Pandemic Revelations


In an earlier essay, I tried to explain why a policy of total quarantine, the so-called lockdown, could gain wide acceptance, despite its being highly destructive of livelihood, social morale and, ultimately, public health.  How could people even countenance a term like lockdown, with its overtones of imprisonment and total control, let along coming to think well of it and condemning and shaming its violators and critics?   My argument was that societies like Canada had, for a long time, been “practicing” – we’d already turned the concepts on which our pandemic policies have been founded into common sense.  These concepts include risk, safety, pro-active management, science as a mighty oracle speaking in a single authoritative voice, and above all, Life, as a quantum to be preserved at all costs.  Gradual naturalization of these concepts has made the policy that has been followed seem so rational, so inevitable, and so entirely without alternative that it has been possible to freely vilify its opponents and largely exclude them from media which might have made their voices politically influential.  But knowing this doesn’t make it any easier to swallow.  What has come into stark relief during the pandemic may have been already latently there, but to see it actualized as the outline of a new social order is still a compelling and somewhat frightening experience.  It seems worthwhile, therefore, to look further into what the pandemic has revealed and brought to light…

Read David Cayley’s complete essay here.

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