There are two questions that deserve answers as the “new normal” is imposed on the rest of us by some of us.
The first is: At what point does an asserted risk to some no longer justify the imposition of certain harm on everyone? At least 33 million Americans have been forced out of their jobs and into the poorhouse; every American has had his life diminished, basic freedoms curtailed – his peace of mind assaulted.
Well, not every American. Which brings up the second question:
We are told that “people are dying” – and indeed they are. But how did this suddenly become a blank check claim on the lives of everyone else? It is considered unfeeling to make cost-benefit calculations when human lives are at risk but this is nonetheless something we do all the time – without insisting on a zero-risk result, no matter the cost.
Suddenly, a virus with a mortality rate similar to that of seasonal flus that’s less a threat than medical malpractice has become an intolerable risk that justifies unlimited harm inflicted on almost everyone.
But not everyone.
Because we are not – as the treacly phrase has it – “all in this together.”
Some of us – the people who’ve imposed the harm on the rest of us – are very much out of this. Some go about their business uninhibited and unscathed; these some having the power to declare their business (and their paychecks) “essential” while simultaneously declaring ours not.
Why is this tolerated?
There is a glib congruency between those who urge harm on all for the sake of some. The people so urging are almost axiomatically people who aren’t being harmed, which explains their position nicely.
The politicians and bureaucrats; the fulsomely “essential” workers who continue to get paid while the rest of us continue to bleed. The big box stores and large corporate retailers.
Their businesses are open.
The Essential People are not falling behind on their mortgages, watching their savings disappear, the work of a lifetime evaporating with each passing day of enforced idleness. They aren’t suffering the humiliation of having to beg for government alms and staring at a future of poverty and want.
But they have the gall – or is it simply moral deafness? – to tell the rest of us that “we are all in this together.” Meaning, we bleed while they preen.
They have achieved this by shaming us on the one hand and virtue-signaling on the other.
If we complain about being bankrupted we are putting dollars over lives. If we question Fear Masking mandates, anti-social distancing edicts and Soviet-style bread lines to get into stores we are indifferent to the health of our fellow man.
“People are dying!”
Indeed, they are.
About the same number as have died in the past from or more accurately because of complications developed from various other forms of Corona, such as pneumonia in the elderly and already very sick and so already very susceptible.
This is normal.
It was accepted as part of life until all of a sudden it wasn’t – because of a concerted propaganda campaign unparalleled in the history of the world that has succeeded in terrorizing the population into a state of paralytic obeisance, using – per Dr. Goebbel’s instructions – a kernel of truth:
There is a virus; it does present a real danger to some.
None of that is new.
But by creating the impression of newness and by greatly exaggerating the threat, one can generate new hysteria.
Note that the media organs have in concerted fashion – as if on cue – recently begun calling Corona “COVID-19,” in order to get the public using that term, too. And the public has begun to use it, reflexively – unconsciously – like a flock of ducks quacking on cue.
This is linguistic conditioning intended to get the public to think of this Corona as a wildly different and wildly more threatening Corona, which it isn’t – in order to terrify the public into believing it must accept a “new normal” – more linguistic conditioning – of greatly restricted personal freedom and practically unlimited government authority.
The public is also being conditioned to regard infections – styled “cases,” to give it weight – as something abnormal.
Which, again, it isn’t.
Well, it wasn’t.
Millions of “cases” normally occur each year; i.e., almost everyone gets infected with various colds and flus over the course of their lives. All of a sudden, these are terrifying “cases” – reported ominously, every day. Thereby making them seem ominous.
It is much more threatening to hear about 230,000 new “cases” than a few thousand deaths.
More than 100,000 Americans died in 1968 of – or with – the Hong Kong Flu. Why wasn’t the country “locked down” then? Because the country wasn’t yet in the grip of a consolidated media – and pervasive instilled fear of risk – such that a bad flu season could be turned into a simulacrum of the Black Death in the minds of the population.
America was a sane country back then.
The Goebbelsian kernel of truth about the “novel” Corona virus hyped to an extinction level threat terrorizes the suggestible and emotional – and makes it very difficult for the thoughtful and rational to be heard amid the manufactured hysteria.
People are dying!
Weapons of mass destruction!
It worked 20 years ago, when the kernel of truth was “Islamic terrorism,” though the actual threat to most of us of an ululating jihadi making off with “our freedom” was in the same ballpark as the threat to almost all of us of being killed by the “novel”
Millions of people who aren’t sick are walking around wearing surgical masks and gloves – to avoid giving something they haven’t got but dread they may have. This is the very definition of neurosis. Four months ago, people so afflicted would have been pitied – and treated, psychiatrically.
Millions of people who have little to fear from Corona have accepted house arrest, business arrest and are practically begging the government to treat the entire population as a leper colony in perpetuity – using whatever means necessary – and no matter what it costs.
Perhaps those costs should be spread around some more. It might do something to curtail the hysteria – and just maybe, we’ll be able to re-establish normalcy.
. . .
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