10 ways to fight back against woke culture

By Bari Weiss

I realize the faddish thing to say these days is that we live in the worst, most broken and backward country in the world and maybe in the history of civilization. It’s utter nonsense.

I have a few basic litmus tests in my own life: Can I wear a tank top in public? Can I walk down the street holding the hand of my partner, a (beautiful) woman, in many places in America without getting a second glance? Can I wear a Jewish star without fear?

I do not take those things for granted. I know very well that in many other places, the answers would be different, and my life wouldn’t be possible at all.

America is imperfect. (Does it even need to be said?) There is bigotry toward blacks and gays and Jews and immigrants; there is intense polarization; political violence is becoming more regular; elected representatives believe conspiracy theories. All true here as in many other countries being torn apart by the dislocations of the 21st century.

But there is no gulag in America. There are no laws permitting honor killings. There is no formal social credit system of the kind that exists right now in China. By any measure, we have achieved incredible progress and enjoy extraordinary freedoms. And yet people aren’t acting that way. They are acting, increasingly, like subjects in a totalitarian country.

These people write to me daily. They admit to regularly censoring themselves at work and with friends; succumbing to social pressure to tweet the right hashtag; to parroting slogans they do not believe to protect their livelihoods, like the greengrocer in Václav Havel’s famous essay “The Power of the Powerless.”

These people aren’t crazy. They are scared for good reason.

How much does it cost me to log on to Twitter and accuse you, right now, of an -ism? America is fast developing its own informal social credit system, as the writer Rod Dreher has noted, in which people with the wrong politics or online persona are banned from social media sites and online financial networks.

When everything is recorded for eternity, when making mistakes and taking risks are transformed into capital offenses, when things that were common sense until two seconds ago become unsayable, people make the understandable decision to simply shut up.

Do not nod along when you hear the following: That Abraham Lincoln’s name on a public school or his likeness on a statue is white supremacy. (It is not; he is a hero.) That separating people into racial affinity groups is progressive. (It is a form of segregation.) That looting has no victims (untrue) and that small-business owners can cope anyway because they have insurance (nonsense). That any disparity of outcome is evidence of systemic oppression (false). That America is evil. (It is the last hope on Earth.)

This list could go on for a thousand pages. These may have become conventional wisdom in certain circles, but they are lies.

Yet too many good people are sacrificing the common good, and therefore their long-term security, for the sake of short-term comfort.

Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco is at risk of being renamed by woke city leaders.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File

It’s time to stand up and fight back. That means you. Social conservatives. Never-Trump Republicans, and anti-anti-Trump Republicans, too. Lukewarm liberals and libertarians. Progressives who have a little curiosity still left. Exhausted parents who want nothing to do with politics. Joe Rogan stans. Reddit revolutionaries and the hedgies getting crushed. Facebookers and email chainers and Etsy-shop owners and Boomers who still use AOL accounts. Start with the following 10 principles:

1. Remind yourself, right now, of the following truth: You are free.

Bari Weiss

It’s true that we live in an upside-down time in which pressing the “like” button on the wrong thing can bring untold consequences. But giving in to those who seek to confine you only hurts you in the long run. Your loss of self is the most significant thing that could be taken away from you. Don’t give it up for anything.

2. Be honest.

Do not say anything about yourself or others that you know is false. Absolutely refuse to let your mind be colonized. The first crazy thing someone asks you to believe or to profess, refuse. If you can, do so out loud. There is a good chance it will inspire others to speak up, too.

3. Stick to your principles.

If you are a decent person, you know mob justice is never just. So never join a mob. Ever. Even if you agree with the mob. If you are a decent person, you know betraying friends is wrong. So if a friend or a colleague does something you disagree with, write them a private note. Don’t be a snitch. Any mob that comes for them will come for you.

