BALTIMORE — Open for 22 years, The Black Olive in Fells Point, like all businesses, had to tackle major hurdles the last year because of the pandemic.
"I'm grateful that we are still in business, I’m cautious and optimistic," said owner Dimitris Spiliadis.
The next hurdle is how to stay open and keep people safe.
"The best way is to lead by example," said Spiliadis.
Spiliadis said they continue to keep their employees in masks and ask their guests to use them in common spaces. He’s also encouraging his staff to get the vaccine.
"I’ve taken many of the staff and people who I feel are vulnerable to get their shots," said Spiliadis.
Now the majority of his staff of about 15 have their shots, but he will not mandate it for those who don’t.
Thursday President Joe Biden in expected to announce that all federal civilian employees either have to be vaccinated or get tested regularly.
Google, Facebook and The Washington Post have gone a step further, issuing vaccine mandates for all employees.
Ascension, which runs several Saint Agnes Health Care Centers in the greater Baltimore area, will require all associates to be vaccinated by mid-November.
McCormick & Company Spokesperson Lori Robinson said they are encouraging, but not mandating, masks and vaccinations.
“We continue to closely monitor the ongoing situation and the guidance of the CDC, State and Local agencies where we operate,” said Robinson.
The Under Armour Media Relations Team said they plan to share their return to work announcement after their Q2 Earnings on Tuesday.
"For somebody that is very scared, you can’t force somebody to go get a vaccine. You can help them and educate them," said Spiliadis.
That’s where Johns Hopkins lung doctor Panagis Galiatsatos comes in. He’s been consulting with a handful of business owners and their employees. Some are considering mask or vaccine mandates, and others just want more education.
"When I go out to these local businesses, I discuss the science but more importantly, I meet them where they are at," said Galiatsatos. "If the science hasn’t persuaded them to this point, I need to ask them, 'What’s your reservation? Talk to me.' That way I can help mitigate those fears."
If you’d like Dr. G to speak to your employees, reach out to his non profit Medicine for the Greater Good at firstname.lastname@example.org.