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Harvard Student: We Are ‘COVID Sheep’

Senior calls out fellow students for conformity to 'irrational COVID restrictions'

Masked Harvard Medical School students / hms.harvard.edu
• February 23, 2022 2:20 pm

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A Harvard student is calling out her fellow students for perpetuating "irrational COVID restrictions" and contributing to a political climate of aggressive conformity that will stymie American excellence.

In a Wall Street Journal editorial, senior Julie Hartman argues that students at the storied school have readily complied with requirements for vaccination, mask wearing, and social distancing despite "the discouraging realization that many of them do little to protect public health." Some have even taken pleasure in the restrictions, she writes, seeing them as a "moral high ground" from which they may "condescend to and control others." The result is that America's "future leaders" have adopted a "prevailing mood" of "resignation, learned helplessness, and reluctance to dissent."

The Washington Free Beacon reported in January of a similar phenomenon at Yale University. An anonymous COVID "safety" reporting system, which according to one student "made campus feel like a surveillance state," has felt "like overkill" to some at the school, but there has been no "organized opposition to the restrictions themselves." Instead, many undergraduates have chosen to keep silent rather than risk "shame" and "administrative consequences."

Hartman says the conformity is now a defining feature of America's elite.

"My peers and I are often told that we are the future leaders of America," she writes. "We may be the future decision makers, but most of us aren't leaders. Our principal concern is becoming members of the American elite, with whatever compromises, concessions, and conformity that requires."

Published under: Campus, COVID-19, Harvard