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This Week in the New Normal #14

Our successor to This Week in the Guardian, This Week in the New Normal is our weekly chart of the progress of autocracy, authoritarianism and economic restructuring around the world.

1. Germany falls back into old habits

Despite the absolute failure of an “unvaxxed-only lockdown” in neighbouring Austria, Germany has decided to give this fascist policy a try.

The lockdown was announced on Thursday, meaning unvaccinated Germans are now not allowed to visit gyms, pubs, theatres, cinemas, “non essential shops”, museums, art galleries…you get the idea.

Again following in Austria’s footsteps, Germany is expected to make vaccines mandatory in the near future.

In a tone-deaf message, Angela Merkel referred to the move as an “act of national solidarity”, but bad optics seems to be Angela’s favourite thing this week. Anybody looking at the ceremony marking her political retirment would say the same thing.

I’m not sure, exactly, how her black-clad speech on a black stage at a black lectern, as black-uniformed military officers paraded past with flaming torches was supposed to look…

…but the end product is decidedly threatening.

2. Sweden’s Microchip Vax Passports

It seems strange how quickly Sweden has gone from being the home of European resistance to the lockdown narrative, to churning out dystopian memes as bad as anywhere on the rest of the continent. We’ve already seen them start employing vaccine passports, but now those vaccine passes can be put on microchips under your skin.

the technology to implant readable microchips in a person’s flesh has existed for a long time, and it’s been a trendy thing to do in Sweden since at least 2018, with microchips used to as keys and security passes all over the country.

The evolution of including your Covid vaccine data on the chip is horribly obvious, and people have started doing it just because it’s “easier”. It probably won’t be long before the idea spreads across borders.

Maybe the fascist dystopia will come about just by appealing to people’s laziness.

BONUS: staged bullsh*t of the week

This clip posted to twitter shows the UK health secretary Sajid Javid persuading a Sky News reporter to get his Covid booster….

All this was supposedly just an off-hand event recorded almost by accident.

And if you’ll believe that…well, you wanna buy a bridge?

It’s not all bad…

Our protest of the week comes from Perth, Australia, where all the workers who have lost their jobs thanks to the “pandemic”, laid their uniforms out in front of Parliament House:

And Whistle-blowing British doctor Sam White, who resigned his post with the NHS in protest against the treatment of Covid, and then had his licence to practice suspended, has won a Supreme Court Decision against the General Medical Council (GMC).

After his resignation and suspension, the GMC ordered Dr White to not post his opinions of the efficacy of masks (or other Covid policies) on his social media accounts. In response, he sent an appeal to the Supreme Court, claiming the GMC was infringing his right to free expression, and yesterday he won.

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All told a pretty hectic week for the new normal crowd, and we didn’t even mention the UK’s plan to make cat-calling a hate crime or the worst thing that’s ever been on the internet…

There’s a lot of change in the air, a lot of agendas in the works, if you see a headline, article, post or interview you think is a sign of the times, post it in the comments, email us or share it on social media and we will add it to the next edition.