Should governments hire and pay workers to check vaccine papers outside restaurants?

“In-N-Out closes in San Francisco over refusal to enforce vaccine mandate” (Guardian, 10/20):

In-N-Out burger has become the first restaurant in San Francisco to be temporarily closed for failing to enforce the city’s vaccine mandate. City officials made the move on 14 October after the burger chain said it won’t force staff to check that customers were fully vaccinated before allowing them to dine inside the restaurant.

“We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government,” Arnie Wensinger, the company’s chief legal and business officer, said in a statement. “It is unreasonable, invasive and unsafe to force our restaurant associates to segregate customers into those who may be served and those who may not.”

Do we say that In-N-Out Burger is boldly #Resisting the San Francisco city government’s demand that they check vaccine papers for each would-be customer? Or maybe we say that In-N-Out Burger is weakly hesitating to do the right thing?

Let’s ignore the question of whether the policy makes sense given that COVID-19 vaccines don’t prevent infection or transmission (and, in fact, might increase infection/transmission because vaccinated people will take more risk than the unvaccinated). That leaves us with a big question: Why would it be restaurant workers’ job to perform this police-type job? If the government makes it illegal for people without vaccine papers to eat in restaurants, shouldn’t the government station “vaccine wardens” just outside the restaurants and pay these wardens? (They can be armed with guns, since Americans love the idea of government workers with guns, or simply tightly connected to nearby armed police officers who can use force as necessary.)

Alternatively, automate the process, as I suggested in August: How can city vaccination requirements be enforced without RFID chips in residents’ necks? The government owns the city sidewalks from which people walk into restaurants in urban areas where vaccine document checks are now required. As a condition of continued employment, the government can install RFID chips in working citizens’ necks (migrants and those on welfare would be exempt, as with current vaccine requirements). Scanners overhead the sidewalk outside restaurants could notice if anyone unvaccinated is going in and then automatically deduct a fine from the working citizen’s paycheck. Receipts from fining the unrighteous could be used by cities to acquire original Hunter Biden paintings for municipal buildings.

Here I am at In-N-Out on the way back to Reno from Burning Man 2014, thus earning me the Playa name of “Double Double.”

Update, November 1… Swiss police use concrete to block access to Covid sceptic restaurant (The Local):

Police in Switzerland have placed several large concrete blocks in front of a bar in the canton of Valais after the bar owners repeatedly refused to enforce the country’s Covid measures.
After the owner of the Walliserkanne restaurant in Zermatt (Valais) failed to comply several times with the obligation to check the customers’ Covid certificates, local police took a drastic measure of installing cement blocks in front of the entrance.

Covid certificates – which show that someone has been fully vaccinated, recovered or has tested negative to the virus – have been required to eat and drink in indoor areas in Switzerland since mid-September.

Both owners were arrested by the police on Sunday morning.

A fine of up to CHF10,000 can be levied, while jail time is also possible in aggravated cases.

There’s a photo too:

19 thoughts on “Should governments hire and pay workers to check vaccine papers outside restaurants?

  1. At the same time the restaurants can check that every customer walking in and every dishwasher in the back is in the country legally. Have an outstanding ezpass bill, no tacos for you.

  2. “Its trendy status is quite separate from its conservative Christian owners. “John 3:16”, a reference to a Bible verse, is printed on many of its cups and wrappers. A number of the chain’s executives have made donations to the Republican party, including Mark Taylor, the COO, who has donated more than $15,000 to Donald Trump and the GOP since 2016.”

    The Guardian hasn’t gotten the memo. On YouTube, the cool kids are conservative now that Wokism has become boring and authoritarian mainstream. I’d go to a Christian place just to be a hipster in 2021.

  3. B.S.
    At the same time, the company/restaurant will gladly be the “police” when you want to order anything containing even trace amounts of alcohol.

    • J, alcohol rules are based on age; in the fullness of time young people tend to grow older*, as you may have noticed. Not therefore an equivalent form of segregation.

      * Though sadly fewer of them after “protection” by covid vaccines.

    • Anon: Thanks for that link. That is a beautiful system and with the noblest of goals: “The two-year project is aimed at the 1.5 million preventable deaths that result from a lack of vaccinations, primarily in developing nations.”

