«This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper.»
T. S. Eliot
I’ve been critical of the German government’s handling of the so-called Covid-19 pandemic. In the beginning, I was very concerned, and when the government told us that there was no need to be concerned, I stocked up on goods. Which were sold out when we had reason to be concerned a little later. But with the numbers coming in, and with some knowledge about the limits of diagnostics and data science, I saw the whole thing as pretty much overblown. Yes, there are people who have to be very concerned, and who should be protected, like people with some previous conditions and those in the upper, upper age brackets.
But for most people, it’s not that dangerous. You could probably produce the same scare numbers with the number of people who die in traffic accidents, or due to some other causes.
Unfortunately, in my estimation, the politicians in Germany have become both drunk on power as well as scared of what others might think of their actions once the buzz wears off. So they continue to demand the same ineffective actions. As someone once said, without us having to wear those masks, you wouldn’t even know we were living with a so-called pandemic. (Yes, Covid-19 is real, yes, it would be ironic if I were to die from it, but even so, so what. It is far, far more likely some car gives me a swift und undesired lift.)
And to make the politicians handling even worse, they recently upped the ante. (And the following might sound stupid and irrelevant, but bear with me.)
They did prohibit the sale of fireworks for New Year’s Eve.
To provide some context: As a normal citizen, you can’t simply buy fireworks. The sale is usually limited to the days immediately preceding New Year’s Eve. But New Year’s Eve is one of the only times during which normal citizens — without any licenses — can buy and use fireworks. Start some firework rockets, blow up some firecrackers.
And they did prohibit the sale of fireworks in Germany.
Due to a pandemic.
Find the connection.
And yeah, ostensibly, it’s about preventing accidents that further stress the health care system. So, just how many people end up in the ICU and compete for ventilators due to firework accidents?
For many others, it’s a dream come true. They don’t like fireworks, and especially firecrackers, due to the smoke, the garbage, or some idiots throwing firecrackers at other people. And instead of saying “Okay, there’s a pandemic, people are dying, let’s not use this to coerce our agenda.” they don’t let that crisis go to waste and use that opportunity. You might call it smart, or expected, but if you need a pandemic to sneak in your political agenda, your arguments aren’t worth shit.
In my view, they are like parasites, profiting from a weakened body. Kinda like the supermarkets demanding the use of shopping carts.
And frankly, I think we are looking towards a serious backlash soon.
2020 was a shitty year, a not-what-I-expected-year. Yet some people used the crisis to advance their own goals. Let government take control of the economy — to quote Frank Herbert’s Dune, «The power to destroy a thing is the absolute control over it.». Which they did. To try to prepare for a «great reset». To advance socialism, which, to quote Thatcher, sounds good until you «eventually run out of other people’s money».
But no matter how some people used this year to their advantage, many people are just sick of it. Well, I might be overgeneralizing, but 2020 was … how was that T-Shirt? «Very bad, would not recommend.»
And New Year’s Eve, with its firecrackers and fireworks, is a way to say goodbye to the old year (firecrackers) and greet the new one (fireworks). It’s a ritual, scare away the ghosts of the last year, greet the new year. A kind of closure and renewal.
And that has just been denied. Because the politicians do not want people to resume their lives. Not even with a — questionable — vaccine (or rather, different questionable vaccines). They want to keep people in isolation. In fear.
Well, fuck that.
And if you don’t like the firecrackers and fireworks, due to the sound, the garbage, the money blown up (it’s not yours, it’s other people’s money), or some jerks throwing firecrackers at you — who should be held accountable, not all people like some form of collective punishment — but if you really don’t like the New Year’s Eve celebrations and think prohibiting fireworks is a good idea … where do you think this will end?
These people crave control. Even if they are serious and crave safety (which would actually be worse), they still want to control your life. I made this point recently to a colleague who gives swimming lessons to little kids. If this continues, one day, those lessons will be deemed to dangerous, because some kid could drown, or be emotionally scarred, while learning to swim. Much better to prevent people from going into the water. To fence it off. Prevent them from having to encounter that hostile environment. No matter the positive effects, a single child that downs is much, much too important. Similar to the current handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
And yeah, it’s far, far out there. But we are going closer, and closer, and even closer to that world.
Unless we snuff it out in the beginning.
P.S.: Regarding that backlash … that’s actually something I don’t want, but which I see coming. I see videos of the police going beyond what they should be doing, «following ‹instructions›», and I wonder when they will be faced with a flying brick. And while «V for Vendetta» sound more and more timely (came to that comparison independently of Dave Rubin, but totally agree) that is not the situation we should have. Not even for those kinds of fireworks:
P.P.S.: On the plus side, I am looking forward to the next general election in Germany. Thankfully, it’s in 2021. And that will be payback time.