you agree that some session scenarios might require proof of vaccination and would you all be quite happy about this? For good or ill, I think this is the way things are going whether we like it or not and it will probably get even stricter in the future.

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I’m all for it.

My fellow session players are, with the exception of one or two, all vaccinated.

It’s all the unvaccinated nitwits in the general public spreading Delta like wildfire that are making it impossible for us to have a session in a pub right now.

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Well…as someone who used to make them, I say QR codes are dangerous as hell. Would you click on a link you can’t see? The more official this kind of thing becomes, the greater a hacker target it will be.

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I’m for it, and it’s already being done in my county here in Washington state USA. The county health director a week ago mandated that all restaurants and bars must ask for proof of vaccination for indoor dining. A phone photo of your vax card is OK.

Covid is spiking here, largely due to transmission in households and in indoor venues where people can’t wear masks like restaurants and bars. It was determined that proof of vaccination was less economically harmful to restaurants and bars than going back to 1/3 or 1/2 capacity requirements to space people out, like the previous lockdown. The business owners said that was not sustainable.

It’s not a perfect solution though, because some poor employee has to face people at the door and ask for the proof of vaccination. It’s an extra expense and a thankless job, especially in areas where there is some public hostility about vaccination. So some local restaurants here have closed indoor dining and gone back to take-out only, or take-out plus outdoor seating if they have a place for it.

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Why should I have to have some document when I’m already going in and out of pubs, shops, restaurants, buses, trains without one?

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macuaig, the QR codes for the vaccines, at least in California, as far as I can determine, don’t contain a link to a web address, they just contain your name and vaccination info, some schema info, plus a signed JSON web token.

Here’s some specific info on exactly what’s encoded in the QR code:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/06/decoding-californias-new-digital-vaccine-records-and-potential-dangers

There is an open-source app available to read them so anyone can check if a passport is valid.

iOS version:
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/smart-health-card-verifier/id1572691390

Android:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.thecommonsproject.smarthealthcardverifier

More info at:
https://thecommonsproject.org/smart-health-card-verifier

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"Why should I have to have some document when I’m already going in and out of pubs, shops, restaurants, buses, trains without one?"

Maybe that should be next.

But we’re digressing from the subject at hand, whether pubs should require proof of vaccination.

In the context of being a session host, I would love to see that. We’re not going back playing in our pub until we have some degree of confidence that it’s safe. Requiring vaccination to enter the pub would go a long way to making that a possibility.

Would it be 100.0000000% safe, of course not.

There is still the chance that a vaccinated person with a asymptomatic breakthrough infection during the period of maximum transmissibility could be in the pub and one of us could get a viral load that we’re unable to fight off even though we are vaccinated and end up with a mild illness. It’s far less likely if everyone in the pub is vaccinated and, I think many of us would be OK with that level of risk.

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"Why should I have to have some document when I’m already going in and out of pubs, shops, restaurants, buses, trains without one?"

Restaurants and pubs are a different category than shops, buses and trains. In areas where Covid is raging badly enough for a mask mandate, you can wear a mask full time when shopping or on a bus.

You can’t do that in a pub or restaurant if you’re eating and drinking; the mask comes off. It was determined by our local health department that most of the transmission was happening in two locations: private homes and restaurants/bars. Hence the proof of vaccination requirement just for those two business categories. I assume the rationale would be similar in other areas that take this measure.

I’d stress that this is all very dependent on how bad the Covid situation is in each area. Your area may have low transmission rates and this kind of thing wouldn’t be necessary. In my area, it’s getting bad enough that there are no ICU beds available in local hospitals. God forbid anyone should have a heart attack or a bad traffic accident, because the hospitals are jammed with Covid patients. In a situation like this, having to show proof of vaccination to enter a restaurant is a very minor hassle by comparison. Just don’t get into a bad car accident on the way home.

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But Michael, your explanation of all the things that are supposed to be in a QR code aren’t actually my point. Here, point your phone at this squiggly line, go ahead, it’s fiiiine.

Instead of a squiggly line, I’m going to start encoding data into rubber ducks. It’ll be fun, just point your phone at it and we’ll take of everything. We’ll make it quack so’s it’ll be even more fun.

Credit card data scanning has a lot of security effort behind them and they’re fallible. But a QR code on a poster or a clipboard? Not me, man.

