Imagine having a volunteer workforce willing to do all your dirty work — and at no charge! World governments have, for the most part, done a lousy job of containing the pandemic, but they’ve outperformed themselves when it comes to recruiting a brigade of snitches and public shamers. We now have an army of COVID Karens and Kens eager to pounce on any infraction (real or imagined) of the chaotic collection of executive orders, public health mandates and hastily-drafted rules designed to protect us from ourselves. As Pogo opined back in the day, “we have met the enemy and he is us.” Indeed.
During Lockdown 1.0, Washington State set up a web site where snitchers could anonymously report businesses that had dared to leave their doors open. This worked out well enough until somebody leaked a copy of the database – some 25,000 records – complete with the names and email addresses of the snitchers. This can be particularly damaging in smaller communities where everybody knows everybody else.
Washington could have saved themselves a lot of trouble. We soon learned there are plenty of people happy to call the police on their own because the neighbors have more than six people over for dinner. The resulting Gestapo-state tactics are then captured on smartphones and broadcast on social media for everyone to enjoy.
Today on Twitter we were treated to a couple of masked Karens confronting a couple of men drinking coffee on a Washington-bound train. (It’s difficult to drink coffee with a mask on, but never mind that.) The lead mask Karen dangled the threat of her 73,000 followers, unware that the altercation was being captured and rapidly weaponized by one Ashley StClair, a patriot with nearly 400,000 followers. A picture, or in this case a Tweet, is worth a thousand words:
Public shamings probably happen thousands of times a day in America. It happened to me recently when I was told to cover my face while grabbing a library book at curbside pickup. I was outside and more than 30 feet from any other human being. The mask Karens are everywhere.
Has everybody lost their minds? Not yet. My friend Eileen lives on a quiet cul-de-sac. Despite the governor’s outdoor-mask orders, her kids play outside everyday with the other neighborhood kids. None of them wear masks. Life for them is still pretty normal, though some are now being home schooled. They laugh and scream and run around and make noise like kids should. Eileen has friends and family over and teaches yoga classes in her home. Nobody has called the cops.
We need more of this. We need to take a stand for sanity. New Yorkers like Ashley StClair don’t take a lot of crap, but a lot of other people will cave to social pressures. If we don’t stop this nonsense, it’s just a matter of time before the COVID Karens will be demanding that everyone display proof of vaccination or wear masks while they walk their dog. I don’t want to live in that kind of country, do you?