Christmas Parties Amid COVID
As Covid cases rise around the country, this holiday season will most likely be the deadliest in history. Many have to question the ethics of coming home and potentially exposing their families. Especially since many places like Stamford Connecticut have had cases spike after Thanksgiving gatherings. And many people have to contend with family members who don’t believe the virus is the threat it is.
The American reality today is that science has become a partisan issue. It began with denying global warming to save corporations from environmental regulations. Now the Trump administration has consistently downplayed the violence to promote economic reopening. Trump’s hardcore base notoriously doesn’t believe in the virus. Antimaskers and wider conspiracies refer to the COVID 19 crisis as a “plandemic.” As a result, intensive care unit doctors and nurses have reported people on their death beds unable to accept they are dying from the virus.
Mainstream networks have not helped with squashing false information. In fact, Fox has gone out of its way to consistently forge narratives consistent with Trump’s. Since 2016 Trump and his conservative cronies have insisted that the “politically correct Left” has initiated a “war on Christmas.” This “war” has been fought on the cups of Starbucks coffees and in the words of every individual or corporation one who dares mutter “happy holidays” instead of “merry Christmas.” Four years later this narrative still exists but in a much different climate. And potentially a much more dangerous one. As COVID has swept the country, Dr. Fauci has advised that this holiday season extra caution be used. As cases rise the coming months will be particularly dangerous ones. However, right-wing commentators including Tucker Carlson continue to preach a different narrative about the attack on Christmas:
“If death is inevitable — and that may be the one thing you’re not allowed to say in this country, but it’s still true — then maybe we should pause before we destroy the living in the name of trying to eliminate it. Politicians understand this threat. They’ve figured out that Christmas is bigger than they are, and therefore, it’s a threat to them. Better cancel it — and, in fact, they’re trying hard.”
With the culmination of Covid conspiracies and Trump’s declaration that Christmas is under attack, We can only expect that numerous groups will continue to not obey city and state covid guidelines. As a result, we can anticipate another major spike in cases and more people will unnecessarily die. So the question that needs to be answered is why has there been no means of enforcing these guidelines. Events like Trump’s Rallies face no consequence for disobedience. Will local police enforce social distancing when it comes to Christmas parties? The answer is no.
There is a clear double standard in how this nation perceives and controls deviance. Refusing to not wear a mask or comply with Covid precautions is harmful to society. Yet the lack of enforcement is a prime example of how White deviance is not met with punishment. Furthermore, Christmas is one of the nation’s biggest holidays. Christianity is the largest religion in the US and this nation has a long history of Antisemitism and Islamophobia so it’s apparent that the celebration of Christmas is seen as the normality. Therefore, the likelihood that Christmas parties will be stoped is unlikely. Through an analysis of deviance and control, we can understand how antimaskers themselves don’t understand their own deviance. This is because they perceive deviance as the actions of the out-group. Furthermore, they will not experience any consequences, legal or otherwise, further validating their status. The media framing also suggests that the deviation is coming from the “radical left” and the war on Christmas. This is a ploy to galvanize individuals who fear other religions than Christianity.
In conclusion, Christmas parties will risk the general publics’ safety. However, the enforcement of social distancing will not happen. This is because the perpetrators who break these guidelines are normally White and participating in the in-group holiday of Christmas. This can also serve to help us understand why social groups are prosecuted differently. If they are perceived as members of the outgroup race of religion then they are more likely to be seen as deviant and controlled.