At Fort Bragg, soldiers who have gotten their coronavirus vaccines can go to a gym where no masks are required, with no limits on who can work out together. Treadmills are on and zipping, unlike those in 13 other gyms where unvaccinated troops can’t use the machines, everyone must mask up and restrictions remain on how many can bench-press at one time.
Inside Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, where lines not long ago snaked for miles with people seeking coronavirus vaccines, a special seating area allows those who are fully inoculated to enjoy games side by side with other fans.
When Bill Duggan reopens Madam’s Organ, his legendary blues bar in Washington, D.C., people will not be allowed in to work, drink or play music unless they can prove they have had their shots. “I have a saxophone player who is among the best in the world. He was in the other day, and I said, ‘Walter, take a good look around because you’re not walking in here again unless you get vaccinated.’”
Evite and Paperless Post are seeing a big increase in hosts requesting that their guests be vaccinated.
actually doughnuts, beers and cheesecake — to prod laggards along. Some have even offered cold hard cash: In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine this week went so far as to say that the state would give five vaccinated people $1 million each as part of a weekly lottery program.
On Thursday, federal health officials offered the ultimate incentive for many when they advised that fully vaccinated Americans may stop wearing masks.
Now, private employers, restaurants and entertainment venues are looking for ways to make those who are vaccinated feel like V.I.P.s, both to protect workers and guests, and to possibly entice those not yet on board.
Come summer, the nation may become increasingly bifurcated between those who are permitted to watch sports, take classes, get their hair cut and eat barbecue with others, and those who are left behind the spike protein curtain.
for children ages 12 through 15.
But even without a mandate, a nudge can feel like a shove. The military has been strongly encouraging vaccines among the troops. Acceptance has been low in some branches, like the Marines, with only 40 percent having gotten one or more shots. At Fort Bragg, one of the largest military installations in the country and among the first to offer the vaccine, just under 70 percent have been jabbed.
podcast designed to knock down misinformation — a common misbelief is that the vaccines affect fertility — plays around the base. In addition to their freedom gym, vaccinated soldiers may now eat in groups as they please, while the unvaccinated look on as they grab their grub and go.
With soldiers, experts “talk up to decliners versus talk down,” said Col. Joseph Buccino, a spokesman at Fort Bragg.
promoting inoculations, and stadiums have become a new line of demarcation, where vaccinated sections are highlighted as perks akin to V.I.P. skyboxes.
In Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee recently announced that sporting venues and churches would be able to increase their capacity by adding sections for the vaccinated.
Some businesses — like gyms and restaurants — where the coronavirus was known to spread easily are also embracing a reward system. Even though many gyms have reopened around the country, some still haven’t allowed large classes to resume.
Others are inclined to follow the lead of gyms like solidcore in Washington, D.C., which seeks proof of inoculation to enroll in classes listed as “Vaccine Required: Full Body.” “Our teams are now actively evaluating where else we think there will be client demand and will be potentially introducing it to other markets in the weeks ahead,” said Bryan Myers, chief executive officer of the national fitness studio chain, in an email.
specific invitation designs with the inoculated in mind, vaccinated only please RSVP.
Not everyone endorses this type of exclusion as good public policy. “I worry about the operational feasibility,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. “In the U.S., we don’t yet have a standard way to prove vaccination status. I hope we’ll see by fall such low levels of infection in the U.S. that our level of concern about the virus will be very low.”
But few dispute that it is legal. “Having dedicated spaces at events reserved for vaccinated people is both lawful and ethical,” said Lawrence O. Gostin, an expert in health law at Georgetown Law School. “Businesses have a major economic incentive to create safer environments for their customers, who would otherwise be reluctant to attend crowded events. Government recommendations about vaccinated-only sections will encourage businesses and can help us back to more normal.”
so far to impose vaccine mandates for workers, especially in a tight labor market. “Our association came out in favor of masks,” said Emily Williams Knight, president of the Texas Restaurant Association. “We probably will not be taking a position on mandates, which are incredibly divisive.”
But some companies are moving that way. Norwegian Cruise Line is threatening to keep its ships out of Florida ports if the state stands by a law prohibiting businesses from requiring vaccines in exchange for services.
Public health mandates — from smoking bans to seatbelt laws to containing tuberculosis outbreaks by requiring TB patients to take their medicines while observed — have a long history in the United States.
“They fall into a cluster of things in which someone is essentially making the argument that what I do is only my business,” said Dr. Frieden, who is now chief executive of Resolve to Save Lives, a program designed to prevent epidemics and cardiovascular disease. “A lot of times that’s true, unless what you do might kill someone else.”