4. Set an example for your kids and your community.

That means being courageous. I understand that it’s hard. Really hard. But in other times and places, including in our own nation, people have made far greater sacrifices. (Think of those “honored dead” who “gave the last full measure of devotion.”) If enough people make the leap, we will achieve something like herd immunity. Jump.

5. If you don’t like it, leave it.

A class in college, a job, anything. Get out and do your own thing. I fully understand the impulse to want to change things from within. And by all means: Try as hard as you can. But if the leopard is currently eating the face of the person at the cubicle next to yours, I promise it’s not going to refrain from eating yours if you post the black square on Instagram.

6. Become more self-reliant.

If you can learn to use a power drill, do it. If you’ve always wanted an outdoor solar hot tub, make one. Learn to poach an egg or shoot a gun. Most importantly: Get it in your head that platforms are not neutral. If you don’t believe me, look at Parler and look at Robinhood. To the extent that you can build your life to be self-reliant and not 100 percent reliant on the Web, it’s a good thing. It will make you feel competent and powerful. Which you are.

7. Worship God more than Yale.

In other words, do not lose sight of what is essential. Professional prestige is not essential. Being popular is not essential. Getting your child into an elite preschool is not essential. Doing the right thing is essential. Telling the truth is essential. Protecting your kids is essential.

8. Make like-minded friends.

Then stand up for them. Two good tests: Are they willing to tell the truth even if it hurts their own side? And do they think that humor should never be a casualty, no matter how bleak the circumstances? These people are increasingly rare. When you find them, hold on tight.

9. Trust your own eyes and ears.

Rely on firsthand information from people you trust rather than on media spin. When you hear someone making generalizations about a group of people, imagine they are talking about you and react accordingly. If people insist on spouting back headlines and talking points, make them prove it, in their own words.

10. Use your capital to build original, interesting and generative things right now. This minute.

Every day I hear from those with means with children at private schools who are being brainwashed; people who run companies where they are scared of their own employees; people who donate to their alma mater even though it betrays their principles. Enough. You have the ability to build new things. If you don’t have the financial capital, you have the social or political capital. Or the ability to sweat. The work of our lifetimes is the Great Build. Let’s go.

Bari Weiss is the author of “How to Fight Anti-Semitism.” Follow her writings at: bariweiss.substack.com.

CENSORSHIP has killed SCIENCE

How many times have you heard about a cure for Cancer, a cure for Diabetes, or even a cure for Autism?
NONE of these, unfortunately, panned out but we got to hear about them. Got hopeful. Discussed them with our doctors. Tried one for Autism. And patiently waited for another breakthrough.

We don’t get that hope with the big tech censorship that’s in place.

We don’t hear from doctors treating patients outside of an ER if they mention a particular drug. A drug that HAS to be discussed and dispensed by your physician. A drug that has long term dose complications (for some) and a telephone book list of contraindications, for others.

Shutting down the DISCUSSION from doctors treating patients OUTSIDE an ER or HOSPITAL is what’s missing.

Shutting down other countries SUCCESS with a drug is making this political.

Pulling small dose studies that show strides in favor of large dose studies that harmed patients, is what’s hurting science.

I cannot post that a neighbor took #HCQ successfully without FB or Google or Twitter pulling it down.

We might as well be LIVING in China.

CENSORSHIP has killed science.

The Silent Majority SPEAKS🗣

I can’t keep up. I just can’t. I’m exhausted trying to figure out what we’re all supposed to do, believe, and be offended and outraged by next.

Two months ago, First Responders were all the rage. In fact, they were heroes. We gave them free coffee, meals, and cheers as they drove by. Today, we hate them and want them defunded because they can’t be trusted.

Two months ago, truck drivers were the heroes, as well, for keeping America moving and the grocery stores stocked. Today we block the roads with protesters, drag them out of the cabs and beat them half to death.

