Have we already told you that we have gone completely nuts here in the Netherlands? Here is a striking summary from Robert Jensen about the past months in lockdown.
On Sunday, March 15, we walked into a restaurant, suspiciously about 6 pm. We received a warm welcome, but also heard that we would be the last guests - the door closed. Half an hour earlier, Prime Minister Rutte had ordered the catering industry to close its doors with immediate effect. With artificially created urgency, restaurateurs had to turn all their guests away within an hour, as if an invisible enemy would strike that same evening. But nothing was so urgent that the closure could not have started on Monday morning. Why create so much panic?
Today, almost two months later, we know more, much more. It is time for an interim evaluation: where are we after two months of 'intelligent lockdown'? Without wanting to be complete, I make six observations.
(1) We have an official death rate of nearly 5.500 corona deaths. That is no different from the number of deaths in a spicy flu season. In terms of demographic distribution, COVID-19 does not differ significantly from other viruses or respiratory infections: it is mainly the die-hard smokers, the chronically or seriously ill, the weakened elderly and overweight people who are at risk. This death toll is therefore not a cause for great concern. Certainly not if you know how this number comes about. Insiders worldwide report how desperately hospitals and institutions are pushing these figures up by also counting patients who die from cancer, heart failure or other diseases ... if a corona infection is found, it is suspected or can be made plausible. Those are not corona deaths! But they do count. That makes the official death toll a fraudulent number. And this fraudulent number, which the government takes over uncritically, betrays the agenda behind this hyped pandemic: sow fear, sow fear, sow fear! Just like it went on that March 15th.
(2) Because that must be the second observation: after two months of lockdown, the fear of the virus has crept under the skin of most of our population. The new normal of 'social distance' (rather I said: anti-social distance) has now become thoroughly ingrained in most people. The old normal has become suspicious, dangerous, even immoral. After all, anyone can be an infected! We circle around each other, no longer give hands, hugs or kisses, avoid our friends and family, no longer dare to use public transport, work at home, avoid each other. Everything has to be disinfected, everywhere we come across gloves, mouth caps and cough screens. We are even afraid of our own hands (our own bodies!), Which we have to wash thoroughly all day long as potentially dangerous.
The so-called relaxations announced last week do not change our 'new association'. On the contrary, our prime minister once again impressed upon us all the new-normal rules of conduct: only if we all (!) Remain disciplined, if we do what the experts tell us, only then are we safe. And anyone who endangers that safety by not participating is immoral and anti-social.
(3) And yes, that too has brought us 2 months of lockdown: an unprecedented mass willingness to hear and obey the government. The last press conference of Mark Rutte and Hugo de Jonge was watched live by 7 million people. Rutte did magic in this with words. He spoke about the 'agreements that we as a society have made together', where he meant: 'the rules that we as a government have imposed on you'. But it works, this spinning and conjuring with words - we hang on the lips of our leaders to hear what we can and cannot do. And we obey. It is uncanny to see how broad and great the willingness is to do what they say properly, no matter how unconstitutional, unloving or fraudulent the substantiation. And regardless of the immense damage these measures cause to society. We obey, we follow, we do what we're told. What happened to our common sense and self-confidence?
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