Of the many disturbing things about the pandemic that we’re still living through, this takeaway is among the most upsetting: We now know that in the face of a once-in-a-century public health crisis, about half of Americans won’t take it seriously. So when Henry Winkler, aka the Fonz from Happy Days (and, more recently, the deservingly fêted scene-stealer from Barry), tried to make a well-meaning call for unity, to say it fell flat would be an understatement.
We are So divided as a country .. only a cataclysmic Event , that makes us depend on one another again , can bring us back together
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) July 3, 2021
“We are So divided as a country,” Winkler lamented on Twitter. “only a cataclysmic Event , that makes us depend on one another again , can bring us back together [all sic].”
Most ignored the random capitalizations (and lack thereof) and weird spacing. Instead they dwelled on the “cataclysmic event” part. For one thing, it’s never a good idea to wish something terrible upon the world, even if it may end with people putting differences aside and recognizing our shared humanity. For another thing, we’re still going through a “cataclysmic event,” and that somehow made our lack of connection even worse.
And so Winkler’s good intentions backfired, with many pointing out that the pandemic has definitely not brought us back together.
We just had a cataclysmic event. It didn’t work.
— Big Lee Bronzer 🌎🇺🇸🔯 🧬 (@BigLeeBronzer) July 3, 2021
Millions of people died and are still dying from a global killer virus pandemic, like just how cataclysmic are you aiming for here anyway, you are starting to give off some serious Adrian Veight vibes here pls don't do anything rash, Henry, I am begging you
— Shiv Ramdas (@nameshiv) July 3, 2021
Besides, the pandemic isn’t the only cataclysmic event we’re going through.
There is a global plague and the ocean is on fire and infrastructure is collapsing and autocracy is rising and violent insurrectionists stormed the Capitol and none of those cataclysmic events united us so I’ll just assume you know something new about the UFOs and call it a day
— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) July 3, 2021
Some made jokes.
henry winkler doesn’t have the nuclear codes does he https://t.co/IZSeaRJVB2
— rax ‘preorder TACKY 💋’ king (@RaxKingIsDead) July 4, 2021
Eventually Winkler realized his tweet didn’t work the way he intended. So he responded. “To be clear,” he later wrote. “I am not wishing for devastation. My hope is for for our country to re unite again .. I ‘m so sorry for not being clear.”
To be clear .. I am not wishing for devastation. My hope is for for our country to re unite again .. I ‘m so sorry for not being clear
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) July 4, 2021
That said, his tweet did have some fans.
I totally get @hwinkler4real, He's overloaded as I am on the rampage of insanity in America that has threatened all of us. This country has lost its mind, & we're at risk of having r children & grandchildren suffer the consequences. His point albeit imperfect is actually spot on
— Nancy Lee Grahn (@NancyLeeGrahn) July 4, 2021
In other news, please get vaccinated, if you haven’t already — if not for your own health but because the vast majority of COVID-19-related deaths involve those who still, madly, haven’t been dosed.