September 19, 2021

September 19, 2021

Your Source for Free Speech,
Talk Radio, Podcasts, and News.

Chasms of Distrust, Post COVID

by | May 27, 2021 |

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

“Because people don’t have a “V” tattooed on their foreheads telling you they’ve been vaccinated, I’m going to treat everyone as if they aren’t.”  

That was the indignant pronouncement uttered in a Zoom conversation by a resident from one of the affluent, and fashionably locked down Ventura Boulevard San Fernando Valley part of the City of Los Angeles, an area that has become a “Blade Runner” dystopian enclave where “Karen’s” abound and openly admonish at people on the street for not wearing a mask.

A few miles away in the predominantly non-white NOT “virtual signaling elite” part of town, where the people who went to visit their relatives last Christmas and brought home with them the last COVID-19 case spike in the region, people are more casual and less likely to go off on strangers because they aren’t comfortable being on the other side of the road or within four car lengths of an unmasked person.

By the time you get to the beaches of the California coast, the movers and shakers’ mood is the opposite. People defiantly roam the beaches maskless, often in clusters of trusted friends, walking or bike riding, defying COVID-19 like a bunch of teenagers with mom and dad’s land yacht Ford Galaxy station wagon our for a cruise. Life’s a Beach in Sunny Southern California. People with perfect orthodontia love to show their smiles.

Where many parts of the country returned to near normal, in Southern California, there’s still the confusing double standard of dining at restaurants where you dispense with the facial covering as soon as you sit down but need to put it back on again to use the toilet. Weird stuff.

This is the macabre linger from 2020 America, where toilet paper became a more valuable community than gold or ammunition. Ammo is now overtaking bathroom tissue as the nation’s supply chain logistics soft points thanks to improved paper products supply, and a year-long uptick in demand for French or Japanese bidets and Filipino tabu’s, the little buckets you wash with after doing your business. Even weirder stuff.

People became accidental preppers overnight. They hoarded everything creating disruptions in the consumer goods supply chain that would ripple through the world for the entire year that followed. 

People bought guns thinking the world was going to come to an end in a dystopian nightmare. It was fueled by political animus and the resurgence of prejudice that would turn into argument and acrimony as a presidential election loomed. 

At the same time, everyone had nothing to do but sit at home bored and fret about it.

Uncomfortable Ground Hogs

If I had told you what we are living today would be the Summer of ’21 two years ago, you’d have had me committed. And yet, here we are. And the weird part? There are people among us that do not want the lockdown to end even when science says to.

When COVID-19 sent everyone into their hovels, in the panic that followed, our country went into two lockdowns, one physical and one mental. As we begin to emerge from hibernation, two cultures with very divergent values are beginning to reveal themselves.

Some people like their cocoons. The bliss of interaction only through Zoom meetings where the slobbery in the world is just beyond the camera’s field of view, never to be seen thanks to the magic of virtual background technology.

The overhead of putting up with people you do not like in the company halls or conference rooms is gone. You get to shape your world experience through camera and audio controls that you have complete command of. Those most human of things like pheromones and attitudes that overload workplace moments are gone.

Oppositely, others hated being in lockdown. They grumbled loudly, complaining about the onerous policies of officialdom that seemed to spring up like poison mushrooms taking freedom away from everyday life. Many simply did what Americans are good at; they rebelled. They flipped the bird, went outside, bypassed quarantines, lived their lives. 

Defying public health officials, activists of every political stripe ignored the warnings to stay home to come out and protest for whatever cause suited them. They were willing to risk what public officials were saying might be certain death for breathing fresh air while basking in the sunshine against a virus that hates UV radiation and drying out. 

Agree with the message or not, people’s protests were so vociferous that government officials simply surrendered control to them while telling everyone else to stay inside. It was their way of minimizing the risk by hoping that a relatively small segment of society actively protesting was sufficiently isolated from the meek. In military parlance, they were declared expendable in the war against COVID-19. With that green light, everyone watched and waited for pocket battleship-sized Armageddon’s to happen. They didn’t. People lived.

To hide the breakdown in cohesion and control, censorship became the new normal. The news media became complicit in selectively exposing information to manage the tension in society, doing the only thing they knew how to do, talk about the squeaky wheels while ignoring the boring sanity quietly waiting for the pandemic to end.

Social media equally participated in organized censorship by honing their skills to isolate incompatible persons from each other. The major social engineering consequence effect of that was creating echo chambers to soothe the prejudices of individuals. We encouraged self-justified reflections while isolating people from each other more and more as time went on. In fact, while now less visible as open acrimony, social media’s quest for quiet has probably reinforced closed-mindedness as people increasingly learn to see any virtue signaling that does not fit their comfort zones as a form of badly packaged infotainment commercial.

