Theater Ethics Meets Pandemic Ethics: If I Were Still Running My Theater Company And We Had A Large Cast Show In Production…

LES_MISÉRABLES.

…the policy would be that every member of the cast, staff and crew would have to be vaccinated and show proof of it. They would, of course, be free to refuse, which is their right. But they still would have no right to work on the production, and to endanger the health of others essential to the show’s success. You can’t rehearse with social distancing, nor with actors wearing masks.

I’ve seen viruses run amuck through casts and ruin shows. Your rights stop when they start adversely and unnecessarily affecting my business and projects. Take your own risks and good fortune to you, but don’t impose them on me.

(Incidentally, I would never produce or direct the show you see above. I consider it unethical to put shows on stage that I can’t stand watching and listening to myself.)

70 thoughts on “Theater Ethics Meets Pandemic Ethics: If I Were Still Running My Theater Company And We Had A Large Cast Show In Production…

  1. Jack,

    I have a question about hard cases in this instance. My aunt is one of those lucky few people who cannot EVER take the vaccine. The last time she was told by a doctor to take a tetanus shot, she spent months in ICU with an extremely rare complication, and the medical professionals told her that another vaccine of any sort will kill her. So if she gets bit by a rabid animal she can choose to go out with rabies or complete and nearly immediate and agonizing multiple organ failure, but she will be deciding how she dies.

    Another person of my acquaintance is allergic to a component in vaccines (it says right on the vaccination label that if you are allergic to these compounds, you cannot take the vaccine).

    Now my understanding, pre-COVID, was that anywhere that had a vaccination requirement had a medical exemption. (Religious too, for that matter.) Would you have a medical exemption for those folks? Or is this one of those unfortunate life circumstances that would simply deny someone the ability to be a part of your production?

    • Not to nit-pick, Sarah, but that tetanus shot will not give much protection from rabies, but most helpful if she is attacked by a rusty nail in the horse barn. 🙂

      Whether one is in the production or just in the audience, if that’s the rule, that’s it. It might be a lop-sided choice on the individual’s part, but it is still a choice. How long does one hesitate when its “your money or your life?”

      • Actually, I know that tetanus and rabies are not protected by the same shot. It isn’t nitpicking, but instead a statement of the seriousness of her condition. My point, therefore, was that the worst disease we can protect against, rabies, which has a survival rate of three people in history to the best of my knowledge, is something she cannot afford to take the vaccine for. If one is bitten by a suspected rabid animal, before rabies is proven, one needs to immediately get the very nasty rabies vaccine in the stomach. Because of a reaction to a totally different vaccine, my aunt cannt accept that shot (or the COVID shot), or she will die an agonizing death. Of course, rabies is an agonizing death too.

        I bring up her case as evidence of a legitimate medical issue, rather than people making up issues, which seems to be what most people assume you are doing when you ask about medical exemptions. Thus, that leads into my question of medical exemptions for production members, which I thought were required by law before COVID. My reason for thinking the law required this is because even California gave medical exemptions for vaccination of diseases much worse than COVID that could and did shut down businesses and ruin livelihoods.

    • How about a legitimate medical issue (as compared to chicken pox, which is actually a vaccine to shingles), pertussis? Obestetricians and gynocolgists require new parents to have had a vaccine to pertussis within years of a baby’s birth, and strongly encourage, to the point of coersion, that anyone who deals with that baby until their second birthday (or maybe it is 18 months) be vaccinated within 2 years. That is a far cry from the ten promolgated to the rest of the populace, who generally ignores that date anyway.

  2. I’m torn on this one. If I were a producer, if I ran the zoo, I’d feel much the same way. A bug will sweep through a cast in a weekend, and this bug will shut down a show (if it actually needs to or not) I’ve seen too many shows start up and stutter closed now to deny it, and even now, companies are holding their breaths in rehearsals, praying that they’ll be able to actually open this time.

    That being said, it fails Kant’s test. Business owners have a lot riding on their shops and salons, and an employee could wipe them out nearly as quickly. Who would want to hang their livelihoods and futures on the behavior of everyone around them right now? We might as well relent and let them require us to show our vac papers each time we leave the house. Hell, these days, a tweet gone awry or a cop shooting a crook down the street is more of an actual risk to a business than the Wuhan virus.

  3. “But they still would have no right to work on the production, and to endanger the health of others essential to the show’s success.”

    Did you really mean this? How can the essential others be at risk if they are get vaxxed?

    “Your rights stop when they start adversely and unnecessarily affecting my business and projects” seems to be the more sturdy foundation implying that if I work for you then I work to achieve your goals,not risk them… So all must be vaxxed to guarantee your investment in performers and a return for your efforts.

    • Minimizing risk. Everyone vaxxed. If I allow some not to be vaxxed, than everyone could choose not to be vaxxed. Nobody is exposed to the virus while working on the show from an unvaxxed production member. If they get infected outside the production, the odds are it will be minor, and everyone at risk in the show will be vaxxed, meaning that their risk is minimal. And it doesn’t matter who disagrees, or even whether my considerations are actually proven correct in the end. My show, my job, my risk, my analysis, my decision. Simple.

