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USA: While American elites party around at Met Gala without masks, this is what two educational institutes are doing to vaccinated students

Students were mandated to stay inside their rooms with their roommates. Visits from friends were prohibited. Students were permitted to socialise with a maximum of three people who are socially distanced and wearing masks.

Amidst a raging pandemic in the United States, driven by the more transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus, American elites congregated on the second Monday of September in 2021 to participate in The Met Gala, one of the biggest and the starriest events, touted as the fashion world’s Oscar Night.

Some of the best-known celebrities from around the world graced the Met Gala red carpet wearing the most surreal, extravagant, bizarre costumes and looks, in a bid to draw attention towards themselves. The celebrities were seen sashaying in their eye-raising costumes, posing for the paparazzi and commingling with others, ostensibly without masks and in absence of COVID-related restrictions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

While they were busy partying around maskless indoors, the ordinary folks are chafing under the inexplicable restrictions they are forced to endure despite being fully vaccinated. Students at Brown and Connecticut Universities are chafing under the COVID restrictions, which could be described as deeply invasive and infringing on their individual rights. Students, regardless of their vaccination status, are barred from attending public gatherings, visiting bars and restaurants, and suggested to keep their social circle small and consistent.

Students reeling under the stifling measures imposed by Brown and Connecticut Universities while celebrities enjoy Met Gala

Brown University issued a set of new restrictions for students that include strict mandate for indoor masking, limit on social gathering for up to 5 students, a halt in in-person dining and abstention from “small-group hopping”.

The new rules ordains mandatory twice-weekly testing for COVID-19, notwithstanding the fact that Brown University student body has already undergone mandatory vaccination.

As per the new suite of restrictions issued by Brown University, all students, including the vaccinated ones, are mandated to wear masks. The requirement also extends to students’ off-campus residences, with the exception only in cases when the students are either alone or are with those they immediately live with.

From today, i.e September 14, Brown Dining Services will halt in-person dining in all campus eateries. Instead, a programme called “Grab and Go” is being promoted where students are encouraged to get takeaways from the eateries.

Additionally, limits are imposed on social gatherings, with no more than 5 people, whether indoor or outdoor, allowed to congregate. The restrictions applies both on and off campus.

Furthermore, the rules also encourage students to engage consistently with the same small set of social group, rather than attending or “hopping” multiple small social groups over the course of day or small span of time.

The Tale of a Connecticut College

Journalist Michael Tracey has been at the vanguard highlighting the propensity of authorities to impose stifling COVID-related restrictions on students in universities around the country. In an article published on September 11, Tracey pointed out the strictures imposed in a Connecticut College to illustrate how the officials are aping the “Australia-style” lockdown in the United States.

The Connecticut College in New London had its entire student body under mass quarantine. An email sent by Dean Victor Arcelus outlined the oppressive restrictions that were put in place.

Source: Michael Tracey

Students were mandated to stay inside their rooms with their roommates. Visits from friends were prohibited. Students were permitted to socialise with a maximum of three people who are socially distanced and wearing masks.

Tracey mordantly noted that the “Alert” system by Connecticut University was colour coded, seemingly reminiscent of the model adopted by the Department of Homeland Security’s dopey old “Terror Alert” system, which was slammed in the early 2000s for its uselessness and absurdity, but is now hailed as a perfectly reasonable model for the present “crisis”.

Campus centres were closed down with limited access to students with permission. So was the bookstore, which was restricted to pick-up only. Students were even asked to seek permission from their class dean to leave campus to attend to urgent matters in New London County. Camel Ride by Lyft service was also suspended.

Thus, while students at these two institutions endure oppressive Covid restrictions, celebrities and American politicians do not appear to endure such thing at the Met Gala.

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Jinit Jain
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