Dr. Frieden was the main official who pushed for a smoking ban in bars and restaurants in 2003 when he was the New York City health commissioner under former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Other senior aides at the time felt certain the ban would cost Mr. Bloomberg a second term. “When I was fighting for that, a City Council member who was against the ban said of bars, ‘That is my place of entertainment.’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s someone’s place of employment.’ It did have impact.”
Mr. Duggan, the bar owner in Washington, said protecting his workers and patrons are of a piece. “As we hit a plateau with vaccines, I don’t think we can sit and wait for all the nonbelievers,” he said. “If we are going to convince them, it’s going to be through them not being able to do the things that vaccinated people are able to do.”
Fully vaccinated baseball fans will be granted their own section at the Los Angeles Dodgers game this weekend against the San Diego Padres.
The set-aside seats, reported by The Los Angeles Times, are part of the many incentives being offered — from doughnuts to beer — to encourage people to get vaccinated against Covid-19. The Miami Heat and the San Francisco Giants have introduced similar sections at their stadiums.
To prove they are fully vaccinated, fans will have to show government-issued I.D. and documentation like a vaccination card, according to the Dodgers’ website. Everyone 16 years and older will have to show proof that at least two weeks have passed since they were fully vaccinated. Fans younger than 16 will be required to show proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours before admission.
Face masks will still be required, but social distancing will not. The team said spectators in the sections for the fully vaccinated will be seated directly next to each other.
was capped at around 11,000, about 20 percent of capacity.
In the past week, there has been an average of more than 2,300 daily coronavirus cases in the state, and Los Angeles County has seen an average of 435 daily cases — a 20 percent drop over the past two weeks, according to a New York Times database.
As of Wednesday, more than 40 percent of Californians had received at least one dose of the vaccine, and more than 20 percent had been fully vaccinated.
On April 15, Gov. Gavin Newsom loosened some restrictions in the state, permitting limited outdoor gatherings and live events, depending on a region’s Covid-19 risk level.
Fifteen months ago I traveled to Portland, Ore., to visit the childhood haunts and homes of Beverly Cleary, the beloved and award-winning author of more than 40 books for children and young adults. I was accompanied by my husband and our daughter, all three of us aficionados of Ramona Quimby, us parents having read all the books as children, before rereading them aloud to our kid.
With an overseas move on the horizon, we had decided to visit the city that plays its own subtle but essential role in the author’s most popular novels: Portland, with its moody rain and splashy puddles, its streets named after regional Native American tribes, its welcoming libraries and worm-filled parks. The Oregon of Ms. Cleary’s childhood clearly inspired her imagination — among her books, close to half of them are set in Portland.
So in the last days of December 2019, we took a trip to the City of Roses, visiting the northeastern Grant Park and Hollywood neighborhoods of Ms. Cleary’s childhood. I didn’t know then that it would be our last family vacation before the coronavirus pandemic — and I couldn’t have imagined how often I would return to those memories during the months of our confinement.
When Ms. Cleary died on March 25 at the age of 104, my sorrow at the loss of an adored author who was declared a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress in 2000 was coupled with memories of our journey. Scrolling through the photos of our trip, the simple scenes of Craftsman homes, verdant parks, and crowded children’s libraries evoked a lost innocence.
As a child, I loved Ms. Cleary’s books because they didn’t condescend. Her characters are ordinary kids succumbing to ordinary temptations, such as squeezing an entire tube of toothpaste into the sink, or taking the first, juicy bite out of every apple in the crate.
As an adult, rereading the books aloud to my daughter, I was struck by their sense of timelessness — sisters struggling with sibling rivalry, parents grappling with financial worries and job loss. The author’s own father lost his Yamhill farm when she was 6, moving the family of three about 40 miles northeast to Portland — the “city of regular paychecks, concrete sidewalks instead of boardwalks, parks with lawns and flower beds, streetcars instead of a hack from the livery stable, a library with a children’s room that seemed as big as a Masonic hall,” she wrote in her 1988 memoir, “A Girl From Yamhill.”
I thought of that when I saw one of Ms. Cleary’s cherished childhood homes, a modest,bungalow near Grant Park, on a block lined with closely set houses. She romped with a gang of “children the right age to play with,” and their escapades made her yearn for stories about the neighborhood kids. “I longed for books about the children of Hancock Street,” she wrote in “A Girl from Yamhill.” In her stories, she changed Hancock Street to Klickitat Street “because I had always liked the sound of the name when I had lived nearby.”