      • And, you know, that’s not bullying. Nobody is being threatened. I deal with them nicely—we may want to work together again. But it’s nobody’s call but mine. They also have to accept my salary, my direction, and my artistic choices. Those aren’t bullying either.

        By the way, my doctor violently disagrees with your doctor on who should be vaccinated. And I ran the Association of Trial Lawyers database and Litigation groups on vaccine injuries and deaths, so I am pretty well versed on the risks—which are not close to large enough to justify avoiding them—but hey, go ahead. And everyone else has a right to behave accordingly. That’s how an interdependent society works.

  4. It seems that your rule wouldn’t do much to actually protect the show from Wuhan-virus-related delays or cancelations, though. I got news yesterday that my neighbors have contracted the virus. This is a household of five people, four of which were vaccinated (the fifth is a toddler), and all four are sick now. That’s a very small sample size, but 4 out of 4 breakthrough infections doesn’t say much for the effectiveness of vaccinations at preventing the virus from running through the cast and ruining the show.

      • They’re all reporting the usual mild-to-moderate symptoms of cough, sore throat, low-grade fever, etc. Sounds like the same experience I had last May with the virus, but all four of them have various conditions or health issues that put them into higher risk categories than me. So far, anecdotally, it seems the vaccines are at least softening the blow somewhat. Fingers crossed.

      • I know, but still… If the breakthrough rate really is less than 1% like the official numbers say, what are the odds that all four adults in one household would get symptomatic COVID, despite having taken two different vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna), and one of them (the daughter’s husband) not genetically related to the others? Anecdotal, yes. Statistically irrelevant, even. But undeniably peculiar, no?

        • “If the breakthrough rate really is less than 1% like the official numbers say, what are the odds that all four adults in one household would get symptomatic COVID, despite having taken two different vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna), and one of them (the daughter’s husband) not genetically related to the others?”

          The vaccines boast around a 95% protection against Covid, a little bit less than that against Delta, and a little bit less than that against Lambda. So if the official numbers actually say that the breakthrough rate is only 1%, despite a majority of Americans being vaccinated…. They might have actually undersold the efficacy.

          But as to the actual question “what are the odds?”. Pretty good, actually. As far as I can tell, there isn’t a genetic susceptibility to Covid, so familial relationships aren’t nearly as important as exposure time. It’s hard to get a good simile to work with… Getting Covid after being vaccinated is like getting a sunburn after rubbing on some SPF30: You were less likely to get a burn, the likelihood of you getting a burn increased with exposure, and the burn you got was less severe than it would have been had you not used the lotion.

          That’s not a perfect comparison, obviously… But really. Families share a ventilation system, people cohabitating with a Covid positive person are being exposed to Covid on a nearly constant basis.

  5. Honestly, I think all of the people running around demanding that other people substitute their judgement for their own based on incomplete and biased data are arrogant, selfish, unintelligent jerks unfamiliar with the scientific method, human nature, or ethics. No one has the right to coerce someone else into violating their bodily autonomy based on economic considerations and personal opinion.

    The latest news on the vaccine indicates it is no longer effective, if it ever was to begin with. 85-95% of serious cases requiring hospitalization in Israel are among the vaccinated.

    The latest information on the vaccine also indicates that the mRNA spike protein is being incorporated into the cells of blood vessels, making blood vessel walls “spiky”and blood clots inevitable. These blood clots are causing both life threatening and non-life threatening but permanent damage to major organs. In the non-life threatening cases, reduction of lung capacity is being found. Heart damage is being found. Kidney damage is being found. Spinal cord injury and brain damage are being found. Yet arrogant jerks run around calling people selfish for not wanting to be injured or killed by an untested, experimental vaccine, and trying to turn them into modern day lepers for not complying with arrogant, selfish, unscientific dictates.

    My latest conversation with my doctor on the subject concluded with him absolutely advising that no one under the age of 60 take the vaccine unless they had multiple severe risk factors for serious disease. He still advises those over 60, those with obesity, diabetes and immune disorders to take it. He also said those who have had the virus already don’t need it. Why is your opinion better than my doctor’s? Do you have a medical degree and a specialty in immunology?

    The expert advice changes on a daily basis. No firm conclusions have been made as to the safety or efficacy of this vaccine. Yet everyone and their dog thinks they have the right to dictate to other people what they must do in regards to their health.

    You don’t.

    I don’t care what rationalization you use to give yourself the idea that you are in charge of other peoples health decisions. It’s not that bad. There are worse things. It’s for the greater good. They can go elsewhere. When it comes right down to it, it makes you a bully, a dictator, and a jerk. You are trying to coerce people into doing what you want based on…what? The government’s say so that it is good? It certainly isn’t based on rigorous scientific data.

