Just over a month ago, we wrote this piece which briefly looked at how the COVID-19 crisis will impact how we interact with each other as human beings: Welcome to your future of controlled misery. Fast forward to the present and this piece appears spelling out in some detail how we’ll be expected to interact in workplaces, pubs, cafes, restaurants, etc.: What could a physically distanced UK look like after lockdown? Pretty much as we predicted to be honest…
The only saving grace about this miserable piece is that the authors use the term ‘physically distanced’ instead of ‘socially distanced’: Language is important… Although at the end of the day, the result is the same – isolation and atomisation against a background of constant, nagging fear
When you read through the Guardian piece, two things stand out. The first is that there isn’t going to be an ‘end’ to the COVID-19 crisis. The kind of measures being discussed take time, effort and money to implement. A future of temperature scanners, physical distancing monitoring via apps and surveillance technology, following directional arrows pretty much wherever you are, being kept apart by plastic screens – the list goes on – awaits us.
The second thing that stands out is the messaging that we are to remain fearful of each other and regard all other people as potential threats when it comes to infection. The consequence of this is a society where we’re being pulled apart from each other and conditioned to accept an existence of atomisation and fear. As we have mentioned a few times, a fearful populace is more malleable and ultimately easier to control to suit the nefarious motives of our rulers.
Something else we predicted was the way the understandable reluctance of retail staff to handle cash without PPE during the COVID-19 crisis would be used to push us towards a cashless society: Cash, Kisses and Karaoke: Why the War on Covid must not become a War on Cash. A physical cash economy is far from perfect but it’s considerably better than digital money where your every purchase (and movement) is tracked. One where if you annoy the authorities too much, you could find yourself cut off from what you thought was your money, pushed outside of the grid and consequently struggling to survive.
Pieces like What could a physically distanced UK look like after lockdown? along with the constant messaging about maintaining (anti)social distancing are playing their part in conditioning us to a ‘new normal’. One that is going to feel more like an existence than a fully formed life. When faced with a future like this, those who can think for themselves will understandably want to ask questions not just about what’s being done to them but also, why it’s being done to them. We’re also asking these questions.
What really irks us is that even asking these questions invites accusations of being a ‘conspiracy theorist’ with the consequence that any rational debate about the response of governments across the globe to the COVID-19 crisis is shut down. We ask these questions because we don’t want to sleepwalk into a totalitarian future that could feel like a weird mash up of 1984 and Animal Farm, facilitated by the technology of the 21st century.
As we’ve written previously, we think what we’re going through at the moment is a re-shaping of political divides: The emerging political divide. Thankfully, we’re not the only people to see it this way which gives us some hope for the future. Suffice to say there are some interesting discussions taking place at the moment. All we ask is that people stop hurling accusations of ‘conspiracy theory’ about and open their minds up to understanding what’s being done to us, why it’s being done to us and then start to resist it for all it’s worth.