Vaccination Passport *Fauda*

Post office 649504 480

My vaccination is linked to my Bahraini resident’s permit number (CPR). Unfortunately, that permit has expired, though I am still in the country under another visa. A residency permit has nothing to do with the state of my health. Indeed, I could be an illegal alien and healthy, or a native-born subject of the King, suffering from the disease.

Because my residency permit has expired, I cannot prove my health status. Because I cannot prove my health status, I am barred from entering commercial establishments easily. Since my case is an edge case (like someone without a last name, everyone has a last name, right?) I have to pull out the paper vaccination passport and then explain to the guard—who is usually from Nepal—why the App is not working in my case. Hopefully he will let me in.

The Kingdom of Bahrain is itself an edge case. The country has no postal codes. Think this doesn’t matter? Try ordering something online, say from Amazon. No one ever explained to Jeff Bezos that it is possible to have a country without postal codes.

I won’t bore you with the bureaucratic fauda (the word means “mess” or “chaos” in both Hebrew and Arabic) I went through in an effort to fix the problem. Suffice it to say that it is precisely that fauda, which will become ubiquitous, that people are afraid of. That is the real fear of vaccination passports.

My take: let’s stick to paper. It’s a lot easier to fix.