    There isn’t any rigorous scientific data. The scientists are all running around burying their heads in the ground and screaming “we can’t see nothing wrong” from inside the holes. No one is actually studying any of the adverse effects of the vaccines because they don’t want their lives destroyed for doing so. What data there is is all deliberately mangled by people who don’t want anyone actually analyzing it for fear they will come up with a non-correct conclusion. They are not performing autopsy’s on people who may have died from the vaccine, because they don’t want proof the vaccine caused the death. They are not analyzing confounding variables in the vaccine data for fear they might find some. Instead they lump all the data in a big pot like a purée and refuse to identify any variables that might be at play. This isn’t science, it is propaganda.

    Anyone holding up propaganda and screaming “Do what the propaganda says! NOW you anti-science backwards anti-vaxxers” is an arrogant nitwit who doesn’t understand the scientific method.

    • Who is “you”? In my case, being in charge of a theatrical production, my obligation is to maximize the chances of the show going on and being a success. I(if I am “you”) am not dictating anyone’s health decisions. I’m setting reasonable conditions for participating in a project that I am responsible for, and that nobody has to be involved in if they don’t like those conditions. I can require them to paint themselves mauve if I choose. It has nothing to do with propaganda, but with my personal assessment of what is in my best interests and the interests of those I am obligated to. Nothing more, nothing less.

      Side note: “The latest news on the vaccine indicates it is no longer effective, if it ever was to begin with. 85-95% of serious cases requiring hospitalization in Israel are among the vaccinated” is exactly what your comment is condemning.

    • And one more thing: verified deaths as a clear result of the vaccine stand at less than 10 from the best data I’ve seen. That makes these safer than many other common vaccines. There’s too much hysteria and conspiracy theorizing in your comment to be credible. Sure, it could kill millions in a delayed reaction ten years from now. I wouldn’t base my conduct on the chances of that, though. Still, your choice.

      • There is no hysteria nor conspiracy theorizing in my comment. All of this information came directly from my doctor, a 40 year medical practitioner with specialties in pediatrics, allergy and immunology. He was neither upset nor agitated when explaining these things to me. I asked him if some of the things I was seeing on the internet regarding the vaccine were plausible, or crazy, and if he was recommending the vaccine. He calmly, professionally, and professorially spent about 15 minutes walking me through the biological mechanisms involved, explaining which things were likely and why. He explained the history of vaccine immune responses related to the current vaccine and why they were under suspicion of causing adverse reactions with this vaccine. He explained the data he was looking at, and what he thinks it means from an immune perspective. According to him, the possibility that the spike protein might incorporate itself in cell walls in unwanted places was known before they used it, but they selected it anyways because it was the most antigenic protein and most likely to provoke a broad immune response. They were hoping it would stay in the muscle, and not migrate to other parts of the body. Unfortunately, it seems to be doing exactly that. It also is causing something he called antigen specific response (I think that was what he said anyway) and as the virus is mutating, the t-cells are failing to generalize to the varied virus proteins. They were also hoping that the virus would not do that, but he believes it is. This means that as the virus mutates, the vaccine becomes less and less effective. That is why the pharmaceutical companies are now suggesting booster shots. They most likely don’t intend to give the exact same vaccine as a booster, they intend to incorporate the mutated spike protein in order to again provoke immune response to the new mutated proteins.

        He also said all of these things were widely discussed as possibilities during the lead up to the vaccine under the Trump administration. None of it is a conspiracy theory. It is a hypothesis based on medical science.

        My doctor says that in retrospect, they should have used a less dangerous and less antigenic protein, but that hindsight is 20/20 and all you can do now is gather data and adjust your response accordingly. He also said there was precedent for changing the protein used in vaccines to be a less antigenic but safer protein. I believe he gave the rubella vaccine as an example, but I might be misremembering.

        The blood clotting issue is currently in the process of being proven using pre- and post- vaccination ddimer tests to check clotting levels, and pre- and post- PFT tests of lung capacity, kidney function tests, and cardiac EEG. My doctor is not personally conducting these studies, but is closely following the medical studies under trial by several other practitioners and medical institutions.

        It is easy to have very few verified deaths from the vaccine when you refuse to do autopsies on people who might have died from it. The experts have made no distinction between dying with covid and dying of covid. Now the experts are trying to make that distinction with the vaccine and saying dying shortly after taking the vaccine does not mean the vaccine caused it. However, what I am saying is that death is not the only possible negative outcome. Kidney damage, lung damage, and heart damage that is not lethal is still a very adverse side-effect. Just because it doesn’t kill you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t seriously impact your health in noticeable ways. A “little bit of lung damage” will impact your physical stamina and endurance even if it doesn’t kill you.

        “You” in this context is meant to include anyone who is attempting to coerce other people into taking this vaccine. I have a tendency to use the incorrect pronoun when writing and talking, using they when I’m talking about someone specific, and you when I’m not. I know it is confusing and drives people crazy, so I apologize for that. I don’t know why I do that. I never notice until someone points it out.

        • FYI; there are differences between the vaccines. I just found this that effective describes some of the differences.

