I may be a little late to the Covid-Party but for the past several days, pundits, activists, and healthcare workers have condemned the words of award-winning author/columnist Bari Weiss, in effect giving them more credence than deserved. Since Weiss escaped the bowels of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, she has presented herself and accepted the mantle of pragmatist-savior from the extreme left. She has penned articles and opinion pieces about the Women’s March following the election of Donald Trump; Had beef(s) with colleges at what she perceives as their leftist anti-Semitism, and railed against intersectionality. Her attacks on the “woke” come from a place of complacent ignorance as if it were some fantasy land to include only the uber-informed. The cultural misappropriation and misuse of the word “ woke” has bastardized what it means to many Black Americans, rendering the word useless in modern parlance.
I am a child of the late sixties, and the word woke existed then. It was a call to be aware of one’s African roots in a positive light. Also, recognizing racial inequity was not a self-inflicted fault but a resulting consequence. I was not a groveling subservient to Tarzan, the white savior, but from a culture and a swag of which to be proud. Weiss has made headlines lately for an appearance on Bill Maher’s HBO program., where she said, [I’m done with Covid I’m done] “(We) were told, ‘You get the vaccine. You get the vaccine, and you get back to normal,” said Weiss. “And … we haven’t gotten back to normal…People are killing themselves. They’re anxious. They are depressed. They are lonely. That is why we need to end it, more than any inconvenience that it’s been to the rest of us,” said Weiss.
Weiss went on the say younger people will look at our response as a ‘catastrophic moral crime.”’
I am baffled at how a worldly and accomplished intellect could spew such atrocious nonsense. Not that the sentiment is misplaced, I, too, am done with the emotion, inconvenience, and disruption. Covid-19 has plunged the world into an abyss that only cooperation will solve. I am also done with cancer, racism, and gun deaths, but my boredom and displeasure at not eating out as often as I would like or not wearing a mask at Nets games will make the problems vanish into the netherworld.
Fortunately, Bari Weiss is not in charge of public policy because her answer to the virus would be, ‘Just Say No!’ With the words “ I am done with it,” Weiss has entered into the unscientific “pantheon” of minds like Donald Trump, who said it would disappear in the summer, or Senator Ron Johnson, who suggested mouthwash. The virus has killed upwards of 800,000 Americans to date, a lot of those because voices like Weiss’ have decided that adhering to simple fixes (like masks) no longer apply because society should be done with it.
Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis was a Hungarian Jew who practiced obstetrics at the famed Vienna General Hospital in the late1840s. Semmelweis told his colleagues to wash their hands between patients and deliveries, and in 1850, he told the world. Fortunately, doctors worldwide did not adopt the philosophy of Bari Weiss. Physicians no longer skipped the use of soap and water because [they] were done with it. They listened, saved lives, and the thought of a doctor not washing his hands now seems absurd. Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis’ research found that inpatient maternal deaths (childbed) were 10-20 times the rate of at-home births or those performed by midwives, the leading cause, unwashed hands. In the middle of a storm, an abandoned ship sinks the boat and kills the crew. If we all stay on board and man the lifeboats, things are more manageable. Maybe Ms. Weiss should lower her sails and let a qualified navigator bring us into port.
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