Though expected to distance and quarantine at the whim of local dictators, a few things gave us a clue that our pandemic response was not about health. Vices were deemed essential, as liquor stores and non-medical marijuana dispensaries remained open, while playgrounds were barricaded, beaches, and gyms, and houses of worship suddenly inaccessible.
There was no guidance on health-seeking behavior to bolster the first line of defense against the onset of ailments, just a band-aid for a bullet wound grade of national mitigation strategy that left many dying alone, surrounded by strangers. We willfully sacrificed our most fundamental duty of keeping grace in the handling of human disease humanely.
We antisocialized ourselves, fully withdrew from random commingling, and in a way filtered ourselves from society. Life lost its luster when expected to test or inoculate oneself with something with no longitudinal safety assessments in order to live a life anything close to what we once took for granted.
In order to work or attend school, our people began parking themselves quietly indoors for 8 hours per day in front of technology, the only access to the outside world for many. The places we visit for a taste of adventure or to engage in health-seeking behavior were banned, in a country with full prisons and an estimated 10-12 million undocumented immigrants, and a world with open borders and no absolutes. Did it begin to feel like house arrest felt like for a crime you didn’t commit?
Furthermore, we behave differently online, where anonymity impacts kindness and tact when engaging with others. The polarity of pro-mask versus anti, pro-mandated vaccine versus medical autonomy was palpable and daunting when entering public spaces.
Folks were conditioned to fear touch and proximity of others as grody, told to engage in bound, anonymized promiscuity while in the same enclosed spaces if using online dating apps. Because when stressed and anxious, people turn to their vices as coping mechanisms, and the denial of access to these vices would have resulted in mutiny, looting, violence, and crime – more so than what already loomed on the horizon as the city du jour was set ablaze.
Another issue with this mass anti-socialization is the manifestation of Autism Spectrum Disorder-mimicking components; faces were blocked, with young children in critical developmental stages unable to mimic social and linguistic cues. Spectrum Disorders are largely identified through input on social and language development by the caregiver, so when an apparatus creates a great deal of interference with predictable child development, there will be no way to tell the difference between actual ASD diagnoses and those manifested solely out of linguistic and social interference.
We rely on social cue development from birth onward, and can tell so much about intent and truth from facial expressions. If we do not know how to read the faces of others, this will have a lasting impact on our quality of life and ability to be fully functioning members of society.
Humans and animals alike experience significant cognitive changes when in solitary confinement. We suffered group trauma, and healing takes different amounts of time for different people. But if you notice how everyone polarized into different camps, that is part of the scientific process refusing to be ignored: the necessary components of dissent and being able to ask questions spread through private channels and surfaced regardless of the rampant censorship pushed by those who deny the world an opportunity to engage in dissent.
We found unity with people who sided with us and stuck by us through thick and thin. It brought out truths about our perception toward our own health and wellness, and I’m not surprised that the truth in metabolic health reflected in the mirror led some to feel more comfortable placing the burden on the shoulders of complete strangers, all under the false pretense of source control, and eventually vaccination.
It’s far easier to expect someone else to magically protect you than to engage in health-seeking behaviors like dietary and behavioral changes, even for those fully capable of doing so, resulting in actual reduced susceptibility to the onset of disease.
Many people said things they later regretted or took things too far, as already polarized from the election, particle behavior got enmeshed with political affiliation, in an issue that impacts us equally regardless of birthplace, language of origin, or differing opinions on mammalian viability.
I believe many have soreness and shame in areas of their lives and don’t know how to get back to some semblance of normalcy. Perhaps they weren’t as normal as they gave themselves credit for.
There is a reason people expected those like the oft-criticized Dr. Jordan Peterson to be vocal during the pandemic. They forget that doctors usually fix you after something breaks, and are seldom alongside you for the journey resulting in medical intervention. They didn’t know who to turn to, so doctors seemed like the right person to turn to because people were getting sick.
Many also forgot that just as construction workers do not design and test their hardhats, surgeons do not design and test their own surgical kit.
People from both sides of each argument may have behaved badly, regrettably, and that is part of the trauma that I see us all recovering from. These past two years will mold how folks interact with others till gradual progress is made. Like those who have experienced extensive abuse, or those who are experiencing the vise-like grip of agoraphobia, being forced out into the open, each interaction feeling like being dragged from the comfort and safety of isolation, there are people who are not the same as when they went into this, and they don’t quite know the route to get back.
When they are ready, able to trust and work through whatever personal hell reduced them to a version of themselves no one ever wished for, perhaps they’ll join us on Team Reality, but till then, maybe try to find time to at a minimum be kind. It is this virtue of grace that we all struggle with when faced with the product of what has come of this age, and we will only be able to move forward once the shame of their coerced false mitigation strategy dies down.
We have spent two years treating a particulate filtration and personal protective equipment issue as a medical problem, yet it isn’t a medical issue till someone gets sick. Till then, this is about particulate behavior and human behavior, with a heavy-handed dose of environmental mitigation strategy for aerosols.
Anyone who has spent time studying abnormal psychology can tell you – early childhood interference with psychological, linguistic, and social development has lasting impacts on the people we eventually become. We are creating a generation of anti-socialized children and infants, without seeing the long-term danger in interfering with the fundamental elements of what sets humans apart from the rest of the mammalian species.