It's like being in kindergarten, only with less freedom.
Basically, "go to your room and don't come out before dinner!"
They are calling it a "self-sequestration," enforced by the University of California Police Department (UCPD) which makes it kind of like being a "mandatory volunteer."
Students are literally not permitted to leave their rooms.
Have you ever lived in a dorm room? It's a jail cell with posters and a bong.
Okay, it's exactly like a jail cell.
Students are permitted to leave their rooms for specific reasons. They were listed in an email sent to students:
Please remember that you are required to remain in your room at all times except:
- to obtain medical care, including mental health care
- in case of emergency
- to comply with your testing requirements
- to use the bathroom on your floor or that you have been assigned to
- to obtain food from your nearby outdoor Cal Dining kiosk
The email goes into some detail:
Do not attend any gatherings or events. We cannot stress this enough — right now it is critical that you avoid gatherings — large or small — even with your residential household grouping, whether indoors or outdoors, and even if your most recent COVID test is negative.
It doesn't matter how small your group is, it doesn't matter if you live with them, it doesn't matter if you test negative.
Basically, they are telling you that everything they have been telling us to do over the past year to avoid contracting the virus doesn't matter.
Alrighty then, I'm going to go forward with that newfound knowledge and act accordingly.
You must also continue to be tested twice per week as you have been required to do throughout this semester, according to the Monday-Thursday or Tuesday-Friday schedule previously communicated, with no more than 3-4 days between tests.
Why? If it doesn't matter, why bother?
You may only use the restroom when it is not occupied by another resident. Please try to determine whether or not someone is already in the restroom before you use it. This will help us reduce virus transmission.
Oh, so I guess masks don't work either. Good to know.
You may NOT leave your room for solo outdoor exercise, which is a change from previous self-sequestering guidelines. We are working with the City of Berkeley to determine whether outdoor exercise may be permitted, and we will provide more information on this in the near future.
You cannot be outside by yourself.
I guess because... okay I got nothing. They're just trolling us now.
We understand that some students may wish to leave campus to temporarily or permanently live elsewhere (e.g., with family members) but we strongly advise against leaving. You risk bringing COVID home with you and infecting a loved one who may be more likely to become severely ill; even if you have had a negative test recently, you may be incubating the virus. Travel can also create a new risk of exposure for you.
Okay, so no matter the testing and everything else, you risk exposing someone. Therefore...
Keep following best practices: As always, please continue to follow protocols such as physical distancing, handwashing, and wearing face coverings at all times (unless brushing your teeth, washing your face, showering, etc.). Bears Protect Bears!
...keep doing all these things we just told you are useless .
You will note there is now an increased presence of Community Security Officers (CSOs)...
The better to enforce the "self" sequestration.
...and in addition, beginning today an increased overall security and staff presence in and around residence halls (you may be required to show testing badges and/or Cal 1 Cards more frequently).
Be aware that students are subject to serious residential conduct sanctions for not complying with campus directives including being disqualified from housing and suspended from the University.
So, if you don't show your testing badge which apparently has absolutely no bearing on anything, you can be tossed out.
We don't wish for residents to be alarmed by this increased UCPD presence, but we must ensure the health of our community.
I know what you're thinking, it feels like this police state is still missing something. Sure, it has the capricious enforcement of rules that have no meaning, the heavy police presence, the draconian penalties, the rules intended more for control and humiliation than anything else, and yet something's still not quite right.
If you witness a violation of the self-sequester protocols or the Residential Code of Conduct, you are encouraged to either report this information to your RA or send an email to [email protected] with identifying information.
Ah, there it is. The snitches.
You can't have a good police state without turning people against each other and creating an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust.
The lockdown was supposed to end this past Monday but was extended for another week because they can.
And remember, California is renowned for "leading the way!"
A police state is a government that exercises power through the power of the police force. Originally, a police state was a state regulated by a civil administration, but since the beginning of the 20th century it has "taken on an emotional and derogatory meaning" by describing an undesirable state of living characterized by the overbearing presence of civil authorities. The inhabitants of a police state may experience restrictions on their mobility, or on their freedom to express or communicate political or other views, which are subject to police monitoring or enforcement. Political control may be exerted by means of a secret police force that operates outside the boundaries normally imposed by a constitutional state.