How Do You Feel About The 'Rona Response?


#1

Do you feel governments did the right thing? Were too slow? Too overzealous?

Is it all a plan by the WHO/UN/insert other conspiracy?

Billions of dollars are being made off Covid. Millions are unemployed and losing money.

Anyone wanna get into a discussion about the reaction to this thing in a critically minded way? I mean its fucked up everyones life in some way, so many angles to look at it, anyone got an opinion?


#2

Not quite red pilled (I’m a Marxist), but it freaks me out how quickly people have leaned into authoritarianism, calling the pigs on their neighbors and all that. I’m a grocery clerk so obv I’m pro social distancing. But there are echoes of the Patriot Act and worse around this.


#3

UK and US worship money, and tons of people who could have been saved will die as a result imo. No contingencies it seems, and healthcare being run at the limits of “efficiency” means that there’s no slack. (“Efficient” health and social care is normally poor quality care imo but that’s another hobby horse of mine).

As societies we have elevated economists to the status of high priests - much economic decision making is no longer even vaguely democratic and has been outsourced to a mysterious professional caste. It’s quite strange. And I know a few economist ppl from school and they are just normal, slightly smarter than average ppl trained in a weird, kind of sociopathic discipline. We should not be leaving all economic decisions to them!!

We are now sacrificing human beings to keep “the economy” strong - I’ve seen this parodied as a cult-like mentality offering human sacrifices to “the line” (i.e. the graph showing the performance of the stock market). In the past people understood that the economy exists to make people’s lives better and ensure they had food, shelter, healthcare, and other things they needed. It now seems as if we’ve lost sight of that, and that we as people exist to service the economy - to make sure the numbers behave in the “right” way.

In the UK it has demonstrated that we live in a managed democracy rather than a meaningful one. We looked at Italy in horror, but the press and politicians were confident it wouldn’t happen here - we Brits were made of stronger stuff, our scientists were the best in the world, and [insert a load of bullshit national myths about our peculiar greatness]. Now we are basically at the Italy stage in terms of death toll, and the tone of the reporting has totally changed. We’re “nearly at the peak”, “PPE is coming”, “government have bought tests and ventilators”. Empty promises are enough. The media are now bored of lockdown and want to know when we are getting out. We had a national drama about our spiv Prime Minister, everyone went all misty eyed when he caught it and went to intensive care. No one asked about all the people he recklessly infected when he bragged about shaking hands with everyone in a hospital with coronavirus patients (this actually happened and is presumably where he caught it).

We live in a managed democracy, the press and media are functionally just arms of the Tory party. It’s very disturbing. And as @FX86 notes people have shifted very fast to an authoritarian mindset, egged on by the press who want to distract blame from the government and themselves.


#4

Regarding conspiracy theories: the economic damage of this thing will be huge, loads of people will question how we could have a system where cash flow is such an issue that something like this destroys businesses. The consequences politically are extremely hard to predict and could turn people hard against capitalism and the rich (though I wouldn’t bet on it). It will certainly increase volatility - big business likes stability. I don’t see the value for shadowy puppet masters to do this - the world as it stands works extremely well for those with power and wealth. So I don’t see any reason to believe in conspiracies about the virus.


#5

Even if its madness, it feels good to see you and probably a lot of others see it this way.
Scariest thing of the last 20 years. Letting economics pretend its a science, and then treating it as a deity we all have to obey.


#6

Yup, scary shit. The contradictions involved are becoming a bit more obvious now though. Not very optimistic for big changes needed within my lifetime, but it can’t go on forever. Eventually we’ll be “mugged by reality” (as US conservatives used to say about liberals & the left).


#7

I have to say, once I got over the initial shock that members of my own family may die in the next year, processed that, and began to do research about the infection rates, transmission rates, and death rates, I’ve come to see this as an event being managed by two types of people in power today:

  1. technocrats for a reintroduction of austerity, the phasing out of paper money, and the consolidation of digital business supporting the tech elites to replace the social sphere (work from home, buy from home, play on zoom/ig/facebook).

  2. populists for stoking fear, racism and anti globalist anger to close borders, restrict trade, and consolidate power on the basis of health and safety. or to subtly imply conspiracy and stoke populist protests to take over local governments.

