Monday, October 18, 2021

Boundaries and Gatherings

I've got a whole post about why I usually stay home on New Year's Eve that predates the pandemic. Gathering with others has always involved negotiation and boundaries, the pandemic has simply made more clear some of the ones regarding safety and wellness. 
But, I want to talk about a recent gathering. 
I met with a friend who knew that despite us both being vaccinated, my preference was to eat outside. We picked a place that has expanded outdoor seating with a streatery*. 
My friend who likes to plan ahead went to make a reservation and found they only allow reservations for indoors, but were stating that all employees were vaccinated and masked, and that all indoor patrons would require proof of vaccination. 
Now, this isn't the first restaurant I've seen with this or some version of this. I understand that restaurants would like to serve as many patrons as possible and leaving some seating unreserved is useful. I understand that streateries exist due to a change in rules that might someday be rescinded, so restricting who is counting in those sears is wise. 
We arrived on the day and were told that there was no seating outside, without a wait. We could sit indoors, but they had a large party arriving shortly that was going to fill a lot of what currently appeared to be empty tables. Oh and also, no vaccination proof was needed, they believed us.
We opted to wait for a table outside. 
And we got one quickly and the food was great, it was all fine. 
But every time I see a thing about how people are being silly to be scared if they've been vaccinated, I think about the folks pulling off their masks in places with a mask mandate to take a selfie, I think about restaurant staff and retail workers who have limited sick days and limited wages having to deal with folks who want to blame them for a rule made to keep all of us safe. 
All of us are navigating choices, and those of us trying to limit risk are constantly being asked to shift our boundaries. 
So all if this is to say if you are making choices I'm not willing to for my own self yet, that's cool. But the idea that I'm the one being silly for trying to minimize my own exposure to illness is and remains unfair. 

*We have been calling sidewalk and roadside seating streateries, and I find it ridiculous but also am perpetuating it.