One of the most annoying aspects of the current measures supposedly created “against the pandemic” that we have been subjected for almost two years now is the insistence that everything is done “for our own good”, as if governments and big companies were strict but caring parents, and we were just unruly or disobedient children who don’t really know what they need.
It brings to mind CS Lewis’ warning about that most oppressive of tyrannies, “a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims.”
Now, I cannot tell for sure if the vaccines, the lockdowns, the travel restrictions and the masks work or not. My feeling is that they don’t, or at least, not in the way we are being told, but that’s not the issue. The question is why are we being treated like stupid children who cannot simply choose, but have to take a “jab” and then get “green passes” to travel or work or enter any establishment.
Apparently, governments and big corporations worldwide are worried about our “health”.
But are they, really?
Like monomaniacs, they seem to be worried exclusively about Covid.
Not about the incredible amount of mental health issues and the alarming increase of teenage suicides during the various “lockdowns”.
Not about people, like my elderly neighbours, who could not see their family (who live in another country) for over two years and are suffering with solitude.
Not for the people who, afraid of contracting Covid, didn’t go to the hospital to treat other conditions and died.
Not for the people who died or got sick because of side effects of the vaccines.
No, it’s just “Covid”. And even that doesn’t seem to be their main worry. As long as they get their “vaccine passports” and their “tracking apps” and their “cashless society”, they don’t really care if you get the disease or not.
When did this wave of fake concern started? Ok, governments were probably always in the business of being annoying busybodies – “I’m from the government and I am here to help” was a scary sentence since who knows how long. But companies for decades were mostly concerned with selling their product, not with lecturing us.
However, at the peak of BLM riots, I received dozens of emails from big companies assuring me that, to them, “blacks lives mattered”. In Pride Month, the same companies assured me that they were fighting for transgender rights to use whichever bathroom they wanted. I never asked nor cared what’s their position on those issues, just that they make a good product that I can use.
Now, the same companies send me emails about masks and vaccination and passes. Because, see, they are worried about my health.
Unfortunately, it’s not just governments and big companies. Almost every institution in the culture and the arts is also kowtowing (either by government decrees or to keep being funded, I don’t know) to this literal “new world order”.
For instance, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra now has very strict regulations for entry. They tell us that they want to create “an environment in which we all may confidently discover what it means to be together again.”
And so, in the name of “togetherness”, they are banning all people who are not vaccinated, including all children under 12 years of age who cannot, alas, be legally vaccinated yet. Not even people with a negative Covid test will be allowed entry to the concerts: only the “vaxxed” ones, with their proper certificates. Still, even they will have to endure masks for the whole duration of the spectacle. It’s not clear if also the musicians have to wear masks – I suppose at least the flute players will be exempted.
And yet, despite all those draconian rules who really seem to take out all of the fun of the process (and in this case it might really better to just stay home and watch a video streaming online), “these protocols do not offer absolute protection against contracting COVID-19” and the spectators must “voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.”
Note also that those showing any possible symptoms might not be allowed entry, vaccine or not. (I wonder if anyone who coughs during one of the breaks will be forcefully ejected.)
This is just one example among many of the ludicrous and merciless “new normal” that we are subject to in the name of our health.
But remember, “it’s all for your own good”.
TE Creus is a writer, translator and filmmaker. He is the author of “Our Pets and Us: The Evolution of a Relationship” and the collection of short stories “The Sphere”. He’s the editor of Contrarium.
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