As we near the apex of this disaster and the self-inflicted nature of it becomes increasingly apparent, it is time to start thinking about what we have done and who we’ve become. This is not to overlook the acts of kindness we have all witnessed, nor the selfless sacrifice of so many. Those things are a natural reflection of man’s inherent goodness. Rather, a peak beneath the thin veneer of humanity on display.
While the state-decreed shut downs are certainly inconvenient, economically destructive and arguably unconstitutional, there is something far worse that has happened in the last 40+ days. We are witnessing the possibly, permanent nail in the coffin of the social order – hammered in by the media and government apparatuses which have bound together to form their own perfectly pathogenic social virus. One that will prove far more deadly than this coronavirus.
They have conspired, wittingly or not, to generate a degree of panic and hysteria the virus mortality rate does not warrant. Hours of daily gov’t press conferences breathlessly and uncritically amplified by the media… A manipulation of data and suppression of competing scientific inquiry… And a ‘Karen’ on every streetcorner and shopping aisle, quick to enforce the new, official narrative that, “this is all for our own good. Or else.” If such an unAmerican thing has ever existed, I do not know. But there are episodes in not too-far-past history that rhyme.
It seems we have finally and fully forfeited that one ethos which made our society different from the rest – the notion that individual responsibility is the arbiter of our freedom. As this ethos applies to the current malady – those who fear the propaganda could have simply stayed home. Those who deemed themselves a high-mortality risk could have stayed home. Human generosity, on ample display every day, would have eagerly stepped up to help provide for those who needed a hand navigating their new circumstance.
Instead, our emotions got the best of us and we’ve all been led down a dark, ominous path by people far too eager to lead us there. We’ve shunned our individual rights and responsibilities and allowed them to be consumed by fear, groupthink and a false sense of security promised to us by our ‘betters’ – the academic ‘experts’, the data-modeling, grant-seeking enablers and the irrationally risk-averse (and some drunk on power) politicians who have led us over the cliff – all with a deprecating smile. Despite the daily exaltations and memes that insincerely proclaim that, “we are all in this together,” we know better. They know better.
What should be relatively certain is that this new, social and political ‘progress’ shall not be undone. America never returns to the ‘old normal’ – that much is in our national DNA. At a time of national, or at least regional challenge, in which people would naturally bind together in shared purpose and unity, we will likely emerge even more divided – socially, politically and economically. While the half-nation of gov’t-dependent workers, retirees, bankers and collectivist cheerleaders applaud the sacrifice demanded upon the other half of the country, the social fabric burns. Not that it wasn’t already on fire, but this virus might as well be kerosene. The only question left is will this fire smolder and turn to ash as have so many former nations states or will it burn out of control?