Last week, Amherst College announced that its students will be subject to double masking and COVID testing every two weeks throughout the fall semester. Indoor catering services will be closed and the size of gatherings severely restricted.
Students, all already must be vaccinated, will spend time outside of class in their dorms, and will only be able to leave campus in a handful of defined emergencies. One of them apparently goes to the bank, though what a group of rowdy undergraduates who can’t go to local dive bars or grab a coffee for will need the money for remains a mystery.
This is sheer madness: the madness of America’s overeducated upper castes.
Years ago, I remember reading about a hostel in Bangkok that gives tourists a taste of prison life. At the entrance, guests are “reserved”, with passport photos. They sleep behind bars and are subject to a strict curfew. Even their bathrooms are shared. A night at Sook Station costs around $ 50.
Meanwhile, tuition, room and board fees in Amherst are around $ 77,000 per year. I can’t help but think that parents could save a lot of money by sending Dylan and Heather to Thailand this fall. For the price of two alternate semesters of imprisonment at the famous Selective Liberal Arts College, their children could enjoy four years at Sook. I bet the food is better.
Amherst’s new regulations obviously make no sense. They are also a good reminder, in case anyone needs them, that the contention of COVID measures having a scientific basis or common sense was abandoned by the liberal establishment a long time ago.
Instead, rules like this are a social signaling device. Their role is not to protect young people, whose risk of dying or becoming seriously ill from COVID was already almost non-existent.
Rather, it is to show that they are not like the rude morons at MAGA. You know the people I mean: the morbidly obese red monsters who drink bleach at the behest of their exiled Emperor Drumpf and inject themselves with horse medicine between ritual sacrifices of Hispanic youths and transgender people at their nightly maskless motorcycle gatherings.
Contrary to these inventions of the liberal imagination, educated members of our ruling class – in politics, business, media and, of course, education – understand that putting two ill-fitting cloth garments in front of their faces will protect them. a virus they have already been vaccinated against. They know this, just as they know that small children and the disabled don’t trust facial cues obscured by masks and that former Governor Andrew Cuomo was on top when he introduced live COVID infections into homes in the world. New York nursing while lecturing his GOP counterpart in Florida, Governor Ron De Santis.
Why the ignorant elites in charge of our universities are introducing rules like Amherst’s is no mystery. But why do young people, whose health has never been seriously threatened anyway, tolerate them? There will surely be at least a few rebels who refuse to comply, right?
I imagine something like the plot of “Animal House”, except that instead of gown parties and panty raids, our adorable heroes challenge the dean in – gasp! – wearing a single mask and sometimes even meeting inside to study physics.
I don’t hold my breath, however. The spirit of defiance that made the scorching youthful comedies of the 1980s (and before them, what was once genuinely shocking rock music) possible is as dead as John Belushi.
Children whose parents can afford Amherst’s tuition are about as likely to reject what they see as the oracular wisdom of university administrators and public health bureaucrats as they are to become electrical line technicians or fast food clerks. They know what class they belong to and, unlike the 60s and 70s, they accept the social norms that come with their exalted status.
That’s why I expect Amherst Resident Advisors to have it easy this fall. These kids would wear eight masks while jumping on pogo sticks and reciting the ABCs backwards if asked by campus authorities.
Pour one for Bluto.
Matthew Walther is editor-in-chief of The Lamp magazine.
Twitter: @Matthieu Walther