"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Friday, March 5, 2021

The Mutants Are Coming And The Sky Is Falling! - Chicken Little And COVID Panic

Chicken Little walking Along a country way,
When something bumped her on the head That sunny day.
"Oh dear! I think the sky is falling down! I think the sky is falling down!"
"Now," said Chicken Little, "Now what shall I do?

The sky will fall,Killing all, I know that must be true!
So I must run and tell the King, King, King, Yes, I must run and tell the King!"

Image result for original images chicken little from fairy tale book

It has been bad enough this past year listening to the End of the World prophets who knew that the COVID pandemic was the last sign of the Second Coming.  The Jews have returned to Palestine, the world is in conflict, persecution of the righteous is rife, and now, finally this. “There will be famines, pestilence, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains” (Matthew 24:7b-8).

Image result for images the black plague

If this weren’t bad enough – if a worldwide, moral, universal plague had not been visited upon the earth – the deadly virus is mutating.  There are now new, even more virulent strains originating in the UK, South Africa, and elsewhere – strains that infect quickly, travel through the pathways of the immune system and destroy it as it gains a foothold.  It will not be long before the original COVID is just an afterthought, a mild, controllable flu-like virus with unfortunate but not existential consequences.  

These new mutant strains are expected to join in one, Black Death-like strain accompanied by a horrible death.  America will be littered with corpses.  The rivers and byways will be clogged with bloated bodies.  Laws will be disobeyed, moral purpose and principle abandoned in one last gasp of a desperate, godless, and doomed society.

Or so the Chicken Littles claim.  Yet, as convinced as they are of Armageddon, they are still Protestants – endowed with a belief in the righteousness and grace of their Maker and in a can-do, down-to-earth practicality, inventiveness, and a belief in the destiny of America.  Doomsday may be coming, but with prayer, discipline, and investment it might be forestalled; and, God willing, postponed. In real terms this means triple-masking, triple distancing, gulag-style quarantine, and Stasi methods of control and report. 

Image result for images armageddon dore

The Pandemic Nazis have been a growing force in the year of virus spread.  They are the ones who confront, challenge, threaten, and humiliate those without masks, who walk to close to others on sidewalks, and those who shop openly and carelessly.  They are everywhere, COVID vigilantes bound and determined to enforce compliance and secure viral borders.

Now that the aberrant strains are loose but before they combine into one last, existential mutation, the Pandemic Nazis have work to do.  They have organized into Neighborhood Action Committees, networks of extra-official police power and Communist devices.  They have looked to Iran’s Sevak, the GDR’s Stasi, and the Soviet Union’s KGB for inspiration and tactics.  No one is exempt from their civic and national duty; and nay-sayers, questioners, and doubters must be treated no differently than outright offenders.

J’accuse!’ became be the revisited meme of the day and finger-pointing the way to submissiveness.  Everyone was re-educated to dismiss old, tarnished, and useless precepts of ‘freedom’ and ‘choice’ and trained to ferret out those who who denied their duty to cleanse the rabble of dissent and infectious presumption.  Those who tried to evade or avoid responsibility would be censured, morally and socially exiled, and pilloried.   

Every thread of necessarily autocratic vigilance was studied and applied – the Salem witch trials, pogroms, Soviet gulags, ethnic cleansing, genocide, Communist authoritarianism, and much more.  There would be – and should never be – any such thing as individual rights when faced with such an existential threat.  Arrogation of power and authority should not be considered anti-democratic but righteous, necessary and good.

J'accuse Zola

Soon residents of the best, well-heeled, and wealthy neighborhoods were wearing three masks whenever they stepped out of their homes. A high-density, industrial-grade, synthetic filter which was tested and used in the toxic environments of nickel and cobalt smelters; then a surgical mask also tested in high-microbial, highly infections hospital environments; and then an ‘ordinary’ mask, one specially designed to trap both infectious droplets and microscopic organisms.  They also wore triple-strength gloves, layered with the same protective, tested qualities of industry and high-security microbe-analytical laboratories.   Computer-controlled anti-microbial dispensers timed to release doses of high-potency cleansing agents were fitted onto these gloves and in some instances to masks.

The Neighborhood Action Committees oversaw it all and their easily-identified (red arm bands) volunteers were deployed to ensure this high level of obedience and compliance.

Although many conservative observers were rankled and then angered at this wholescale trampling of civil and individual rights, their voices went largely unheeded; and the arm-banded volunteers encountered few objectors.  Most of the liberal establishment went along with these dictatorial measures quite willingly.   They had no problem in ignoring the Constitution when it came to social order; and the ancillary goods of inclusivity, and diversity.  We must all pull together in the trireme, their leaders said, and no one must ‘catch a crab’ (ironically the term used by Harvard and Yale rowers at the Henley Regatta to indicated missing a stroke in an eight-man skull).

Image result for Henley Peace Regatta

The political infection was worse than the virus itself.  Otherwise reasonable people had become hysterical zealots worse than the cracker fundamentalists they had for so long attacked for idiocy and religious fanaticism.   Fueled by an already emotional allegiance to the progressive creed of race, gender, and ethnicity; inclusivity and diversity; and one-world communalism, transformation into social John Browns (the crazed wild white man of the Civil War) was easy and predictable.  Not only did matrons of Cleveland Park, Chevy Chase, and Georgetown take this newly consecrated Holy Communion, they evangelized like nobody’s business.  The former ladies’ teas of Washington salons became political maelstroms little different from the political stables of the progressive socialist labor movement of the 30s.

Logic went out the window, rational thought and disciplined exegesis things of the remote past.  One was either all in on ‘this thing’ or all out, removed from significance.   No one cared if the Final Mutation might not occur, the fact that it indeed might was enough.  It was like Global Warming – yes, there was a chance that, given our historical myopia, we might have missed some macro-climatic mitigating trends; but even if there was a scintilla of possibility, the time for action was now.

Perhaps most importantly, as existentially threatening as the Final Mutation might be, egos were involved.  Being on the front lines of this one would certify beyond any doubt one’s progressive credentials.

The Final Mutation of course never happened.  The alternate strains of the virus came and petered out, and many, many people were disappointed as crazy as that sounds.  But to wonder at the let down would be to underestimate the power of self-esteem and personal righteousness.

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