Monday, February 28, 2022

Freedom Day

I think one very wrong assumption people in power make is that "rules" are always everywhere unpopular. But simple clear guidelines about what is expected of you are actually quite liberating! A lot of the US anguish about covid (I mean, aside from the illness and death) was due to lack of consistent guidelines and accepted social norms of behavior. Should I do this? Should I do that? Nice to have easy answers, especially when in a drastically new situation, even if those answers (rules) don't always make total sense.

The people still writing endless think pieces about the tyranny of lockdowns in a country that basically never had lockdowns had their brains sizzled the most by the experience, because they couldn't just shut the fuck up and accept "this month we wear masks into stores, and maybe next month we won't have to." People who get enraged by the idea that any rule actually applies to them were unable to understand the benefits of just following some simple ones instead of turning every minor inconvenience into some Noble Political Cause.

Most people are just trying to muddle through, not get sick (and a life of medical debt), and take care of their kids. "wear a mask to the store" is a nice simple rule which is both beneficial and takes the psychic cost of fraught decision making away. Tells people what the correct thing to do is so they don't have to fret over every decision.

No I am not arguing we are A NATION OF SHEEP WHO JUST WANT TO BE TOLD WHAT TO DO. But, as with manners and etiquette generally, it is often much easier to know what is expected of you, even if those expectations seem silly. 

Maybe the sight of a room packed with maskless elderly people with numerous comorbidities will be inspiring.  I suspect it will, if anything, be stressful for people who are just trying to muddle through.