Yes, I Ask People About Their Vaccine Status (And I'm Not Going To Stop)

by Elizabeth Broadbent
Originally Published: 
Scary Mommy and Yulia Sutyagina/Getty

I got vaxxed. I was one of the first Americans to be vaccinated, because I live in what amounts to a failed state (see: part of the Deep South) and got jabbed via an extra “this stuff is gonna expire so get your ass over here” dose. A sweet girl named Chelsea swore me to secrecy at the time so they wouldn’t get inundated with people, and I want her to be the godmother to my next dog or something. Now they’re giving away vaccines at the local mall; people who want it have gotten it; and the pandemic took the last fuck I had to give. So I ask people about their vaccine status.

No, it’s not rude. No, it’s not intrusive. And no, I’m not going to stop.

Because We Just Finished A Global Pandemic

Remember how all those people died? Maybe you forgot. We lost more Americans to COVID-19 than we did to all of World War II. In fact, COVID-19’s death toll “all but matches” the death toll of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War combined. ABCNews offers more comparisons: we’ve lost more than the combined number of Union and Confederate soldiers killed on the battlefields of the Civil War. More than the population of Belize. More than all of Kansas City, Missouri.

Remember going semi-bonkers in isolation so we didn’t die?

Remember how COVID-19 kills people?

Because I remember that part. So hell yes, if I see your faceholes, I’m going to ask if you’re vaccinated. I don’t care if you’re my friend, my physician, my beautician, or my veterinarian. I don’t care if I’m vaccinated already. According to the CDC, “no vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness in vaccinated people. There will be a small percentage of fully vaccinated people who still get sick, are hospitalized, or die from COVID-19.” Moreover, they go on to say that, “variants will cause some vaccine breakthrough cases.”

Yeah, no thanks.


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Another Reason I’m Asking About Vaccine Status…

So my vaccine is almost 100% likely to work, but there is still a vanishingly small chance I could catch COVID-19. I spent more than an entire fucking year isolating in my house, with three children, so we did not catch COVID-19. I didn’t see my friends. My kids didn’t see their friends. We all emerged a little bit worse for wear, and you think I’m going to punk out now because some literal mouth-breather aerosolized COVID-19 in my face?


So when my unmasked server approaches my table, I will say, in a very polite voice, “Have you been vaccinated?” It’s not rude. It’s common sense. I didn’t spend a year in isolation only to catch COVID-19 because I was too scared to ask about someone’s vaccine status.

A year. More than a year. I could reel off a list of things I missed, but I won’t, because everyone who didn’t fuck up the group project of obeying CDC guidelines (staying home as much as possible, masking like a ninja, yelling at strangers that six feet means six feet) missed them too. I need to ask about vaccine status because I need to know I didn’t waste my goddamn time. I sanitized my hand sanitizer for a reason. That reason was not to catch COVID-19 because I let my guard down post-vaccination.

Moreover, As A Mom, I Need To Know

Intellectually, I know that at some point, I have to let my kids go maskless. That day is not today, or tomorrow, or at any point in the foreseeable future. They stay masked even outside, because I don’t know if your kid, who is currently smushing his head against my kid’s head as they share sand toys, was all up in your anti-vaccine, Q-Anon in-laws’ faces last weekend. For that matter, I don’t know if your kid was all up in your anti-vaccine face this morning, so if you’re maskless and our kids are playing, I’m asking about your vaccine status. And your partner’s.

And if you say you or your partner isn’t vaxxed, expect my kids to march away. In my state, if you wanted to get jabbed, you achieved full immunity, at the latest, by approximately last month. I care about your vaccine status because I care about my children getting COVID-19. I have spent more than a year in full mama bear mode, and I’m not turning it off now. If you haven’t been vaccinated, you or your unmasked disease-monkeys could pass the virus to my babies. Fuck that noise. I didn’t keep them away from other children for a year only to have your kids breathe them full of COVID-germs.

Asking About Vaccine Status Isn’t Rude or An Invasion of Privacy

I’m not being rude when I ask about your vaccine status. See all reasons listed above. And I don’t ask rudely. I smile. I say, “Have you been vaccinated?” I’m not a bitch and I’m not condescending. If the answer’s no, then I’ll act accordingly: request that you mask if you’re providing me some service; possibly request a person who has been vaccinated; or smile and leave. All of this will be done kindly and without outward judgment, even as I am judging you to be a self-centered fuckwit who’s unwilling to help the rest of society.

And asking about vaccine status is not an invasion of privacy. I have a right to know if the people I interact with are a risk to my health. Y’all, the GOP does not have the monopoly on talking about personal rights and liberties. If someone is providing me a service — if they’re waitstaff, physicians, veterinarians, or business people of any kind — I have the right to refuse or reject that service. If they’re maskless and unvaccinated, I will take my business elsewhere.

Liberals have rights too, bitchados.

If I ask you about your vaccine status, and you’d prefer not to say, simply say, “I’d rather not talk about it.” I’ll internally assume you’re a COVID-carrying asshole and politely leave, but you take that risk when you see a simple question as some monumental invasion of your right to privacy. I’m not asking if you and your partner have a sex swing. I’m asking if you got jabbed. The Venn Diagram of people who find this question offensive and people who have not been vaccinated is basically a circle.

People who have been vaccinated like saying they have been vaccinated.

So calm your tits or balls or whatever anatomy you’d like. I’m going to ask about people’s vaccine status. You should, too. You have that right. Didn’t think you did? I gift it to you now: you have the right to ask about people’s vaccine status in the name of your own safety and the safety of your loved ones. You are not being rude or invading someone’s privacy.

Get vaccinated. Wear a mask. Ask about people’s vaccine status. Drink enough water and get eight hours of sleep, too. You deserve it.

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