The New “Normal”: We Do Have Some Say in All This

In a televised CBS interview with Anthony Mason on April 2nd, Bill Gates issued a few key words that have since become iconic in the world of mainstream media.  As has been the general trend whenever the famed co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation declares something that appears to implicate the personal lives of every other person on the planet, these words effectively set the tone for what would become an oft-repeated stanza across the globe. 

Essentially, Gates advised that life is not expected to get back to “normal” until a thorough, international vaccination infrastructure has been implemented.  On Fox News Sunday April 5th, Bill Gates specifically told host Chris Wallace that life “won’t get back to normal” until a vaccine is delivered to the “entire world.”

Within days of these rather bold prescriptions from the Microsoft founder, news headlines around the world were lit ablaze with the parroted advisory that life, as we know it, is “not expected to return to normal until a vaccine is available.”

Quoting directly from Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau during his nationwide address on April 8th,

“normality as it was before will not come back full-on until we get a vaccine for this…”

Similarly, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned the public that life cannot be expected to resume any sense of former stability until a vaccine becomes widely available.  While she was initially setting an optimistic (if you can call it that) timeline of the Fall of 2020, her predictions were cooled by the European Medicines Agency which suggested a more conservative arena of 12 to 18 months.

In the meantime, news media everywhere are essentially saying the same thing; life as we know it is not expected to return to normal until a vaccine program is in some kind of deliverable form for the entire world.  Gates himself offered 18 months as a reasonable time frame and, in the interim, his recommendations are fairly transparent.  As he explicitly stated during his CBS interview,

“the country’s leaders need to be clear: shutdown anywhere means shutdown everywhere.”

While these words were specifically addressed to the US, it is no mystery that the intentional audience here is humanity in general.

At any rate, the narrative has been set.  As news headlines everywhere have told us, things are expected to be upside down until we are vaccinated on a nearly worldwide scale.

In the meantime, society en masse has now been successfully programmed to quietly sit still and wait out the ensuing lockdowns so that, eventually, our collective discomfort from a bleeding economy and progressive intimacy-starvation leads us to such a state of prolonged desperation where we’re more than happy to bare our arms (and our children’s arms) to the awaiting syringe.

By that time, we will have also been more than sufficiently indoctrinated in the so-called dangers of COVID-19 where we will be ready and ripened for the ‘solution’ to everything that has fragmented our societies since “Wuhan” first became a household name.

In a sobering article recently published in MIT Technology Review, Gideon Lichfield discusses his views of why social life, on a global scale, may never return to us in quite the same way at all.  He warns that “as long as someone in the world has the virus, breakouts can and will keep recurring without stringent controls to contain them.”

Lichfield then proceeds to outline some rather cold possibilities of what typical life may come to look like in the future, including cell-phone location data for tracking unwitting risk offenders.  He reports that this would not be for tracking merely the infected themselves, but ultimately for “people who’ve been in touch with known carriers of the virus”.  In other words, we’re talking government policies of keeping tabs on pretty much everybody through constant smart phone monitoring.

He also asserts that

“we’ll restore the ability to socialize safely by developing more sophisticated ways to identify who is a disease risk and who isn’t, and discriminating – legally – against those who are.”

He suggests that possible methods may include universal screening of body temperature fluctuations, specific family size, and even annual income. While noting the very likely risk of creating even more social inequities, Lichfield’s concluding comments are simply that the onus will be on government officials to reflect on the propensity for increased social dysfunction and to work hard to guard against the exacerbation of it.

In the meantime, however, Lichfield makes a repeated point that the public, in response, will somehow learn to adapt to these changes and essentially move forward with whatever form life happens to take in the aftermath of these things. He writes that

“we’ll adapt to such measures, much as we’ve adapted to increasingly stringent airport security screenings in the wake of terrorist attacks.”

Furthermore,

“the intrusive surveillance will be considered a small price to pay for the basic freedom to be with other people.”

With these considerations in mind, he correctly points out that

“the true cost will be borne by the poorest and weakest” (MIT Technology Review, March 17/20).

Predictions such as these, in my mind, do not border in any way in the realm of science fiction.  In my opinion, Lichfield’s views appear to have a rather passive flair, particularly when it comes to the issue of widespread public acceptance of such Orwellian approaches to social management.  His repetition of terms like “acceptance,” and “adaptation” in the context of public response lend to an overall theme of involuntary submission; the picture of a society that essentially has no choice in the governance of their affairs and even their very personal lives.

But I suspect that content such as that covered in MIT Technology Review, while accurate on many counts, is nevertheless in the business of building one very specific thing: consumer adaptation to ideals and standards established by high-level and corporate interests.

