“The Covid Yentes” – Write of Center
There are no “perfect
synonyms”, my high school English teacher maintained. Words can be close, never
quite, in meaning. Take the word informant. The thesaurus offers: snitch, tipster, squealer, canary, ratfink,
“You know the old expression about snitches. Well, in this case, snitches get rewards,” Democratic Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti chortled, in early April 2020, encouraging citizens to call the dedicated COVID-19 “Violations of the Safer at Home Order” hotline. He never specified what the “reward” would be. Around this time, numerous Southern California police departments were overwhelmed with 911 calls from COVID-19 narcs, eager to report neighbors who but coughed.
A month earlier, Democratic Kentucky Governor, Andy Beshear, established a COVID-19 snitch line, which began with his recorded message, “The purpose of this hotline is to report observations of noncompliance with restrictions on workplace and public gatherings.” The line was open from 7:30 AM to 9:30 PM. Nighthawk tattlers were instructed to leave a message. RedState reporter Jeff Charles consistently got a recorded message that “all agents were busy” – assisting the stoolies.
The Yiddish word for a busybody is yente.
Great Britain’s police departments heeded the call to arms. Humberside, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Avon and Somerset departments created dedicated hotlines and on-line portals so that self-righteous informers could denounce alleged violators.
The bad medicine backfired on New York City mayor, Democrat Bill De Blasio. In April 2020, he sanctioned his “action will ensue – $1,000 fines” hotline. By texting 311-698, citizens could submit photos of social distance violators. Manhattanites responded by submitting vulgar anti-De Blasio messages and numerous photos of a particular male organ. The system quickly crashed and was then dismantled. New Yorkers were not buying into this form of societal backstabbing. This is the same De Blasio who gloats over shutting down Yeshivas.
Germany has banned singing in churches. Any canaries supervising this?
Youtube has a video of a woman, beautiful voice, at a neighborhood gathering in the The Villages, Florida, singing “I’m Proud to be an American”. Friends in The Villages have told me that more than a few residents of neighboring Village communities phoned the police to report the (gasp!) social non-distancing and non-mask wearing of the woman and the audience. COVID-19 has spawned gaggles of yentes.
Is there pleasure in anonymously reporting neighbors who violate the “new normal” by attending barbeques and birthday parties? Yentes afflicted with Coronavirus Derangement Syndrome.
Read Stanley Milgram’s “Obedience to Authority”.
San Antonio recently encouraged people to dial 210-207-SAPD and report stay at home violators. On May 7, it embellished this by passing a resolution declaring that the words “Chinese Virus” and “Kung-Fu Virus” constituted hate crimes and urged reporting anyone using these phrases to the authorities for “investigation”.
The Carrolton, TX police department requested dedicated COVID-19 spy ware in the form of utility vehicles and drones.
More than several nations are considering “immunity passports” or bracelets, for those recovered from COVID-19. Chile is forging full speed ahead. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergies & Infectious Diseases is a big fan of these branding devices. The WHO is not, and it has nothing to do with its desire to preserve privacy. Rather, these documents are considered unreliable and subject to forgery. Apple and Google are jointly developing a Bluetooth-based COVID-19 contact tracing tool.
My friend Iulia escaped the Romanian dictatorship (1965 – 1989) of Nicolae Ceausescu. At the height of his Communist control, one Romanian citizen in 43, or half a million out of a population of 22 million, were Securitate informants. 5,000 priests and 1,700 church personnel were imprisoned. The Orthodox Church then began singing Ceausescu’s praises.
One evening, Iulia’s father did not return home from work. He had been attending secret religious gatherings. A Securitate mole had infiltrated the group. He prayed with them, for purposes of spying, then exposed them. Two others in the group were never seen, nor heard from, again.
Iulia became a naturalized citizen and established a good life in America. She often relates how wonderful it is to not be under surveillance nor be fearful of every word spoken. The perfect synonym for liberty, Iulia knows, is America.
Austin, TX Mayor, Democrat Steve Adler, recently recommended that businesses and dine-in restaurants maintain A COVID-19 “activity log”, replete with customers’ contact information, time/date of visit and where they were seated. While not “mandatory”, disobedient businesses may be punished by the city’s health department, “without limit and within its discretion”. Washington State Governor, Democrat Jay Inslee, wants “detailed logs”. The People’s Republic of Oregon is considering same.
I shared these COVID vignettes with Iulia. Her immediate response was, “Ceausescu lives”.
Mary Himlin is President of the Kendall County Republican Club