Covid Karen

Folks seem to be debating the best way to define “A Karen”. What about this definition-by-example?

I’m generally not an activist, but I just wrote to the University of Colorado Dean of Students to tell her how I felt that the blatant lack of mask wearing by students on hiking trails reflected poorly on the university. I suggested that her office do an education campaign.

I’ve been hiking daily, and in north Boulder nearly everyone is wearing masks on trails, but near the university almost no student-age people are.

It was actually posted by someone who, I think, identifies as a “man” and is about 40 years old, but nonetheless can this be considered the quintessential Karen quote?

(Of course, if they’re healthy enough to go for a hike, a 40-year-old Karen and a 20-year-old student are both more likely to be killed in a car accident on the way to said hike than they are to die from Covid-19.)

What kind of political beliefs does Ultimate Karen espouse? Excerpts from his Facebook status just after the darkest day in U.S. history:

I voted for Clinton because I thought she was the more qualified candidate, and because I looked forward to our kids sharing the experience of electing the first female president. …

and because he’s also quite intelligent:

To Facebook and much of social media: By enabling people to stuff their channels with self-selected and algorithmically filtered content sources as opposed to the free press of yesteryear, you essentially helped obscure the truth and mask the accuracy of what was really building.

and because he cares about Planet Earth:

To Florida: … have fun under water. Your landmass will be 25% smaller by the time our kids are in college.

and this one turned out to be unarguably correct! Florida is being smothered right now… by all of the New Yorkers who fled the 2018 tax law and now by all of the rich New Yorkers who have fled the plague!

(Why isn’t it insulting to “women” (however you want to define that term) if someone says “I voted for Clinton … because I looked forward to our kids sharing the experience of electing the first female president”? Did people who voted for Margaret Thatcher or Angela Merkel need to add anything to “I believed she was the best qualified person for the job”?)


  • “Airlines Say Everybody Onboard Must Wear a Mask. So Why Aren’t They?” (NYT), in which Karen watches hundreds of thousands of Americans shoulder-to-shoulder in BLM protests then frets about 50 people gathering on an Airbus
  • “Coronaplague is a primarily sexually transmitted disease in Massachusetts?” (Karen worries about the students unmasked on the trails but doesn’t think about what they’re doing after-hours)
  • “Suddenly, Public Health Officials Say Social Justice Matters More Than Social Distance” (Politico): For months, health experts told Americans to stay home. Now, many are encouraging the public to join mass protests. … “We should always evaluate the risks and benefits of efforts to control the virus,” Jennifer Nuzzo, a Johns Hopkins epidemiologist, tweeted on Tuesday. “In this moment the public health risks of not protesting to demand an end to systemic racism greatly exceed the harms of the virus.” … Some members of the medical community acknowledged they’re grappling with the U-turn in public health advice, too. “It makes it clear that all along there were trade-offs between details of lockdowns and social distancing and other factors that the experts previously discounted and have now decided to reconsider and rebalance,” said Jeffrey Flier, the former dean of Harvard Medical School. Flier pointed out that the protesters were also engaging in behaviors, like loud singing in close proximity, which CDC has repeatedly suggested could be linked to spreading the virus. “At least for me, the sudden change in views of the danger of mass gatherings has been disorienting, and I suspect it has been for many Americans,” he told me. … Those protests against stay-at-home orders “not only oppose public health interventions, but are also rooted in white nationalism and run contrary to respect for Black lives,” according to the letter’s nearly 1,300 signatories. “Protests against systemic racism, which fosters the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on Black communities and also perpetuates police violence, must be supported.”

16 thoughts on “Covid Karen

  1. Regarding your statement “Of course, if they’re healthy enough to go for a hike, a 40-year-old Karen and a 20-year-old student are both more likely to be killed in a car accident on the way to said hike than they are to die from Covid-19.”, see Specifically, the 4th and 6th bullets

    In general, I suggest you read the entire list and give it some serious thought. I know many of your posts are meant to stir the pot (a good thing) but I think you’re stirring the wrong pots.

  2. I like the guy’s idea that people who don’t wear face masks should be sent to reeducation camps, kind of like the Uighurs in China. I think anyone who does not follow accepted science must be reeducated. And while we are at it we should send all of those wrong-thinking Stanford scientists like Michael Levitt and John Ionnadis and Jay Bhattachaya to reeducation camps as well. Their failure to follow science is endangering the safety of their fellow Americans and that should be reason enough to lock them up so they can be reeducated.

    • The Stanford Three should be put in a psychiatric hospital, actually. It is a sign of mental illness/insanity to question (settled) science.

  3. Any time someone complains about Facebook using Facebook, I send them a link to Richard Stallman’s page about the reasons they shouldn’t be used by Facebook. His politics are his own, of course, but a lot of his reasons are good regardless of his politics. This is one case where if people listened to rms the world would be a better place, without a doubt.

  4. I love how people preface their sanctimony with: “I’m generally not an [something] but…”

    This suggests several things:

    1) The author is so enraged by the egregious behavior that they felt compelled to “do something” lest a terrible wrong continue to exist, or they’re feigning concern because they don’t get to do what the cool kids are doing.

    2) They’re not really proud of being an activist (or anything else) and want to signal to people that – except for this particular example, this one time – they’re not really uncool, a snitch, a general killjoy or otherwise an asshole. Until next time.

    3) Now that they’ve done their part to rat someone else out, they can relax and get back to being that cool dude you’d want to hang out and smoke a joint with.

    There are different degrees of “Karen” and I think prefacing one’s remarks with “I’m generally not a [something,] but…” places that person in the upper echelons of Karendom.