Let us be clear.  The majority of information that has been given to the international public has been fed and filtered through a severely one-sided source.  It is also no secret that the vast majority of our mainstream media is owned by a literal handful of agencies who have much to gain by steering public perception.  This oligopoly, if you will, consists primarily of AT&T, Comcast, the Walt Disney Company, Viacom CBC, and the Fox Corporation.  Together, these and their subsidiary agencies are indeed very wise in their aims to cash in on the official story of the coronavirus pandemic, primarily since stories of fear tend to sell products of distraction.

While this article is not the place to examine the depth of research and analysis which rightfully questions the nature of our current pandemic, let me simply point out the fact that any self-respecting global citizen owes it themselves to look beyond the confines of the evening news (as well as seeing beyond the unquestioning mass obedience that has taken over our cities) and spend some time to at least review the rest of the information that experts, scientists and independent news producers are trying to share (that is, as long as the self-righteous techno oligarchs haven’t removed them from their hosting platforms yet).

The point is that our history has patiently demonstrated to us, time and time again, that society has often hindered itself by blindly adhering to the official narrative that some persons in power have fed to the overall population.  As Marshall McLuhan put it so succinctly, “all media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values.”

More appropriately, then, the issue of collective values is where I want to dedicate the rest of my thoughts here.  Because, as we have experienced up until this point, it seems to me that we have allowed our shared values to become largely shaped by something most of us don’t even really understand properly.

All of a sudden it seems, we have found ourselves abiding by a set of social norms which, despite how bizarre they must appear to an outside observer, are nevertheless the root of much shaming and mutual policing – principally because there have been enough corporately-paid talking heads and ill-informed leaders who are telling us that social distancing is the “responsible” and “safe” thing to do.

Ridiculous public behavior aside, my graver concern lies in the fact that our worldwide public culture now appears to have been sufficiently neutered and primed for the next stage of this whole illegitimate process.  Specifically speaking, how many of us are actually going to resist the call to be vaccinated once it becomes publically available? Will the social pressure have evolved to such an established norm where resistance will result in serious ostracizing and rejection from our familiar locales and community hubs?  Will we be deemed “unsafe” and “irresponsible” for simply trying to preserve our personal morals of health and safety, in addition to those of our children?  Because let’s face it.  If we’re already heckling people for stepping within our six feet of personal space, then how will we treat those who are deemed guilty for questioning and resisting the very antidote to the thing that is widely-regarded as the very source of our problems to begin with?

My urge is that we remind ourselves of the fact that a collective human response to any manufactured phenomenon begins with the single individual.  I dare say we will not find opportunity to resist vaccination (or any other illegitimately-imposed custom) if we are silently waiting for others among us to step out of line first.  The fact is that our societies have, to a large extent, already been lined up outside the pharmacy.  Global leadership and popular media have made sure of that.  That pharmacy is soon to be opened up and the longer we wait in line then the harder it will be to actually step out of it.

Granted, I don’t know exactly how the rollout of such a vaccine in this instance will look like.  I don’t think many of us do, really.  In all reality, it may look simply like a mandatory thing for people working in certain sectors and with specific populations.  Alternatively, it will be widely promoted as the only reasonable thing to do and most will simply go along with it since too many people (at least up until now) have not bothered to ask the bigger questions about it.

With that in mind, I advise that we openly question the narrative that “life as we know it will not return to normal until we’re all vaccinated.”  After all, we’re the ones buying into that idea and our complicit acceptance of it is what necessarily gives it force.  We breathe life into this type of propaganda purely through our obedience to it and by failing to question the impulses and agendas that have gone into its design.

Let me take a final moment to clarify that I’m not proposing that what we previously enjoyed as our baseline “normal” is really the ideal either.  Far from it.  Pre-COVID ‘normal’ is not the gold standard in my opinion, nor do I imagine that it’s everybody else’s.  It was simply all we knew as a society.

In fact, one thing that our universal lockdown has served, in a positive sense, is to hopefully stimulate us on a deep, personal level to the point of re-evaluating the things in life that matter most.  Granted, some of us have resorted to binging on streaming media and mainstream news gospel (as Viacom would no doubt have intended in the first place).  So rather than launching our vision purely from a place of nostalgia for a perceived era of comfort and familiarity, my intention here is simply to underscore our critical importance as the ultimate deciders of our public fate.  It really comes down to what we are willing to go along with and, as far as I’m concerned, apathy is the most dangerous thing facing our future.

At the risk of sounding like an alarmist, the choices we make in the dawn of a questionable vaccine will go a long way in determining our continued evolution as a society.  And while I am not here to criticize one’s personal choice for vaccination, I am nevertheless insisting that one have the right to that very prized principle itself – choice that is in fact personal.  Particularly, by blindly adhering to the official prescription for mass conduct in the meantime, we are letting powerful agencies know precisely which buttons need to be pushed in order to get our species moving and behaving in the most ‘desirable’ way.

So yes, we do have some say in all of this.

 

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Brett Jordan, BSW, MSW, RSW, is a Registered Social Worker who works in a hospital ER in Metro Vancouver.  He writes predominantly on issues of spiritual, emotional and social phenomena. 


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