Brief Announcement: 7DS Policy on COVID, Vaccines and Testing

This is the first and last time that I will address this topic, until circumstances change. I know it’s controversial, but well, to quote Omar Little, “A man must have a code.”

I have just canceled a planned speaking engagement at a major industry conference because I have learned that the conference instituted a policy requiring either proof of COVID vaccination or a recent proof of negative test result in order to attend.

The 7DS COVID policy is that we have no policy: Sunny and I both believe that people have the right to choose to do or not do whatever they consider to be in their best interest. We neither promote nor condemn any particular approach by anybody, because frankly, it’s none of our business. If you want to wear a mask, do it; if you don’t, don’t. If you’re triple vaccinated, good for you; if you’re not, good for you. If you choose to attend crowded events, that’s your choice; if you choose to do it via Zoom, that’s also your choice.

Vaccinated or not, you’re welcome at my table. Masked up or not, I’d be happy to have a drink with you… though you’d be hard pressed to keep that mask on while sipping on a cocktail, but hey, you do you.

Having said that, mandates are not choices. It doesn’t much matter to me whether those mandates are coming from the government, or from a company or organization imposing them voluntarily. I regard requiring proof of vaccination to be immoral, unethical and deeply un-American. “Show me your papers” is something that happens in North Korea. It does not and cannot happen in the United States of America.

I believe these mandates to be the equivalent to a new kind of religious persecution, since many of those who choose not to get vaccinated nor to produce papers do so out of deeply considered beliefs. Many have spent hours researching the topic until they have drawn their own conclusions. It does not matter that I might disagree with their conclusions; it doesn’t matter that I think their beliefs are based on falsehoods. What matters is that they hold those beliefs, and act out of those beliefs.

Accordingly, I cannot in good conscience help companies engage in that kind of discrimination, no more than I could help companies or organizations engage in discrimination against Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Christians or Atheists. I won’t do it. They are private companies and have every right to conduct their business as they see fit; I do not condemn them, as I know how difficult some of the choices are.

However, I have every right not to help those events be more interesting, more educational, or more successful. I have every right not to help companies engaging in discrimination be more successful. That is our policy.

I have received a number of invitations to speak at events from now into next year; I will honor existing agreements, of course. But I will be reaching out to organizers individually to see if they are imposing any kind of discriminatory mandate, and if so, will seek to cancel those engagements.

I am happy to participate in all-virtual, all-in person, or hybrid events… as long as there are no mandates from the company. Vaccine mandate? Show papers or proof of some arbitrary status? Sorry; can’t do it. And frankly, I’m not sorry.

I realize this is a gesture. It’s a stone into the ocean. I realize that to most of you, I am just a random blogger on the internet, and many event organizers might be delighted that they no longer have to consider me as a possible speaker.

That’s fine. If that’s the price I have to pay, so be it. This issue has now become bigger than me and I have to take a stand. So here I stand.

There is a part of me that hopes other speakers, teachers, coaches, influencers, and leaders join me in rejecting top-down mandates and embracing individual choice. Sanity must be restored somehow, and a long journey begins with a single step by a single man. But if not, that’s okay too.

I might only have one match… but…


13 thoughts on “Brief Announcement: 7DS Policy on COVID, Vaccines and Testing”

  1. Freedom of choice and freedom of doing your own research and acting upon it … a basic right. I couldn’t agree more Rob!

    As for myself I also refuse to take a trial and error type of vaccine, not knowing it’s full collateral damage in the future.

    Having had COVID and still having natural antibodies (count above 500 where 0,8 is the minimum) after 111 months I don’t see the purpose of getting an injection to create antibodies … I already have them!!!

    Yet the absurdity is that only chemically induced ones are acknowledged and natural antibodies aren’t … can someone please explain why?

    Because i can’t!

  2. I don’t always agree with you Rob but I always think your reasoning is interesting and I like that it makes me think. But if you think discrimination based on Covid mandates is anywhere like discrimination based on race, I am massively disappointed. I have no doubt that my one little voice will have no impact on your decision. But the truth is, if you were to change your mind I wouldn’t know because I just deleted the links to your website from my feed.

    • No, I specifically said this is similar to discrimination based on religion, or other personal beliefs, not race.

