Mock already told you about the ridiculously self-serving and intellectually insulting piece in the Atlantic requesting “pandemic amnesty” for the things we all said and did in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a plea that sounds really nice on the surface– “Let’s all hold hands and forgive each other so we can move on to a brighter future!”
But the problem is that the author, Emily Oster, and her supporters (including Randi Weingarten, who is directly responsible for keeping schools closed to the detriment of our nation’s students) are demanding forgiveness without making any apologies or taking any accountability. Which would be one thing if what they were accountable for was simply, to use Oster’s words, “[making] complicated choices in the face of deep uncertainty.”
But we all know it went WAY deeper than that (and, in many ways, still does). Need proof? Look no further than Libs of TikTok’s exhaustive Twitter thread.
(I couldn’t watch the entire video of the family visiting their elderly relative through the window. I actually could feel my heart shutting down out of absolute sorrow.)
This wasn’t about “complicated decisions in the face of deep uncertainty.” This was about power, control, and fear. You may be forgiven for being afraid, but not for what your fear drove you to do. (As for the people who actually enacted these policies, well, I don’t want to get us booted from social media/myself arrested, so I’ll just keep those thoughts to myself.)
Anyone who can read these stories and watch these videos and argue that there’s no need for accountability has no heart. I said it, and I mean it. Anyone who can look into the eyes of a person who lost a loved one, a livelihood, precious time with family– who lost anything or everything– due to policies they enacted and/or supported and say, “You should forgive me,” is a literal psychopath.
No amnesty without accountability.