Both are playing to their respective voting groups (1 - meritocratic/tech/managerial class moneyed voters 2 - most everyone else)

All of the tools for authoritarian systems of government have been around since 2005, now with a pandemic we can replace the other that was Terrorism with the other that nobody can see, smell, hear, or touch - Covid. But it’s 2020 so rather than a show of force it becomes subtly psychological (Stay Home, Save Lives) and we learn that tracking, data mining, drone surveillance and self policing are necessary for the health and safety of humanity.

What i would hope could happen is that we could create a democratic vote on responses. To me there is a huge danger in allowing scientists to dictate taking away civil rights. We’ve lost the right to assemble based on data sets, not democratic votes on the validity of those sets and research. Scientific managerial governance seems to be a new proto-power structure.

What’s incredible to me is that many in banking knew a recession was coming, I’ve talked to friends and clients lots about it. The way this thing hit, and when it did, overlapping elections, really really seems suspect to me. I read all the conspiracy theories and take them with a huge grain of salt, knowing that they are written by isolated people with little to no grip on reality. But suddenly, as a result of lockdown, we are all isolated people with only a screen and a window to feed us reality. The amount of mental health issues and OCD being formed on top of the unemployment and loss of livelihood will drive many to look to IG and Facebook and YouTube for some diversion.

Amazon is racking up loot and just cut affiliate marketing revenue from 3%-8% per purchase to 1%-3%. It’s rippling through the internet slowly, but the poor and working classes not to mention black and brown people will obviously feel this the hardest. Meanwhile anyone who had stocks or a pension took a big hit, but the market is open for picking through if you have money to invest. Meaning income inequality widens, the rich buy up cheap, the poor die and bleed their money on finding a job to get them through, there is a recession through 2023 and nobody protests.

I don’t know that there will be rage or anger from this, collectively. I don’t know if people will recognize the power grabs going on right now. The bailouts that are occurring and the shift of power that this is allowing. I don’t think I really do, and will never fully understand it. There’s so much misinformation but it seems that everything I knew before about collapse and how this system won’t sustain us remains true. It’s just like GODDAMN what an opposition they are mounting.

So back to the basement, the garden, the attic to restructure how to live in this new world.


#8

fucking nuts

some of the links above are from Aphex Twin’s Soundcloud, found them to be helpful in adding a variety of opinions on the response.


#9

I believe that everyone is doing what they are doing out of their own skewed perspective of the way the world should work, governments, businesses, media and journalists. That’s why I’ve never bought into conspiracies that see it as a “nefarious evil plan”, however many conspiracy theories serve as useful mind modelling tools to wrap your head around big questions of power, as in who is winning right now? who is going to use this to their advantage? what about this moment allows us to question all of the system’s failures and come to the conclusion that something better needs to come along?

I’m just expecting a huge marketing push from both business and government coming in summer to feed us “normal” life items and experiences and attempt to erase this collective trauma from memory so that they can continue to hold power, make money, and destroy the biosphere. it’s all they know. you can already see it in commercials and speeches. they can’t help themselves, so they have to control the narrative and use psychology and media culture to do so.

the machine stopped. what did we see? its an amazing moment for revelatory information. how can we use it to guide our own lives? what will happen when it inevitably stops again? am i just ranting? probably, but ive learned quite a bit in the last two months, and want to hear what others have learned as well…

what has isolation taught you?


#10

(not to sound overpraising, but) the first paragraph you wrote has been one of the most pragmatic, sensible things about this whole situation at the moment.

I’m sick of seeing / hearing ads from companies thanking their workers as a PR move instead of giving benefits to workers / increased wages / etc. Anything to maintain profits / decrease attention on unemployment, right? I’d say it’s akin to war propaganda although it might be a far-fetched opinion. It would be a more apt description if there were more explicit mentions of a pandemic or actually saying Covid-19 instead of vague, safe phrases.

Isolation has taught me that not everyone’s strong enough to last through this for an extended time. I say this not only financially but mentally and physically as well - how many people who struggle from mental illnesses have had their routines which kept them sane and in rhythm taken away suddenly? How many suddenly feel aimless because of indefinite lock-in? How many have messed up schedules now? I’m a bit guilty of this since I wake up from 12 - 2 PM a good amount of times. I’m glad to stay busy with school / work and at least something to keep me busy and preoccupied. I started cooking a lot more too. Then again I’ve been through shit times where I felt incredibly aimless, so I’m experienced to not make mistakes. I can’t say the same for many others, though.

