While I've never been one to embrace "conspiracy theories" per se, at least not without at least a medicorum of solid evidence and common sense, but there is something, in my humble opinion, going on here. There's been to many medical professionals come forth, with nothing to gain and everything to lose, disputing the official government narrative; to many medical and other professionals claiming this is bio-weapon which either was intentionally or somehow accidentally leaked by a level four military lab. You pick. Also, why don't people keep getting infected by previous variants? It seems that people are just getting infected by the newest variant.
In the beginning, about two years ago now, we were told that the virus, which had first shown up in Wuhan China, was being contained, but no. It reached the United States in a matter of weeks (which says something about the travel habits of individuals flying to and from Mainland China), and spread quickly. We were also told it came from someone eating "bat soup" utilizing an infected bat which accidently escaped a Level 4 military lab, but that theory seems to have flown out the window too.
We were urged to self-quarantine, wear masks, and in a few weeks the worse of it would be over, but once again no. We were placed in a lockdown lasting months. News reports, along with daily "health updates" from government officials made it seem like some sort of apocalypse had befallen us (either that or that we're suddenly living out "The Andromeda Strain" in real life).
Hospitals, or so we were told, were running out of space, with makeshift "triage centers", and even more morose, makeshift morgues (the news media was always keen to show some black bagged body being rolled out to a waiting freezer). Meanwhile, only "essential" businesses were open, and then only partly staffed. We were told to avoid social gatherings, even with family, and to maintain "social distancing" of at least six feet. Elevator and public transit capacities were limited. Restaurants were either outdoor dining or drive thru (assuming they were even open).Most of us were shocked by the amount of mass hoarding going on. People were buying 20 multi rolls of toilet paper, paper towels, meats, cheese, bread, lunch meat, and damn near anything else at a time with no thought of anyone else.
Ammo and gun sales were out the roof in anticipation of the soon-to-be expected roving mobs, at least according to the media. Home security systems were installed while people stocked up on gas and batteries. And who knew that ordinary hand sanitizer could be a bartering commodity along with disposable paper masks?
After several months, the "ban" was gradually lifted, although in fact, most people had long ignored any such ban. The public increasingly demanded that things get back to some semblance of normality. Government officials kept promising us they would, but the goal line kept moving.
Finally, the long awaited "magic elixir", a vaccine, appeared in record time. Most vaccine testing take years, and yet shortly after summer here they were! We were assured that once we took the jab, everything would be fine...until it wasn't. A booster shot was introduced for older individuals and those with compromised immune systems.
The government and business went all out to push the vaccine. Not since WWII had there been so much cooperation and coordination between the two! But along with the vaccination, came the introduction of vaccination cards, along with talk of mandatory "health cards" that would have to be carried for entry to businesses, doctor's offices, grocery stores, pharmacies, mass transit, sporting events, and damn near everything else.Government officials have for now backed down, but don't expect it go away. Given people's early compliance, you can bet that it will be introduced again in some to shiny pre-packaged way.
One interesting side effect of the mass shutdowns was the "stimulus checks" mailed out to most Americans (and some illegal immigrants). With the fear of COVID subsiding, businesses expected people to return to work, but that didn't happen. In fact, most workers decided to take a prolonged hiatus from their employer. For some, it was a matter of pay.
Workers in entry level jobs such at fast food restaurants, had been demanding higher pay pre-COVID. Now apparently was the time to drive the point home. As a result, employers have been forced to raise starting salaries, and offer what perks they can (which has hurt small "mom and pop" businesses), and still employees have largely stayed away.
How they're able to stay away I can only surmise. I imagine some are living off what little savings they have (Americans have the lowest percentage of savings of any industrialized nation), and credit cards. Some, I suspect, returned to school, using grant and other money to make ends meet while others live off mom and dad.
But many are staying away at any cost because employers are demanding proof of vaccination or a regular weekly Covid test and wearing a mask. Some employers are keeping unvaccinated employees away from customers, which is tough if you're someone dependent on tips.