Just 45 days ago protests weren’t “essential” and were considered criminal, selfish and a murderous activity. Today they are gloriously critical and celebrated. All of the obvious criminal and murderous activities are simply ignored. If you protest about lock downs for freedom, you are selfish and you will spread a virus. If you protest, loot, and riot for social justice, you are a warrior and the virus fades to the background.

Trust the experts. No, not those experts. Don’t wear masks … wear masks, but only good ones. Wait, don’t wear masks, wear anything as a mask. Never mind on the masks. Not sure, but if you don’t, you hate people because you could be an asymptomatic spreader. Wait. That’s not a thing anymore?

For 3 months, NOTHING was more important than social distance. In fact, we gave up all of our liberties for it. We canceled schools, medical and dental procedures, yet allowed the murder of babies, canceled activities, closed businesses, eliminated every spring rite of passage from prom to graduation, denied people funerals, even at Arlington, and we wrecked the economy for it. Then came social justice, and social distance was no more. Now things are more cut and dried though. A thousand people at three memorials for someone they never even met. It’s a matter of “respect”. But you can only assemble 100 or less people.

I’m really confused now. Look at the data, NO, not that data. Do the math. No, you can’t do the math like that. Only the experts can understand the data and math. What do you mean other cities/states/governors are interpreting the data differently? Pools are safe in Indiana, but not Michigan? Playgrounds are safe in your town but not mine? Amusement parks are safe in Florida but not Ohio, nor Michigan.

If you are silent you are part of the problem. If you speak, you are part of the problem. If you have to ask, you don’t understand. If you don’t ask, you don’t care.

It’s all so predictable, tedious, and exhausting. Nothing adds up. It’s one gigantic Math life problem, with ever changing denominators that I’m sure the media and politicians are eagerly ready to solve for us…until the next “crisis”.

Good Advice for those looking for Guidance on ending their Stay-at-Home orders …

illustrator unknown

Penned by James Stein, a cardiologist at UW on May 6, 2020

COVID-19 update as we start to leave our cocoons. The purpose of this post is to provide a perspective on the intense but expected anxiety so many people are experiencing as they prepare to leave the shelter of their homes. My opinions are not those of my employers and are not meant to invalidate anyone else’s – they simply are my perspective on managing risk.

In March, we did not know much about COVID-19 other than the incredibly scary news reports from overrun hospitals in China, Italy, and other parts of Europe. The media was filled with scary pictures of chest CT scans, personal stories of people who decompensated quickly with shortness of breath, overwhelmed health care systems, and deaths. We heard confusing and widely varying estimates for risk of getting infected and of dying – some estimates were quite high.

Key point #1: The COVID-19 we are facing now is the same disease it was 2 months ago. The “shelter at home” orders were the right step from a public health standpoint to make sure we flattened the curve and didn’t overrun the health care system which would have led to excess preventable deaths. It also bought us time to learn about the disease’s dynamics, preventive measures, and best treatment strategies – and we did. For hospitalized patients, we have learned to avoid early intubation, to use prone ventilation, and that remdesivir probably reduces time to recovery. We have learned how to best use and preserve PPE. We also know that several therapies suggested early on probably don’t do much and may even cause harm (ie, azithromycin, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir). But all of our social distancing did not change the disease. Take home: We flattened the curve and with it our economy and psyches, but the disease itself is still here.

Key point #2: COVID-19 is more deadly than seasonal influenza (about 5-10x so), but not nearly as deadly as Ebola, Rabies, or Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever where 25-90% of people who get infected die. COVID-19’s case fatality rate is about 0.8-1.5% overall, but much higher if you are 60-69 years old (3-4%), 70-79 years old (7-9%), and especially so if you are over 80 years old (CFR 13-17%). It is much lower if you are under 50 years old (<0.6%). The infection fatality rate is about half of these numbers. Take home: COVID-19 is dangerous, but the vast majority of people who get it, survive it. About 15% of people get very ill and could stay ill for a long time. We are going to be dealing with it for a long time.

