May 14, 2021
With current store hours of 7am-3:30pm, I'm generally an early riser. Today, as I sit down to write this at 7:15am, I've been awake for around five hours. That's not just rising early; it's failing to sleep.
The CDC's announcement yesterday that vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear face masks in outdoor or indoor settings is exciting news. It means that the real-world efficacy of the vaccines against Covid-19 is excellent. What it means for our circles of friends and family, and for our communities, is that we can begin enjoying so many things we miss.
I haven't seen my son in over a year, and when I gave him a ride to get on a bus to Portland, I didn't know that he was effectively moving there.
The announcement came with essentially no notice, and no clear guidelines for businesses (perhaps especially retail businesses) about how to proceed. I was criticized harshly and at length less than two hours after the announcement because I had not yet revised my policy.
I am not 100% certain what the future holds. In many ways, this feels like the days just before Washington State shuttered non-essential retail, when I decided to shift to curbside pick-up only. Or in those early days, when it seemed like we might be back to normal in a few weeks.
Here is what makes sense to me right now: Yarn Folk will continue our masking policy until at least June 3rd, at which point we will reevaluate. Here's why: the date on which vaccines were available to the general public was April 15th (a Thursday). Six weeks from that date is the earliest that someone who was ready, willing, and able to secure a vaccine appointment would be fully vaccinated if offered the Moderna vaccine. I've added an additional week as a buffer. I would offer as a note that many, many retail workers themselves were not eligible until that date, myself included.
Absent any secure and anonymized way of verifying vaccine status, I am not personally inclined to assume the role of "vaccine cop." And I think it is only fair to give everyone the opportunity to become fully protected before potentially removing the masking requirement in the indoor public space for which I am responsible.
As to the status of in-person events, I am still not sure.
Thanks for any understanding and grace you can offer.
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