OPINION: You need a vaccination pass to do almost anything starting today, even buying a Big Mac.
The traffic light system is the new Alert Level setting, and coming out of Alert Level 3 on Thursday night, life already looks like a Big Mac combo with a butterscotch sundae.
That is, I’m going to tackle it head-on and then I’ll probably feel disgusting afterwards.
Although inferior, in my opinion, to the double quarter pounder, the Big Mac is still the hamburger by the name of the McDonald’s fast food chain.
* Rise in Covid cases sees cancellation of Nelson’s popular markets
* Your guide to celebrating freedom in Auckland’s best food and wine districts
* Answers to all your questions about summer travel and the traffic light system
So, armed with my phone, we went to Greenlane Maccas to buy one and see how the vaccine pass works.
First of all, you need to get your vaccination card. You must first be double vaccinated, then you must go online to complete the two-minute process to enter your details. The pass will then be sent to your email and smartphone wallet.
If you don’t have a smartphone, you can call an 0800 number to fix the problem. Or, you might need one of the temporary exemptions granted to 70,000 Kiwis, if that still doesn’t work.
Your pass is the gateway to the hotel industry.
Our pick, Greenlane Maccas, had clear signage telling us what we needed to get in – your vaccination card, with a mask and a Covid tracer app on the side.
At the entrance, a worker stood behind a support with waist-high plexiglass separating them from us. I watched her, dressed in a high-visibility orange outfit like a tradie flipping pancakes, abruptly pushing away someone who didn’t have their pass.
When she asked to see mine, I slipped my phone into a small hole, allowing her to use an iPad to scan the QR code.
After a second, she received a confirmation notification that my pass was legitimate, and she directed me to one of the standing self-order checkouts.
The process was less painless than having your identity verified at the bar. No bouncer is holding it close to your face and squinting to see if your pandemic-punished mug matches the fresh-faced ID.
I ordered my burger, chose the table delivery option, and had a fairly normal unmasked meal. It tasted like every other Big Mac I’ve had, although it was a little dry.
The staff wiped down the seats and tables after the customers left and reminded me to put my mask back on when I got up after I finished.
Our core McDonald’s employees have this extra work on top of the already stressful fast food restaurant job, and we should all be very polite and caring in this new environment.
Other than the new pass, everything was pretty normal, in the new normal of living with Covid-19. Just another piece of administration for all of us.