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How They Tricked Us in 2020: Are They Doing It Again?
The wicked carnival doesn't end until we end it
This story is about a precise moment in time in 2020 when they groomed us to suckle on their broken promises like babies and just keep complying. It is also about how to break out.
Since our merciless rulers are trying to play us like it’s 2020 all over again, I went down the memory lane.
What I really wanted to look at was the media cycle at the end of the famous “two weeks to flatten the curve.” Let us now look together at how exactly they dressed up the fact that they had promised to “reopen the country” after two weeks of flattening the damn curve, and then just … didn’t.
(I would love to hear in comments about your memories of the crazy March 2020, and what it felt like to you.)
15 days to slow the spread
They announced the “two weeks to flatten the curve” (“15 days to slow the spread”) on March 16, 2020. At the time, it sounded menacing and suspicious but potentially well-intended after all. After all, if there were a deadly disease with no cure lurking around, keeping it low key for two weeks was fine. It’s just two weeks of working from home and not going out, right?
Here is the “COVID briefing” (remember those?) that kicked off the two weeks to flatten the curve. Oh, the nostalgie.
This afternoon, President Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force issued new guidelines to help protect Americans during the global Coronavirus outbreak.
The new recommendations are simple to follow but will have a resounding impact on public health. While the President leads a nationwide response, bringing together government resources and private-sector ingenuity, every American can help slow the virus’ spread and keep our most high-risk populations safe:
Listen to and follow the directions of your state and local authorities.
If you feel sick, stay home. Do not go to work. Contact your medical provider.
If your children are sick, keep them at home. Contact your medical provider.
If someone in your household has tested positive for the Coronavirus, keep the entire household at home.
If you are an older American, stay home and away from other people.
If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition—such as a significant heart or lung problem—stay home and away from other people.
Today’s guidelines build on the CDC’s general recommendations to help prevent spread of the virus. Americans should continue practicing strict personal hygiene, including washing hands regularly for at least 20 seconds at a time and wiping down surfaces in the home often.
Even if you are young and otherwise healthy, you are at risk—and your activities can increase the risk of contracting the Coronavirus for others. Everyone can do their part.
Trump asked people to stay home, avoid gathering in groups, forgo discretionary travel and stop eating in food courts and bars for the next 15 days.
“If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus and we’re going to have a big celebration all together,” Trump said at a White House press briefing on March 16, 2020, where he also announced the first vaccine candidate entering phase 1 clinical trials. “With several of weeks of focused action we can turn the tide and turn it quickly.”
Drumming my fingers on the table …. drumming my fingers …… aaand, it is March 31, 2020. Now what happens?
That is when the mind games started in earnest since the habit of complying with absurdity had been planted and stated germinating—but the timeline was now made officially unclear.
How did they do it? Oh, you know, the fear of dying from a mysterious disease plus the carrot of working conveniently from home.
Really, what they did was putting on an adrenaline-rich carnival, a scary but thrilling opportunity to break from the usual monotony of life, and slowly—slowly but firmly—they guided the already psychologically tense educated, affluent citizens toward submitting to a hypnotic trance of the not so good kind.
(I am in New York. Were there people getting very sick? Yes. I have a theory about it for another time that somewhat differs from many other theories—but yes, people were really getting sick— yet the entire thing, the lockdowns, the pots and pans, the curfews etc. were a carnival to hijack the minds.)
Here is how they sold the boot to us at the end of the “two weeks to flatten the curve,” from the horse’s mouth. Here is what the New York Times published in March 31, 2020, in a story titled, “Behind Trump’s Reversal on Reopening the Country: 2 Sets of Numbers.” (I don’t care about any side of partisan politics, I care about never again being locked down.)
Those two realities — the dire threat to the country and the caution of the American public — proved decisive at a critical juncture in the response to the pandemic, his advisers said. The first of those two realities, the deadly arc of the virus, has been known for weeks even if disregarded by the president when he set his Easter target. But the second of the two upended Mr. Trump’s assumptions about the politics of the situation and restrained, for a moment at least, his eagerness to get back to business as usual.
The president’s reversal may prove to be an important pivot point in the effort to curb the pandemic, one that in the view of public health officials averted a greater catastrophe. Mr. Trump’s abrupt change of heart reflected a volatile president who has veered from one message to another, at points equating the virus to ordinary flu that will “miraculously” go away and at others declaring it an all-out war endangering the country.
His move came as additional governors took action to stop the spread of the virus. With new orders on Monday from the governors of Arizona, Maryland and Virginia, as well as the mayor of the District of Columbia, more than half of the 50 states and three out of four Americans are or will soon be under the directive to remain at home.
They took that action as the number of cases in New York climbed past 66,500 and the number of deaths surpassed 1,200, by far the most of any state. Layoffs continued apace, with Macy’s announcing it would furlough a “majority” of its 125,000 workers. Gap said it would do the same for 80,000 store employees in the United States and Canada.