Key point #3: SARS-CoV-2 is very contagious, but not as contagious as Measles, Mumps, or even certain strains of pandemic Influenza. It is spread by respiratory droplets and aerosols, not food and incidental contact. Take home: social distancing, not touching our faces, and good hand hygiene are the key weapons to stop the spread. Masks could make a difference, too, especially in public places where people congregate. Incidental contact is not really an issue, nor is food.

What does this all mean as we return to work and public life? COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon. It may not go away for a year or two and may not be eradicated for many years, so we have to learn to live with it and do what we can to mitigate (reduce) risk. That means being willing to accept some level of risk to live our lives as we desire. I can’t decide that level of risk for you – only you can make that decision. There are few certainties in pandemic risk management other than that fact that some people will die, some people in low risk groups will die, and some people in high risk groups will survive. It’s about probability.

Here is some guidance – my point of view, not judging yours:

  1. People over 60 years old are at higher risk of severe disease – people over 70 years old, even more so. They should be willing to tolerate less risk than people under 50 years old and should be extra careful. Some chronic diseases like heart disease and COPD increase risk, but it is not clear if other diseases like obesity, asthma, immune disorders, etc. increase risk appreciably. It looks like asthma and inflammatory bowel disease might not be as high risk as we thought, but we are not sure – their risks might be too small to pick up, or they might be associated with things that put them at higher risk.

People over 60-70 years old probably should continue to be very vigilant about limiting exposures if they can. However, not seeing family – especially children and grandchildren – can take a serious emotional toll, so I encourage people to be creative and flexible. For example, in-person visits are not crazy – consider one, especially if you have been isolated and have no symptoms. They are especially safe in the early days after restrictions are lifted in places like Madison or parts of major cities where there is very little community transmission. Families can decide how much mingling they are comfortable with – if they want to hug and eat together, distance together with masks, or just stay apart and continue using video-conferencing and the telephone to stay in contact. If you choose to intermingle, remember to practice good hand hygiene, don’t share plates/forks/spoons/cups, don’t share towels, and don’t sleep together.

  1. Social distancing, not touching your face, and washing/sanitizing your hands are the key prevention interventions. They are vastly more important than anything else you do. Wearing a fabric mask is a good idea in crowded public place like a grocery store or public transportation, but you absolutely must distance, practice good hand hygiene, and don’t touch your face. Wearing gloves is not helpful (the virus does not get in through the skin) and may increase your risk because you likely won’t washing or sanitize your hands when they are on, you will drop things, and touch your face.
  2. Be a good citizen. If you think you might be sick, stay home. If you are going to cough or sneeze, turn away from people, block it, and sanitize your hands immediately after.
  3. Use common sense. Dial down the anxiety. If you are out taking a walk and someone walks past you, that brief (near) contact is so low risk that it doesn’t make sense to get scared. Smile at them as they approach, turn your head away as they pass, move on. The smile will be more therapeutic than the passing is dangerous. Similarly, if someone bumps into you at the grocery store or reaches past you for a loaf of bread, don’t stress – it is a very low risk encounter, also – as long as they didn’t cough or sneeze in your face (one reason we wear cloth masks in public!).
  4. Use common sense, part II. Dial down the obsessiveness. There really is no reason to go crazy sanitizing items that come into your house from outside, like groceries and packages. For it to be a risk, the delivery person would need to be infectious, cough or sneeze some droplets on your package, you touch the droplet, then touch your face, and then it invades your respiratory epithelium. There would need to be enough viral load and the virions would need to survive long enough for you to get infected. It could happen, but it’s pretty unlikely. If you want to have a staging station for 1-2 days before you put things away, sure, no problem. You also can simply wipe things off before they come in to your house – that is fine is fine too. For an isolated family, it makes no sense to obsessively wipe down every surface every day (or several times a day). Door knobs, toilet handles, commonly trafficked light switches could get a wipe off each day, but it takes a lot of time and emotional energy to do all those things and they have marginal benefits. We don’t need to create a sterile operating room-like living space. Compared to keeping your hands out of your mouth, good hand hygiene, and cleaning food before serving it, these behaviors might be more maladaptive than protective.
  5. There are few absolutes, so please get comfortable accepting some calculated risks, otherwise you might be isolating yourself for a really, really long time. Figure out how you can be in public and interact with people without fear.

