A couple of weeks ago, a former New York Times editor and journalist, Bari Weiss appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher and exclaimed what many are feeling these days, “I’m done with COVID!” Her statement resulted in wild applause from the audience.
Bari Weiss is used to strong reactions to her editorials, be they written, verbal or tweeted. However, this time, her comment left many, including myself, rather perplexed. What does it mean to be “done with” a pandemic disease – while the pandemic is still raging?
I kept waiting for Weiss to clarify that she’s done talking about COVID. Most of us are pretty sick of COVID monopolizing every waking moment of our day and how we interact with others. Not to mention, taking over television, our traditional mode of escape from the world.
After all, what’s there to discuss outside of laboratory discoveries and the political steps taken to safeguard the public? COVID isn’t a subject that needs to be debated like at what age kids should learn the truth about Santa Claus. It’s not fodder to be dissected for a talk show or the likes of Joe Rogan. It doesn’t require an opinion. It just is.
It reminds me of a current Shingrix TV ad campaign that promotes a vaccine for older adults. It targets those who think they don’t need to worry about shingles because they’re physically active and healthy. The commercial says “Shingles doesn’t care.”
And neither does COVID. Yet it’s still being debated on television every day and every night.
Then there’s the focus on topics like “COVID fatigue” and depression. It’s ironic that the media which continues to hammer home the negative COVID content is now focusing on people’s exhaustion and depression over all the COVID content.
Maybe Weiss was going to say she was “done with” all the arguments over COVID. The general consensus is that this disease is not going away unless we take action. So far, statistics are showing that vaccines are the best safeguard against dying from it. Masks help keep people from unintentionally infecting others around them.
These are the messages that have been hammered home in the news around the world, and in scripted and unscripted television programming. For nearly two years.
Meanwhile, alternative news sources have argued different “facts” and ideas about the pandemic. For nearly two years.
And politicians have argued ever-changing protocols, financial supports, and even their own pandemic mis-behaviour. For nearly two years.
Maybe she’s just decided to go back to normal. No masks, no more vaccine. Let us know how that works out for you, Bari, as thousands die daily in North America.
Unfortunately, in an editorially irresponsible move, Weiss didn’t explain herself. Instead, she’s been revelling in being the topic of conversation for millions of viewers.
Well I, too, am “done with” COVID. I’m done complaining. I’m done being frustrated by the protocols. I’m done searching out the latest media information 24/7. And I’m done with television programming that thinks a global pandemic is simply good entertainment.
Because that’s just sick.