In the past two days, Mr. Trump has dispensed with the assertion that the cure could be worse than the disease and circled back closer to the tenor of the warnings he has gotten from health advisers. Rather than lift the restrictions he had outlined by April 12, he extended them to April 30 and said on Monday that they “may be even toughened up a little bit,” although a national stay-at-home order like those in New York and California was “pretty unlikely, I would think, at this time.”
At Monday’s briefing, Mr. Trump recycled his line from a couple of weeks ago putting the virus ahead of the economy among his concerns. “The economy is No. 2 on my list,” he said. “First, I want to save a lot of lives.”
Indeed, he again accentuated the starkest projections given to him by public health officials, noting that more than two million Americans could have died in the absence of any measure, perhaps to set expectations so that any eventual death toll below that can be cast as a victory.
But advisers said he was struck by the political surveying that indicated that the public wanted the restrictions to continue long enough to beat back the virus for fear that letting up too soon would simply reinvigorate the outbreak.
“There’s an acknowledgment that there’s no getting ‘back to normal’ if the virus is still a threat,” said Kristen Soltis Anderson, a Republican pollster. “And for the most part, we are seeing people supportive of leaders at the state and federal level, even if there is frustration about an initially slow response. However, if there’s a rush to reopen, the virus surges and people feel like the sacrifices they’ve made so far have been for naught, I can see that changing.”
In a survey conducted by John and Jim McLaughlin, who were pollsters for Mr. Trump during the 2016 campaign, 52 percent of Americans preferred a full national shutdown requiring everyone other than those deemed essential to stay at home as opposed to 38 percent who favored universal testing and isolating only those demonstrated to be infected with the virus.
See what they did there?
Now for giggles, here is the front page of the New York Times issue from March 31, 2020.
LOL, LOL, LOL.
LONDON — In Hungary, the prime minister can now rule by decree. In Britain, ministers have what a critic called “eye-watering” power to detain people and close borders. Israel’s prime minister has shut down courts and begun an intrusive surveillance of citizens. Chile has sent the military to public squares once occupied by protesters. Bolivia has postponed elections. [America? Never mind.]
As the coronavirus pandemic brings the world to a juddering halt and anxious citizens demand action, leaders across the globe are invoking executive powers and seizing virtually dictatorial authority with scant resistance.
Governments and rights groups agree that these extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. States need new powers to shut their borders, enforce quarantines and track infected people. Many of these actions are protected under international rules, constitutional lawyers say.
But critics say some governments are using the public health crisis as cover to seize new powers that have little to do with the outbreak, with few safeguards to ensure that their new authority will not be abused.
And, just to bring the memories back, here is what their headlines looked like on March 31, 2020:
I wrote my first Tessa Fights Robots Substack in April 2020. I had twelve subscribers and didn’t know what else to do. I was more than a little scared about opening my mouth given that all of my friends were going the other way—but just had to open my mouth and say something because I didn’t like what I saw, and I was more terrified of being a coward.
(A clarification for new subscribers: I was writing about the contrast between the physical world that was stolen from us in 2020 and the digital world that we were supposed to confine ourselves to—not between the physical world and the otherworld. :)
And then, around the one-year anniversary of the two weeks to flatten the curve, I wrote this:
Wow, it’s really been a year.
Remember how unusual, crazy and thrilling it was when they said that they would shut things down for two weeks to help the hospitals and flatten the curve?
It’s been some wild two weeks!
The “how it started / how it is going” meme has never been more bizarre.
A random memory: At one point in the summer, during the curfew in New York, I heard a loud noise outside at night and thought, “What is it? A garbage truck? A tank? An alien landing? Does it matter?” And I just went back to sleep without even looking as nothing could be too strange.
And remember the “conspiracy theories” whispered early on? The crazy whisper about how we won’t come back to normal, how our rights could be taken away for good, how after we are allowed to breathe we won’t be able to travel or live a normal life without a health passport? Remember the crazy whisper?!
I was personally whispering observations about the curious parallels between what was going on and the known longstanding goals of Big Tech, about the palpable color revolution in the air—which I recognized from being from Eastern Europe—about how things would either really reopen in two weeks or we were being definitely groomed for a gradual transition to dystopia where the coronavirus would pick up where the corporately hijacked green movement had left off, etc. etc.
I remember telling someone that I wanted to be wrong but it just didn’t look like it. It definitely looked like the end goal was dystopia, and that they just couldn’t tell us right away because the people would revolt, so they were boiling the water very slowly and wearing us out by moving the goal posts, so that after many months of being disoriented, we would accept anything…anything at all, just to enjoy the basic freedoms and joys of physical existence, such as walking around in the park without a mask and breathing freely…
Also from March 2021:
And now that they are pushing for another round—more masking and more “vaccines”—as if we all have amnesia, my question is, are we going to let them do this to us AGAIN?
Fear is a very bad advisor. Fear needs to go. When we have each other, we have no fear.
I am sharing this beautiful talk by Sobonfu Some because it’s not our intellectual understanding of the monsters that will ultimately get us out, it’s our timeless, all-knowing soul.
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