But I’m all for screening at the door. I don’t have the answer, but that’s not it.

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I live in Utah, USA, the home of the "I don’t wanna, I don’t hafta, you can’t make me mindset"… I’ve already stated my thoughts on vaccinations (anyone who doesn’t get one is card-carrying stupid and too dumb to live anyway) and the painful reasons why. If having a "passport" will allow me to be able to act like I’m vaxxed I’m all for it. To those who don’t want one (vax or passport) I don’t care. Hope you like being left out. Yeah it’s cold but I’m fed up with paying the price for the ignorance of others.

Let me add the children’s hospital where I worked for a quarter of a century is now full, say it with me, full, of covid patients, because kids can’t get vaccinated and the state says that we can’t make them wear masks. You OK with that?

Ok it’s a rant. Thanks for letting me vent.

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Thanks for all your responses so far.

The bill has now been passed and the new rules will commence next month. However, here in Scotland, pubs and restaurants, small events and so on still won’t require vaccine proof.

Night clubs will though, once they decide what a night club is. As I said, there may be some "blurring" between large pubs, restaurants etc which feature music especially if they are open late.
Such premises also hold sessions especially during folk festivals and can be very busy at such times. So , I was thinking about what might happen in these situations.

Also, would a ceilidh dance in a village hall with a special drinks licence fall into the night club scenario? Or the office Xmas party even?

All food for thought….

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Also being "here in Scotland" I am feeling some degree of consternation over tickets we bought for a concert way back before Covid erupted, for 1st October 2020: the concert could not take place then, so tickets were held over until 1st October 2021: this happens to be the very date when the new law on vaccine passports will come into force in Scotland. Now, I’m not so bothered about getting that proof of vaccination status, as we already have it, but more about the very idea of going into a concert hall seating well over 500 people, with no social distancing - as the law now allows - and having been so very careful over these last 18 months, it does seem a risky thing to do, albeit both double vaccinated and wearing masks as we are advised is mandatory. Of course we want to see our very favourite band, but at what potential cost?
I don’t have a problem with showing vaccination passports anywhere, but I do have more of an issue with going to places which, although legal to do so, still seem mighty risky to the likes of us with age and health issues against us.

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"Why should I have to have some document when I’m already going in and out of *pubs*, shops, *restaurants*, buses, trains without one?"
Wow, that is a good question, Yhaalhouse. Frankly I’m willing to show my vaccination card as required. I’m for that bit. But I’m not sure yet what this new law ("there in Scotland") is, much less how practical it is to implement at ‘certain venues & events’ though not at other ‘venues & events’. I’m not going to follow Sen. Rand Paul’s lead to declare civil disobedience on all laws & regulations marked CoVid/Vaccination. But I do have questions which should/must have good answers. Personally, I would comply. I wouldn’t protest against vaccination documentation requirements. However this is a new law in a foreign country & I don’t have enough information about it nor any experience with how the legislative process is conducted "HIS", as Johnny Jay calls it.

Edit:I added asterisks to emphasis two terms in the quotation by Yhaalhouse.

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Agreed, Trish. I’ve skipped two music venues this month and will likely skip two more next month, tickets all bought months or even a year ago. (No refunds, so if the band shows up, they collect.) Now it’s less biology and more sociology that’s the greater danger. I’m awaiting three more whistles, have two more software packages to learn, and planning a 3500 mile motorcycle trip to Newfoundland next autumn, so I’ll be set cocooning for another season.

Interesting about Clannad’s Farewell Tour here. It was October 2020, moved to 2021, then 2022. Another reason to appreciate that band, and a loooong farewell.

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"Of course, it is possible that pubs which feature our kind of music could and should continue to be strict and I would be in favour of this. However, a vaccine passport/covid test requirement would also allow them to be more relaxed and have more people through the doors."

Sorry to bang on about this. Johnny, it’s clear to me you’re referring to Scotland. You know it better than I do. So, I’m assuming this observation is more or less spot on where you are. In California, perhaps the entire Hemisphere between the meridian 20° west of Greenwich & the meridian 160° east of Greenwich, the pub requirements differ. Not so much to matter in this discussion. We are globalists on this forum. Short story long… I cannae see our state legislature requiring Duffy’s Tavern to show papers for the Irish Happy Hour. The people coming through the door are just the people coming through the door either way. I know. I’ve been in Duffy’s.