          The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are made using messenger RNA, or mRNA, a technology that delivers a bit of genetic code to cells — in effect, a recipe to make the surface protein (known as spike) on the SARS-2 virus. The proteins made with the mRNA instructions activate the immune system, teaching it to see the spike protein as foreign and develop antibodies and other immunity weapons with which to fight it.

          The J&J vaccine uses a different approach to instruct human cells to make the SARS-2 spike protein, which then triggers an immune response. It is what’s known as a viral vectored vaccine. A harmless adenovirus — from a large family of viruses, some of which cause common colds — has been engineered to carry the genetic code for the SARS-2 spike protein. Once the adenovirus enters cells, they use that code to make spike proteins. J&J employed this same approach to make an Ebola vaccine that has been authorized for use by the European Medicines Agency.

          Comparing the Covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson

          That STAT source cited above appears to be reasonably unbiased source of authoritative medical journalism.

          I chose the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine.

          • After gaining some additional information I’m not sure any longer that there is much difference between the J&J and the other two because they end up in the same place with introducing the spike protein throughout the body, they just have a different initial delivery mechanisms. I think time will tell us more if there are any other differences.

      • That article doesn’t debunk anything. It says that most of Israel’s population is vaccinated and that their overall rates of covid cases are lower than average. It explains absolutely nothing about why they have the majority of their cases in hospitals occurring among vaccinated individuals.

        According to the article, 60% of Israel’s population is fully vaccinated. It also states that 80% of those over age 60 have received a shot, but doesn’t say whether those individuals are fully vaccinated. So why are 85-95% of severe hospital cases vaccinated? If 40% or so of the population is unvaccinated, and the vaccines work, statistically most of those cases should be among the unvaccinated 40% of the population.

        The AP also said the Hunter Biden laptop story was debunked. That doesn’t make it actually debunked. Since the election, we have learned that the laptop and its contents are absolutely real. If the media wants me to believe them, they should try not lying constantly.

    • Null Pointer wrote, “The latest information on the vaccine also indicates that the mRNA spike protein is being incorporated into the cells of blood vessels, making blood vessel walls “spiky”and blood clots inevitable. These blood clots are causing both life threatening and non-life threatening but permanent damage to major organs. In the non-life threatening cases, reduction of lung capacity is being found. Heart damage is being found. Kidney damage is being found. Spinal cord injury and brain damage are being found.”

      This theory from Dr. Hoffe is an unproven theory, there is absolutely no clinical evidence to support the claims, none so far. I’ve heard the claims in Dr. Hopffe’s own words and in my opinion the statistical study that he conducted was terribly biased and flawed from the start (absolutely no control group for study comparison) and Dr. Hoffe is making unsupportable correlation = causation conclusions. When Dr. Hoffe talks about his patients in relation to his correlation = causation conclusions he speaks in absolutes or near absolutes about his study based diagnosis. Furthermore; to my knowledge Dr. Hoffe still has not published his the information related to his statistical study or its methods but yet he is willing to present his findings as if they are fact not just theory, this is, or should be, a red flag.

      For what it’s worth; scientists can certainly be medical doctors treating patients but not all medical doctors conduct themselves like real scientists that bind themselves to good scientific practices. I think Dr. Hoffe has taken a step or two beyond honest scientific methods to try and prove his theory, and it IS still a theory.

      Dr. Hoffe may be right or he may be wrong but making a decision not to get the vaccine based on Dr. Hoffe’s unsupported correlation = causation theory may not be one of the best science based choices to make. As far as I’m concerned a choice by an adult that “I don’t wanna get the vaccine” is good enough for me. There are possible consequences if you get the vaccine and there are possible consequences if you don’t get the vaccine and adults have the human right to make these choices and suffer the consequences for themselves and their minor children.

      • Correlation does not equal causation, but it does indicate a good place to start research. I would absolutely prefer to see data from a double blind placebo study on this topic.

        That IS the study that triggered my question to my doctor as to the plausibility of the contents. When he answered my question he was referring to other studies being conducted at Harvard and Stanford that were showing similar signs of this issue. Yes, it is still a theory. I would like this theory studied before I go injecting myself with a potentially dangerous material.

        Most of the data people are talking about right now is correlation data, whether it is pro vaccine or against it. None of it definitively proves anything one way or the other. That is a problem!! A red flag on both sides of the argument.

        • Null Pointer wrote, “I would like this theory studied before I go injecting myself with a potentially dangerous material.”

          I respect that choice but also remember and seriously consider the fact that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine delivery method is different that the other two and it appears that the other two is what Dr. Hoffe was referring to in his “study”.

          No vaccine in existence that I know of is guaranteed 100% effective or guaranteed 100% not to have immediate or long-term side effects but when the ones showing problems with the vaccines are in the percentages of around .0007% (last I checked on the J&J vaccine), that’s around 7 issues per million shots and that’s actually a really, really low chance of developing problems.

          I wish you well with your vaccine research.

