Covid19 and … Gangs of New York

«Without the obligation to wear masks, you wouldn’t know you were in a pandemic.»

During the 2020-21 Covid19 scare (sorry, writing this for the future), there was an … interesting saying: ‹Without the obligation to wear masks, you wouldn’t know you were in a pandemic.› And yeah, I repeat the quotation above.

Now don’t get me wrong. Covid(19) exists. Actually Covid viruses have existed for a long time. And I really do like inoculations. I get inoculated against the flu since I work at a university that offers free flu shots (those students are nasty 😉 ). But when it comes to Covid19 … as a so-called ‹killer virus›, it’s a dud. Or rather, it is very effective in a rather narrow band of … vulnerable people. The old, the infirm. And yeah, that sucks.

During the Spanish flu, our immune system overreacted. During Covid19, we did overreact.

And yeah, Covid19 does not suck enough for all the collateral damages to the reactions to Covid19 to incur. You know, shutting down businesses, aka the life work of people who actually contribute to society. Limiting our freedoms. Forcing everyone to adhere to some rather … questionable rules. Taking the decision powers from the individual and transferring it to the state, all under the — rather questionable — assumption that otherwise, grandma dies. (Look, this isn’t the former and very much so-called German Democratic Republic. No matter where our politicians come from.)

And yeah, that’s been the really stressful aspect of the last year for me. Not the pandemic. Not losing someone I loved and respected (my father). And I do not respect many people. But how my country has changed. Has adopted a ‹the pandemic justifies everything› position. A ‹there will be no new rights› position — when those ‹new rights› are the rights granted by our constitution.

And I wonder about the amount of invisible discontent about how the politicians deal with the pandemic. And looking at the quotation above — I wonder … can we not use these masks, these signs of the pandemic, to voice our … discontent?

There was a beautiful scene in “Gangs of New York”, when people who wanted for riots to continue (different situation than today’s riots, these riots actually were … classist) were asked to put a candle in their window.

And they did — individually, meekly …

but in total … too many to ignore, or to go after individually:

So, can’t we use this approach today to deal with this … pandemic? For example, what if we did adhere to wear a mask, as many regulations demand. But we also did put a great black X across the mask? As a sign that ‹Yeah, this is your shop, I will wear a mask if you demand that I wear it to shop here, but I do not agree to the way this so-called pandemic is handled.› You’d do the letter of the law, you’d just add some twist.

Just a thought.

And yeah, my masks do spot an X, from now on.