With the FDA on Monday granting full approval to the Pfizer COVID vaccine, we are waiting for a cascade of vaccine mandates from public bodies across Oak Park and River Forest.

All of them.

Schools. Cops. Village hall. Park districts. Firefighters.

There is no longer a single reason to allow public employees — especially but not exclusively those on the front lines with our kids, our elderly — to be on the public payroll and not be vaccinated.

We have as a nation reached this lunatic moment when we have the methods to stomp this virus and the majority is allowing a deranged minority to block the attempt for reasons that are nonsensical, and an assault on the common good.

Enough. Way past enough.

In these two towns we have the authority to expect that our public employees are adding to the protection we need and not undermining it. How does this play out? Do school boards bring out resolutions and deadlines and cast the vote? Does Oak Park’s public health director, Dr. Theresa Chapple-McGruder, exert her authority and issue the mandate?

We can assume these conversations have been underway, though public officials have been oddly silent on this central topic.

Monday night, the school board at the Evanston/Skokie public elementary schools took the vote to mandate vaccines with specific limits on exceptions and weekly testing for those exempt. Why aren’t these villages — progressive till it hurts — leading on this?

Last week we reported on local businesses in the hospitality industry that are putting vaccine mandates in place: FitzGerald’s and Kinslahger on Roosevelt Road, the Beer Shop in downtown Oak Park. Credit them for looking out for us and for themselves. Hear clearly the message from Will Duncan, owner at FitzGerald’s, who says it plainly: “The future of the live music industry depends on us kicking COVID’s ass.”

Our collective future depends on the rational use of the tools we have to sequester the misguided into increasingly narrow lives apart from the rest of us.

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