A group of our culture’s most celebrated celebs, including Lady Gaga, J.Lo, and for some reason, Robert DeNiro, circulated Twitter in a video making impassioned speeches for consumers to base their personal choice of where to take their business and money on whether or not that business has a “well health-safety” seal.
Apparently — and this is solely based on the contents of the video — this selective “seal” lets you and your family know these places have put “your health and safety first” (because all of us automatically think they don’t without a sticker in the window).
The glorified sticker is distributed by the International WELL Building Institute (and I don’t consider myself in the know, but I’ve literally never heard of them), and if you’re a business owner who has managed to survive the throes of a global pandemic and the economic ramifications of ineffective lockdown measures, you can pay anywhere from $2,700 to $12,000 for the aforementioned “seal.”
Before you wonder what in the 1984 this is, we’ll help you out.
Here’s What It “Does”
The International WELL Building Institute (which isn’t the Human Fund from Seinfeld, I double-checked) advertises itself as a multidisciplinary agency that helps businesses, schools, and other places ensure the safety of everyone inside through “health and sustainability.”
The sticker, which you can apply for and get after paying thousands of dollars, is grounded in “operational policies, maintenance protocols, and emergency plans” and ensures that businesses are, among other things, maintaining emergency plans, keeping their spaces sanitized, providing services and benefits, and advertising health and safety protocols. Call me crazy, but I thought businesses already did that?
You can apply and pay upwards of $2,700 to receive the “well health-safety” seal.
The website also advertises the media campaign and refers to the celebrities in the video as “ambassadors.” If I had to guess, that means they received a check to read lines in front of the camera — as is their job — at a certain time and place without really knowing what they were signing up for.
We’re not the only ones with concerns. Lydia Wang at Refinery29 questioned how exactly the standards that qualify you to receive the seal are determined, as well as why the video offers “little to no information” on how this so-called institute ensures safety, health, and wellbeing.
Other viewers were less polite. One Twitter user quipped “dystopia has arrived” while another referred to the “new world order” that seems to be unwrapping itself right in front of us. For how much things are polarized these days, it’s times like these we can feel good about coming together when the general consensus — across viewpoints and party lines — is that this whole thing is just...creepy.
A New Byproduct of Authoritarianism
It’s almost cute how much the media infantilizes us so much that they want us to believe one day this won’t be the accepted norm everywhere. Look at the aptly named vaccine passports. Mere months ago, critics laughed in our faces at the very suggestion. Our fears were downplayed and ridiculed. Now they’re swiftly (and covertly) trying to become a reality.
This particular brand of power grab is a weird one, though. After all, we already have county and state health policies and inspections. There are state and federal regulations that businesses, offices, restaurants, and schools have to abide by, so what’s this really all about?
We already have county and state health policies, inspections, and regulations, so why pay a third party?
The glossy marketing campaign filled with celebrities and well-designed graphics was likely meant to be a distraction, and to be honest, a fair attempt at that. Our mainstream obsession with celebrities and whatever snake oil they’re selling weekly are so rampant and so culturally ingrained that I’m sure businesses are already opening their checkbooks in preparation. Celebrities are the original influencers, after all. The campaign also happens to fit nicely into the World Economic Forum’s apparent “Great Reset” which will supposedly thrive on the efforts of “stakeholder capitalism” like this organization and its sticker.
The real logic underneath is more malicious. Is it completely out of line to say that the powers that be — with their elitist allies in tow — want to draw this whole situation out as long as possible?
If we’re all getting vaccinated — perhaps eventually not even by choice — what’s the point in a seal that costs thousands of dollars displayed in your window? If the vaccine works so well and ensures all our safety already, why would you need a sticker from a shady organization most of us have never heard of, let alone one that’s been relatively absent throughout the whole of the pandemic?
If This Pandemic Has Taught Us Anything…
Back is forward, up is down. Trust us, we know what’s best for you. Do as I say, not as I do. Those are the bullet points of the mainstream progressive ideology, and this new ploy for money and authority is no different.
Not only is it laughably hypocritical to claim that capitalism and/or unequal distribution of wealth is the root of all evil in the world while simultaneously demanding thousands of dollars from business owners, but it’s also a slap in the face to those businesses that have scraped and struggled to survive Draconian lockdown policies that were never really proven to be effective. Yet we’re all supposed to fall to our knees in gratitude at the thought of $1,400 meant to “sharply cut poverty.”
This is not meant to help your business survive, and celebrities aren’t on our side.
Please do not be fooled. This is not meant to help your business survive, and celebrities aren’t on our side or working for the average person. There’s always an agenda and always something to be gained. But now more than ever, those agendas aren’t as obvious as they used to be.
The seal can be bought, meaning that its inherent value isn’t all that significant. Most businesses and places where the public can gather are already subjected to safety regulations and policies. The seal and whatever it’s trying to accomplish are just another brand of excellent marketing with nothing of substance behind it.
Here’s what is substantive and actually does significant things in your community: Patronizing small businesses. Volunteering and giving back. Helping your neighbors out. Raising your children to have independent thought. Not consuming regurgitated media talking points ad nauseum and taking everything you’re told as gospel.
We’re tiring — finally — of being told that others know what’s good for us and what’s best for us. We’re tiring of others demanding things of us, things that were once just an idea or a thought that apparently wouldn’t actually happen. We’re tired of our own “health and safety” being entirely in the hands of those with influence, power, and authority, while we swallow the pill without asking any questions.
But we are allowed to ask questions. It’s about time we start.
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