Deep Metaphor of Resource: ‘Essential’ workers
Other than container and control, another deep metaphor at play in this crisis is that of resource. Anything or anyone external which our instincts recognize as potentially making us safer, stronger, happier or more free is schematized unconsciously as a resource. However, in the current crisis, some members of society have been defined as ‘essential’, and others as ‘non-essential’ resources.
‘Non-essential’ workers have had their businesses closed and their jobs abolished by government decree. But how do we decide what is an ‘essential’ versus a ‘non-essential’ occupation? Man does not live by bread alone, nor only by standing 6 feet apart in long lines at grocery stores and pharmacies. This is not life, but rather mere survival, life at the lowest degree of intensity.
Much as I admire grocery workers and pharmacists, I admire artists, athletes, entertainers and chefs just as much, because they are what make the difference between brute survival and quality of life, and are every bit as ‘essential’ as other occupations. The resources which were labeled ‘non-essential’ by the government are those which connect people in real life: restaurants, bars, live event venues, airlines, hotels, etc.
For the families of the hundreds of millions of people who lost their jobs due to the government-imposed lockdowns, those were essential occupations.
These now jobless taxpayers supported the healthcare systems we are ostensibly trying to protect by ‘flattening the curve.’ How are they going to support it now? ‘Flattening the curve’ is flatlining our economies and our countries.
Epidemiologists believe it is inevitable that one-half of the world’s population will contract Covid-19 within one or two years, regardless of what we do. Since we were unable to stop the spread when there were 609 confirmed cases in the world in January 2020, we’re certainly not going to stop it now that there are more than 71,000,000 confirmed cases and counting as of early December. Although flattening the curve is intended to spread out in time the pressure on healthcare systems, ultimately it simply prolongs the agony and suffering of everyone.
Witnessing the media’s pathological obsession with the one to two million people who have died, rather than with the 7.8 billion people who continue to live, as well as governments’ ham-handed and incompetent responses, has been like watching the same car accident in slow motion, day after day, after day.
Although in the short run sowing endless fear and anxiety makes populations more docile and submissive, in the longer run, it will dawn on even the most slow-witted among us that we are the ones who will end up paying the bill for this boring and poorly-staged horror show extravaganza.
Governments around the world have wasted literally TRILLIONS of dollars on their unfocused, delirious, incompetent reactions to this virus. What impact will this have on economic opportunities, quality of life, and the future of social programs?
And why would young people ever want to stay in a country that has so stupidly shot itself in the heart in this way? To pay the bill and watch it bleed? When they leave, members of the ‘non-essential’ Sacrificed Generation will not have abandoned their countries – because their countries have already abandoned them.
It is not a question of choosing between saving lives and saving money. If those trillions of dollars had been spent wisely, it could have been a resource which improved the lives of billions of people of all ages. Instead, our ‘leaders’ have burned through a truly flabbergasting amount of taxpayer dollars, like drunk, deranged and out-of-control pyromaniacs.
For those of us who are able to perform our occupations from home, and for those they have deemed ‘essential,’ our ‘leaders’ have oh-so-generously allowed us to continue working, and most important for them, to continue to pay taxes. We can work, but we cannot play – socialize, go to the gym, a bar, a restaurant, a sports or music event, a festival, or travel. Thanks for nothing.
As for the puerile and borderline-literate Covid propaganda governments have been churning out in industrial quantities, it is fair to ask whether it is coming from our governments or the government of China. In any case, it is as dreary and monotonous as the rest of their ovine spectacle, the highlight of which are daily sermons from ‘the authorities’, compared to which China’s puppet Kim Jong Un looks positively inspirational.
According to Freedom House, Canada is tied for the number 3 spot for freedom in the world, including freedom of assembly. We should not have copied the draconian measures taken in authoritarian China, at the bottom of the list in terms of freedom, but rather Sweden, at the very top of the list.
Who do you trust on freedom? Anti-lockdown Elon Musk and Sweden, or China and its dictator Xi Jinping?
Just before its own government collapsed and its country fell apart, there was a widely-circulating joke in the Soviet Union: Izvestia (Russian for ‘news’) was called ‘news’ because there was no truth in it; Pravda (Russian for ‘truth’) was called ‘truth’ because there was no news in it.
During this crisis, the world’s media of record have been playing a similarly disgraceful and lickspittle role, devoid of critical thinking, damaging mental health by doing nothing other than beating the tedious drums of fear.
Is education (mostly serving the young) a less essential resource than healthcare (mostly serving the old)? As Dr. Martin Kulldorff of Harvard points out, although those under age 70 have less than a 1% chance of dying from Covid-19, it is the young, and not those who have already retired, who will end up paying for all this – with their freedom, happiness, quality of life, and mental health now, and with their taxes for the rest of their lives.
And do we really want to lockdown the economy further, when billions of people around the world are already suffering?
When people are locked up in the criminal justice system for months or for years, we rightly recognize it as a big deal, because we are depriving them of a life they could otherwise be living. Locking down billions of people is a profoundly unjust waste of billions of person-years of our freedom – an irreplaceable resource that we will never get back.