Why proof of vaccination at venues helps communities return to normalcy

Kylie Delre, Freelance Writer

It was the night of Jan. 17, 2020– I stood shoulder to shoulder with several strangers packed into the Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom to see indie pop band AJR perform. With less than an inch of space to spare on either side of my body, but I didn’t think much of it as I was simply there to enjoy my favorite music and create a night filled with good memories.

Two months later the world shut down, and I worriedly wondered how long it would be until I could have an experience like that again.

As vaccines rolled out across the state, I was eager to do my part in combating the spread of COVID-19 by receiving the standard two shots. When nationwide venues and sports arenas announced they would be hosting large-scale events again, I was filled with excitement and anticipation. I was even more pleased to discover that most of them would be requiring proof of vaccination to enter.

My enthusiasm was fueled by the fact that the pandemic had separated people and forced them to be isolated for about a year. Now that we can return to these large venues and gatherings we can go back to connecting with those around us and creating once in a lifetime memories.

After being vaccinated, I was hopeful that I could attend these events again without fearing about those who remained unvaccinated– I’m confident I’m not the only one who faced this concern on occasion, either.

Some might argue that venues should not have the power to require vaccinations, but they are choosing to reopen and host events in hopes of moving forward in the return to normalcy. They are acknowledging the potential risks and therefore should be allowed to implement policies they feel will best keep staff and guests safe, whether it means requiring proof of vaccination or establishing other safety measures to combat COVID-19.

Realistically, it is more beneficial to the people at these venues who are gathering in large groups if the vast majority are vaccinated. It allows for people to get together and have fun while simultaneously preventing the spread of COVID-19. I know I would personally feel safer at an event if I knew everyone around me had to prove they were vaccinated before they entered the premises.

If we want these events and potential long-lasting memories to continue being available to us, it’s important that we do our part in our respective communities by getting vaccinated.