    • Null Pointer wrote, “There isn’t any rigorous scientific data. The scientists are all running around burying their heads in the ground and screaming “we can’t see nothing wrong” from inside the holes.”

      This is currently true and this “could” be a problem down the road but only if there actually are long-term side effects. Scientifically speaking it’s a problem that it’s not being thoroughly studied yet but that doesn’t automatically imply that there will be long-term side effects, the long-term side effect theories might not pan out at all, after all they are still just theories.

    • Anyone holding up propaganda and screaming “Do what the propaganda says! NOW you anti-science backwards anti-vaxxers” is an arrogant nitwit who doesn’t understand the scientific method.

      I do not recall this type of moralizing for the swine flu vaccine.

  6. Ditto to everything Null Pointer said. Also, Jack I seem to remember you were quite adamant that people wear those damn masks some months ago. Now, you seem to be understanding where some of us started – this is my body and my choice. If we roll over and let people coerce and dictate to us how we must behave we may as well kiss America as we know it goodbye. There never was strong supporting science for the mask mandates, and living through the pandemic seems to have proven that. Further more, since when does me getting a vaccine ensure the safety of you? If I don’t want the measles I get the measles vaccine. If I don’t want the measles, I don’t make YOU get the vaccine. We have stopped following all logic here. Me getting a vaccine is 100% between me and my doctor. No one else, no government, company, store, etc., has the right to demand I do not follow my doctors advice. And, lastly, do you actually expect we will get to live with out masks one day? If we bow down to these vaccine mandates and passports, we will live with these forever. What if the next mandate is something that no longer resonates with you Jack? What if the passports are who has dangerous dogs, and these dangerous dog owners are no longer allowed to participate in society? The government never gives back what it has taken away. The Left will never give up on ruining this country, this culture, that has done more for people than any other in history.

    • We the vaccinated are getting sick and tired of the cries of “freedom” from those who are willing to make others sick or possibly die of this virus. As Allen Dershowitz (yes, THAT Allen Dershowitz) told Laura Ingraham recently, “You may have the right not to get vaccinated, but you have no right to spread the disease to me even if you won’t kill me. Even if you won’t kill me, I don’t want long-term effects.”

      Maybe your callousness will be softened when young children, like my 2-, 4-, and 6-year old grandchildren come down and are hospitalized and/or die of the virus–because that’s what’s coming. Victims are getting younger and younger and sicker and sicker. Here’s hoping that soon you won’t be able to keep your job, go to your favorite restaurant or have a social life other than your fellow lovers of “freedom.” You can go to one of those sick (literally) venues that only allow unvaccinated people and infect yourselves. Not wishing for you to die; maybe just a case like mine. I had a so-called “mild” case of COVID (before vaccinations were available), and there were moments when I wanted to.

      • janpchapman wrote, “We the vaccinated are getting sick and tired of the cries of “freedom” from those who are willing to make others sick or possibly die of this virus.”

        Stop feeling like you have the authority to speak for all the vaccinated and speak only for yourself Jan, not all the vaccinated feel the way you do so climb down off of that arrogant precarious perch. There really are human rights issues involved here that some may be ignoring or rationalizing into oblivion.

        Since you yourself have declared that you are one of the vaccinated, ask yourself this question; exactly what harm does the unvaccinated pose to you a vaccinated person? Please be specific. I might have a follow up question.

      • The CDC says that the vaccinated spread the virus just as much as the unvaccinated, so your argument has no leg to stand on. It also presumes that sick people are running around spreading the virus. If you are sick, stay home. No one is advocating for running around spreading the virus while sick. Vaccine or no vaccine, if you are showing symptoms you should avoid spreading them to others.

        Your appeals to authority by invoking Alan Dershowitz are a rationalization that hold no water either. I have never seen any evidence that says asymptomatic people spread the virus. This idea that unvaccinated people are disease ridden germ carriers is nonsense, and toxic. Historically, labeling a portion of a population as a disease carrier and demonizing them has lead to horrific things. Again, if you are sick, stay home and don’t spread the virus.

        Wishing for people to get sick really isn’t any better than wishing them dead. Wishing harm on anyone is unethical, no matter how righteous you think you are.

        • The CDC says that the vaccinated spread the virus just as much as the unvaccinated, so your argument has no leg to stand on.

          If this claim by the CDC is true, there is absolutely no reason for almost all young people to be vaccinated.

          They might as well just exercise regularly and take Vitamin D supplements.

  7. If you are creating a new company in this case and as a prerequisite require participants to take the Covid shot I see no issue with it. On the other hand, if you have an established company with employees and add a requirement for any sort of medical procedure or inoculation you are moving the goal posts on your staff.

  8. In a free market Jack is entitled to set the requirements for all employees. There is no right to a particular job just as there is no reason that anyone must work for a given set of legal employment conditions. This rule works against the employer as much or more than it affects employees. The most qualified will have greater opportunities which means that the production may take place but might not draw the crowds another actor might. Obviously if enough actors say to hell with the mandate there will be no production or profit.

