Wednesday, May 19, 2021

I vaguely remember that bars had a simple and reasonably effective way of checking who was legally allowed to drink. Perhaps we could do something similar.

As mentioned before (until regular readers are sick of hearing it), we have a problem with convergent thinking and solution-phobia. Add to that the journalistic imperative to frame every policy choice as an adversarial contest with no clear winners and you end up with a discussion that not only ignores a number of viable approaches but which often settles on two of the least viable,  a pair of bad choices which go on to dominate op-ed pages and cable news shows. Whether by design or not (and, yes, I do believe antagonism toward solutions is a real thing), the result is a discussion that consists of each talking head listing reasons why the other position won't work.

In addition to the ways defeatism has biased our coverage of vaccine promotion and made precedented compliance levels seem unattainable, it has also largely limited the discussion of compliance checks to two extreme options: a complex and expensive vaccine passport system which raises privacy issues; and an honor system which does not do a goddamn thing. 

We need to open up this discussion starting with ideas like this. 

P.S. Forgery. We need to come back and explain this from a market segment/incentive standpoint (if only there was a blog that covered epidemiology and marketing, that would be perfect), but [spoiler alert] it's probably not that big a concern in this context.

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