COVID-19 has no idea who is running for president.

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I went out yesterday to pick up Chinese food at Green Tea, which worked out wonderfully. There were 12 – 13 persons waiting to approach the ad hoc window for payment or gathering their orders. Interestingly, the folks waiting were aware of distance, and spacing. I told my social worker wife about this.

She said it’s an example of peer pressure, indicating there was a cultural expectation of which these persons were aware, thus their obvious conscious effort to comply. I thought about this and replied, but then isn’t the problem that we actually have two major cultures?

Isn’t it inescapable after two months of COVID that reactions toward an apolitical virus as yet are predicated on previous political/cultural identities? I’ve resisted mightily conceding this point, but the evidence seems clear to me. Same crap, different pretext.

Peer pressure is working within these distinct sociopolitical cultures, not crossing them — or isn’t it, if polls consistently show a clear majority in favor of caution in opening the economy, as opposed to haste?

I worry about these things in the context of the food and drink industry. It’s been bad enough for us, and now the industry itself could be split between the camps of rev-it-up-now and let’s-wait-for-safety’s-sake.

Mind you, this division always existed. Like so many other areas, COVID has acted as a diviner of innermost convictions. What you were before, you remain — only amplified, and in many ways rendered into parody, as with the white guys with guns “protesting” science-based public health.

I don’t have an answer. But personally, I believe the economic reopening is happening too soon. Personally, I lament the probable consequences. At the same time, COVID has been conducive. Now I can see who and what you really are, and I’ll base our future relations accordingly.

H.L. Mencken wrote, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” This is overly simplistic. In the decision to reopen the economy too soon, the so-called common people are getting what they neither want nor deserve. They’ll be used as always by the architects of capital accumulation, and ground underfoot.

These next two or three weeks likely will be more divisive than before. Both arms of our “us versus them” culture will be responsible; we’re all self-centered narcissists, just facing different altars.

The coronavirus is laughing at us, and your choice of presidential candidates means absolutely nothing.

1 COMMENT

  1. I couldn't agree more. The fact that a faction of our populace refuses to even wear a simple mask to help protect their common man speaks volumes. How many would be outraged if I walled into Kroger with a lit cigar? Second hand smoke kills or haven't we heard…now imagine you can't smell or see the cigarette.

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