WordPress Green Lights In-Person Dating Events for Vaccinated Participants – WP Tavern
After much discussion, the WordPress community team is lifting the in-person meeting safety checklist requirements for meetings that bring together fully vaccinated participants. The checklist is still applicable to all meetup groups, but in places where vaccines are available free of charge, meeting planners can now waive its requirements if they limit gatherings to those declaring themselves fully vaccinated.
When Andrea Middleton proposed adding immunization status to the checklist in mid-May, the idea sparked a wide range of concerns and strong opinions. The global WordPress community has experienced the pandemic in different ways, living under an array of local restrictions, with disparate access to vaccines and varying responses to available vaccines. Some participants in the discussions worried that organizers would have to ask participants for information about immunization status, which is illegal in many places. Middleton said participation would be honor system based and organizers would not ask for any health information from individuals.
“The WordPress community team is do not expect or require local organizers to organize in-person events for fully vaccinated people – we’re just removing the barrier to doing so, ”she said. The decision announcement includes a flowchart for the conditions that are now in place:
Middleton called the proposal contentious and likely to be unpopular. Participants in the discussion were passionate about expressing their opinions, which varied widely depending on each person’s unique experiences and beliefs regarding the pandemic.
While some believe that it is excessive to prohibit unvaccinated people from attending meetings, others believe that allowing only vaccinated participants would create a “two-tier” meeting schedule.
“This proposal means that several groups of people will no longer be allowed to attend our meetings,” commented Taco Verdonschot. “They’re limited to meetings that are broadcast online. They are basically second class citizens in our community now. They can’t join in the fun, they have to look out the window. This idea alone makes me extremely uncomfortable.
Verdonschot cited several examples of people who could be excluded by the proposal to relaunch meetups for vaccinated participants:
- Low-income people in areas where vaccines are not provided free of charge
- Young people in countries where vaccines are given first to the elderly and only reach the younger generations slowly (such as the Netherlands)
- People who cannot get the vaccine for medical reasons, for example, due to known allergic reactions to vaccines
- Pregnant women
- People with a limited immune system
- People whose religion does not allow them to be vaccinated
“I realize that some of the team disagree, and I hope these guidelines are flexible enough that you can disagree and commit to this case,” Middleton said in the announcement of the decision.
“While I agree that it is only a matter of time when all-vaxxed meetings are a thing of the past, I think it’s important to make this possible for our communities.”