We are social creatures. We need each other. We will survive with and because of each other. Social distancing just means that we connect differently. Being afraid makes us contract and shut each other out. I hope we can fill that space created by fear and contraction with meaningful connections and learn to be less afraid of each of other.

What to Put in a Covid-19 Emergency Home-Care Kit

Most people who get sick from the coronavirus won’t be going to the hospital. Here’s what doctors say you need to be ready at home.

If you or a family member gets infected with the coronavirus, it is very likely that you’ll have to ride it out at home.

Most Covid-19 cases don’t require hospitalization, and as intensive-care beds fill, all but the most critical cases are being sent home. So, people should be prepared to care for themselves or their loved ones under their own roof—and that means having the right supplies to nurse the ill patient and keep the rest of the family healthy.

We asked doctors at top hospitals all over the country what they would include in their ideal Covid-19 home-care kit. We gathered their best suggestions and advice to help you organize your own.

Safety and cleaning

Isolation and cleaning supplies: bleach; face masks that cover nose and mouth (surgical masks, home-improvement masks or scarfs); gloves for entering sick room and doing laundry (latex or nitrile rubber); hand sanitizer; laundry detergent (wash everything on hot); nail brush; paper towels; soap; tissues.

The first task is to isolate patients with their own stash of tissues, disinfecting wipes, paper towels, soap and warm water.

“At the top of my wish list would be an extra bedroom with an attached bathroom. That’s the ideal scenario,” says David Buchholz, senior medical director at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Most people don’t have that luxury, but it is worth disrupting the rest of the household to try. “If you have a one-bedroom apartment, the sick person gets the bedroom. That’s key. They can’t leave, and nobody can enter. Not even pets,” Dr. Buchholz says.

Another key piece of equipment: masks. Patients should wear a face mask anytime they leave their room, and these excursions should be limited—in other words, bathroom trips only. Anyone entering the room should also wear a mask, and the sick person should likewise mask up for all visitors, regardless of age.

A simple surgical mask is recommended for home use, but given shortages, you can improvise with a scarf tied securely around the face, says Dr. Buchholz. Even hardware-store face masks used for projects like painting or sanding are better than going barefaced. The point is to keep the nose and mouth well-covered, because “if the sick person has a surprising cough or sneeze, you may not be able to turn away fast enough,” he says. Glasses are helpful for keeping spray droplets out of the eyes.

Tying a bandanna over the face outlaw-style isn’t ideal because it will gape at the chin, says Audrey Chun, a doctor in geriatrics and palliative medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “You want the mask to catch the particles from a sneeze, so it’s not spewing out the sides or the bottom,” she says.

You’ll also need gloves—rubber or latex—when you enter the sickroom or when you clean. Stock up on cleaning supplies, because everything the sick person touches—like cutlery, doorknobs or the bathroom sink—must be cleaned. You can make a DIY bleach preparation by diluting five tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water. Regular hand soap is crucial, too.

“I cannot emphasize enough the importance of hand hygiene: washing your hands with warm, soapy water and wiping down surfaces that have been touched. We know this works,” Dr. Chun says. She recommends a nail brush to scrub under fingernails.

If the bathroom is shared, sick people should use disposable paper towels instead of a shared hand towel, Dr. Buchholz says. Keep their bath towels separate from everyone else’s. And healthy family members should remove their toiletries from the shared space. “You don’t want toothbrushes to be anywhere near each other,” he says. 

