COVID-19 Hygiene Theater Is Out of Control
The 9/11 attacks gave us the heightened security theater now on display in all U.S. airports. Day after day for the last two decades, Transportation Security Administration agents have patted down travelers from teens to the elderly, looking for weapons that nobody expects to find. While airplane cockpit doors are now locked to prevent hijackings, the pat-downs remain.
And now we have pandemic hygiene theater to give uninformed people a false sense of control and sustain their fear of the virus.
Think of the number of hours that schools, restaurants, and other businesses spend wiping down surfaces to prevent COVID-19 transmission even though we’ve known since last July that this wiping isn’t necessary. Yet Americans continue to spend untold hours and dollars wiping surfaces to provide the appearance of virus protection to their patrons.
In Arlington, Virginia, my kids’ schools have implemented overly stringent and frankly illogical measures that create barriers to accessing an effective education. For starters, the schools have only welcomed back a subset of their student population for two days a week for in-person education. They’ve also reduced the number of actual teaching days from five to four, during which the kids get only half of the education time they used to get. But they do spend time and energy wiping down surfaces and making students wipe their desks. They’re also instructed daily to “limit touching of surfaces to only when is necessary.”
That isn’t the only form of hygiene theater some schools perform.
Every morning I must fill out a form for each of my kids, assuring the school that they have no fever, yet the
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