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I am vaccinated, and got the shot as soon as it got available in my country for my age group.

That being said, I personally hate to see this "papieren, bitte" approach enforced and normalized. That’s not OK for a free society.

Here corona passes are supposed to become mandatory for entry to all pubs and restaurants starting from late September. I can get a QR code just fine too, and I too would rather not do this out of principle.

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Well its a tricky balancing act between an authoritarian police state and a ‘free society’ - free to spread the virus to anyone you come in contact with, free to refuse vaccination ? Not sure what’s happening in Scotland, but here in the Deep South of England seems like business as usual [ie pre- covid 19] - I recently played my first gig in 18 months, a 60th birthday party in a village hall, about 75 people from small children to folks in their 80’s, no masks [or very few] and no social distancing - we were playing for ceili dancing, the very opposite of social distancing! After a year and a half of musical unemployment I cannot really turn away gigs but I continue to find it a worrying experience.

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You have to show your COVID cert in order to sit inside in pubs and restaurants in Ireland. Seems to work well, and unvaccinated people can still eat and drink, just not inside. I was at a lovely little session last night in Mayo that almost felt like pre-COVID times; in fact it was the first one in that pub since March 2020! I’d think that’s a good model for elsewhere.

As for principles, one of my top principles is not putting other people needlessly at risk of contracting a disease that has killed millions worldwide if I can help it. Pubs already check plenty of IDs; a quick flash of a COVID vax cert doesn’t seem to me to be too much of an imposition during a pandemic.

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@bigsciota: "a quick flash of a COVID vax cert" might be OK. Having scanned a QR code which contains your name and some other data, which will be logged, timestamped, location stamped, sent who knows where and stored who knows for how long - all for a drink in a pub - is a very different story.

Also, even in Ireland you don’t have to show ID in pubs if you don’t look like a minor. At least I never had to.

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@bigsciota - just curious, where was the session in Mayo that ye were at? I’m in Mayo meself, not far from Kiltimagh.

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"contains your name and some other data, which will be logged, timestamped, location stamped, sent who knows where and stored who knows for how long" - A bit like the phones almost everyone willingly carry then? No craic/scandal in criticising phones though.

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"A bit like the phones almost everyone willingly carry then? "

Mmm, I "willingly" carry a phone when it suits me and will use it for various activities when it suits too.
However, I don’t believe I should be obliged to carry a phone or be required to use any type of "App" when it doesn’t suit me. Nor should I need to have modern"smart phone"(although I do) when an old Nokia or whatever just for actually making telephone calls works fine and will do for that purpose.
I do a lot of transactions online, bookings, payments, and the like but I still prefer to use my home desk top/lap top or similar.

While I carry my phone around most of the time, it’s usually switched off unless I need to use it for a particular purpose.

That’s just me.

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@bogman Having a smartphone is not (and should not be) a pre-requisite for visiting a pub, or for playing at a session, right?

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“contains your name and some other data, which will be logged, timestamped, location stamped, sent who knows where and stored who knows for how long“

Ever used a credit card to pay for a drink?

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My point is that people are using the information angle to object to vaccine passports, designed to protect vulnerable people, but freely allow access to a great deal more personal info willingly by carrying a smartphone.

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Johnny Jay, I did say "almost" everyone - which I think is pretty accurate. I’m not saying whether I think the passport is right or wrong but I am saying that the personal info argument is extremely lame to say the least.

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I don’t object to the passport and having a facility on your phone is a great idea too for those who want to use it.
However, I’d like the option to have a paper copy as an app doesn’t suit everyone and not necessarily all of the time.

"Ever used a credit card to pay for a drink?"

Yes, Michael, although I still like to have the option to pay in cash. Using a card just to buy a pint of beer is a bit ridiculous, in my opinion, as is using your phone. It’s handy if you are paying for a meal on top, buying a large round, or paying for a tab though.

I always refuse to use "contactless" and insist onthe old chip and pin method.

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"However, I’d like the option to have a paper copy as an app doesn’t suit everyone and not necessarily all of the time."

But there is that option. You can apply for a downloadable paper version.

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"a downloadable paper version"

Yes, and you have to go online to do that and use a printer.

