With the FDA on Monday granting full approval to the Pfizer COVID vaccine, we are waiting for a cascade of vaccine mandates from public bodies across Riverside, Brookfield and North Riverside.
All of them.
Schools. Cops. Village hall. Parks employees. Firefighters.
There is no longer a single reason to allow public employees — especially but not exclusively those on the front lines with our kids, our elderly — to be on the public payroll and not be vaccinated.
We have as a nation reached this lunatic moment when we have the methods to stomp this virus and the majority is allowing a deranged minority to block the attempt for reasons that are nonsensical, and an assault on the common good.
Enough. Way past enough.
In these towns we have the authority to expect that our public employees are adding to the protection we need and not undermining it. How does this play out? Do school and village boards bring out resolutions and deadlines and cast the vote? We’re not sure, but we can assume these conversations have been underway, though public officials have not commented publicly on this central topic.
Monday night, the school board at the Evanston/Skokie public elementary schools took the vote to mandate vaccines with specific limits on exceptions and weekly testing for those exempt. Why aren’t these villages — progressive till it hurts — leading on this?
Last week our sister newspaper, Wednesday Journal of Oak Park and River Forest, reported on local businesses in the hospitality industry that are putting vaccine mandates in place: FitzGerald’s and Kinslahger on Roosevelt Road and Beer Shop in downtown Oak Park. Credit them for looking out for us and for themselves. Hear clearly the message from Will Duncan, owner at FitzGerald’s, who says it plainly: “The future of the live music industry depends on us kicking COVID’s ass.”
Our collective future depends on the rational use of the tools we have to sequester the misguided into increasingly narrow lives apart from the rest of us.
Survey says …
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning just dropped a new online survey seeking input and feedback on grade crossing issues along the BNSF line in Riverside and Berwyn.
It’s part of wider federal planning process to identify possible solutions for improving mobility and safety at those grade crossings – and it concerns more than just Harlem Avenue, though that one sticks out as an obvious candidate for change.
While there have been studies over the years about what, if anything, to do at the Harlem Avenue grade crossing, this is the first time in memory we can remember any agency asking residents, commuters and the employees and owners of local businesses to give them any feedback about what problems exist, the extent of those problems and what thorny issues might need to be navigated in seeking alternatives.
It’s not a long survey, about 12-15 questions. Some 200 people have already participated since it was launched last week and you have until early October, at least, to give it a look.
We all have experience with these grade crossings. We might as well lend planners our expertise.