A friend who holds a major academic post at prominent northeastern university sent to me yesterday an e-mail decrying Covid Derangement Syndrome. (Note: the university is not George Mason.) I share here part of her e-mail with her kind permission:
Experience of one of my daughters with her long time friend (LTF) this weekend, which is very disturbing.
We own a second house in Aiken, South Carolina. This daughter is an equestrian. SC is now fully open and Aiken lifted all mask mandates just this past week (thank God). With college classes over, my daughter and her long time friend made a weekend trip there. Sounds like fun, right?
My daughter made dinner reservations, and another friend invited them to see live music outside. It is important to note that my daughters has one shot of the vaccine, and that her LTF not only had COVID, but is fully vaccinated, and the friend they are meeting had COVID – and they are all under 25, so already not at great risk. They are about to enter the restaurant when LTF has a panic attack, starts crying, and declares that she cannot enter the restaurant because people are dining inside. LTF then declares that she also cannot go to the music event because there will be crowds there. LTF has become so terrified of other human beings that, despite being immunized, she cannot fathom living life normally. LTF is convinced that all the non-mask wearing people are going to infect her, and despite the fact that she, her parents, and her grandparents are all vaccinated, she is going to carry the illness to them and kill them. This is mental illness. This is what we’ve done to our young people, it is heartbreaking.
Indeed. It’s Covid Derangement Syndrome – that bizarre state of mind in which (1) minimizing the risk of coming into contact with Covid-19 dominates all other preferences, and (2) the actual risk of Covid is vastly overblown.
Also yesterday, I learned of a graduate student – a young man in his mid-20s – studying one of the natural sciences at a premier university in New England. This young man is fully vaccinated and in complete good health and is physically fit. Yet even though his university is allowing graduate students to return to work in their campus offices this month, this graduate student is so fearful of Covid that he refuses to return to campus until at least Fall.
Finally, just a few minutes ago the ad pictured here appeared on my Cafe Hayek home page. (Clicking on it leads to this site.) Despite nearly four months of steadily, and often dramatically, falling case counts in Virginia – despite steadily falling hospitalization numbers for Covid – despite falling Covid death rates – despite 50 percent of Virginians now having at least one vaccine shot and 38 percent being fully vaccinated, the government of this State which was home to Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison officially advises citizens to double mask and to worry about “new variants of Covid-19.”
This attitude is deranged.
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