  9. A point that may be eluding people is that vaccinated persons can still transmit the virus if they are exposed to someone with the virus and that transmission can infect both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons and, as much as we wish it not to happen, even vaccinated persons can get sick to the point that they aren’t functional for things like theatrical rehearsals or even performances.

    Personally I don’t have a problem with others choosing not to get the COVID vaccine in the same way I don’t have a problem with others not getting the flu shot/vaccine during flu season which can spread just as fast as COVID and one person vaccinated or not can easily take out nearly an entire cast in less than two weeks, I’ve seen it happen. I’ve also seen the Norovirus do the same thing during tech week. How many times have theatrical people seen actors walk offstage and puke in a bucket or run to the restroom because they are sick during a performance and then whatever they have spreads to the rest of the cast in a day or so?

    I have very strong feelings about this topic as some of you might already know. I have been vaccinated and I’m not in favor of requiring/forcing anyone to into putting a medical drug/vaccine/etc into their body against their will, their better judgement, or simply against their opinion, period! I’m against any requiring or forcing others to be vaccinated, especially for vaccines that are not fully FDA approved, for any reason but I and am in favor of openly encouraging as many people to get vaccinated to get the herd immunity up and promote all the things that can help reduce the likelihood of virus transmission and #1 is limit your circle of contacts as much as physically possible while a virus has shown to be spreading in public and specifically if you’re involved in a theatrical production (that’s what I did for many years no matter what time of year it was) and #2 wash your hands as often as is reasonably possible and #3 damnit if you feel sick don’t go to rehearsal or work, etc!

    • I left this comment on your blog post.

      The vaccine did not become politicized until they started pushing it for people under 60.

      In the beginning, the vaccination campaign had near-unanimous support when it targeted the elderly. A year of observations supported that.

      Resistance started when the vaccination campaign turned to vaccinating low-risk people, as if it became some sort of moral crusade.

      Here is some data.

      Ages 80+*: Population demo size: 2,855,599, Number of recorded deaths overall: 47,052 (approx 54% of total recorded deaths) So, if we assume the vaccine reduces death by 90%, and we could have achieved 100% vaccination on day 1 of the pandemic, 0.90 * 47052 = 42,347 deaths could have been prevented.*

      This translates to 1 life saved for every 67.4 doses given, amongst this age group.

      Ages 0-19: Population demo size: 13,330,355, Number of recorded deaths overall: 45 (approx 0.1% of total recorded deaths) So, if we assume the vaccine reduces death by 90%, and we could have achieved 100% vaccination on day 1 of the pandemic, 0.90 * 45 = 41 deaths could have been prevented.

      – u/Reasonable-World-154

      My position has been constant. Young, healthy people do not need the vaccine. it should be available to young people now, as some of them, may have risk factors that nullify the defense provided by their youth.

      But it is a waste of time and money to convince them to want to be vaccinated.

      • The problem is that the anti-vaxx lobby views this issue one-dimensionally.

        There isn’t a separate virus for every age cohort, so breaking the cost/benefit statistics up that way fails to see the forest for the trees: If the only thing the vaccine was supposed to do was save lives, then sure… Vaccinating younger people seems like a giant waste of money. But part of the point was also to reduce transmission, because young people can carry it and give it to the elderly.

        It’s also important to keep the numbers as low as possible because every time the virus replicates, it has an opportunity to mutate, and the fewer opportunities we give it to mutate means that it is less likely that we get a variant that the vaccine is less effective against.

        • It’s also important to keep the numbers as low as possible because every time the virus replicates, it has an opportunity to mutate, and the fewer opportunities we give it to mutate means that it is less likely that we get a variant that the vaccine is less effective against.

          This same logic applies to the swine flu.

          • It absolutely would have, except that the Swine flu’s R Rate dropped below 1 *very* quickly. If H1N1 had a replication rate and a mortality rate approximating anything like Covid, we probably would have had these conversations then.

  10. Well, we did rehearse a show this winter with masks. (At that point the vaccine wasn’t yet available for the college-aged actors I was working with.) Everyone was masked at all times except that the cast (and only the cast) was allowed to go maskless in dress rehearsal and performance, but only when literally on stage.

    We also maintained social distancing except when the blocking demanded otherwise. Actors were COVID-tested multiple times a week, and were de facto quarantined except for rehearsal/performance for the last three weeks of the process (and we had understudies for all roles). And we has a livestream in addition to the live performance.

    All this, of course, was cleared with the university safety officer, whose job was to balance everyone’s safety with the desire to be as “normal” as possible. The good news is that the show worked and no one got sick.

  11. We the vaccinated are getting sick and tired of the cries of “freedom” from those who are willing to make others sick or possibly die of this virus. As Allen Dershowitz (yes, THAT Allen Dershowitz) told Laura Ingraham recently, “You may have the right not to get vaccinated, but you have no right to spread the disease to me even if you won’t kill me. Even if you won’t kill me, I don’t want long-term effects.”

