|The brave new COVID world is a strange place, with the struggles over health, power, freedom, and life making for a confusing mess. The Biden administration asked for courts to reinstate the OSHA vaccine mandate for private companies after it was stayed by judges in the Fifth Circuit. The President also says that more than 90% of federal workers were vaccinated by the deadline last week. Republican members of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship have estimated that compliance with vaccine mandates will cost American businesses $1.3 billion.|
Further afield, the alienation of those who remain unvaccinated continues, with a Canadian real estate company saying it will require proof of vaccination for residents of its buildings. Canada has also said that truck drivers crossing the border from the US will need to be vaccinated. This news will do nothing to ease supply chain issues, with almost 40% of truckers responding to that request with a big fat thumbs down. An Irish senator came under fire for suggesting that unvaccinated people should not be allowed to frequent supermarkets. The Swiss voted for more COVID restrictions. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has pushed for fresh lockdowns amidst rising cases but the incoming coalition government is resisting.
The push back continues with protests held in Europe and Australia. In the US, Florida’s Disneyworld has caved on its vaccine requirement for staff, and autoworker unions have said they will not mandate vaccines for their members. Kansas Governor Laura Kelly will sign a bill allowing broad exemptions in her state and a Missouri judge has ruled that COVID measures there go against the state’s Constitution and must be lifted.