We found the Klickitat Street of the books nearby, along with Tillamook Street, both named after Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest. As my 6-year-old daughter raced along, searching for vintage hitching rings, I pictured Ramona — or even a young Beverly — on these same sidewalks, stumping on stilts made from two-pound coffee cans and twine, or perching on the curb to watch the Rose Festival parade.
Over the next few days, we found the author’s former elementary school, a brick building now named the Beverly Cleary School, Fernwood Campus. We stopped by the Multnomah County Central Library, a stately brick structure downtown where she did summer “practice work” as a student librarian (and where the children’s section also bears her name). We ate doughnuts and pizza. We visited Grant Park, where the local artist Lee Hunt created a trio of bronze sculptures depicting three of Ms. Cleary’s cherished characters: Henry Huggins, his dog, Ribsy, and Ramona, posed, as if in motion.
Though it was a typical Portland winter day — wet — nothing could dampen my daughter’s joy when she saw her favorite characters rendered slightly larger than life. She ran to hold Ramona’s hand, beaming, and the picture I snapped will be forever burned on my heart.
For my daughter, the best part of the trip was our visit to the Willamette Valley town of Yamhill, where we glimpsed the turreted Victorian house in which Ms. Cleary spent the first six years of her life. We spent the night in a vintage trailer park nearby, sleeping in a 1963 Airstream Overlander, as I imagined the author might have done with her own young family. For dinner, we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows, a meal that my daughter still describes as one of the best of her life.
These are the memories I’ve turned to over the past year as the pandemic has stolen away life’s simple pleasures. A wet afternoon at the park. Warming up at the library story hour. A cup of hot chocolate sipped at a crowded cafe. The rain beating on the metal roof of our camper van, reminding me of the creative inspiration that Ms. Cleary described in “A Girl From Yamhill”: “Whenever it rains, I feel the urge to write. Most of my books are written in winter.”
Before our trip, I had wondered if my daughter was too young for a literary pilgrimage — and perhaps she was, for there were moments when searching for yet another filament of the author’s girlhood tried her patience. And yet, though it was only a few days, our trip has captured her memory. She speaks of it now with crystalline precision, reminiscing of the last days before the strangest year of our lives began.
Our last morning in Portland found us a weary group of travelers as we waited to board our pre-dawn flight. We queued at the airport coffee counter for muffins and hot drinks — but when I tried to pay, the cashier told me that an anonymous stranger had bought us breakfast.
“Mama! It’s just like in the book!” exclaimed my daughter. It took me a few minutes to realize she was talking about a scene from “Ramona Quimby, Age 8,” when the Quimby family — worn down by financial worries, family squabbles and dreary weather — try to cheer themselves up with a hamburger dinner they can barely afford, only to have a kindly gentleman anonymously pick up their check.
That moment seems like a dream now, disconnected as we are from one another, all of us existing in our bubbles. But one day soon we will meet again and touch each other’s lives, not just as friends and family, but also as strangers. In the meantime, we have Beverly Cleary’s books to remind us.
Ann Mah, the author of the novel, The Lost Vintage, lives in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Good morning and happy Passover. Here’s what you need to know in business and tech news for the week ahead. — Charlotte Cowles
What’s Up? (March 21-27)
Suez Canal Crunch
A giant container ship that ran aground and blocked the Suez Canal in Egypt has created an international boat traffic jam. More than 100 vessels carrying oil and goods destined for ports around the world are now stuck midroute, adding more stress to supply chains already overburdened by the pandemic. Workers digging the stuck ship out of the sludge warned that it may not be movable until next week. The canal provides the most direct shipping passage between Europe and Asia; without it, ships have to circumnavigate Africa, adding significant time, costs and danger to their voyage.
Big Tech’s Testimony
Lawmakers grilled the leaders of Facebook, Google and Twitter for five hours on Thursday about the connection between misinformation spread on their platforms and the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. When asked directly, Twitter’s chief executive, Jack Dorsey, admitted publicly for the first time that his product had played a role in the uprising. (More characteristically, both Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of Google dodged the question.) The executives were also asked about how their companies enable racism and helped to spread falsehoods around Covid-19 vaccines. The hearing concluded with more calls to regulate the tech industry, but it remains to be seen what Congress will actually do.
feeling the chill of Chinese wallets snapping shut. The Chinese government is pushing consumers to boycott those companies after they pledged to stop using cotton produced in the region of Xinjiang, where the Chinese authorities are imprisoning ethnic minorities in detention camps. (The United States and several of its allies also imposed a new round of sanctions on Chinese officials earlier this month, citing human rights abuses that the Chinese government has continued to deny.) It’s unclear whether Beijing’s calls for a boycott will make a serious dent. Previous state-sponsored campaigns against brands like Apple and Starbucks haven’t had much success in deterring Chinese consumers from buying what they want.