    Guess what the swine flu vaccination rate was in April of 2010?

    http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20100401/1-in-4-americans-got-swine-flu-vaccine

    Were you making this argument back then?

  12. I feel that this stance bumps perilously close to the conscience clause issue. In the past, we’ve discussed if a shop owner could be permitted to deny service to people he disliked – they were the wrong race, the wrong class, they voted for/against Trump. The free market counterpoint has always been that the populace is free to support a non-racist store, and that an explicitly racist store will quickly find itself struggling to compete with a store who welcomes all people. You’ve countered this with the recognition that there may not be another store, or that it may not be of the same quality, or that all the stores in an area may be similarly minded, or even simply be a nuisance to get to, so the argument is weak. Further, opening the door to conscience clauses may well open the pandora’s box of vegetarian waiters refusing to serve meat, environmentalist shop clerks refusing to sell pesticides, or Muslim taxi drivers refusing to carry a person who just purchased a bottle of wine.

    Ah, but those are employees, not customers. And in the theatrical realm, actors are employees, audiences are customers. Would you sell a ticket to an unvacinated audience member? They could introduce a disruptive disease as readily as any cast member.

    Do employees get the same protection from conscience clauses in the hiring realm? An abortion clinic might well hesitate before hiring a doctor opposed to abortions. A catholic school has a duty to fire a teacher who gets pregnant out of wedlock. It would seem that in selecting your employees (or in this case, casting your show) may well be justified in careful selection of who it hires.

    But on the other hand, if the most talented actor who shows up for a role at audition is reluctant to get the shot, does that have any bearing on his ability to perform the role? Actors face all sorts of risks during the rehearsal and run of a show- some of the most egregious ones are often contractually prohibited, such as skiing. But a vaccinated person can still spread other diseases – and by some counts, even this disease. The nonvaccinated actor may stay home and self-quarantine, diligently washing his hands. While the vaccinated one is going out to concerts and putting themselves at risk.

    Meanwhile, we must all admit that theatres are run and populated by leftists. If our non-vaccinated actor does not stand a chance in your production, regardless of actual acting ability and skill, then he hasn’t a prayer at any theatres. He remains uncast, the gaps in his resume grow, and his future options shrink. Perhaps he must take lesser roles, lesser shows, lesser companies – all of which are now potentially hurting his future employment opportunities.

    All in all, I think I come to this conclusion: a theatre’s reason for being, is to produce quality plays, and perform them for an audience. The producers have always desired to minimize risk (and, of course, maximize profit, quality, and exposure of the non-medical type). But that is a desire, not a duty. Their duty is to produce the highest quality plays they can, and do their best to put butts in seats to see said plays. Self limiting who you will and will not cast – be it based on political beliefs, color of skin (should a white man play Othello?), or their decisions to partake in a vaccination or not – will result in limiting the casting pool on factors irrelevant to actual performance, and lessens the chances of an optimal casting.

    I got my shot, because I want to keep performing, and I am a coward. My heart goes out to the stronger man who is willing to sacrifice the stage for his principals. And I hope that my choice to keep performing doesn’t lessen the chances of his ever working again. And also, that the vaccine, which will do nothing for me whatsoever other than let me act, doesnt end up killing me eventually.

    • Wait, did you miss the part that risking cast members are others getting sick is an existential threat to the show? I don’t see any connection to conscience clauses at all. None. An actor can be a cannibal for all I care when my job is to put on a production, but not if he threatens the smooth running of the production. Nor is being a part of a theater production comparable or analogous to having access to a public accommodation. Nor does requiring every cast member to paint himself or herself mauve—to take the silliest example I cited—discriminate in any way. Everybody has the same opportunity to participate—if they agree to the requirements. Not true of druggist who won’t sell birth control to unmarried women.

    • “Would you sell a ticket to an unvaccinated audience member?” Sure. Audience members sit together at their own risk, and once the show is up and running, the risk posed by anyone in the audience to the cast or staff is remote. Casts touch each other, party with each other, sweat on each other, hug each other, breathe on each other. Completely different risk level.

  13. I find these Covid threads just… really tedious.

    I have found common cause with the American left on precious few issues in my lifetime, and I often find that even when I agree with them, they put the issue forward in the most obnoxious and useless way possible: They mock, they demean, they use bad arguments, and even when they’ve come to the right conclusion they rarely understand the source material. It’s frustrating.

    But on this one discrete topic…. I understand mocking anti-vaxxers.

    Sorry guys, if you’re in the vaccine skeptic group… You are being dumb. Your body your right, yada yada yada. Sure. You have the right to be dumb. Just because it’s your right to be an idiot doesn’t shield you from the consequences of being an idiot. And while telling you that you’re an idiot, pressuring you not to be an idiot, and there being consequences to being an idiot might harm your tender egos, America isn’t going to end.

    The reason why I feel on this one discrete topic, mocking anti-vaxxers, particularly American anti-vaxxers is appropriate is because there was no convincing you. On this topic, more than any other in recent history, you are completely information resistant.

