• Jacqueline Leighton

And here we are...again?

The year 2021 is drawing to a close. And thank God for Twitter. Yes you read this correctly. Thank God for Twitter because I have needed the echo chamber it provides. In a year where public health officials told us - with a straight face - that we needed to get vaccinated and then treat this virus as endemic, we have seen the opposite. Most of us are vaccinated and yet the draconian restrictions continue. Endemic is no where in sight. We are all vaccinated at the University of Alberta - Campus Ready - and we are still holding Zoom meetings and wearing masks. I can lecture without a mask as long as I can stay 6 feet away from students. But none of the students can take their masks off - and they are all vaccinated. Then we all walk out of the classroom with our masks on. They call it safety. I call it lunacy. But it's now baked in.

Twitter has many downs. The angry mob is ready to unleash its vitriol if you disagree with any of the militants who troll the waves. I've written about this in an earlier post. But ignoring the Twitter Trolls is relatively easy. Most use pseudonyms and their patterns of tweets become very predictable very quickly. Blocking is another route. Then you can focus on following more interesting people. And read some interesting commentary. Twitter provides a place where likeminded people can observe and comment on the dystopia we are living. It permits bearing witness to the medical overtake in which we are currently living. You know the one where down is up and up is down but you cannot ask questions. Some of the nonsense cannot be articulated out loud in polite circles. You cannot ask the question of why wearing a mask to your table at a restaurant is required but removing while you eat is okay. Well, you could ask the question but you won't receive an answer. It becomes easier to just go along with the charade. At least on Twitter you can write that it doesn't make sense. Twitter provides a space for clearer thought than what is on offer at the university right now. The newspeak of the pandemic has captured even the brightest - I think they call it risk-management.

While I wrote my latest book to be published in 2022 by Routledge - Leveraging Socio-Emotional Assessment to Foster Children's Human Rights - I followed some of the brave scientists who are speaking out about the evidence and used some of the articles to which they pointed me. Some of them are a minority in Higher Education institutions and others have taken a hit professionally for challenging the political narrative. The discussions helped me research and frame the last chapter of the book - The Assessment Elephant in the Room When Societies Discount Children. It is about the human rights abuses children have endured at the hands of governments and public health officials.

I also work at a place of higher education with a lot of really smart people, and you'd think there would be some rationality in the narrative around here. Nope. Consider this - We are a fully vaccinated campus and yet the 'masks required' posters are everywhere. Never mind that there is no one here. Most professors are not in their offices and most meetings are conducted over Zoom. Yes we can keep 6 feet of separation because there is no one here. But let me remind you - we are 100% vaccinated! I'm in my office right now and I think there are two other professors on this floor. I see very few students. I have to wear a mask to visit the ladies rest room. Is it a pandemic of the unvaccinated, a pandemic of the vaccinated, a pandemic of the masks, or no masks... a pandemic of something we haven't figured out yet? Or is it a pandemic of fear?

Vaccines were supposed to protect the individual but now everything we knew about vaccines has been turned on its head - public health officials tell us to get the shot and even boosters but they don't act like this seems to offer much protection from anything. I'm still expected to stay 6 feet apart from everyone, wear my mask and not gather in large groups. But I'm not allowed to question this because if I do, I'm simply told these are the regulations and we need to avoid misinformation. I study misinformation and critical thinking. Asking questions and assessing the evidence is not conspiratorial or giving in to misinformation. I'm supposed to trust people who have degrees in health about health but trust is earned. I was already a little wary of politicians but public health is now a new addition. I don't think I'd let them anywhere near me right now. Some of the worst offenders work at institutions of higher education. Yikes.

This holiday season I will try my best to ignore the panic porn that comes from the mainstream media, created by our trusted health officials and politicized by governments. I will ignore the newspeak or double speak or whatever they call it that comes from the people we used to trust. And when something is outrageous, I will visit Twitter and have a reality check. I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees the idiocy of what we are being told! My husband brought home a Spanish wine - 1984 they call it. I smiled immediately. We have found the wine for the season. Perhaps for the new era we are living.