      If it would save even one life, of course, I would support applying a machine-readable tattoo to every human on the planet. But I still like the RFID chip better because (1) it is more like what we do to dogs, and (2) we can easily get body temperature out of the RFID modules.

    • I think the Rice U tech. is good for developing nations where they need something fast, cheap and painless, but it’s definitely not going to be good enough (with a lifespan of only 5 years) for the United States, so I think Philg’s idea is really the only viable solution that I’ve seen.

      And of course, we all need to revisit the concept of the Seinfeld Soup Nazi, but again, these should be public health employees funded and trained by the federal government.

      Somewhere near the beginning of this saga there was a $60 billion starter plan for vastly expanded track-n-trace to “flatten the curve.” Well, I knew then that $60 billion was Chump Change and what we really needed was a permanent Pandemic Response Management Office of the HHS. Ideally, these people would not just be qualified to inject the chips, but also to act as verification wardens at the entrances to public and private spaces – including but not limited to people’s homes, because the various governments own the sidewalks and the roads leading up to people’s homes everywhere in this country. I think it’s going to happen. It has to!

      MIT said in March of 2020 that we were never going back to normal and that people were going to have to accept lots of heretofore “extreme” changes in their lives in exchange for their basic freedoms. And if there is any institution in this country I believe, it’s MIT.

    • Actually the PRMO (Pandemic Response Management Office) should live in the Department of Homeland Security so that the people they hire can also serve counter-terrorism surveillance and reporting functions and be weapon trained. They should all be equipped with hand-held RFID scanners so that people can be scanned as they enter or exit any building, including private homes, churches and synagogues, retail stores, restaurants, laundromats, etc., and all government buildings.

      To really keep things tight, we should also require that each person in the United States has the ability to have one of the new PRMO folks print them a small piece of paper with a QR code or a barcode containing their Vaccination ID Number so they can point their smartphone at it to authenticate their vaccination status for any government websites. This way you cannot renew your driver’s license, etc., without also proving your vaccination status. Facebook can require it also as a popup as a part of their TOS along with Twitter, Instagram and all the other social media sites.

      Let’s do it right! No leaks, no loose ends.

    • Everybody should recall Elizabeth Warren’s viral video from the 2020 Presidential campaign. Just remember: “No. Nobody in this country got rich on his own.” As covered here by Jeffrey “Whip It” Toobin from the New Yorker.

      “But there also is, at its core, a really fundamental disagreement between
      the Republicans and Democrats about the role of government and whether what the government does really matters in generating and protecting prosperity.”

      Well, those were different times, to be sure. It’s even more important today that nobody in this country can use public sidewalks, roads, buildings, etc. that they didn’t build in exchange for their basic freedoms. This a global pandemic and public health crisis with no end in sight! So it’s right in line with her thinking, she just needs to make a few tweaks and adjustments, which I’m sure MIT Tech. review will agree with.

      These are super-smart people with Superior IQs and UP. They know what time it is! And we’ve not yet even BEGUN to see all the ramifications yet.

      “The intrusive surveillance will be considered a small price to pay for the basic freedom to be with other people.”

    • By the way, the government’s ownership of spaces does not end at the sidewalk. The United States Postal Service *OWNS* the space inside your mailbox. That is the basis upon which federal laws prohibiting mail tampering are enforced. It is a federal crime for anyone other than the dwelling owner/occupant or a USPS employee to touch the mail inside that space.

      So it if you’re vaccinated, I think they should deny you snail mail delivery so that you can VOTE BY MAIL among other things.

    • “Let’s do it right! No leaks, no loose ends.”

      That’s only before schematics for DIY EMP generators start to appear on-line. Then it’s EOL for technofascism.

    • The trouble with quantum-dots is “Their near-infrared dye is invisible”. How will the quadruply jabbed (or are we up to five yet?) proudly show they have their quota of spike proteins coursing through their veins (and heart, brain, reproductive organs, etc)?

      The same objection applies to RFID tags, they just don’t make a statement. I still think that what the Coronafaithful really need and want is a very visible badge of virtue.

    • @Alex

      Not only that, it is illegal for anyone to put anything in your mailbox except mail. If you are handing out fliers or menus or anything else, if it isn’t stamped and canceled, it is illegal to put it in someone’s mailbox. This tends to be enforced in the weeks leading up to an election.

  4. Will we need government workers to check your shoes and shirt or can the restaurants handle that one?

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