Apparently, I’ve been blogging here for…17 years?
My first post, A New Blog, wasn’t much, but I think this early post, Rose Burawoy, Political Scientist (Sept. 23, 2003), is worth a re-read from time to time. Were the signs of today visible then? I can’t say that I saw it coming, but I was already a bit nervous.
I think that standing in solidarity with others in light of perceived injustice should always be encouraged.
For the same reason that one group suffers at the hands of another, we should always be cognizant of the tenuous luck we currently possess and our inherently fragile place in society at any given time. There is no telling when we ourselves will suffer the same fate of those groups and experience the bitter taste of tyranny at the hands of the dominant players on the stage.
As I reflect further on the justifications by people attempting to trample on the liberties of others during the current political atmosphere, I am reminded of the hollow mentality espoused by leaders who summon the omnipresent need for safety at all costs. Great thinkers in various fields of study have seemingly appealed to authority without strictly scrutinizing the science and in turn become super-spreaders of the never-ending stream of propaganda targeting the hearts and minds of people throughout the entire world at speeds without precedent.
When the United Kingdom enacted Schedule 21 of the Coronavirus Act to forcefully restrain any single person under the amorphous standard of “potentially infectious” that can be imposed on every member of the population by virtue of being alive, I am reminded of the other policies in history that have been used against the ever-expanding definition of “undesirables” who have been blamed for threatening the well-being of the State.
But even as I try my hardest to speak against the chain of events that will possibly unfold in the wake of militant Karens goose-stepping down the single file aisles of the supermarket while clutching their dehumanizing face masks and reporting conscientious objectors of the never-ending war on a cold virus to the ever-increasing ranks of the secret health police, I realize now that nothing I do will ever truly matter without others standing in solidarity with me now.
First they quarantined the super-spreaders
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a super-spreader
Then they quarantined the students
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a student
Then they quarantined you
And I did not speak out
Because I was not you
Then they quarantined me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me
I think this is a truly horrible mis-use of Martin Niemöller’s famous writing about silence in the face of the Nazis.
There are two reasons why I say this.
First, Martin Niemöller was writing about the Nazis, who took people away and intentionally killed them in the millions. The ‘solution’ was meant to be Final. The intent of quarantine is to save people who would come into contact with the (possibly) infected – to save lives, not to end them. And quarantine is by its nature temporary. We are not gassing victims, we treat them and try to stop them hurting others.
Second, until there is a vaccine or the equivalent, the ONLY way to stop a deadly pandemic is to reduce person-to-person transmission. For this one, that means masks for everyone, and 14 days (not life) quarantine for people who have been exposed to the disease or quarantine for the duration of the disease for those who test positive.
When you say “for shame” what exactly do you mean by that?
“Typhoid is ‘endemic Jewish Disease,’ Nazis Say in Issuing Warsaw Ghetto Rules”
“In Coronavirus Fight, China Gives Citizens a Color Code, With Red Flags”
“Boston University to require use of green badge indicating negative COVID-19 test”
Notwithstanding all your protestations to the contrary, history repeats itself in small steps. Please open your eyes to the looming possibility and stop dismissing my concerns summarily.
1) BU is a private college. This is not state action.
2) US law has long interpreted the states’ (not federal) police power to include power to compel contagious people to quarantine. While this power may by its nature invite abuse, not every exercise of it is necessarily abusive. IIR some state forced some people suspected of Ebola to quarantine for a couple of weeks? Again, IIR the issue then was whether the suspicion of Ebola was justified, not whether the reaction was proportionate if the suspicion had merit….but I may be mis-remembering.
My greatest fear is that the well-meaning intentions to stop a threat such as disease will possibly result in an eventual descent into totalitarianism for the greater good.
“The real problem is that when human societies lose their freedom, it’s not usually because tyrants have taken it away. It’s usually because people willingly surrender their freedom in return for protection against some external threat. And the threat is usually a real threat but usually exaggerated. That’s what I fear we are seeing now. The pressure on politicians has come from the public. They want action. They don’t pause to ask whether the action will work. They don’t ask themselves whether the cost will be worth paying. They want action anyway. And anyone who has studied history will recognise here the classic symptoms of collective hysteria. Hysteria is infectious. We are working ourselves up into a lather in which we exaggerate the threat and stop asking ourselves whether the cure may be worse than the disease.”
As my grandma would say with the force of wisdom developed over the course of a lifetime, ignoring the lessons of history and letting it repeat itself is a shanda.
“In Xinjiang, where over 1 million Uighurs are imprisoned, lockdowns have gone on since January and have involved widespread hunger, forced medication, acidic disinfectant sprays, shackled residents, screams of protest from balconies, crowded ‘quarantine’ cells, and outright disappearances.”
If you truly believe that the coronavirus is still coming to get you and your family, then I don’t know what else to say at this point that could possibly convince you that science is never even remotely decided in just a few months.
Stay healthy and God bless.