There’s that old saying, “Do as I say, not as I do.” So a big question is what are political and political leaders actually doing about Covid-19 precautions for themselves right now? Over the past months, year, or even years, a number of them have been publicly pushing for Covid-19 precautions to be dropped. In fact, some have even claimed that the pandemic is over, as I covered for Forbes. Yet, the pandemic doesn’t look too over at the World Economic Forum (WEF) that’s been going on from January 16 to 20, at Davos, Switzerland. Take a look at the a list of the various Covid-19 precautions that the WEF has been taking that Lucky Tran, PhD, an organizer for the March for Science and a science communicator at Columbia University, recently shared on Twitter:
Now, if you were someone who somehow thought that Covid-19 precautions were no longer needed, you might be inclined to say, “WTF WEF,” after seeing that list of Covid-19 precautions. For example, they’ve got the following fairly stringent Covid-19 testing requirement: “Participants are required to get tested in one of the Forum testing centres after arriving in Davos and picking up their badge. Conducting a test will keep the badge active and grant the access to the Annual Meeting’s venues. Failing to conduct an onsite test or a positive test result will lead to the badge being deactivated.”
And apparently the WEF has been facing the facts that face masks can prevent transmission of the virus with the following requirement: “On Forum-provided official transport, all drivers will wear masks at all times.” Moreover, they specified that “inside the Annual Meeting’s venues, areas will be cleaned, disinfected and ventilated several times a day.” Yep, that’s several times a day, which may be several more times than how often your workplace is cleaned every day. Plus, the WEF did “air” on the side of extra ventilation: ”Additional state-of-the-art ventilation systems have been installed in areas with restricted air circulation.” After all, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can go airborne.
So why is the WEF going through these efforts when your local stores, restaurants, airplanes, trains, Ubers, workplaces, or even health clinics are not? Well, clearly the WEF recognizes the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic is not over and that the SARS-CoV-2 remains a threat. Yet, there haven’t seemed to be any protests against such Covid-19 precautions at WEF or resistance from attendees. Certainly, not the same amount of resistance you see when someone tries to impose such requirements in many places in the U.S.
If you are wondering why you weren’t invited to the WEF, you may not be quite special enough. The WEF isn’t something that you can crash or use a groupon to attend. It’s by invitation only and includes several thousand investors, business leaders, political leaders, economists, celebrities, and the like. Founded on January 24, 1971, by German engineer and economist Klaus Schwab, the WEF is a not-for-profit foundation that “engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas,” as described by its website. Most other everyday gatherings are more to shape a pile of mashed potatoes than to “shape global, regional and industry agendas.” So the WEF is clearly a gathering for people who have access to resources, connections, and influence that most people don’t have.
Tran added in his tweet thread, “While elites take every COVID precaution possible when they meet with each other at the World Economic Forum, they go home and tell us that COVID is no longer a threat, and the pandemic is over,” as you can see here:
He added, “ Actions speak louder than words.”
So if you are wondering what to do about Covid-19, maybe you should take a close look at what political and business leaders are actually doing rather than saying. For example, are those political leaders who are pushing against Covid-19 precautions on public transit actually taking public transit themselves? If you don’t do what leaders actually do themselves, you could find yourself in some deep doo-doo.