CNN blogger and editor-at-large Chris Cillizza was slammed on social media this week after posting a lengthy Twitter thread admitting that people have been “embarrassed or scared” to admit that they have had COVID-19.
“I’ve noticed something amid this Omicron surge that’s made me reconsider the first 20 months of this pandemic. For months and months, no one I came into contact with admitted they had Covid. Not neighbors. Not co-workers. Not friends. Not acquaintances. No one,” Cillizza tweeted. “Except that, with Omicron surging and lots and lots of people now getting it, I’ve found some of these same people telling me they had it last fall or at the start of the pandemic or whenever. Which is fascinating to me. Because it suggests that they were embarrassed or scared to say they (or their family) had it before.”
“Why? Probably not one reason for everyone, honestly. But I do think societally we unknowingly turned having Covid into some sort of judgment on your character. Like, getting Covid was a sign you weren’t being responsible or careful enough. Not being a good member of society,” he continued. “The ubiquity — thanks to its contagiousness — of Omicron has changed that dynamic. Some of the stigma of getting Covid has worn off, and made people more comfortable acknowledging that they’ve had it before. Which is a good thing! We need to recognize that getting Covid isn’t a moral failing! It’s a super infectious disease that you can protect against, sure, but can’t guarantee you won’t get it. Anyway, just an observation. Stay safe and stay healthy.”
Notable responses included:
- Erick Erickson, radio host: “What is it about CNN and their crew coming to realizations in 2022 that the rest of us realized in 2020? Between this and the story about losing weight improves your chances against COVID, this is really something.”
- Omri Ceren, national security adviser for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX): “I’m not sure this reads like you think it reads.”
- Adam Baldwin, actor: “Notice this thread’s a Twitter mnemonic of Paul Haggis’ 25k-word New Yorker Scientology apostasy opus? Clearing your COVIDian thetans can be liberating, Chris. Remember, ‘Silence is Compliance.’”
- Dylan Housman, reporter: “By ‘we’ you mean elite media figures and politicians. Those groups absolutely did make getting COVID into a moral failing, because it meant you were being reckless. Kind of late to be coming around on this. Also, it’s not weird that you know a lot of people that had COVID before but didn’t tell you. Most people don’t go out and about shouting from the rooftops about their various medical conditions. I don’t post a positive flu test or my latest bloodwork on the insta story.”
- Virginia Hume, author: “I’m glad this is working its way into people’s conscious minds (though I might wish it had done so sooner). Meanwhile, think it’s worth mentioning: The fact that elites were judging people for getting Covid was absolutely, incandescently obvious to SO many people.”
- Stephen L. Miller, political commentator: “Wait until you find out who your employer is. My goodness.”
- Christian Ziegler, Florida GOP: “Stigma? No… It was the shaming by the left… You get COVID and they attacked –> Didn’t wear a mask, didn’t get vax, didn’t social distance, weren’t careful, YOUR fault Now w/Omicron spreading faster, people have pandemic fatigue and polls 📉, the Left easing up on shaming.”
- Ryan J. Rusak, columnist: “And of your state, your politics and how you live your life. Now, who did that, exactly?”
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