ID rule in DC vaccine mandate locks unhoused residents out of some indoor spaces

On the 15th of January, DC's vaccine mandate covering certain indoor spaces including restaurants, bars, and gyms went into effect. To gain entry, would be patrons over age 18 must display photo ID as well as vaccine proof. Those 12-18 need vaccine proof only. The photo ID is much harder to get than the vaccine, and many unhoused folks do NOT have it. This means many places such as fast food joints where unhoused folks may go to warm up or use the toilet will be unavailable.

It can take as long as three years for a DC resident without a permanent address to get any kind of photo ID. A drivers license (which would allow a car one can sleep in at some risk of being shot by police) is even harder to get due to DC's Real ID-only requirement for anyone who has ever had a social security number-and impossible for many. Thus, tens of thousands of people who are outside in the snow in Jan and February may have to commit to staying outside 24-7 without regard for weather. While shelters are exempt, many never use them due to too many other restrictions such as curfews and/or the risk posed by the virus itself.

While the DC vaccination proof law explicitly allows venues to permit people to enter for short periods such as to use the toilet without an ID and vaccination status check, it is likely that most or all "doormen" will see this regulation as a convenient excuse to ensure that those profiling as unhoused cannot use their toilets. It is likely the exemption for this will go mostly or even entirely unused.
To be effective, venues would have to be required not just permitted to allow short term entry to use toilets. Get ready to smell more piss and step in more shit in alleys, as people will have no alternative but to deal with this outdoors.

Meanwhile, fascists, Trumpers, and those who oppose vaccines outright will be marching against Washington DC on Jan 23, and they plan to attempt to enter a variety of venues in defiance of the vaccine mandate. The Proud Boys have indicated they plan to attend. In prior fascist marches on DC, the Proud Boys have specialized in after the main event fighting. This will place both the workers and the owners of restaurants and bars between the demands of armed police and potentially armed fascists, doormen in particular may face real risk on Jan 23. Restaurant and club workers made neither the virus nor the mandates, yet now are expected to stand between the hammer and the anvil on Jan 23 and anytime drunks with attitudes show up.

As the author of this piece, here's my take: I keep my vax card safely at home and do not carry photo ID. I am both vaxxed and boosted but will not be entering indoor venues of the affected types. I have however stayed entirely out of indoor entertainment since mid-March 2020 to avoid the virus so nothing changes in my activities over this. Both the virus and the potential for logging people's movements are unacceptable risks to me, so from my perspective little has changed venue-wise since June 2020. I will see the clubs on the other side of all this, with no beefs. Both they and I are doing what we need to do during this pandemic.

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