Escaping the COVID Vortex

"And yet millions still appear unable to grasp what is really happening to them, remaining stuck in a rut of hysteria"

If you can cast your mind back to the beginning of the year, you will hopefully recall that Britain, despite its many and growing problems, was still a relatively peaceful, relatively prosperous, relatively free, relatively law-governed society. In little more than half a year, much of that has simply gone and we have become a country where:

  • The Government runs our daily lives in minute detail
  • Neighbour is increasingly set against neighbour
  • Local economies and businesses are being decimated
  • Unemployment is sky-rocketing
  • The mental health of millions is deteriorating
  • Old people are dying alone and unloved
  • People who are ill cannot get treatment
  • People who may be ill cannot get a consultation
  • The education of children is a shambles and their futures hugely uncertain
  • We can be (and have been) denied permission to see members of our own families
  • We face extortionate fines if we break arbitrary and irrational rules
  • The rule of law has been trampled on by those charged with protecting it
  • We are compelled to wear a covering over our respiratory passages
  • Parliament is effectively dead
  • Bizarre and sinister measures are imposed to change the way we interact with one another
  • Our lives have been utterly overturned
  • The spiritual, social, economic and psychological fabric is being torn to shreds

None of this is remotely a rational response to a virus which leaves 99.9% of those who get it in the land of the living. Lockdown was a poisonous spring, from which all manner of entirely foreseeable disasters flow, and as these turgid waters proceed, the whole thing resembles nothing less than a huge social and psychological experiment conducted against a people and against what it actually means to be human — an attack on the Imago Dei.

And yet millions still appear unable to grasp what is really happening to them, remaining stuck in a rut of hysteria about a virus which is not deadly to 99.9% of the population, even as their country collapses around them. Trying to get people to see this over the last six months has felt like being in the midst of a burning house, pleading with people to get out, only to hear them continually scream back: “Shut up. Stay in. We’ve heard there might be a bear somewhere outside.” The best explanation I’ve heard for this perplexing phenomenon was an answer someone gave when I posed the question on Twitter:

“I think it’s partly that when the unthinkable happens, people think that it can’t be happening.”

Quite.

Yet all this was, as I said above, entirely foreseeable. The day before Lockdown was announced, I wrote this:

“It is no exaggeration to say that if you shut down workplaces, schools, restaurants, pubs, churches, shops, markets etc for any length of time, the consequences are likely to be devastating, and your society might not recover for a generation or more — if it ever does.”

It appeared to me back then that by taking us into Lockdown for a coronavirus, which cannot be stopped/controlled/out-witted by any contrivance of Man, and which was never especially deadly to all but a few (who could have been protected), the only exit doors from it would be either a Government admission that the whole thing was a grotesque error, or a critical mass of people, furious that their lives had been destroyed by needless measures saying enough is enough. The longer this has gone on with no sign of the Government backing down (quite the opposite, in fact), the greater the danger becomes of that second scenario and the potential it has for mass public disturbance, coming to pass. Then again, perhaps we may just Go gently into that dark night, and simply accept the shiny new despotism being built around us. Shame we didn’t follow the real science, as Sweden did, and which is just getting on with normal life!

For the time being, we find ourselves stuck in The Covid Vortex, which is rather like waking up in Groundhog Day every day, except without the laughs and the sound of Sonny and Cher’s I got you babe on the radio. And the logic (if you can call it logic) of The Covid Vortex is that any measure which brings cases down must be continued, and any measure which doesn’t bring cases down must be added to. If cases go up, it shows that we need more measures. If cases come down, it shows the measures are working and we need to keep them on (this is without even considering the futility of “case” data itself). And so the whole superstitious process continues incessantly, dragging everything down with it: every person, every organisation, every institution, every community, all into a vortex where normal life is impossible, and where a deep paralysis and psychosis sets in.

And while all this is happening, and we try to navigate our way around today’s latest nonsense and prepare ourselves for tomorrow’s, what looks like a silent coup has taken place in our Parliament, and we are now effectively governed by a Committee of Compromised Scientists, Ministers and National Security Chiefs who, with their passing of extremely sinister legislation (such as Schedule 21), their talk of Digital IDs, and their calls to bring in the army, are taking us down the road to a tyranny in the name of health and safety. As C.S. Lewis foresaw:

“The majority in most countries respect science and want to be planned. And, therefore, almost by definition, if any man or group wishes to enslave us it will of course describe itself as ‘scientific planned democracy.’ All the more reason to look very carefully at anything which bears that label … Again, the new oligarchy must more and more base its claim to plan us on its claim to knowledge. If we are to be mothered, mother must know best. This means they must increasingly rely on the advice of scientists, till in the end the politicians proper become merely the scientists’ puppets. Technocracy is the form to which a planned society must tend.”

I think we could have stopped this, had a critical mass of people seen what was happening and objected strongly in April. But I fear that the window of opportunity is closing fast, and I am reminded of the words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who in his captivity had the chance to lament that nothing was done when something still could have been done:

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

Understand that I do not quote this because I am expecting “camps”. This is not how modern tyranny is descending upon us. Today’s would-be controllers have learnt that the camp and the jackboot are unnecessary, and that there are far more subtle and “civilised” ways to control populations. Again, C.S. Lewis, that great visionary, captured it perfectly in the Preface to his Screwtape Letters:

“I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of ‘Admin.’ The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid ‘dens of crime’ that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern.”

There need be neither camps nor jackboots. Just people threatened with fines; people afraid of losing their jobs; the disapproval of society; the censorship of important articles and voices challenging this nonsense, such as Reddit’s and Google’s suppression of the worthy Great Barrington Declaration; the creeping and incessant intrusion into every aspect of what were once considered to be our private lives, by the all-seeing eye of the almighty state, which tells you it is here to look after you.

What can be done? I know that many people are despairing. They will instinctively hope for a political solution, but there is no political solution because the root of the problem is not political. The root of the problem transcends politics and society. Calamity of this kind does not come upon us out of a vacuum, and neither is it the product of random forces. Rather, it is brought upon us by God, who uses tribulation to tear down the vast array of idols we have set up for ourselves, that we might turn to him and be blessed by him:

I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the Lord, who does all these things.” (Isaiah 45:6-7).

And the same Sovereign God who brings calamity on nations that have departed from him, also offers them the way out:

If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it.” (Jeremiah 18:5-11)

This is a crisis that isn’t going to go away anytime soon, and its effects will be with us for decades. It is not something that politics can save, because our politics itself is in need of salvation. Ultimately, the way out of the Covid Vortex for our nation is through repentance for our apostasy from the God who gave us the blessings of peace, prosperity, freedom, and the rule of law over many centuries. I urge you to make this your prayer:

“Restore us, O Lord God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved!” (Psalm 80:19)

Source: The Blogmire

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