RALEIGH – Upon the advent of the coronavirus Pandemic Panic, when elected officials were leap frogging each other to emulate China’s lockdown strategy with business closing decrees, shutting down schools, issuing stay-at-home orders, and mandating face masks, the most dangerous component wasn’t the blatant infringements on core liberties and common sense themselves, but the collective acceptance of such blind sacrifices by individuals across the state, nation, and world.
One must ask, if we readily agree to ‘just wear the mask,’ will we ever really take it off? Will the ethos of fear effecting our work, our schools, our very ways of life, ever fully dissipate, after being so thoroughly fomented?
Some had the foresight to ask this question this coming from the outset of public health panic and fear mongering; others are completely sold on the necessity of such extraordinary measures, confident they will be a return to normalcy if we can ‘just do what they say.’
It is becoming more clear everyday, however, that the Pandemic Panic purveyors are intent upon collective acceptance of individual sacrifice forever. As an example of the narrative being picked up and broadcast, repetitively, in North Carolina, we have this piece from WRAL: Pandemic could eliminate aspects of daily routine forever. (Emphasis added)
“More than six months after the first coronavirus case was diagnosed in North Carolina, the pandemic continues to disrupt and reshape daily life. From work to eating to shopping, experts say the impact will likely last even after the virus is under control.
“We’re seeing behavior change, but it’s mainly happening in people who believe in the science,” said Robyn Gershon, clinical professor of epidemiology at New York University’s School of Global Public Health. […]”
Did you catch that? Right out of the gate, the expert is noting that it is the ‘people who believe in science‘ are changing their behaviors. This, of course, is a passive way of suggesting that people who are not changing their behaviors do not believe in the science; they are ‘science deniers.’ Those that are skeptical of masking up and shutting down? Dumb, selfish people, who do not believe in the science.
The expert didn’t SAY this, but it exactly the same subtext that’s been weaved into the narrative around this virus and the response to it.
The article goes on to reference seemingly innocuous changes in behavior from history, and current day — covering coughs and sneezes after the 1918 pandemic, less shaking hands in 2020. Then it slides into more significant changes in how we work, live, and play — changes to our very culture — with social avoidance being a key factor of being in harmony with ‘the science.’
“[…] The workplace will undergo major changes, she predicted. Open work spaces and shared touch surfaces – everything from computer keyboard, water fountains and coffee machines to elevator buttons and door knobs – may go away.
Likewise, shared food, whether it’s a buffet, free food samples at a store or even potluck-type dinners, could be a thing of the past.
Gershon said she also feels the pandemic could add something to American culture.
“If, after this is all over, especially during flu season, will Americans adopt face mask use like they do in Asian countries?” she wonders.
Despite studying several virus outbreaks, she said she never wore a mask in everyday life until now. But even three years from now, she said, she can see herself wearing a mask on the subway or in other crowded places during flu season.
The changes will not only affect daily life, it will help prepare society for the next pandemic, Gershon said.
“People in my field, we knew it was coming,” she of the current pandemic. “It was inevitable, and it’s not going to stop.””
It’s. Not. Going. To. Stop.
The expert predicts that people, the ones who believe in science at least, are going to propel this panic into cultural and societal changes that literally change our way of life. She suggests this is a good thing, to prepare us for the inevitable.
It is understandable if one worries that the inevitability referred to here isn’t just some other novel flu-like pathogen, but the subversion of a distinctly American understanding of liberty. Of individual rights, responsibility, daring, and adventure.
To be sure, this is not the mindset of a significant portion of North Carolinians, or Americans at large. Just take a drive around, and away from major urban centers to confirm plenty of communities are intent upon maintaining their way of life, business, and pursuits of happiness.
Though significant, that faction appears to be a minority, if polling and patterns are to be believed.
Notably, however, a minority in defense of liberty — and uncorrupted science, as it were — is as powerful a faction as one could ask for.
Despite the anticipated retorts from those all too willing to bend their knee to a collective, resisting these seemingly perfunctory changes to our lives is not trivial. The ask of us as individuals is hardly, ‘No big deal.’ When it comes to the the American idea, it is THE deal.
As such, this ‘new normal,’ as it is often referred to, should be roundly rejected; the complicity required to sustain it should be flatly denied; and, in North Carolina specifically, honorable men and women should take pride in being free, rather than merely seeming so.