Staying logged off twitter for the meantime. I’ll end this post with an incredibly ironic / non-serious hot take: Deconstructed club music predicted the deconstruction society would face cause of the coronavirus :crazy_face:


#11

In my world that isn’t a far-fetched opinion at all. The logic of capitalism is the logic of a slow war, of a fight for a “way of civilized life” that needs an uncivilized opponent. In our current circumstances Covid is the most uncivilized, anarchistic, normality destroying opponent imaginable. So it makes complete sense to praise normality, sell it to us in Amazon boxes, and rally us to fight against it using the same basic language of World War II.

Thanks for the kind words, there’s so many levels to understand these events on, it’s nice to know my rants find fertile soil somewhere on the interweb spider cage.


#12

The reason I said my opinion might be far-fetched was cause all these commercials are like WW2 propaganda in every sense except literal. Plus we never mention about our “allies” fighting the C virus in other parts of the globe :stuck_out_tongue: I understand what you’re saying tho.

While you mention all the iffiness of data tracking and surveillance that has come about much more strongly cause of the coronavirus, the stay at home orders / school cancellations are necessary in a way. (added:) The worst case of governmental abuse I’ve seen is from Hungary where the PM instated almost like a totalitarian state. It doesn’t make it any better that it’s supposed to last “until the end of the coronavirus pandemic”.

This is also tied to an administration strapped on time, resources, and options, making hasty & poor decisions.

In my opinion if we were to democratically decide on the closing of schools / large gathering venues in the US, it would probably be enacted. Even though a lot of businesses are closed at the moment the only silver lining (besides flattening the spread) are that restaurants are open only for drive-thru and take out :expressionless: But seriously, there’s some dickheads protesting against social distancing and it’s very, very disheartening.


Not surprising at all coming from America.


#13

Thank you for the discussion. Maybe some impressions from Leipzig. Those who can (like me) are working from home and right now social distancing and using masks seem to work for most of the people. After the first shock it seems like people try to manage the situation and look for possibilities to stay in touch and keep discussions going.

To me it’s interesting how people are forced to take a break and actually have to think about how our society and economy works. The fun part is how people from east germany are refering to the GDR right now - empty shelves in supermarket, restricted mobility, contradicting information from politicians. It feels a bit familiar to the older generation in some ways. Actually it isn’ that funny because I’m concerned that this will empower nationalism and shit especially in east germany.

But there are signs of solidarity which give me hope (at least in my neighbourhood / filter bubble …) f.e. creative ways to support small businesses instead of using Amazon; or letters on doors where people try to help old and isolated people for example.
I guess the situation is not that bad compared to other countries but we’ll see what will happen.

And when it comes to skepticism I’m just not sure. Those with power and money will take advantages of the situation and it’s very strange that it develops parellel to an economic recession. But it also happens everywhere in the world. Shouldn’t be there at least one country that has no problems and proves all the other wrong?


#14

That’s super interesting about the GDR throwback, because in America I feel like we’re reverting to Cold War/WW2 sorts of mentality when it comes to “rallying to fight the enemy”

I’ve also found solidarity in keeping in touch with older folks in my neighborhood, and i am also working yet simultaneously questioning how the fact that many people are receiving money from the government is leading to a sort of muffling of our criticism at how these choices of lockdown and unemployment have been made. I think the recent protests are a complex sort of entitled anger vented by people worked up about their loss of nonessential mobility.

Meanwhile the elderly are reminded of the 1930s Great Depression their parents went through, and were ultimately shaped by. Us millennials meanwhile really only have September 11 or 2008/2009’s Financial Crisis to reference. These are managed crises, and as such evoke a managed response of patriotism or shared anger at banks ala Occupy.

I would hope that this allows everyone to take a hard look at their lives, their current economic prospects, the state of their State, government, etc…but many are stuck in a flight or flight mode, an anger stoked by their feed, or a powerless resignation to simply do what they are told. All of these seem to me to be tools of oppression rather than tools of social liberation…i would hope that by sharing our own stories we can connect and get to a shared understanding that this is not normal but we’ll have to work within it for the next year or two.

No real point to be made here, just observations on how historical precidence dictates current responses. And a hope that some stories and perspectives can bring new potentials for health and restructuring our goals.


#15


According to this post, for the first Fridays for each month (at least up until July) Bandcamp is waiving all fees. One silver lining in all of this.


#16

Attending my first “live” event today… some art chat room. Almost everyone are artists from Seattle. It was okay.