That’s something I can easily do too, of course, but not everyone will be able to do so.
I’m sure that something can be posted to you as well or should be.
All bases should be covered.

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"You can apply for a downloadable paper version."

If the paper copy is not something you flash, but a QR code, than the problem persists: it will still be scanned, timestamped, location-stamped, logged and uploaded who knows where.

You don’t consider this a big deal, but please trust that there are others who do: those who want to be able to go to a pub, buy a drink and play a few tunes without their personalized data being logged and saved for further analysis. That includes being able to come without your smartphone, to pay in cash and to enter the place without your QR code scanned, or fingerprints taken, or whatever.

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Does your local bar have security cameras? Drive a car with a license plate? Ever fly anywhere?

You’re already being tracked, no point in living in a fantasy of zero tracking.

I’d also not assume that verification of a QR code vaccine passport also equates to tracking. It can be done completely in isolation by a offline reader app or device just based on the data in the QR code and the public key of the issuer.

I’ve not seen any requirement on data collection or storage from any of these vaccine passport verification mandates. Anyone have any specific info on that? Not just conjecture about what could be done, but what is actually required and being done?

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"I personally hate to see this "papieren, bitte" approach enforced and normalized. That’s not OK for a free society."

Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins (possibly attributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes). Substitute viral load for fist.

That’s the basic principle behind public safety measures like vaccine requirements balanced against personal freedoms. Most schools require students to be vaccinated for the societal good. This is nothing new, it’s just become highly politicized lately.

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My Irish sister-in-law said that the vaccine passports for public venues (pubs, clubs, etc) was a major driver in encouraging young people to get jabbed in Ireland, and perhaps a factor in Ireland overtaking the UK in terms of percentage of the population fully vaccinated (70.4% versus 65.4% as of 08Sep). For the USA the figure is just 53.3%.

Sometimes, I think, it falls on us to do what is good for the betterment of the general population rather than what we might think is good for us personally.

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I was reading this thread earlier, right before I had to go to work. This was several hours back now.
I remember Michael Eskin’s posting & how surprised I was that no one was responding to his comment.
I thought about posting something but I didn’t because no one else made a peep about it. On reflection
I think it best, my only real choice, is to go with the consensus & give my absolute support for vaccine passports. It’s the only way for me to proceed.
AB

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Which post, AB?

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I just asked my doctor for a printout of my vaccination record. I live in a small town so that will do me till the official certificate comes out in October (Australia). I really cannot understand all the objections to (a) having to be vaccinated and (b) providing proof. All of this is not a new thing, and not at all an unprecedented or unreasonable challenge of human rights. I remember well, albeit that I was in the first ten years of my life, the number of polio victims that I saw on the streets in Manchester (1950’s) .
It was common. regarding the vaccines, if everybody then had not done what they should for the sake of the common good, then a lot of us would not be here now. As for sessions in pubs, well pardon me, but on the scale of things, who cares? There are horrors in the world! Keep it in perspective.

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I’m all in favour of passports for situations where people voluntarily meet in numbers - if people don’t want to be vacinated then they don’t have to attend and put others at risk.

We did a risk assessment to see if we could responsibly re-open our folk club, and concluded that because people sing the risk is still too high, but a purely instrumental session would have been OK. With passports we would be able to re-open.

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There are so many different scenarios where stricter rules and also vaccine passports would make good sense. However, as I said earlier, it can be difficult to distinguish between some of them and leglislate accordingly. So, perhaps a more general requirement for passports and/or negative Covid tests might be a better path? This would include even smaller folk clubs such as Mark suggests…

For instance, the definition of "night club" has to be decided.

Also, how would you define a "standing gig"? Many are seated but the audience still stand up, dance and "clap"(how I hate that). I daresay it’s up to the organisers to enforce "sitting down" rules but I wouldn’t envy them that job!

At some concerts, mask wearing is a requirement unless you are drinking. So, unless taking drink to your seats is banned, the guidelines are a little bit self defeating.

I’m not sure either if large gatherings are necessarily more risky for those who attend than busy small gatherings…e.g. a wee room in a pub where session muscians gather or in a small folk club. Yes, more infections will occur at a huge event because of the high numbers but, as an individual, you may actually be at less risk providing you are careful and there is plenty of space….