The net effect of it all. We stopped being a nation. We became a bunch of tribes.

Lifeboats 

COVID-19 saw Americans go into emergency electronic lifeboats. The thing about lifeboats is they collect people who would not necessarily like each other in the real world, but they must hang together to survive the moment’s crisis mutually.

What I recall most about life-boating in 2020 was interacting with people over email, telephone calls, and video zoom meetings where you never talked about what you really believed in. You held back with these stranger-danger people. You kept the conversation shallow. You focused on the immediate tasks at hand. The gossip was about one’s adventures at living in isolation. How much exercise were you getting? How has work changed? Have you changed your drinking habits? Have you gotten into creative cooking? How many bread recipes have you tried?

Essentially this is small talk at a cocktail party conversation. These are the kinds of subjects you interact with total strangers about for a few minutes while sipping on a glass of soda water with a lime pretending it is a mixed drink. You give everyone their chance to express their virtue. You politely nod, then you let it go right out the other ear. I will be straight with you. Just like real cocktail parties, these are those boorish conversations with people whose names I admit I tend to forget the second I walk away from them.

We all ran into these situations during 2020. We made nice. We made “friends” because other friends brought them into the conversation. You had no idea they’d appear online beforehand. You did not want to insult your actual friend by questioning the other person. You made diplomatic small talk until it was time to leave the meeting.

Re-Entry into the Real World

So now we get to 2021. Advancements in medical science have reached a point where vaccinations are changing the boundaries on what constitutes safe and unsafe behavior in society. The medical community has worked tirelessly to enable the resumption of normal physical human interaction. The American economy, regardless of one’s political beliefs, must restart.

The year 2020 forced about a decade’s worth of social, workforce, and industrial infrastructure change onto the American landscape and compressed it into one year. It is imperative for our economy that we begin to do the work to turn the shock of such a rapid change in our system into something we can adapt to and prosper from in the next decade.

That means getting out there again. That means taking on the stresses of real human interaction all over again. It means the COVID-19 cultures of cocooning and rebelling outside are going to come into conflict. Look around you. Look at the distrust in people’s eyes. The problem is real and personal.

We now have two cultures whose definition of a perfect lifestyle are diametrically opposed to each other, perhaps even more than the political divisions that preceded such a fundamental human view of the world that needs to be reconciled. If we ignore it, the problem will just get worse.

Unless you are in your groundhog cave or a nuclear fallout shelter, you have already seen how people explode when their virtue is challenged by someone simply hesitating in agreeing with them in the moment. The internet has taught people to be rude. This lack of tolerance will not turn out well if it becomes the major form of real-world interaction between humans in this country. We are now in the period of reintegration that will follow the COVID-19 episode. It is ours to do well or totally blow it. There will be some tough love and tough medicine to swallow as people begin to reintegrate society into something beyond interacting in a Zoom room.

The questions each of us will have to ask in the months and years ahead is how many of the friendships we made during COVID-19 are we going to keep? How many of these people, no matter how promising their potential, are simply people whom we could never get on with in the real world? How many are worth keeping but require serious investment in establishing proper long-term boundaries and expectations in their interaction as acquaintances or friends? How is the best way to diplomatically let the dead ends wither away into anonymity? And how in the end will that change who you are from who you were before COVID-19 to who you will become for their next roaring 20s in America?

These are questions every single one of us must look in the mirror and come up with an answer to lest we risk if we do not lose the very fabric of what makes a nation of individuals able to tolerate the dissimilarities of their views. I am not ready to lose that fight. I hope you are not either.

We need to tap into the brightest strengths of what makes us uniquely American to win against an asymmetric threat to our social fabric standing on the feet of clay of flawed virtue.

I submit to you that our nation’s next mission is not to come together into some sort of stupid mass consensus that will crater-like every other shallow viewpoint that has failed miserably on this planet. 

No, our mission is to restore that culture of coexisting cacophonous and decadent mix of individuals with the deep societal reserve to adapt to any challenge and continue evolving the Great American Experiment to last an eon.

Avatar

Dennis Santiago is an author and commentator on national policy and global stability issues. His subject matter expertise was developed during the Cold War as a strategic warfare systems analyst, missile defense architect, and arms control analyst. He is the author of the US Imperfect Defense Theory of Strategic Missile Defense. Dennis has worked on conventional warfare, nuclear warfare, and asymmetric warfare. His expertise includes combat aircraft, ordnance, electronic warfare, command and control, campaign design, and game theory.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
2 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mark Maynard
Mark Maynard
3 months ago

Nice work Mr. Santiago. Thank you for your thoughts and perspective.

