As New York City gets ready to re-examine their indoor masking mandates, fans of the NBA are left demanding a full return for Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving to have a full-time status with the team. While he can travel with and play with the team on the road, he cannot play with them at home. This is due to the NYC private-sector vaccine mandate that remains in place.
This is something Mayor Eric Adams could easily help with, but he refuses to. His recent appearance on CNBC solidified his stance. “Listen, I want Kyrie on the court. I would do anything to get that ring. So badly, I want it. But there’s so much at stake here. And I spoke with the owner of the team. We want to find a way to get Kyrie on the court, but this is a bigger issue. I can’t have my city closed down again. It would send the wrong message just to have an exception for one player when we’re telling countless number of New York City employees, ‘If you don’t follow the rules, you won’t be able to be employed.’”
What’s even more absurd is the allowance of visiting NBA players to play on the same court Irving cannot set foot on. As Mayor Adams continued “I don’t know who thought of putting such a ridiculous rule in place, of away teams can come and play. … But these are the rules. And I have to follow the rules. If I don’t, I’m going to open the door that’s sending the wrong message to everyday employees. Businesses have their vaccine mandate. City employees have their vaccine mandates. I have to follow the rules.”
Mayor Adams, you can do something about this. You can grant religious or medical exemptions (it’s written right there), but you won’t. You have, instead, closed many small businesses, you have driven away tourism, and you have made it a personal attack on people who won’t just bend the knee and kiss the ring for the jab. These same people who refuse to get it are the same ones who are trusting the science by challenging it and making it proven either more or (in this instance) less necessary for a good quality of life.
What you can do though is to remove the vaccine mandate as a whole. You can admit that it is not necessary and allow people to resume their lives and their work without having a vaccine. For decades, people have been going around breathing the air and shaking hands with people, and never have they wondered if they had a mumps shot. They never question their status on smallpox. They never gave polio a second thought.
All these are very contagious diseases that were eradicated using vaccines. Yet, not everyone took them, and not everyone has taken the COVID vaccine now. Somehow, the numbers are still trending down, just like they did with these other diseases. Yes, they exist in small pockets, and occasionally show up on a hospital’s radar, but not like they did 50-60 years ago. If we want to see things going down more, we need to do more to return to normal. Small weakened exposures greatly help the immune system learn how to fight disease, and the vaccine helps with that, but not like natural exposure.