Walking into any Wellington supermarket these days still feels like walking into a large experiment in Stockholm Syndrome.
Go shopping at Moore Wilson Fresh in College Street, Wellington on a Saturday morning and you’ll witness the extent of it.
The Covid-19 variant Omicron has swept through the country and given most of us a cold. Most of us are over it, and have natural immunity to boot. Immunity which is apparently so “maxxed out” with antibodies that we’re not supposed to get a booster shot within 3 months according to the MoH. You would think supercharged immunity would be a good enough reason not to wear a mask for at least a couple of months? Yet still people continue to comply.
A few months ago, I asked a man in the street why he was wearing his mask on a windy day. He answered, “to support the Government”. Support them with what I wondered? Priming an entire population to accept protracted rules which are disproportionately invasive compared to the benefit? Good luck to him and perhaps I should have departed with a heel-click, a salute and an ‘All hail the President of the International Union of Socialist Youth!’
To some, wearing a mask is “not a big imposition” on their daily life and they “don’t want to cause a bother” while some wear their mask to “make others feel comfortable”. It makes my late grandfather’s advice “Be careful what you agree to” ring loudly in my ears.
It’s easy to control people when you spread fear every day. After almost two years of daily sermons from The Pulpit of Struth, the Ministry of STUFF can send you a little stress top-up – the Covid scoreboard – a perk of being signed up to their notifications.
A daily reminder that Covid is RAMPANT. People are BEING HOSPITALISED. People are DYING. However, in March this year Stuff ran an article reporting that across NZ only one third of hospitalisations with Covid were in there because of Covid. That means the hospitalisation stats have been overblown by 200% for who knows how long. That article seemed to just slip through the net of public consciousness unnoticed.
Covid is now virtually endemic (and hardly deadly), yet the Government continue with their framework of fear – the dreaded traffic light system. Yeah, yeah, we know, abundance of caution, don’t overwhelm the health system…you know…the one that we’ve paid millions in tax to the govt to ensure it runs properly when we need it.
Or could it be their intention to normalise invasive bodily control of all individuals in lieu of a properly functioning healthcare system? Are masks going to end up some kind of ongoing macabre ‘fence at the top of the cliff’ while the Government continues to obstruct immigration of nurses, and stand down those that are working for 3 months after they’ve had Covid and can’t get a booster shot to stay subscribed to the vaccination programme? Will they continue making decisions that further weaken the healthcare system based on a hypothetical emergency rather than the real one happening now?
The decision to keep wearing a mask until the Government says stop is ultimately up to the individual. However it’s worth considering the psychological impacts of doing so. In his book Methods of Persuasion, Nick Kolenda discusses eliciting congruent attitudes as a means of persuading others favourably towards your objectives. He says:
If your target is engaged in a certain behaviour he will feel greater pressure to develop an attitude that is congruent with the behaviour.
In other words – the longer people continue to comply with bullsh*t, the harder it will be to stop.
I’ve watched as three young women in their early 20s, all wearing designer cloth masks (with one matching the woman’s outfit), walking down the street, pulling their masks down below their chins to talk to each other animatedly, then pulling them up again numerous times as they shuffled off to the next shop. ‘Mask chic’; very avant garde. *Face-palm*
Someone once said: “the population goes into mass formation psychosis together; but must come out one by one”. What will you do?