Aaron Kheriaty: Will COVID Restrictions Persist Indefinitely in Schools?

Aaron Kheriaty, author of The New Abnormal, examines the persistent COVID mandates for K-12 schools, college campuses, and health care settings.


This is an audio version of The Reason Livestreamwhich takes place every Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern on Reason's YouTube channel.

It's back-to-school season, and for some parts of the country, that means dealing with COVID restrictions again. Americans are no longer experiencing indefinite school closures or ubiquitous masking, but intermittent school closures, temporary mask mandates, and COVID vaccine requirements persist.

Will it ever end? Or are we in "the new abnormal"?

To examine these questions, Reason's Zach Weissmueller and Liz Wolfe spoke with Aaron Kheriaty, the psychiatrist fired from the University of California, Irvine for refusing to get vaccinated. He's a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center who wrote a book called The New Abnormal: The Rise of the Biomedical Security State, in which he argues that the authoritarian measures implemented during the pandemic are sure to linger and reshape American society for the worse absent concerted and organized political pushback. 

Zach and Liz discussed his firing at length, surveyed the landscape of remaining COVID restrictions across America, reacted to clips of both Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and California Gov. Gavin Newsom reflecting on their governance through the emergency, and talked about policies that can best help us escape "the new abnormal."

Sources referenced in this conversation:

ABC News: "School districts in Kentucky, Texas cancel classes amid 'surge' of illnesses including COVID"

Bloomberg: "Covid Mask Mandate at Elementary School Draws Ire of Some Republicans"

Reason: "The University of Michigan Will Force Students With COVID To Leave Campus"

Cochrane Library: "Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses."

American College Health Association report on campus vaccine mandates and COVID policies

Reason: "A Federal Judge Blocks California's Ban on Medical Advice That Promotes COVID-19 'Misinformation'"

Aaron Kheriaty in The Wall Street Journal: "University Vaccine Mandates Violate Medical Ethics"

Aaron Kheriaty's lawsuit against the University of California, Irvine

5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Missouri v. Biden