If you wanted a lesson in how to change the world, consider the last 12-months.
As I sat waiting for my physiotherapy appointment this morning, I was observing (as you do) a full waiting room of people. Some waited outside as I suppose they were too afraid to be near the others. Most waited inside though like myself. One or two wore their respirator face masks in cavalier fashion under their nose. Others wore them in a loose fitting manner with large gaps whether due to beard or poor fit (deliberate or accidental). Only a couple wore their respirator masks with conviction. Many were seated together as a group – they talked to each other by getting close and in the face of the other party. Eventually, my physio invited me in complaining about the sheer stupidity of having to wear a mask all day long from 6am to 3pm. I inquired how the other staff felt there at the private clinic and she told me that all were highly cynical of the measures and most had refused vaccination instead saying they would wait and see what the longer-term effects were. One or two had vaccinated but only because they also worked at the hospital where it was required.
As she manipulated my neck and shoulder, I closed my eyes. It was rather enjoyable as she massaged the pain and used trigger points to relieve tight muscles (I seem to have a bent spine…). It struck me then that so much had changed in 12-months and almost everyone had simply accepted it. Work from home, no pubs, restaurants, shops (outside of groceries and pharmacies and the Prime Minister’s florists (yes, he owns them). They had accepted face masks, social distancing, closed gyms and no sport. Accepted the fact that 140,000 people in this small country are now at starvation level according to the media. Accepted the closed borders, closed schools and colleges. Accepted the closure of small business after small business and the isolation from family and friends.
Rather than rebel en masse against the environment which a growing majority call out as idiocy in private vowing to vote for any party that will end the lockdowns in the October General Election, they complied without much fuss. They show their revolt in the way they wear their masks under nose – its compliance but it is also sticking up the middle finger isn’t it? They remove the mask to walk when few people are around – another middle finger. Other people drink and socialize at secret locations apparently that occasionally get busted by the police, reported on in the media and shown what is honestly ‘pretend’ disgust by people who just comply.
It was that easy to change the world.
The world is not going back to where it was. And by the time people realize it, it will anyway be too late. The airlines will be bust, the pilots unemployed and out of hours. The pubs will be shut. The restaurants will realize they don’t need to pay for large rooms if they can sell food delivery over the internet. Business people will realize that you can do a lot without leaving the house. Some of this will be beneficial but mostly we have lost. Lost what we had because like sheep, we complied readily, easily and with little argument, questioning or complaint. The media told us people were dying and we should act like we had it and every day besieged people with targeted and overly scary propaganda and people complied.
I used to wonder how a Hitler or a Stalin or a Mussolini or any one of a whole long list of despots and murderers gained power and kept it. Now I know why.
Because people complied.