Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge has one-upped most woke universities. It’s demonstrating vividly the inevitable extension of wokeness: living in a police state.
As it and other Louisiana higher education institutions start the 2022 year of instruction, it continues its Wuhan coronavirus vaccine passport regime, which means either having a relatively unaged vaccination or recent negative test. For now, it requires face coverings indoors or on buses and within 50 feet of a building entrance. Passport violation results in student disenrollment and employee discipline.
That such measures have little to do with protecting the public goes without saying. The science consistently has noted that mask mandates don’t really affect transmission, that it is next to impossible to transmit the virus outdoors unless people are on top of each other for an extended period, and vaccination doesn’t prevent transmission especially in closed environments of lengthy co-mingling.
Adding to the absurdity, the overwhelming number of people involved, students, are the lowest risk population on Earth. Over the last six months, the risk of a person in the broader age group (15-24) dying of or with the virus (the U.S. Centers for Disease Control does not clearly distinguish between the two), was 0.001 percent, and almost every single death came with a co-morbidity. Plus, evolving research increasingly associates myocarditis particularly in young males with receiving shots, with the latest showing that as many as 1 in 1,860 men 18-24 years old developed myocarditis after the second shot, well above the baseline norm.
Worse yet, getting shots and more shots as the LSU policy strongly incentivizes the latest research also shows increases risk substantially for myocarditis for younger men. Each shot approximately of the Pfizer kind doubles the odds and these quadruple for the Moderna variety.
And with the ascendancy of the omicron variant, the dynamics have changed further against the system’s (these rules apply to all system campuses) nonsensical rules. Current vaccines offer little protection against this version which has become massively dominant worldwide, and unvaccinated people previously infected have less chance of reinfection with it than even those who have had two shots; LSU refuses to acknowledge the place of acquired immunization in its virus rules.
Plus, the omicron surge potentially could put into place a weaker version that scientists have discovered takes the infection fatality rate, largely shaped by the previous dominant delta strain that among the younger didn’t differ much than influenza, to just a fraction of the flu’s level. And rapidly so, given the highly transmissible nature of omicron that after its emergence two months ago already appears to have peaked in those initial outbreak areas and has started a steep decline.
This environment reveals even more starkly the stupidity behind LSU’s policy touting ineffective measures for a situation about to be, if not already, past its worst. But the worst of all is how LSU wants to go beyond this by monitoring wastewater emanating from residents in any form of university housing and then forcing them to undergo additional testing if authorities deem the product too saturated with remnants of the virus.
Such a guilty before proven innocent approach, inflicting additional costs upon individuals based upon not their individual actions but those of the collective, insults norms of decency and disregards human rights. Predictably, this approach neatly dovetails with the woke attitudes awash in higher education where critical theory condemns and singles out for reeducation individuals of certain races and, to a lesser degree, males and those who don’t believe in privileging people who don’t identify with their biological sex, merely because these individuals are of a certain race, sex, or possess certain politically incorrect attitudes.
Higher education institutions should foster freedom of inquiry, encourage critical thinking that may challenge authoritarian attitudes, and champion the use of reason in understanding the human condition. Particularly imitating Stasi-like surveillance, much less for no good public policy reason, shouldn’t be on the agenda. The virus rules LSU has imposed ignores these basic tenets of a university’s existence in favor of achieving political goals unrelated to genuine health needs.