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All this talk about vaccine passes for Chicago is a disgrace

The freedoms we give up now will be lost forever if we allow the authorities to continue encroaching on our rights to privacy in the name of promoting “public health.”

The new “Excelsior Pass” app, a digital pass that people can download to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test
A photo shows New York’s new “Excelsior Pass” app, a digital pass that people can download to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test
AP Photos

It is an absolute disgrace that city politicians are promoting these new “vax passes,” trying to coax Chicagoans into agreeing to disclose their medical status or medical history in exchange for the privilege of exercising what is actually their inalienable right to travel where they want to, socialize with whomever they choose, and attend whatever events or commercial/entertainment venues that are normally open to the public.

The freedoms that we willingly give up now will be lost forever, if we allow the authorities to continue encroaching on our rights to privacy, freedom of movement, freedom of association, and freedom of expression in the name of promoting “public health.”

If the government is really concerned about health issues, why aren’t they promoting Medicare for All, and investing in hospitals, neighborhood clinics, and housing for the homeless (including those who are about to be evicted)?

Derek Davis, Rogers Park

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Make pandemic dining rules permanent

As restaurants re-open, I’ve noticed that a number of places have instituted a policy of 1 12 hours for diners due to COVID-19. When I’ve gone out and a staff member of a restaurant apologizes for telling me that we have to leave in 1 12 hours, I actually want to thank them.

First, that is more than enough time for people to catch up and enjoy each other’s company. Second, when people stick around, it inhibits other customers from getting a table and, more importantly, limits a server’s ability to generate more tip dollars.

Unless there is a party or maybe a large group of people (say 8 or more at a table), there is absolutely no reason for a party of six to take up a table for more than 1 12 hours. I would love to see all restaurants, except for perhaps large parties and certain dining experiences, move to that policy. It’s good for customers, restaurants and servers, and should be something applauded rather than having restaurants apologize for it because of COVID.

Jonathan M. Wolfe, Irving Park

Chicago and DuSable

Laura Washington stated in her column of May 3 that “Without DuSable, there would be no Chicago.” Chicago became the great city it is today based on its location as a link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, not because of who may have been its earliest non-native settler.

Bruce Pietka, Gold Coast

Republicans don’t solve problems

There is much wailing from Republicans these days about big government and deficit spending (which went uncommented on by them during the Trump presidency). But, as much as I would like to agree with them, when have they recently taken time away from vilifying Democrats to actually solve a problem?

For Republicans, there are three kinds of problems: Problems that people should solve for themselves, problems that the market should solve, and problems that call for a pretense that they do not exist and should be ignored. Try to find a problem in this country that, in their view, does not fall into one of these categories.

Republicans have accomplished something that I long thought was impossible: They have made me perceive Democrats as more sensible. If people are deciding, as they seem to be, that government should do more, it is the Republicans’ own fault.

Curt Fredrikson, Mokena