What’s Next? (March 28-April 3)
New York lawmakers reached a deal to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over, opening the state to a potential $4.2 billion industry that could create tens of thousands of jobs and become one of the largest markets in the country. The law may be approved as soon as this week, although the first legal sales are probably more than a year away. Once up and running, marijuana commerce is expected to generate millions of dollars in tax revenue for the strapped state. Lawmakers have promised to reinvest a major chunk of that money in minority communities that have been disproportionately punished by drug policing in the past.
The Union Vote
Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., will conclude a weekslong vote on Monday on whether to form a union. Notorious for its union-busting tactics (some of which are under legal scrutiny), Amazon has encouraged its workers to vote “no.” It also denied claims of harsh working conditions and lack of coronavirus safety protocols, and pointed out that its starting wage of $15 an hour is significantly higher than what workers could find elsewhere. If the union is approved, it would be a first for Amazon workers in the United States and could embolden labor movements across the country.
President Biden has outlined his next big plan for boosting the economy: a giant infrastructure package. The details are still in flux as administration officials shop around the proposal to members of Congress and industry leaders. But the broad strokes remain consistent with Mr. Biden’s campaign promises to make the economy more equitable, address climate change and bolster America’s manufacturing and technology industries in an escalating competition with China. Who will pay for the plan’s estimated $3 trillion costs? The administration has suggested that it may be financed in part through tax increases on corporations and the rich.
introducing Zoom-free Fridays. Meanwhile, many businesses are offering free or discounted products — including doughnuts, yogurt and beer — to people who can demonstrate that they’ve gotten Covid vaccines. And Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, is in trouble with the National Labor Relations Board, which upheld a ruling that he broke the law by firing a worker involved in union organizing and threatening others if they followed suit.
The benefits of getting vaccinated against Covid-19 — namely, protection against a dangerous virus — should be obvious by this stage in the pandemic.
If that isn’t sufficient motivation, consider the swag.
Businesses across the United States and beyond are offering free merchandise and other stuff to people who receive Covid shots. The perks include free rides, doughnuts, money, arcade tokens and even marijuana.
Experts in behavioral motivation say that offering incentives is not necessarily the most effective or cost-efficient way to increase vaccine uptake. But that hasn’t stopped the freebies from piling up.
In Cleveland, the Market Garden Brewery is offering 10-cent beers to the first 2021 people who show a Covid-19 vaccine certificate. “Yes, you read that right,” the brewery says on its website. “Ten Cents.”
prerolled joint until the end of the month.
Chobani provides free yogurt at some vaccination sites. And Krispy Kreme said on Monday that for the rest of the year, it would give one glazed doughnut per day to anyone who provides proof of a Covid-19 vaccination.
As vaccinations accelerated across the United States, “We made the decision that said, ‘Hey, we can support the next act of joy,’ which is, if you come by, show us a vaccine card, get a doughnut any time, any day, every day if you choose to,” the company’s chief executive, Michael Tattersfield, told Fox News.
The Krispy Kreme initiative is no relation to the “vaccinated doughnuts” that were sold last month by a bakery in Germany, garnished with plastic syringes that dispense a sweet, lemony-ginger amuse-bouche. It also does not entitle vaccinated Americans to endless doughnuts, as Mr. Tattersfield seemed to imply in his Fox News interview — just one per day, as the company notes on its website.
In a promotion it is calling “Tokens for Poke’ns,” Up-Down, a chain of bars featuring vintage arcade games, is offering $5 in free tokens to guests who present a completed vaccination card. Up-Down, which has six locations in five Midwestern states, is extending the offer to guests who visit within three weeks of their final dose.
Cleveland Cinemas, a movie-theater chain in Ohio, is offering a free 44-ounce popcorn at two of its locations to anyone who presents a vaccination card through April 30.
The Times of Israel reported.
Presenting cards for so many promotions might cause some wear and tear. To protect the cards from damage, Staples is offering to laminate them at no charge after customers have received their final dose. The promotion runs through May 1.
Some vaccine perks flow from corporations to their employees. Tyson Foods, Trader Joe’s and others pay for the time it takes them to get vaccinated, while Kroger pays them a $100 bonus.
study, Ms. Dai and her colleagues found that text messages could boost uptake of influenza vaccinations. The most effective texts were framed as reminders to get shots that were already reserved for the patient. They also resembled the kind of communication that patients expect to receive from health care providers.
