• Joanne Jacobs

Pandemic amnesty: Is it time?

My resolution for 2021, renewed for 2022, was to be kind and calm. There is enough nastiness and enough hysteria out there without me piling on. So I am receptive to economist Emily Oster's call in The Atlantic for a pandemic amnesty that would let us "learn from our mistakes" and focus on the future.


Photo: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

In 2020, there was a lot we didn't know about Covid, writes Oster. She recalls masking up her family to go hiking.


Remember the playgrounds were taped off, so kids stuck in crowded apartments couldn't play outside?


Oster wrote that "schools should reopen" and that "kids as a group were not at high risk," and was called a “teacher killer” and a “génocidaire.” She's ready to forgive her attackers, forego the gloating and move on to deal with historic declines in math and reading, especially for disadvantaged students.


"The standard saying is that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it," she concludes. "But dwelling on the mistakes of history can lead to a repetitive doom loop as well."


Steyn Online's Lauren Rosen Cohen, a mother of two in Canada, says "hell no" to amnesty.


First, she wants the policy makers to apologize and vow never to do it again.


Her older child will get only one full, normal year of high school, Cohen writes. Who will apologize for that? Her severely disabled son's school was closed, then reopened for special-needs students with teachers "masked and face-shielded and in HAZMAT type space suits." His panic attacks were diagnosed as seizures. After multiple hospital trips, they pulled him out of school for months. When they tried to ease him back in, Cohen wasn't allowed in the classroom. For weeks, she stood "outside the window in the -20 C of a Canadian winter" to observe.


"Now is the time for investigation, accountability and steadfast resolve and certainly not amnesty or absolution," writes Cohen.


Babylon Bee reports from a galaxy far, far away:


"Acknowledging past decisions that, while well intended, were destructive, and learning a ragtag team of rebels might win again, the Galactic Empire has proposed amnesty for anyone who may have gotten a little carried away and blown up several planets," reports the Babylon Bee.


"Let's not bicker and argue about who annihilated whose planet," wrote Grand Moff Ardus Kaine in a guest opinion piece published by The Atlantic after polls showed destroying Alderaan just to get a politician to squeal did not sit well with the galaxy's citizens. "Oopsies happen. Forgive and forget, I always say."

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