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My response to this has been to stop taking a flute to sessions, since its probably the worst offender in terms of aerosolizing covid, and you can’t really wear an effective mask and play, despite those little flute mask people have come up with.

Instead I bought a mandolin, and am applying forty years of guiter technique to "the Connemara fiddle," as Francis O’Neill called it. You can play a mando in a mask and you won’t be muddying anyone else already playing accompaniment.

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"My response to this has been to stop taking a flute [sic] to sessions, since its probably the worst offender…"
Likewise. I play(ed) banjo…

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"if people don’t want to be vacinated then they don’t have to attend and put others at risk"

Actually, it’s more putting themselves at risk.

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About this bit since the question was posted above, "You’re already being tracked, no point in living in a fantasy of zero tracking." [i.e. "Which post, AB?"]

True enough, absolutely. No problem with complying with vaccination verification though it’s not unreasonable to have some control over how I register & what the privacy policy is for obtaining digital proof. Currently I have my hard copy and it’s still all I need. However I just received a text message with a link to obtain digital verification. It says it’s from Rite Aid; where I was vaccinated. I’m pretty sure it is from the company but I did
not click on the link. Instead I went to the company’s website & looked at their privacy policy. It’s pages long.
Not interested in sorting all that.

In California the state can provide the same verification and their **privacy/sharing policy is more succinct.
They do collect some personal data though it’s redacted & presumably safe. Point is there is more than one way to request a digital passport & it’s easy to miss the best way to protect your personal information. It probably varies (in the U.S.) depending on where you live. Though I have no idea if any one place is better than other locations.

** https://www.ca.gov/privacy-policy/

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Don’t we have to distinguish between requesting your vaccination passport and in-field validation of your passport using dedicated devices or open-source 3rd party mobile apps as far as privacy policy?

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My point is we do need to distinguish. Yes.

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As I understand it, being vaccinated will not prevent someone from contracting the Delta variant, if exposed. The vaccine will, however, reduce the severity of the ensuing infection. On the other hand, it will not prevent a vaccinated person with Delta from transmitting the virus to someone else, vaccinated or otherwise.

So it is conceivable that a room filled with 200 vaccinated individuals, one or more of whom might have asymptomatic Covid-19 Delta, could become a super-spreader event.

I think that needs to be considered when considering the value of showing your vaccine card to enter a crowded bar.

It’s complicated.

That said, I am vaccinated and have no qualms about showing my vaccination card. I had to do that to get back to my desk at the office.

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"As I understand it, being vaccinated will not prevent someone from contracting the Delta variant, if exposed. The vaccine will, however, reduce the severity of the ensuing infection. On the other hand, it will not prevent a vaccinated person with Delta from transmitting the virus to someone else, vaccinated or otherwise."

This is true, but the point of vaccination mandates for pubs and restaurants is that it allows them to operate at full capacity instead of half or 1/3 capacity, so their business can survive until the pandemic recedes into a background like the yearly Flu with regular vaccinations.

It means that when you walk in that door, you have much less chance of getting infected from the people in the room not wearing masks, than you would if the door was open to both vaccinated and non-vaccinated customers. This seems like a no-brainer to me.

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"It means that when you walk in that door, you have much less chance of getting infected from the people in the room not wearing masks, than you would if the door was open to both vaccinated and non-vaccinated customers."

I apologize for not clarifying what I assumed was commonly known (not really sure why I think anything is commonly known anymore…), but Delta has effectively crushed all other variants - in the US, in any case: Delta accounts for greater than 95 percent of all infections at this point.

Reference: https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/public-health/delta-variant-prevalence-by-state.html

Current vaccines DO NOT prevent Delta infection. That’s a full-stop statement: if you’re fully vaccinated and are exposed to Delta, you will get it - full stop. You may or may not have symptoms. But if you are indescrete in your associations, e.g., not wearing a mask in close quarters, you WILL BE INFECTIOUS AND YOU WILL give it to someone else, whether they’re vaccinated or not, because Delta is ten times more infectious than previous variants.

At this point I’ll share that I plan to run a 10K race next week in a crowded field. I will try hard to get infected with Delta at that event. I have pre-coordinated with my doctor, gotten my wife’s consent, and will self-quarantine. I have been given to expect serious flu-like symptoms, even though I am fully vaccinated. However, I smoked (past tense), and sucked in massive amounts of asbestos in the first World Trade Center attack in 1993. So I’m high risk.

