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Friday, May 21, 2021

As of today, everything is open

Brave New World is here

By Will Collette

EXCEPTIONS: nightclubs; indoor venues featuring live performances; indoor hookah bars; and gyms that want to use saunas. They must check customer vaccination status, according to Commerce RI spokesman Brian Hodge.

Ready or not, our accidental Governor Dan McKee (DINO) has ordered pandemic restrictions and mask mandates lifted effective Friday, May 21 At least for those who are fully vaccinated. And since we're on the honor system, you can count on a certain percentage of dishonorable people who will think this is the end of the pandemic.

According to today's RI Health Department data, 49% of Rhode Islanders have been fully vaccinated and thus are entitled to the benefits of these new restriction roll-backs.

But half of Rhode Islanders are NOT fully vaccinated and we are still tallying new cases and deaths. Even though we are at the point where it is easy to get your shots, with or without an appointment, we are only half-immunized.

For those of us who are fully vaccinated, that means that going to a restaurant, store or other location, roughly half of the people sharing that space with you have not been vaccinated and could be carrying COVID. 

The risk from these unneighborly people is much reduced in those of us who have had the shots, but it's still around one in ten. 

Here are restrictions still in place whether you are vaccinated or not:

While there is no mandate for this, I recommend you carry a copy of your vaccination record card. While right-wing conspiracy nuts condemn the idea of a "vaccine passport," I think your vaccine card is a mark of good citizenship. 

COVID has killed around six million people worldwide, more than half a million in the US alone. Millions have been infected with a disease that causes long-term damage to the heart, brain, lungs, etc. in those who survive. 

In Rhode Island, we've had more than 150,000 confirmed cases and 2700 have died. At least 578 Charlestown residents have caught it.

Universal vaccination is one sure way to end this and taking continued precautions until we do reach that point is the most sensible approach. 

To recap: