How anti-vaxxers are making life total ‘hell’ for restaurant workers: report

How anti-vaxxers are making life total ‘hell’ for restaurant workers: report

The COVID-19 pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, has killed more than 5.3 million worldwide and over 800,000 people in the United States — and the death count continues to increase. Given all those deaths, it makes perfect sense for restaurants to prefer customers who have been vaccinated for COVID-19. But in an article published by the Daily Beast on December 21, reporter Kelly Weill describes the latest example of anti-vaxxer insanity in the U.S.: protesting restaurant chains they believe are violating their anti-vaxxer rights.

“COVID-19 cases are up, fueled by the virus’ highly contagious Omicron variant,” Weill explains. “Also swarming the nation’s malls and chain restaurants are anti-vaccine activists who spend weekends and evenings feuding with retail workers over COVID measures. In Oregon, it’s a Proud Boy-linked group heckling REI employees on a livestream. And in New York, it’s a band of vaccine opponents repeatedly getting arrested in fast-casual restaurants.”

New York City, under outgoing Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio, has required proof of COVID-19 vaccination for indoor dining in restaurants since September — and anti-vaxxers have responded with protests.

“More than 80% of the city’s adults are fully vaccinated, but a coterie of vaccine opponents have spent the past days raising holiday hell for staff at restaurants like the Cheesecake Factory, Applebee’s, Shake Shack and Panera Bread,” Weill observes. “Their week-long blitz began last Tuesday, with what they described as a ‘sit-in’ at a Cheesecake Factory in the city’s Queens Center Mall. There, anti-vaxxers skipped a check-in line to seat themselves at tables, apparently with the intent to attract a police presence.”

Weill notes that in NYC, anti-vaxxers have “continued the unwelcome outings, visiting Panera Bread franchises in Manhattan and the Bronx on Sunday” — and one of them “filmed herself pretending to pick up a takeout order, then sitting at a table with other demonstrators to eat.”

The journalist points out that one Panera Bread employee in NYC told the anti-vaxxers that they are making her job more difficult.

“After you guys leave,” the Panera employee told the anti-vaxxers, “there’s damage control we have to go through,” That’s selfish, to us.”

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