    “Well Jeff! Look at Israel, they’re having a spike right now, and most of their cases are breakthrough cases, how do you explain that?!?!”

    Because everyone is experiencing a spike right now, international travel isn’t completely locked down, the viruses were never sold as being 100% effective and as new variants come out the efficacy is only going to lower, and because more than 95% of Israeli adults are vaccinated. So when anyone in Israel gets Covid it is orders of magnitude more likely that the case will be a breakthrough than a non-vaccinated case.

    More, Israel is currently experiencing an average of 250 new cases per 100,000 people per day. Which is significantly lower than Florida, at 950 new cases per 100,000 people per day, despite having a population density two and a half times that of Florida. Israel’s new case rate is lower, their hospitalization rate is lower, and their mortality rate is lower.

    And this should surprise no one. These questions are not hard to answer. The information is out there.

    But you have decided to exhibit the EXACT same behaviors that have been previously mocked here when describing Democrats: You are taking in surface level information that is reinforcing the position you want to have, placing your fingers in your ears and screaming “WHAT ABOUT ISRAEL” as loud as you can.

    The worst part about this is that in America, this is largely a political snafu: Before being elected, Kamala Harris said that she wouldn’t take a Trump vaccine because she just couldn’t trust them, and then, basically the moment she won, she did a complete 180 on the topic. And, purely coincidentally, that was about the same time that the bobbleheads on the media stopped pumping the tires on vaccine hesitancy and Retards For Freedom started looking for a reason to pick up their dropped torch.

    I’m kidding, in case you missed it: That’s not a coincidence. Oh, I’m sure that some of you might have been hesitant, but that just means you joined the RFF earlier than most. Vaccines have been a reality of life for decades: Most people who went to school before 1972 have one of the original vaccine passports: The smallpox vaccine scar. Most states have vaccination requirements to go to public school. Immigrants to America are required to prove certain immunizations before their application can be processed.

    How many of you, your word to God’s ear, actually managed to go your entire life without a vaccine?

    But unlike all those other vaccines that you took unquestioningly, this isn’t a vaccine for a rare disease that is mostly relegated to the dustbin of history, or random flareups in RFF communities. This isn’t a condition like tetanus which isn’t spread by people, and only has personal ramifications.

    Part of the way that Freedom works is by having people come together like a community, to make good choices, both for themselves personally, and for the people around them. Freedom isn’t just the ability to mewl like a manbaby about how hard done you are when your friends and community exercise their right to have nothing to do with you, it also includes the responsibility not to be a retard.

    And you are failing.

    • I agree with parts of this and I disagree with other parts, but I’m choosing to wait for the Comment of the Day blog post to reply.

      In the mean time people might want to start watching this really long podcast video. I don’t agree with everything in this video but there is an enormous amount of worthwhile information that’s being presented.

      https://odysee.com/@BretWeinstein:f/how-to-save-the-world,-in-three-easy:0

      You make up your own minds.

      • Parts of that video are truly annoying to listen to when they are talking over each other but it gets better after a while; someone needs to pull Steve Kirsch aside and tell him that he cannot properly listen when his mouth is moving.

        • I watched the first hour (at 2x speed, because holy shit). The most objectionable thing I’ve seen so far is the VAERS section that starts at around 30:00

          The reason the death number for Covid is so disproportionately high is because people are disproportionately taking Covid vaccines. Again… The information is out there, and it doesn’t require a whole lot of thought: There are about 3 million births per year in America. About 99% of children receive vaccines. The CDC Recommends 15 vaccinations, which are administered in a series of 5 injections over the first 18 months of life. That means that in any given year, you would expect about 15 million vaccine doses administered. Those doses translate to about 200 deaths a year as reported to VAERS, which the three referred to as outliers “People that got a vaccine and happened to die”. And then Brett’s like: “How do you explain this hockey stick?”

          Easy: America has administered almost 400 million Covid Vaccines, disproportionately to old people, on top of the normal vaccine regimens. Let me repeat that in snark-ese: America gave out twenty-six times as many vaccines as normal out over the course of the year, disproportionately to people already past their best before date, what the hell did you think was going to happen?

          And how, when armed with as much information as these guys have, do you miss that?

          • Humble Talent wrote, “America has administered almost 400 million Covid Vaccines…”

            Picking Nits here; The population of the USA is about 350 million; are you talking about North America in general meaning Canada, Mexico and the USA?

            Let’s take this over to the new Comment of the Day post where it really belongs.

            • No no, this is the same thing Biden said a couple weeks back, but I’m saying it correctly.

              He said that “more than 350 million Americans were vaccinated” and people were dunking on him for saying that 106% of America was vaccinated. What he meant to say was that “more than 350 million vaccines have been administered” Almost all of the vaccines are two-dose vaccines. There have been almost 400 million jabs, specifically in America.

              • And I mean, it makes sense to count it that way, they’re saying that the Covid vaccines aren’t sticking around the injection sites, and instead are breaking off and causing adverse reactions throughout the body. Each injection would be a new opportunity for that to happen.

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