    I also can’t believe what a fucking Stalinist Jeffrey Flier is. If this is how the former Dean of Harvard Medical School thinks, the country is doomed.

  5. Nobody has answered my question. Is this a great example of Karenhood or not?

  6. Speaking of Covid-19, are the recent days of Dara’s Hope a case of masses of covidiots running around and spreading disease, or shall we take the whole thing to just have been the flu after all, bros?

    • Contra Costa county just revised their guidelines. Social gatherings up to 12 people are OK. Protests up to 100 people are OK. We went from people being arrested for playing with their kids outside to a mob of thousands mingling in the street won’t kill their grandmas pretty darn quick. When will we have a vaccine against rioting and looting?

  7. > all of the rich New Yorkers who have fled the plague!

    It’s the upper-middle to upper class white, liberal, NPR listening demographic that all got the hell out as soon as the plague hit. More than 50% of the West Village. That’s wealthy gays and arts people. Multimillionaires.

    “The highest-earning neighborhoods emptied first.”

    These are the people who are now sitting in their safety homes in Connecticut, Long Island, New Jersey, Palm Beach, Colorado and elsewhere, telling people to defund their police forces in flyover country because racism.

  8. It’s not the casual, “I’m generally not an activist, but…” Karens that I’m most concerned about. They’re comparatively harmless compared to the professional, academic activist Karens who are now involved in everything from your child’s sexual identity to the extent to which you police and reeducate your own children to make them “anti-racist.” These are the people with the real power. They’re the ones who inform local school boards, state child welfare agencies, and policymakers who spend taxpayer money. They’re the people who appear on CNN:

    “Halim and Gaither study race, gender, identity development, stereotyping and social perceptions. In collaboration with Kristina Olson at Princeton, Yarrow Dunham at Yale and Kristin Pauker at the University of Hawaii, they are embarking on a National Science Foundation-funded study, looking at the racial and gender biases in children of many racial groups across five geographical regions to learn how culture influences bias.”

    “What you can deconstruct are those automatic, implicit, instantaneous and often negative associations with racial groups that are different than our own.”

    “They also need to be aware of their non-verbal behaviors — the body language we show in different contexts, often without knowing it.”

    “We need to deconstruct these stereotypes by teaching children and adults that we can reframe these negative narratives into positive affirmations.”

    “The second thing is, we need to start finding comfort in discomfort.”

    “It’s going to be cognitively depleting — your brain is literally going to feel tired.”

    These people have literally become the Thought Police, and they want to direct how children are raised and what they are taught from a very young age.

    • @Philg: In your “moderation” section you once wrote:

      > For some reason, human beings often are confident that they can discern the hidden motivation for another person doing or saying something. Trained psychiatrists and psychologists, however, do very poorly at this task, so what hope is there for a lay person?

      That is no longer true *at all*. In practice, trained psychiatrists and psychologists are now deeply involved with discerning people’s “hidden motivations” for doing or saying something, and they are being supported by taxpayer funds at the most elite universities in this country to not only discern those hidden motivations but to change them and preempt them according to their “research.”

  9. ***Trigger Warning*** This comment is so full of wrongthink that it is probably a crime just to read it. sorry in advance.

    “It takes a village” is code for: your personal life is everybody’s business.

    Some people want to run their own lives without other people bothering them. This is a Thomas [as in Jefferson and Paine]. Other people want to run other people’s lives, claiming altruism — this is a Karen.

    The Karen nentality is the mentality of the slave master. It is the mentality of the White Southern slave holder who said negroes* were incapable of running their own lives independently.

    The modern social welfare system is a way for a nation of mostly white Karens to tell people who are mostly not white how they should live. The Karens police every aspect of these ######’s** lives. If they do not raise their children the way Karen would have them raise them, social services comes in a takes the ######’s child away. If they do not send their children to a school approved by Karen, Karen takes away their children. They eat the food Karen approves of and live where Karen wants them to. If they smoke or drink alcohol or soda pop, Karen raises the taxes on these things to punitive levels for her ######’s own good [Eric Garner was killed for selling untaxed cigarettes]. If they are really lucky Karen will let them travel far distances to attend school with Karen’s children.

    In return the Karen promises her ######s food and lodging and medical care, as long as the ###### submits to the bureaucratic overseers. In the days of the slave-holding south, profits from cotton economically motivated Karen’s largesse to her charges. In modern times, it is the providing of the largesse itself, not the raising of cotton, that is the profitable industry. All the teachers, social workers, doctors, nurses, bureaucrats, bankers, and Deans of Diversity draw salaries as long as the ######s need their help to live their lives.

    We must also give Karen credit. She was also the abolitionist who cheered when John Brown murdered white children of slavery advocates because “nits grow into lice”. Without her there would have been no Civil War and no Emancipation Proclamation. Maybe we would still have chattel slavery and maybe it would have died a peaceful death. An interesting footnote on that John Brown quote — it has been largely scrubbed from the Internet. I had to resort to a search on to confirm I got the quote right.


    *back then everyone used the term “negro”, not “black”, so I use it in the historical context when discussing the thinking of those in the past, and to troll butthurt liberals. If you strike “negro” from the lexicon, you must erase three hundred and fifty years of a people’s self-expression in struggling for freedom.

    **I use ###### rather than the term used for black people that would fit there. I am considered Deplorable because I think the suggestion of this inflammatory term about black people fits in the context of the discussion. People who advocate treating black people like slaves, but use polite language, however, are Woke. They are particularly Woke if they use the term “people of color”. “People of color” is a more powerful term because it extends the Woke’s sphere of influence beyond the descendants of American negro slaves, to everyone who is not white on the planet!

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