Medicine

Medical supplies: cough drops; over-the-counter cold medicines; pulse oximeter and batteries (there is a pulse-oximeter app available for the iPhone, but none of the doctors we spoke to recommended it); saline nasal spray; thermometer; Tylenol/acetaminophen (children’s or infant’s versions if applicable).

Anyone who falls ill should keep in contact with their doctor and let them know if symptoms worsen. To that end, a thermometer is helpful. Since Covid-19 can affect breathing, several doctors also recommended obtaining an at-home pulse oximeter: a device that clips onto the finger and measures heart rate and blood oxygen levels, which are important indicators of how well the lungs are functioning, says Andra Blomkalns, chair of emergency medicine at Stanford School of Medicine. “I ordered 600 of them to send home with patients, and I’m glad I did.” Oximeters are sold over the counter at pharmacies and retailers.

“For a really sick person who’s not sick enough to be admitted to the hospital but they’re on the edge, having an oximeter can be incredibly reassuring,” Dr. Buchholz says.

Have your regular cold medicines on hand and Tylenol or acetaminophen. If the patient is under 18, make sure you have children’s or infant’s versions. 

“For the vast majority of kids, you can just stick to the items you would normally use for influenza or other respiratory ailments,” says Danielle Zerr, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at Seattle Children’s Hospital. It is difficult to get children to wear a face mask, so the caregiver must wear one at all times when interacting with the sick child, she says. The child’s Covid-19 symptoms may be mild, but “it’s the same virus, and it’ll be much worse in an adult,” she says.

For a dry cough, throat lozenges can be helpful, as long as the child is old enough not to choke on them. For younger children, “if they have throat pain, a little bit of warm tea with honey is a nice way to go,” Dr. Zerr says.

Food and drink

Nutrition supplies: chicken soup; daily multivitamin and vitamin C tablets; electrolyte-replacement drinks (if using sports drinks, cut in half with water); fresh ginger, lemons, dill, fresh or dried oregano; high-calorie, nutrient-rich foods like avocados; honey for throat soothing; pectin-rich foods like bananas and apples.

As with any flulike virus, it is important that the patient drink plenty of fluids. Occasionally, Covid-19 can cause gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea, and replenishing fluids in those cases is especially important, as dehydration can worsen a fever, Dr. Blomkalns says. Electrolyte-replacement drinks are recommended, but popular sports drinks like Gatorade tend to have high amounts of sugar, so they should be cut in half with water for both children and adults, she says.

Another reason to cut sports drinks with water is that sugar can make diarrhea worse. Sugar-free beverages with artificial sweetener aren’t recommended either, because that, too, can worsen gastrointestinal problems, Dr. Chun says. She recommends pectin-rich foods like bananas and apples to ease symptoms of diarrhea.

Some patients tend to lose their appetite when sick, especially children, so Dr. Zerr recommends having on hand comforting, high-calorie but nutrient-dense foods like apple sauce and avocados.

A couple of doctors recommended a daily multivitamin and vitamin C tablets. “And never underestimate the power of chicken soup,” says Mark Hyman, head of innovation at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. “Protein is very important when fighting viral illnesses.”

He recommends adding dill, oregano and ginger to soups for their antiviral properties. One of Dr. Hyman’s favorite home remedies is his “cold-buster tea”: a 2-inch chunk of fresh ginger root, sliced thin, boiled in a pot of water for several minutes. Add fresh lemon juice, honey and cayenne pepper. Steep for five minutes. “It becomes this spicy, sweet and tangy thing,” he says. “It’s great.”

Ms. Potkewitz is a writer in New York. She can be reached at reports@wsj.com.

Speak up WHEN IT HAPPENS…

So tired of the men-bashing movement. If I could kick ass and take no survivors when I was kidnapped (at age 17), SURELY one could find it in themselves to REPORT their incidents in a more timely manner. Staying silent until there was a media hashtag for it, created a LOT more victims than there HAD to be.

And THAT makes me bristle at every #metoo 😩