New Depths

So you say there’s a race of men in the trees

You’re for tough legislation…

Thanks for calling.

I wait all night for calls like these.

Donald Fagen, “The Nightfly”

I’m acting as the Town’s emergency management director, which means I’m getting tons of info from the state department of health and the state emergency management office. I try to put out daily updates on our town website, so as to help people sort through what they can trust.

I know, at this moment, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about COVID-19 and how we might respond. Some of that is just mistaken, the flurry that comes when things change rapidly. Some of it is purposeful scamming and profiteering, the anti-coronavirus toothpaste or the Silver Solution. But sometimes…

Here’s a near-verbatim transcript of a conversation I had today at the grocery store, getting a few things before practicing shelter-in-place for a while. (First off, there was no toilet paper, paper towels, disinfectant anything, any kind of cold & flu. No meat, no chicken, no dairy, no bottled water. No pasta, no rice, no tomato sauce products, no beans. It was pretty apocalyptic, unnecessarily so.)

So I’m in the checkout line, working to sustain a respectful distance between me and the fellow ahead of me. But before I get to the conveyor, this person comes up behind me. Close behind me. Like she-could-choke-me-out-with-both-hands close behind me.

I turned over my shoulder and said, “Could I ask you to give me just a little more space?”

“Why? What happened?”

I didn’t quite know how to answer that. “Nothing happened. I’d just like to have a little more personal distance between us… as recommended by public health.”

I’m not sick!”

“Well, you don’t think you’re sick…”

“I know I’m not sick. And I don’t want to argue.”

And just as I gave up and turned forward to go about my business, she added…

“You need to look up 5G and chemtrails. The storm is coming…”

O! M! F! G!

It used to be hard to publish things. It used to be hard to spread lunacy. You used to have to stand on the subway platform and harangue the passers-by. But now there’s a whole alternate universe out there, where the like-minded can convince one another that “they” are out to get us. Depending on where you live online, COVID-19 is:

  • a way to digitally disable the organs of those who are non-compliant in the face of the New World Order, using 5G wireless technology and chemtrail-diffused “smart dust.”
  • the means of righteous execution of those responsible for the global pedophilia ring, which somehow includes Tom Hanks and the NBA because why not.
  • a tool of Big Pharma to scare us into accepting high-profit vaccines.
  • biological warfare by the U.S. (in China), or biological warfare by China (in the U.S.).

I’m sure there are a dozen others.

Public discourse relies on a public. And we no longer have a public, we have hundreds of thousands of specifically curated worlds that bear almost no relationship to one another.

Viruses are dangerous. But viral stupidity is what will kill us.