No doubt a few are working under the table for cash only (which is one reason Biden proposed allowing the IRS to check bank accounts holding $600 or more). But, at some point, regardless of how they're doing it, the bills will come do and they'll find themselves working two or three jobs to catch up.
The group hurt the most are those on fixed incomes. Their incomes don't increase with inflation and rising prices. As a result, they have to cut back on their purchases. Often having to choose between food, utilities, gas, rent/mortgage, or medicine. In the end, with the rise in prices exceeding wages we end up with ever spiraling inflation. On top of all this, comes "Omicron", the latest in what will likely be a continuing string of variants, just in time for Christmas, winter, and the increasing threat of another shutdown.
So where does that leave us? In the past, people would turn to government to get us out of this mess but that's not likely to happen. The public's trust of government is hovering around 19%. President Biden is seen as either an old man with serious mental issues who's is incapable of doing much of anything, or just a incompetent old fool completely out of his depth. Personally, I think it's the former.
Biden clearly is suffering from some sort of mental issue, likely dementia according to some reports. Nevertheless, his approval rating is a dismal 38%. His backup, Vice President Kamala Harris, is just as disliked according to polls with a 28% approval rating.
Americans have long stopped trusting the media--mainstream or social. In fact, our trust of practically all of our institutions, be it education, healthcare, law enforcement (particularly the FBI, CIA, DEA, and NSA), religious, Big Business, and others is virtually nil. We don't trust the electoral process, or the judicial system. Even the military, which was the lone institution which enjoyed any public trust, is losing face, especially as some military leadership has become more political.
This Corporatocracy is managed by an Oligarchy of the super rich and powerful. Their lobbyists write the legislation and shepherd it through the maze of committees. They dictate domestic and foreign policy, using our military not for our protection, but for enforcing their goals and objectives which usually is all about gaining access to resources and assets.
What they fear, they demonize. What they can use is glorified. Don't believe me? Why are the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers (many of whom are former military and law enforcement) and other "patriot" groups reviled despite having committed no crimes or caused to destruction to property? Meanwhile, anti-Trumpsters, BLM and Antifa had, during the pandemic lockdown, protested and rioted.
They broke windows, randomly attacked people, destroyed public and private property, defaced buildings and cars, looted, caused arson, blocked traffic, and yet the media downplayed or ignored most of the incidents; even referring to them as "mostly peaceful" or "non-violent" with nothing said about the protesters being bused in or key members being paid to the point of being "professional" protestors.
Yet, when individuals ("anti-vaxxers") caution against the vaccine, refuse to wear masks or get injections, they are ridiculed by the media and other groups. They are accused of spreading the virus; of having a total disregard for human life. What happened to personal decisions and our right to choose?
Those who own guns are seen as mass murderers in waiting. They are somehow contributing to the social violence instead of protecting themselves and others (not to mention providing a barrier against a tyrannical government), and yet ridiculed. Some want them to obtain mental health evaluations before even being able to own a gun, especially if they served in the military or are former law enforcement.
These same groups have demanded the removal of certain individuals from universities as well as historical monuments in public settings; all of which were duly done. Invited speakers were shouted down or pushed off stage at public events. Education curriculums are changed without public knowledge or consent. Much of new curriculum does nothing but create a new defacto scapegoat.
The malignant minds behind the Corporatocracy seek division in every way possible. It's the only way we can be controlled, cowed, or manipulated. What they seek is compliance. They fear actual "socialism" in any form because that requires social cooperation, and social cooperation defeats their ability to control. They fear free speech because it veers from their Orwellian "groupthink" which ensures obedience.
Free speech and independent thought means the ability to think for yourself. To do your own research and make your own decisions instead of regurgitating what you're told. It also implies independent critical thinking which is an anathema to any would be authoritarian system. It's why it's no longer taught in public schools and is increasingly rare in universities and colleges.
Every authoritarian government starts off wearing a silk glove, but hidden in that glove is a mailed fist which is merciless in its application. They claim to represent what's good for the people but only represent themselves. Today it's a mask and social distancing. Today it's surveillance and monitoring for our protection. Today it's a "reappraisal" of our history and monuments. What will it be tomorrow I wonder?
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