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Tipsheet

The Atlantic's COVID Article That Drove Libs Insane and Caused Mass Cancellations

AP Photo/Steven Senne

The Atlantic published an op-ed about COVID in America from one person’s perspective, and it sent liberal America into a tailspin. It was a meltdown that led to scores of people canceling subscriptions, albeit those declarations were made by liberals on Twitter. Matthew Walther of The American Conservative decided to give his insight on COVID in America. He was blunt and straightforward: except for the cities and the urban-based professional elites—no one cares about the virus anymore. Most Americans are getting on with their lives. I would say that’s true. I live in deep-blue Northern Virginia. There are no mask mandates. The gyms are open. The bars are open. The restaurants are open. The Old Dominion, along with other states, has been free of COVID protocols…for months. Liberals here don’t go nuts when I walk into the grocery store without a mask on—but apparently, this piece really triggered the snowflakes (via The Atlantic):

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I am old enough to remember the good old days when holiday-advice pieces were all variations on “How to Talk to Your Tea Party Uncle About Obamacare.” As Christmas approaches, we can look forward to more of this sort of thing, with the meta-ethical speculation advanced to an impossibly baroque stage of development. Is it okay for our 2-year-old son to hug Grandma at a Christmas party if she received her booster only a few days ago? Should the toddler wear a mask except when he is slopping mashed potatoes all over his booster seat? Our oldest finally attended her first (masked) sleepover with other fully vaccinated 10-year-olds, but one of them had a sibling test positive at day care. Should she stay home or wear a face shield? What about Omicron?

I don’t know how to put this in a way that will not make me sound flippant: No one cares. Literally speaking, I know that isn’t true, because if it were, the articles wouldn’t be commissioned. But outside the world inhabited by the professional and managerial classes in a handful of major metropolitan areas, many, if not most, Americans are leading their lives as if COVID is over, and they have been for a long while.

In my part of rural southwest Michigan, and in similar communities throughout the country, this is true not despite but without any noticeable regard for cases; hospitalization statistics, which are always high this time of year without attracting much notice; or death reports. I don’t mean to deny COVID’s continuing presence. (For the purposes of this piece, I looked up the COVID data for my county and found that the seven-day average for positive tests is as high as it has ever been, and that 136 deaths have been attributed to the virus since June 2020.) What I wish to convey is that the virus simply does not factor into my calculations or those of my neighbors, who have been forgoing masks, tests (unless work imposes them, in which case they are shrugged off as the usual BS from human resources), and other tangible markers of COVID-19’s existence for months—perhaps even longer.

[…]

The CDC recommends that all adults get a booster shot; I do not know a single person who has received one. When I read headlines like “Here’s Who May Need a Fourth COVID-19 Vaccine Dose,” I find myself genuinely reeling. Wait, there are four of them now? I would be lying if I said I knew what all the variants were or what differences exist between them. (They all sound like the latest entry in some down-market action franchise: Tom Clancy’s Delta Variant: A Jack Ryan Novel, Transformers 4: Rise of the Omicron.) COVID is invisible to me except when I am reading the news, in which case it strikes me with all the force of reports about distant coups in Myanmar.

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Look, the core of this piece is how the Walther family is living their lives in the COVID era, and apparently, it’s super distressing to people who don’t even know this guy. I’m sure there are readers of Townhall who don’t agree with everything posted, which is healthy. I don’t think I’ve ever had the inclination to cancel a subscription because someone wrote something that I found disagreeable. This is America. There is the First Amendment. There are millions of opinions, and it doesn’t ruin my day that not everyone thinks like me. This is hardly a controversial piece, but if you read the replies to The Atlantic’s tweet sharing this article—you’d think Walther wrote a full-throated defense piece about national socialism.

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Living your life is now problematic in liberal America. Lord Jesus. 

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