      What someone believes (see Anthony’s comment) is not an immutable characteristic like race or ethnicity. But I do think it warrants the same respect we give to other beliefs, like religion.

      And I’m perfectly good with you not visiting again. 🙂 You do you, since that’s what this is all about.

  3. There came a time in 1919 when the country just decided to move on. How much heartier a lot back then. It’s time to move on.

  4. The incessant need to gather others to gang up and SHAME others to submit to something is really getting frigging old. Canceling people from places, employment ect…. is just another form of blatant economic warfare.

    When you see that the same groups that back and push this….. the same activist groups and nonprofits that are always part of the loooong list that openly coordinate, advocate and broadcast the protests, autonomous zones, street takeovers/shutdowns…..

    When you tweet/direct message/announce on-your-Facebook-protest-page to your followers?…. that the intent is to ‘shut down businesses’…usually based on the business/geographic areas supposed political beliefs, ethnicity etc.

    How ain’t that blatant frigging economic warfare? Riiiight out in the open. There are several other categories this could fall under.

    Sames list of groups, always behind it.

    Look anywhere in the country right now, that has been targeted for protests and riots, Autonomous Zones, street/business closures?

    Watch for the nonprofits that ALWAYS pop up wanting to buy the riot-damaged properties. Below market value. Biden’s infrastructure bills always have carve-outs for funding the purchase of distressed off-market inventory to rehab. They have proposed interesting ideas for speculators to buy properties that are severely underwater/over-under to rehab and bring back to the market. Usually with a preference/orientation to the Social Justice(y) nonprofits…… that pop-up, and of course, ALSO advocate/broadcast the same messaging that brought targeted destruction.

    When there have been $ amounts passed around assessing the totals for destruction, just in Minneapolis this last 15 months, it’s not uncommon to hear numbers of $570 Million or more.

    What’s really odd about all of it is…. as in Minneapolis, the same high-demand Commercial/Entertainment areas are targeted over and over. conveniently, in the last year….. something police-related can happen in a TOTALLY different nearby city…… and they come back and hammer specific commercial/entertainment districts in S Mpls, that are in demand. these damaged properties are pretty much always sitting on parcels of land that fall under recent changes to housing plans….. that the same ‘list of groups that advocate/broadcast….’ and lobbied, harrassed, did-you-name-it to city officials and City Council Members to create said housing plans….

    When Mayor Frey Said “it’s just bricks and mortar” and let the 3rd precinct burn? Conveniently that was on a patch of parcels that he had labeled ‘cultural districts’ and had been begging for hundreds of Millions in funding for years. D’ya wanna know what the legal tax term was for the same said parcels? Opportunity Zones.

    It sure is odd. That pretty much wherever looting and destruction have happened over the last 15 months….. IT’S ALWAYS on the most desirable stretches of real estate that fall into these programs.

    Wake up, people.

  5. ROB,

    Not many businesses can sustain a 20%ish loss in revenue. Rob, you’ve put your money where your values and beliefs reside – unfortunately most don’t have that luxury. Bravery lives in all sides of the political spectrum, but it takes a rare strength to actually live and show it.

    Ya see, I’m too chicken to reply with how I really feel because I’m afraid of losing that 20%ish.

    I wish I wasn’t.


  6. I never stopped participating in public life – shopping, getting together with folks to chat, showing properties for work, having drinks at the bar (when they weren’t fully closed). It’s a nasty bug and I want nothing to do with it, but that doesn’t keep me in hiding. I don’t care who’s wearing a mask or not – well ok, I do get a kick out of the folks walking down the street wearing one, but I have an odd sense of humor.

    But your position is curious. We (society) mandate many things in order to keep folks safe from other folks. How about that mandate against driving while loaded? Most of us would support it and quite a few other similar ones. And I’d argue there’s a huge difference between a government mandate and one by a private company or even a random homeowner – that’s a different discussion.

    More important, the conference wasn’t demanding you be vaccinated, it was demanding you show you were safe while around others, i.e. show vaccination or a negative test. Neither are certain protections of course, and so arguably a questionable position, but you had a choice – not a pure mandate to be vaccinated. Your focus on solely the mandate aspect skews the issue a bit, eh?

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