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A few weeks ago, a wrote a slightly tongue-in-cheek column touting a sticker or button to tell everyone I had received my COVID-19 vaccination.

Now it's serious.

I'm talking about what is commonly called a vaccination passport. The idea is to allow access to in-person events or meetings with proof that people have been vaccinated against COVID-19, or at least have had a negative test in the last few days.

That's how to allow large crowd events without creating the hateful super-spreader experience.

Israel has instituted the policy — they call it a green card — without problem, at least if you can believe reports from that country. The state of New York (a weak endorsement, I know) is in the process of putting something together.

The idea has sparked quite a bit of controversy. Some say it is a form of discrimination against those who haven't been vaccinated. That's sort of the point, isn't it?

Others say it's a violation of privacy. I understand. But using that rationale, requiring a driver's license violates privacy. High school diplomas, Social Security numbers, membership cards, bank accounts, even death certificates all fall into the same category. No documentation means being blocked from doing things we want to do.

It should come as no surprise that I have a personal motivation for promoting some sort of vaccine certification. I want to go to a live play, a live concert, pretty much a live anything. And at least for now, the state isn't going to let that happen unless everyone who goes can show they aren't going to be spreading coronavirus to everyone around them.

I expect that three or four months from now a high enough percentage of the population will be vaccinated to drop the restrictions we've lived with for so long. That will be great.

But I'm impatient, and I think pretty much everyone else is too, at least when it comes to resuming life. So let me use my vaccination card as entry to things I love. Call it a passport, a green card or whatever. Just do it.

About Beverly

Our City Council dealt with lots of weighty issues Tuesday night — opening the convention center to house children for the federal government, the fate of the Queen Mary going forward, banning flavored tobacco, etc.

I want to make sure another action the council took doesn't get overlooked, though. That's approval of renaming the city's performing arts center the Beverly O'Neill Performing Arts Center.

The honor for the three-term mayor and former president/superintendent of Long Beach City College has been a long time coming. Yet the timing couldn't have been better.

Our fair city has a rule somewhere that says buildings, parks and other public property aren't supposed to be named for people until they've been dead for a year or more. It has been ignored multiple times recently, and I personally think it ought to be stricken from the books.

I know Beverly is embarrassed by this honor — that's her personality. But I think deep down, she's also thrilled. I'm glad she has the chance to experience this.

Thanks to those who made it happen. You did good.


Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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