Jon Bogard, a graduate student at U.C.L.A. who contributed to the study, said that policymakers should proceed with caution on incentives because they can sometimes backfire. One problem is that the campaigns are expensive, he said. Another is that people receiving shots could see a large incentive as a sign that “vaccines are riskier than they in fact are.”
A better alternative, Mr. Bogard said, could be handing out “low-personal-value, high-social-value” objects — like stickers and badges — that tap into a larger sense of “social motivation and accountability.”
There appears to be no shortage of such swag swirling around the world’s hospitals and vaccination clinics.
Hartford, Conn., people receiving shots can pick up an “I got my Covid-19 vaccination” sticker bearing the home team’s mascot, a goat.
If you aren’t satisfied with the vaccine-related style accouterment at your local clinic, there are plenty of options available for purchase online.
One badge — “I got my Fauci ouchi” — pays homage to America’s best-known doctor, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci.
Happy hours and “Casual Fridays,” team doughnuts and coffee trips have all fallen by the wayside in the last year, as one office tradition after another was curtailed by the reality of remote work.
Lawyers rolled into court from bed. Executives used one good shirt. Sweatpants ruled the day.
But Citigroup, one of the world’s largest banks, is trying to start a new end-of-week tradition: Zoom-free Fridays.
The bank’s new chief executive, Jane Fraser, announced the plan for “Zoom-free Fridays” in a memo sent to employees on Monday. Recognizing that workers have spent inordinate amounts of the past 12 months staring at video calls, Citi is encouraging its employees to take a step back from Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms for one day a week, she said.
“The blurring of lines between home and work and the relentlessness of the pandemic workday have taken a toll on our well-being,” Ms. Fraser wrote in the memo, which was seen by The New York Times.
according to S&P Global — also asked its 210,000 workers around the world to make sure they take their vacation time and designated Friday, May 28 a companywide holiday for all workers to be off and “reset.”
The bank outlined other steps to restore some semblance of work-life balance. It recommended employees stop scheduling calls outside of traditional working hours, and pledged that when employees can return to offices, a majority of its workers would be given the option to work from home up to two days a week.
“We are all feeling the weariness,” wrote Ms. Fraser, who took up her role as Citi’s chief executive this month and is the first woman to lead a major American bank. The pressure is high for Citi to turn itself around, after a banker’s mistake sent nearly $1 billion wired to the wrong people and the bank was handed a $400 million fine by federal regulators last year over long-running problems.
“Zoom fatigue” have emerged across industries and classrooms in the past year, as people confined to working from home faced schedules packed with virtual meetings, and found that their hours of on-camera work were often followed up by long video catch-ups with friends.
The widespread feeling of burnout prompted research from Stanford University trying to explain why video calls felt so draining.
In a peer-reviewed article published in the journal Technology, Mind and Behavior last month, Professor Jeremy Bailenson, the founding director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab, outlined several reasons video calls can be so much more exhausting than in-person conversations.
He found that the excessive eye contact involved in video calls, the unnatural situation of seeing ourselves on-screen and having to stay in the same fixed spot all contribute toward “Zoom fatigue.”
Video calls are also harder mental work for us, Professor Bailenson said in a news release, because we have to put in more effort to make and interpret nonverbal communications. “If you want to show someone that you are agreeing with them, you have to do an exaggerated nod or put your thumbs up,” he said. “That adds cognitive load as you’re using mental calories in order to communicate.”
Dr. Aaron Balick, a psychotherapist and the author of “The Psychodynamics of Social Networking,” said a key mistake companies made when setting up work-from-home conditions last year was to treat Zoom calls as the equivalent of face-to-face meetings. He said that they failed to consider the additional mental burden placed on workers and the downtime needed to process what was said between calls.
“They require different intellectual muscles,” Dr. Balick said in an interview on Wednesday, adding that Zoom calls needed to be treated as a “functionally different thing.”
working as much as two hours a day more than usual.
For Wall Street, which even before the pandemic had a notorious reputation for extreme hours, Citi’s efforts to introduce a more flexible approach to work will probably not go unnoticed.
Last week, a survey of 13 first-year Goldman Sachs analysts drew attention on social media, with the analysts claiming they worked an average of around 100 hours a week and felt they were victims of workplace abuse.
Goldman responded in a statement that “a year into Covid, people are understandably quite stretched.” It said it was “listening to their concerns and taking multiple steps to address them.”