Something like normalcy appears to have settled in – in the sense that abnormacy has been normalized. The wearing of Chin Speedos (also known as Face Diapers) is now a routine sight, which is something many of us would have never imagined we’d be seeing, routinely.
Of course, many of us never imagined we’d be routinely seeing derelicts dropping deuces on public sidewalks, either.
But this is America, after all.
About a third of the population in my part of Virginia – the Roanoke area, in the southwest corner of the state – continues to “mask,” as the wearing of Chin Speedos/Face Diapers is styled by those who refuse to see – even though they are required almost nowhere and have not been for months. There are a few perfunctory signs here and there. But the wearing is now mostly by choice, which makes it possible to see just how many disturbed (as opposed to obedient) people walk among us.
It’s still a lot – and that by itself is unsettling.
To see every third or fourth person wearing a “mask” is worse than seeing a brown wet spot on every third or fourth behind because a person who cannot control his bowels usually has a physical problem beyond his control and so it cannot be helped.
One feels sorry for him.
He is also usually not someone who thinks – who insists – that his condition applies to others. Much less that others are obliged to “practice” incontinence mitigation, for his sake.
Still, there is some good news to report about the lingering of “masking,” even if it is a third or so of the population that continues to think – to believe – that walking around with their face looking like the crotch of a European beach Guido is a matter of public health.
We appear to have reached a kind of stasis – or point of equilibrium. The people who still “mask” are likely to “mask,” forever. They are attached – literally – to their “masks.” Physically – because psychologically. They might as well have them tattooed on their faces (it would be just as effective a health measure).
But the militancy appears to have tamped down markedly. The “masked’ go about their business and we go about ours, each leaving the other alone. Their eyes don’t boggle when they see our faces. At least, not in my area. They just walk past – as we walk past them.
This, of course, is how it should have been from the beginning. People should always be free to wear whatever they want to wear, especially as regards the symbols of their faith. Few are bothered – and no one should be – by the sight of an orthodox Jew wearing a yarmulke while shopping. It only becomes a problem when the orthodox insist upon orthodoxy – that others adopt their faith as opposed to respecting the right of the orthodox to practice his.
The problem, of course, is that the leaders of this new faith needed everyone to practice it. So as to give the appearance, at least, of widespread faith. This was accomplished by “mandating” the “mask” – which is to this religion what the yarmulke is to the orthodox Jew, with the additional element of forced conversion.
What’s interesting about that – for those who’ve experienced it – perhaps having grown up in it – is that it is sometimes hard to lose that religion. The rituals – and the trappings, in particular. They become routine, a part of normal life. Especially when they are “practiced” by people in your close circle, such as family members – who apply pressure to at least feign faith, for the sake of keeping the peace.
It is why many people go to church on Sunday – even though they are indifferently faithful. They “believe,” perhaps – but in a milqueast manner, enough so that they are willing to go to church every Sunday and to describe themselves as “Christian.”
So it appears to be with the Disciples of the Church of Corona, Omicron Variant. They still believe, too – but not with the insistent, enthusiastic fervency of a new religion. It is mostly pro forma now. A catechism one says, rites one performs – because one has always said them and performed them and it would feel strange to stop doing either.
Even though it has only been two years since this religion swept the country – the world – it has already lost much of its original fire and brimstone. It is getting hard to spread the bad news – perhaps because more and people no longer believe it.
Possibly because the “devil” posited (by actual devils, ironically enough) hasn’t delivered. The bodies aren’t – and never have – stacked up like cordwood. The young are fine and so is practically everyone else.
It is hard not to see that.
After awhile, people stop believing the bad news. Some,of course, may still “believe” – but without the End Times immediacy that breeds dangerous fervency. Old Scratch is down there – somewhere – but what’s on TeeVee tonight?
. . .
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