In a brand new interview with "Talking Metal", legendary guitarist George Lynch spoke about what it has been like playing select shows around the U.S. over the course of the last few weeks while the pandemic is still in full swing. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I'm very conflicted and I'm a supreme hypocrite, because I'm a 'safety safety' guy. I'm double vaxxed and I wear my mask everywhere and I'm real careful about travel and anything like that. But I care about other people, and yet again I play shows where I afford the opportunity for people to stand shoulder to shoulder without masks on and get sick. So, I'm not sure how to deal with that. Because, as you know, things were tamped down quite nicely and it looked like things were going sort of back to semi-normal there for a second, and after we booked all these shows. And now I'm contractually obligated to play these shows and pay for flights and pay for everything. Literally, if I pulled out of this two-week run, and whatever else I got contracted for, I'd get my ass sued, I'd get blackballed and I'd just be out of business. It still doesn't make it right. So I try to make it as safe as possible. I cannot control what people do. Hopefully everybody is masked up, and that's what I encourage people to do — is mask up, and try to stay distant. Obviously, we play mostly outside venues. I mean, on this run, we're playing one indoor venue, in Houston, but it's a large amphitheater."
He continued: "I do understand music is important — it's a vital thing, just like food, air, water and love. We need it for our sanity and our humanness; [we're] social creatures. But we've gotta be smart at the same time and follow the science and do the right thing. So it is exasperating and frustrating to see people pushing back against that. It's very disappointing to see people do that, because if we had all done, collectively, the right thing and done our duty… We're not getting shots of little… [They're] not putting cameras in our bodies. That's why we don't have polio anymore. Let's just do that. And we can get through this and get back to some semi-normalcy."
Lynch also addressed the fact that the delta variant of the coronavirus, now the most common strain circulating in the United States, has a supercharged transmissibility, driven in part by how the mutated virus behaves in the body after infection.
"With this new virus, this new strain, they say it's just like cigarette smoke," he said. "It's more transmissible than chicken pox. I know what's gonna get to people is when businesses… Since we're not like some countries where people are sort of a high society and they work together collectively for the common good, we're this country of rugged supposed individualists that don't need anybody else's help; we're all these independent people and operate that way to some extent. So the way the things will change is through business. Because businesses' job is to make money, and you don't make money by killing your customers. So they'll force vaccine card mandates and all these kinds of things — that'll happen — to go to work and go to a venue and [for] transportation and I don't know what, [to] work at a hospital. And I think that'll be the new normal, and it should be. There's nothing wrong with that.
"I don't see anybody crying about seatbelts, but I remember they used to, George added. "When they had a seatbelt mandate, [some people were saying], 'The seatbelt's taking away my freedom.' And the seatbelt was just you; it wasn't affecting anybody else. This is even way more of an issue where not only are you gonna potentially hurt yourself but you're gonna hurt a whole bunch of other people too, including people you love — potentially."
A vaccine passport is a physical or digital document that displays whether someone is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Critics say that such passports are a violation of privacy and an example of government overreach. Meanwhile, supporters point out that federal immigration law already requires that immigrants provide proof of vaccination status for several diseases.
There's plenty of precedent for having to show proof of vaccination whether for work or travel. For a century, nearly every school in the U.S. has been requiring proof of vaccinations for students to enroll. Dozens of countries across the globe require a "Yellow Fever Card" to enter their borders.
Proponents of vaccine passports, including several high-profile heavy metal musicians, have touted them as one of the most effective ways to reopen the nation's economy in a safe manner.