Ultimately I am hoping that, being vaccinated and having put Delta behind me, I can actually resume a more-or-less normal life.

Although ground zero will always frighten me…

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"My response to this has been to stop taking a flute to sessions, since its probably the worst offender in terms of aerosolizing covid"
Compared to a fiddle, yes. Compared to talking, no.
It seems to follow that sitting in a session is a relatively safe way to go to the pub! Such wondrous irony!!!

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> Current vaccines DO NOT prevent Delta infection. That’s a full-stop statement: if you’re fully vaccinated and are exposed to Delta, you will get it - full stop.

This is not quite right. We still do not completely understand the relationship between infectious dose size and the probability of infection, but it’s reasonable to say if you inhale one virus particle, you are unlikely to catch the virus, and if you receive a heavy dose, you will.

The size of dose necessary to cause infection is probably smaller under the delta variant than earlier variants, but if you are vaccinated, you will need a bigger dose; in other words, if vaccinated, you are less likely to catch it. You are also less likely to develop symptoms, less likely to have serious symptoms, and you are less infectious during the course of the illness.

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“ I will try hard to get infected with Delta at that event. I have pre-coordinated with my doctor, gotten my wife’s consent, and will self-quarantine. I have been given to expect serious flu-like symptoms, even though I am fully vaccinated. However, I smoked (past tense), and sucked in massive amounts of asbestos in the first World Trade Center attack in 1993. So I’m high risk.”

Well that’s a first.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

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Is the first sentence a typo?
I will try hard to (not) get infected…

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Here in California you can skip the vaccination and buy a counterfeit vaccination card! I’m all in favor of the electronic passport.

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Not sure what the fuss is about.As my wife pointed out when she emigrated to NZ back in the 1970s she had to show vac.certs. for Malaria,Yellow fever,dysentery typhoid etc as she stopped off in Singapore.
As for the vac.passport it’s the same details that have been available from NHS inform Scotland online or in the post since last year.Only difference is you can download a pdf copy or print one out both with qr codes allowing the venue to scan and validate your pdf copy

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"Not sure what the fuss is about.As my wife pointed out when she emigrated to NZ back in the 1970s she had to show vac.certs. for Malaria,Yellow fever,dysentery typhoid etc as she stopped off in Singapore."….. Yes. it’s hardly a new thing.

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Re: Vaccine Passports for Session Pubs…

We strap our kids into car seats.
Why wouldn’t we get the shot and documentation, unless we don’t care about anyone else.
The ignorance here in USA has resulted in 650,000+ deaths.
Recently, 500 dead children.
Let’s stop debating and do the right thing for the sake of all.

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Gobby, my read of this thread is almost everyone here is getting fully vaccinated and willing to present verification as required. For the vast majority of members contributing on this thread there is acceptance of the basic needs to protect the public health. Not absolutely universal but when do we ever have 100% here on thesession.org?
😉

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Re: Vaccine Passports for Session Pubs…

@triplet It was in Balla. Lovely pub and some very nice people having a few tunes.

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@bigsciota - cheers, not far from me at all!

Re: Vaccine Passports for Session Pubs…

Here in Greece a new law came into effect today, Monday 13 Sep. Only fully vaccinated people will be allowed inside pubs, cafés, restaurants and nightclubs. I think you can still sit outside if the bar or café has outside seating, but what happens if you need to go to the toilet? From a session point of view, it is a good development. The only problem is there are no Irish music sessions in Greece! At least, I don’t know of any. I am hoping to get one going next month when autumn kicks in and the nights get darker and colder.

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"there are no Irish music sessions in Greece!" 🙁

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Re: Vaccine Passports for Session Pubs…

None listed here and none that I’ve found elsewhere. Certainly not in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city.

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Covid certainly has had a profound effect on people’s thinking! I’m surprised to see so many here who think that vaccine passports are a good idea.
Vaccine passports WITHIN a country are unethical and are part of a slippery slope towards a control society and authoritarian government. Vaccine passports within a country are not the same thing as vaccine passports for travel between countries.
If there were a law passed that required vaccine passports for entry into pubs, I would on principle not go to pub sessions.
P.S. I’ve had my first covid vaccine dose, and will soon have my second, in case anyone should mistake me for an anti-vaxxer.

