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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Whether it's vaccine passports or public health protocols, or even passive investment strategies, perfection is rarely achievable or even desirable. Allowing a bit of fuzziness and error is at the heart of broad-based success.

Why it matters: Silicon Valley has known for decades that the essence of disruption is to do something which is not as perfect as the incumbent, but that is a lot cheaper and easier — and more effective.

Be smart: When it comes to vaccine passports, it's easy to immediately start worrying about whether they provide real proof of vaccination, whether they can be forged, that kind of thing. But most of the time, credentials don't need to be bulletproof.

  • A simple vaccine selfie, or verbal assurance, is usually enough to persuade your friends and family that you've been vaccinated.
  • A filled-out CDC card, plus an affirmation that it's authentic, is all you need to get Hawaii's vaccine passport. That combination should also suffice for many other potential uses, from attending a church or play to studying at an in-person college or working near colleagues.

The big picture: There will be lies and fakes. But even when credentialed people are telling the truth, vaccines aren't 100% effective. The idea here isn't to get risk down to zero, it's just to get it down to an acceptable level, somewhere around the kind of risk we have always faced from the flu.

  • That's why the CDC is now OK with vaccinated people going unmasked outdoors, and even says they don't need to self-quarantine after being exposed to the disease.

The bottom line: Many credentials, even the ubiquitous vaccine selfie, will suffice in most situations where vaccination is required. Not everybody needs to — or even should — regularly require the kind of passport that is going to be used for international travel.

  • Vaccine-passport apps are "invasive and downright creepy," write Albert Fox Cahn and Mahima Arya for Wired.
  • "As a community, we trust people to be honest about their vaccine status. While trust may be eroding, technology is no substitute."

Go deeper

Aug 6, 2021 - Health

Florida to offer school vouchers in cases of "COVID-19 harassment"

Photo: Joe Raedle via Getty Images

Florida's Board of Education on Friday unanimously approved an emergency rule that will allow parents to obtain vouchers to move their children to another school if they perceive any type of "COVID-19 harassment" against their child as related to mask or testing mandates, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Why it matters: Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has been vocal about giving parents the right to choose whether their children wear masks in schools. The rule was crafted by his administration after he pushed the state's education department to discourage school districts from enforcing mask mandates.

Updated Aug 6, 2021 - Economy & Business

Facebook joins growing list of companies delaying plans to reopen offices

Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As the contagious Delta variant continues to reach across the United States, more and more companies are delaying plans to reopen offices.

By the numbers: A recent survey of 1,000 HR professionals by the Society for Human Resource Management and Lucid found that half of U.S. organizations are worried about Delta. Some corporate players have started mandating vaccines for employees in an attempt to combat the variant.

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.