There’s always something in the news that makes me think society has reached peak stupidity due to omicron hysteria.
Asymptomatic Vermonters clogging up hospital emergency rooms was a good candidate.
Another option for peak stupidity is the enormous lines of healthy people waiting in frigid cold weather for COVID-19 testing.
— Silvia (@silviainsydney9) December 28, 2021
Trending: SUPREME COURT PROPHECY FULFILLED TODAY!
Long lines in Arlington to get a COVID test. @7NewsDC
— Nick Minock (@NickMinock) December 27, 2021
just one Covid-19 testing line in Manhattan. we’re in for a rough winter. pic.twitter.com/I6Dnvg1jjb
— Rob Swanda (@ScientistSwanda) December 27, 2021
Yet, it appears woke Seattle has claimed the peak stupidity title for now. On New Year’s Day, the city is hosting the annual Alki Beach Polar Bear Swim and organizers have adjusted the entry requirements due to omicron.
Participants must now wear masks and be triple vaccinated against COVID-19 to limit the spread of omicron.
The organizers for the Polar Bear Swim have, quite frankly, lost their minds if they think the ridiculous requirements offer any protection.
Finally officially announced – yes, there WILL be an Alki Beach Polar Bear Swim on New Year's Day. https://t.co/5zvvuYeCpv
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) December 26, 2021
West Seattle Blog hyped the event and published the COVID requirements:
We go in the water at 10:00 am sharp, so don’t be late. According to Washington State regulations; three simple requirements:
Adults must be vaccinated and boostered for Covid 19.
Everyone must wear a mask.
You and your group must be Covid-free, be in good health, and distance yourselves 6 feet from others while on the beach.
For over 15 years, the Alki Beach Polar Bear Swim has been about “washing away the complexities of the previous year and bathing in the unlimited possibilities that the New Year provides”. All while pushing us all out of our comfort zone. Prior to Covid, we had over 700+ swimmers. In 2022, we need this event more than ever.
So, go over the three simple requirements listed above. Bring a large, warm towel, a coat to put on after you get out of the water, good water shoes, and your hopes and dreams for a spectacular 2022. Holding hands and wearing bright colors as you go into the water also seems to help.
I wear Goodwill pink every year, to celebrate the day in the not-too-distant future when over 50% of our Members of Congress will be women and/or People of Color. Imagine the message that would send to the world and how much more empathy we will have in our national governance.
When you arrive, you’ll see the gathering madness across from Duke’s. Stay in your group of family and friends, spread out down quarter-mile Alki Beach, and allow six feet between your group and your Polar Bear neighbors to your left and right.
Just before 10:00 am, you will hear the megaphone countdown begin; 10, 9, 8 . . . At “one “ in the countdown, we all run, screaming like the children we are, into 47-degree Puget Sound. The water will be warmer than the air this year, so it will be much more pleasant that one might expect. The mild insanity is really quite fun, and we are in and out of the water so fast that we barely get goosebumps. And like everything in life, your attitude, and belief in yourself, will keep you warm and successful.
So, we will jump into the freezing cold water screaming like children in our masks? That sounds like the real insanity of this polar bear swim. Are the six-feet social distancing requirements enforced while swimming in the ocean? I think that’s a valid question considering the other crazy rules.
It’s also hilarious that the event organizer posted participants must get boosted for the swim less than a week before New Year’s Day. What if potential swimmers had their 2nd dose four or five months ago? Do they have to rush and get a booster before the 1st? Any exceptions?
The event is supposed to be about “washing away the complexities of the previous year.” However, the swim rings in the New Year with added complexities from wacky 2021. But I won’t be shocked to see wokester swimmers doing their best to comply with this nonsense.
NEW: Organizers behind Seattle's Polar Bear Swim changed their participation requirements due to the rapid spread of omicron.
You must wear a mask… outdoors… at the beach… including potentially in the water?
It's dangerous and nonsensical.https://t.co/tj7dcNOC8w
— Jason Rantz on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) December 28, 2021
It's official. As if we didn't know it before, Seattle people are officially insane
Mask requirement for a Polar Bear Swim on New Year's Day, outdoors, in the ocean. pic.twitter.com/DuFgLrhZfo
— Ari Hoffman (@thehoffather) December 27, 2021
Okay #Seattle, you’ve officially lost it. You do not need to mask outside – it does nothing other than keep your face warm.
Masking while attempting to swim in 30 degree weather is downright dangerous.
Triple vaccination is also not necessary to go SWIMMING IN THE DAMN OCEAN. pic.twitter.com/Bbac5cR3Vf
— Kevin Gemeroy (@kgemeroy) December 27, 2021
Jason Rantz wrote in MyNorthwest:
The new rules are meant to convey the message that being outdoors is risky, but if you do as you’re told, you’ll be able to safely participate in the Alki Beach Polar Bear Swim. But you’re already safe to participate and the new rules will do little, if anything, to offer up protection against COVID-19.
In fact, one of the rules is flat out dangerous.
Citing “Washington State regulations,” all participants must remain socially distanced by at least 6 feet and they “must wear a mask.” It’s unclear if they’re expected to wear a mask in the water. Nevertheless, state regulations do not require you to wear a mask while in the water, or even outside in this circumstance.
It should go without saying that wearing a mask in the water is dangerous. You could suffocate in a wet mask. The CDC actually tells aquatic businesses to “discourage” mask use in the water and recommends replacing ones that get wet. And state regulations do not require mask wearing at outdoor events (assuming this attracts less than 500 people) where physical distancing is required.
Assuming participants can take off a mask while in the water, if organizers believe it’s so incredibly dangerous to be out in large groups maskless, why would they be OK taking it off at the exact moment when people are most likely to gasp from the cold water, thereby expelling COVID-infected droplets? It doesn’t make sense.
Requiring COVID vaccine boosters
The new rules require participants “be in good health.” This is unenforceable, of course.
What does this even mean? Is someone who suffers from high cholesterol barred from attending? Choosing to jump into frigid temperatures days after a snow storm may qualify as mentally unhealthy. Should this event be cancelled?
Moreover, the rules require all adults be vaccinated against COVID-19 and have received a booster shot. But the rule was announced on Sunday, Dec. 26. There’s no time for people to fully vaccinated and booster-ed by Jan. 1 if they’re not already.
It likely wouldn’t make a difference, anyway.
My advice is don’t attempt to make any sense of this event.
The idiocy may give you a pulsing migraine.