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“No shirt, no shoes, no service” didn’t seem to turn us into a totalitarian, control society.

Of course the anti-shoers and the shirt-deniers don’t agree. Gubment overreach! How dare they tell me what I can or cannot put on my body.

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Above is the slippery slope argument:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slippery_slope

But the ethics of vaccine passports are indeed a grey area (esp. wrt inclusion) and broadly recognised as such:

https://www.bmj.com/content/373/bmj.n861

Clearly the majority of people (including myself) here just want things to go back to a state where they can play music in public with others, without being endangered or endangering other peoples lives, and if everyone is vaccinated, that appears to be much the case, with passports being an easy way as as a society to certify that for risky events.

But I believe we should be kind and give the benefit of doubt to those who don’t want to get vaccinated, most of whom will come around, once the vaccines long term safety is even more well established - and ideally in the meantime make it easier to also have on the spot short term covid tests that have the equivalent effect of the passport.

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jamesa, maybe most of them “come around” when the long term safety is more well established in England, but here in the USA, it’s become a badge of courage in some communities to not be vaccinated.

The same groups are deeply suspicious of government and science. They deny COVID exists, they think there are 5G tracking devices in the vaccine, or that it makes you magnetic, or that it’s all a Democratic liberal plot. Nothing short of almost literally forcing these folks to get vaccinated through work and venue mandates is going to change the situation. There are even “secret vaccination” services so those who are surrounded by idiots and want to get a shot in these communities can do so without others knowing.

Some Republican governors and senators are openly calling for defying the mandates as a way to fire up the former president’s base with disinformation to fuel their future political aspirations.

The whole situation is very frustrating for those of us who have been doing everything required to stop this virus. Actually saying it’s frustrating is an understatement. Many of us are done with these folks and when we hear reports of them coming around and begging for a vaccine when they are about to be intubated with a good chance they won’t make it, the only thing I have to say is “Oopsiedoodle!”.

Five vehemently anti-vax conservative radio talk show hosts have died in the last six weeks due to the virus. Oopsiedoodle!

I’m just happy to be in California, where science and facts drive the response to the virus and where our vaccination rates are very high. Delta is still burning through the unvaccinated, but other than some indoor mask mandates in some counties, things are resembling normal.

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"But I believe we should be kind and give the benefit of doubt to those who don’t want to get vaccinated…"

As someone who believes in being kind in general, I am finding it more and more difficult to show any kind of kindness or empathy for people that base their health decisions on misinformation. It’s not just a matter of personal choice, because if a person gets infected, not only does it have potentially serious ramifications for them as an individual, it also endangers other people around them (vaccinated or not). And it has the potential for making things more dangerous for the entire human race in the future. The more the viruses spread, the more they have the ability to mutate. The more they mutate, the more chance there is for some mutation to appear that spreads more easily (look at Delta) or potentially have much worse consequences, or escape the vaccines and put us back to square one (or worse).

We should be kind to our fellow human beings by doing our part, so that we can help the people who are even MORE vulnerable because of immunity disorders, or compromised immune systems from medical issues or medications. That’s where we should be directing our kindness and giving the benefit of the doubt.

I understand that people might be nervous or scared, but it certainly shouldn’t be from lack of knowledge about the effectiveness and safety of these vaccines. To date, there have been 5.79 BILLION doses of covid vaccines administered in the world. That’s a pretty big study case, and the data show just how stunningly effective these vaccines are, with very minor side effects. (As opposed to horse deworming medicines that don’t work, or a covid infection itself, for that matter…)

My one session that is happening in person again has a vaccination mandate - from me, not the pub.

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"Vaccine passports WITHIN a country are unethical and are part of a slippery slope towards a control society and authoritarian government."

So-called "vaccine passports" have been in place for decades in the US and Canada, without those particular requirements leading to authoritarian governments*, so I’d say this argument is absolute nonsense.

*Note that in both of these countries the political parties that align most closely with authoritarianism are generally vehemently anti-vaccine or at least anti-vaccine mandate/passport.

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Re: Vaccine Passports for Session Pubs…

Thanks everyone for contributing. I think this discussion has probably run its course now (and there isn’t much more to say about sessions) so I’m going to close this off.