Anonymous Person
Anonymous Person
3 months ago

where toilet paper became a more valuable community than gold”
I think you meant commodity.

Use the code ‘OUTLOUD’ and receive your 20% discount on your first order.

It’s Time to Take the Attack to The Marxists

It’s Time to Take the Attack to The Marxists

Biden set up America for disaster. I can’t even suppose how many years of coming terrorist attacks, internal conflicts, and a return to tribalism for self-defense we’ll face. Make no mistake, we’re in for it and if we continue to trust the Democrat (Marxists) Party to do what’s right, instead of destroying them completely, then we must readjust the parameters of our thinking and prepare for the worst…

Teen Transgenders – It’s Time We Talked

Teen Transgenders – It’s Time We Talked

Since 2012, the number of teen girls complaining they feel they’re boys trapped in girl bodies has ballooned by nearly 5,000 percent. Yes, In approximately nine years, reported cases of Gender Dysphoria among adolescent girls are up by nearly 5,000 percent! The frequency and rate at which this social contagion is moving are alarmingly fast…

Who Is Really At the Helm in the White House?

Who Is Really At the Helm in the White House?

If we choose to ignore the evidence, or to merely grumble about his performance, then Biden and his cohorts will proceed unhindered with their agenda. We need to take a close look at his exploits and see what patterns are formed. Then, let’s take it a step further and ask who might be coaching Joe. Knowing the enemy is the first step toward defeating that enemy…

America’s Uniqueness Starts and Ends with the US Constitution

America’s Uniqueness Starts and Ends with the US Constitution

We the People, after creating this Frankenstein monster of a government and setting it loose on an unsuspecting world, now cower in fear of our creation, unwilling to stand and defend even our own selves against it. Why did the framers of this union create this Constitution the way they did? What was the purpose that We the People had in mind when we ordained and established it?

What to Expect if the Tyranny in Australia Hits Home

What to Expect if the Tyranny in Australia Hits Home

Since August, Australians cannot go out of their homes for longer than an hour to socialize or shop. We are witnessing the extreme government tyranny that can take over a once-free society and the speed with which it can happen. It’s a snapshot of what could be coming to the United States of America and other freedom-loving countries, and we’d better start paying attention…

This Den of Thieves is Full of Corrupted Government Officials

This Den of Thieves is Full of Corrupted Government Officials

If you’re wondering what affiliations are connected with the CDC through partnerships of Corporations, Foundations & Organizations, look no further, you will see a pattern emerge, and why the push for vaccinations is everywhere we go, there are so many groups doing business with the CDC. Is the CDC playing global political and military chess with the nation and the world…

Sure, Bin Laden is Bad, But Those Filthy MAGA People

Sure, Bin Laden is Bad, But Those Filthy MAGA People

Bush invoked January 6th in his comments on the hallowed ground of Shanksville during the 9/11 ceremonies. In the flight path of the downed airliner, Bush made the following statement: ‘’Violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home,” “are children of the same foul spirit.” What Bush said is simply the talking points of the establishment…

Covid-19, Social Standing, and the New World Order

Covid-19, Social Standing, and the New World Order

A government that can force people to take medical treatments against their wishes can do whatever it wants, and the fact that Joe Biden’s order is unconstitutional will not stop tens of millions of Americans from being forced to get vaccinated against their will, in order to continue supporting their families. By the time the Supreme Court shoots this order down (assuming they do), the damage will already be done…

Header

Your Source for Free Speech, Talk Radio, Podcasts, and News.

 

Here we take on the challenges of our generation so that we can preserve future generations.

iHeartRadio

The APPS are free; the mission is priceless!

Free APP

Podcast Networks

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Spotify
Pandora
Tunein
iHeart
Stitcher

Subscribe and Listen on Your Favorite APP

Our Columnists and Show Hosts

Evacuating Americans & fully-vetted Afghan's at Risk - Help Us!

Apple Podcasts

Empowering and mentoring conservative trailblazers from Generation Z to win!

Apple Podcasts

Turning Point Action is Recruiting Precinct Chairs - Become a Grassroots Warrior Today!

Apple Podcasts

URGENT - KEEP NINE
Please join us to protect the Supreme Court:
Sign the Petition!

Apple Podcasts

The LATINO USA EXIT from the Democrat Party, click for details...

Apple Podcasts

Fighting corporate censorship and ensuring voter integrity...

Apple Podcasts

Support wounded and fallen police officers. The Wounded Blue.

Apple Podcasts
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap