There I was yesterday, teaching, and one of the first things I told my students was that the pandemic was not over, we all ought to be wearing masks and social distancing, but that the university had decided not to enforce any precautions, and I couldn’t do anything to make them do anything even as simple as wearing a mask. The best I could do is offer to teach the class synchronously over Zoom. Of course I was wearing a mask. I might have been the only person in the building doing so. I know none of the students were. I can’t blame them, since everything from the president of the US to local campus policy is telling them the pandemic is over.
Here’s the truth: the pandemic is not over. It’s much worse than you have been led to believe. And unless you’ve spent the past several years reading scientific studies on the subject, it can be hard to convey just how wrong the public perception of COVID really is. Everything from how it’s spread, to how it’s prevented, to what it does once it’s in your body, is being tragically misunderstood.
None of this is an accident. It’s not your “fault” if you aren’t a virologist, immunologist, epidemiologist, or evolutionary biologist. It’s the job of experts and trusted voices to convey the truth and give you guidance. Not only have they failed at this, they have engaged in an active disinformation campaign dedicated to making the pandemic “disappear”. This has not been the result of a classic caricature of conspiracy — some tiny council of elites, gathered in the shadows to craft policy out of whole cloth. What we’re actually witnessing is the quiet collusion of class interest. This form of conspiracy is a feature of cultural hegemony, and it has aligned itself in direct opposition to public health and scientific reality. A “conspiracy” of this sort takes place in full view of the public. Every actor within it has openly telegraphed motivations that we are all taught to see as acceptable: keeping the current economic system intact at all costs.
From the moment humanity learned of the novel coronavirus, uncertainty swirled. SARS-CoV-2, named for its terrifying viral cousin, seemed to be even worse than SARS: more deadly, more transmissible, better at evading detection. A singular question arose in the minds of two very different classes of people: “How do we survive this?” For one of those classes, the question was literal: how do we avoid being killed by a disease that seems to be spreading and killing invisibly and indiscriminately? For the other class, the question being asked in boardrooms and capitols was really: “Could this dislodge our grip on power?”
That last question is a good one. Who is worrying about power?
One good place to check is the World Economic Forum in Davos, where all the richest and most influential people in the world converge every year to talk about controlling the masses. Are they concerned about dying of COVID? Do they have plans to protect themselves from the virus? They sure do.
The first thing attendees get is a rapid COVID test and an electronic badge. The badge is linked to a conference database that controls a little light that only activates if you pass the test. You will not be admitted to the meeting unless your badge indicates that you’ve taken the daily test and are free of the disease.
Tests are free. Masks are free. The staff are required to wear them, but the rich people are not.
Inside the annual meeting’s venues, areas will be cleaned, disinfected, and ventilated several times a day. Additional state-of-the-art ventilation systems have been installed in areas with restricted air circulation. Hand sanitizers will be widely available throughout the meeting venues.
Similar precautions have been taken in the offices and factories of attendees, to protect the workers. Ha ha, fooled you, of course they’re not expected to do that. That would cost money.
Do the richest people in the world know something you don’t? They certainly do, because they’ve been investing a lot of effort in keeping you ignorant and confused. Otherwise, we might demand unthinkable things like improved air circulation in our classrooms and labs, and a routine testing policy, and required masking with good masks provided by the university (to be fair, the university did provide N95 masks to the faculty last year. We got 3. Just 3.)
Do you realize that you’re an exploited peon yet?