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We are being conditioned and acclimated to having to stand in long lines for food.
We are being conditioned to finding, after an hour of waiting in line, that the shelves are empty.
We are being acclimated to rationing (my grocery store this week finally had a tiny section of toilet paper. It was an off-brand I’d never heard of, and the sign on the shelf said “ONE PER CUSTOMER”).
We are being conditioned to view other people, even friends, neighbors, and loved ones, as threats. Neighbors are turning on each other. The Mayor of New York is encouraging people to “report” each other for not following government guidelines, helpfully providing an official phone number and demonstrating how to photograph them in the act. The act of standing less than six feet away from another human being. The act of showing one’s face in the open air in a public place.
We are being made to believe wearing a mask makes us Good Citizens, thoughtful people always thinking of the well-being of others. They’re not mandatory everywhere – yet- but in the cities where they’re optional, people are being conditioned to view the mask-free as selfish, ignoble outliers who don’t care about their fellow man. Yet it wasn’t that long ago that they told us wearing a mask doesn’t help at all. They even told us it gives a false sense of security. What has changed? Or maybe the question should be Cui bono?
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The masks make us anonymous. They make it impossible to share a smile with another person. They add to the general air of suspicion, anxiety, and uncertainty, and they add to an overall impression of dystopia. They erase our individuality and make each of us into just another part of The Group. This makes their exhortations about “The Greater Good” fall right into place.
And they’ve thought of everything. They’ve dealt with the inevitable American spirit of individual liberty and the hardy souls who will say, “To heck with the virus. I’ll take my chances,” by telling us that the mask isn’t just for our own safety, but the safety of others. And just in case that isn’t strong enough, they add the heartrending bit about “our elderly loved ones.” So now, if you don’t wear a mask you’re killing grandma. This is now Social Engineering works.
We’re being made to believe that shutting down the economy including every place of business and social gathering is necessary “for our safety.” Why wasn’t this necessary during the Avian Flu pandemic of 1957? Or the Swine Flu or SARS or West Nile or Zika? They’re trying to paint anyone who sees through the hysteria and takes a stand for freedom, whether by protesting or even just making a comment in dissent, as a bunch of nutjobs (and their parents are probably first cousins, and of course they support Trump because their average IQ is that of a houseplant). I mean they just aren’t as educated, intelligent, and discerning as those who believe the entire world economy needs to stay shut down and the Bill of Rights suspended (it’s for our SAFETY!”).
I’m not saying this flu isn’t more contagious than others have been. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be aware and be careful. But I am saying that if you’re someone who’s so scared that you gave me a dirty look at the grocery store for momentarily pulling my mask down so I could breathe, then you can stay HOME. I sure won’t stop you. But your fear (not to mention fatuous gullibility) doesn’t allow you to tread on my Bill of Rights.
It’s impossible not to see parallels to the totalitarian regimes of history. The devaluing of individual freedoms. The individual being subsumed by The Group. I applaud those who are seeing all this for what it is, and protesting and speaking out. It’s way past time we all speak out as our own @rodin did in Sacramento, and that we stand up and say, “This is America. We don’t do that here.”