“Fifteen days to slow the spread,” they said. Three semesters online, three faulty experimental jabs in the arm, and thousands of littered face rags later, we’re still waiting— muzzled, of course, and blue in the face. It is now day 696, and President Ryan—along with his posse of deans, administrators, and students at the Cavalier Daily and Student Council—is adamant on securing another 700. At his wish, we’ll be masked in class until we’re brain dead.
Perhaps slowing the spread of brain activity (literally and figuratively) is the real goal of it all anyway. If it is, it sure has worked so far. Motivation among younger generations has undoubtedly taken a hit after a year and a half of rolling out of bed for Zoom school. With nothing to do all day but order toothpaste and melatonin on Amazon and scroll TikTok and Twitter—where kids are told they are good citizens for staying inside and getting triple-injected—how can one possibly think people haven’t lost brain cells?
University mandates have become more mindless too. Students came back from winter break to an onslaught of emails from administrators informing them of the precautions the school would be subjecting them to because of the Omicron variant. To start the semester, food and beverage was temporarily banned from all school-sponsored events to prevent anyone from having an excuse to take masks off indoors. With this policy in place, concession stands at John Paul Jones Arena were shuttered for basketball games. An email on January 14th urged “University community members to avoid organizing or attending large indoor events,” although basketball games, which are large indoor events, remained operating at full capacity. Fraternity and sorority rush was moved online, but dining halls were permitted to be full. One-on-one appointments at the career center and all job fairs have remained online as well.
Students were also forced to get a booster shot in order to enroll for the semester. Although studies overwhelmingly show that boosters (and the vaccines in general) are not necessary for previously infected individuals, children, or young adults; don’t prevent transmission of the virus; violate federal law, the Nuremberg Code, and UVA Health’s own Patient’s Rights policy; are completely unethical; and do more harm than good; the Capital-S Science deemed them safe, effective, and most importantly, virtuous, so UVA—ignoring a grassroots petition—followed through. Ninety-nine percent of students are vaccinated, and those with religious or medical exemptions are discriminately required to get tested weekly to ensure they are clean, as well as those granted exemptions from the booster (so much for “inclusion”). Masks, of course, are still required in class (even after the CDC—yes, the esteemed arbiter of all Covid-truths—now admits cloth masks don’t work. I’m old enough to remember when saying that was considered misinformation. Maybe one day they will admit none of them actually work).
Even though UVA has acknowledged that Omicron “causes a milder course of illness” and many in the community will still “contract a mild case,” their emails and mandates can pretty much be summed up like this: We’re all in this together, and we love you! But if you don’t get a booster before Glenn Youngkin is sworn in, which could potentially prevent us from forcing you to get one, we will kick you out! Yes, UVA shifted their booster deadline to the day before Youngkin’s inauguration (for health reasons, of course!). Only a few days later did the state’s new Attorney General Jason Miyares issue an advisory opinion claiming state universities don’t have the authority to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for students “as a condition for enrollment or in-person attendance,” and following the announcement, President Ryan smugly emailed the student body exclaiming the issue as “a moot point for us at UVA.”
These blows are only the beginning of a much-needed, long-awaited clash between the new administration in Richmond and academic bureaucrats across the state. Almost immediately after assuming office, Governor Youngkin lifted the mask mandate for all K-12 public schools. School boards instantly pushed back, and some districts even went as far as to segregate students who chose to no longer wear one (if it isn’t the return of “separate but equal,” one of the Democratic Party’s favorites). At UVA, University Counsel Tim Heaphy, who also happens to be chief investigative counsel for the January 6th Select Committee, was removed by AG Miyares, who cited the need for a “return to giving legal advice based on the law, and not the philosophy of a university.”
Such recent developments signal that Youngkin could potentially appoint new members to UVA’s Board of Visitors. The BoV has the authority to hire and fire the president and manages the University and its health system. As of now, all seventeen seats are McAuliffe and Northam appointees. If Youngkin shakes up the Board, UVA and it’s mask-loving woke crew should brace for impact. Nonetheless, the current sentiment suggests it is not likely they will give up their tyrannical throne without a fight.
This situation is a microcosm for the entire globe— it too, is at a crossroads. People are finally waking up to the reality that the pandemic response was and continues to be a totalitarian clampdown on civil liberties disguised as public health. In light of this awakening, those in power are doubling down with blatantly ridiculous mandates. This is surely the case at UVA. But if enough people actually believe in freedom, louder demands for the clown show to pull down its curtain will come.
The people of Virginia have already spoken. Their children were forced online, forced to wear masks, forced into gene therapy shots, and even forced into boosters. It was all supposedly designed to slow the spread. But it still spread, and with it came asphyxiating baggage. Virginians have weighed the risks between the virus itself and the multitude of draconian measures put in place to combat it. The scale is shattered, and they have had enough.
It’s time to declare an end to pseudo-medical tyranny. It’s time to acknowledge that our bureaucracy has intentionally horrified people into submission and shut down our way of life because it is nothing more than a federal drug cartel doing Big Pharma’s bidding. It’s time for the UVA community to readopt its values of free speech and inquiry, rigorous intellectual debate, curiosity, and reason— not mandated thought on what constitutes someone’s health or what it means to be “great and good.” 700 days of this hell was 700 too long. And not one more day can be tolerated.
So UVA, acknowledge reality. It is certainly true that the students closest to you hate freedom, crave power, and enjoy narking on anyone who offends them by exposing their nostrils. However, the overwhelming majority of your students are over it. They are over the pointless requirements and CCP-style atmosphere felt in libraries and gyms. They are over being compliant for the sake of avoiding arbitrary retribution. All they want is to go to college, and what you are giving them isn’t it.
Your students deserve the college experience you claim to offer but gravely fail to provide— the one you promised they would be granted in exchange for surrendering their bodily autonomy and human dignity. It’s day 696. Your protocols are baseless, your platitudes are nauseating, and your students ask of you one thing: Give up.