The lockdown in your head, or: Is there life after mask?

Am I white? Or rather pink? Or maybe golden beige, if you count the one and a half million freckles? At the moment, I’m one thing above all: angry. And I have to get that off my chest.

The trigger is comparatively trivial. I was driving through my city and saw that a new party, or a sect, or whatever it’s supposed to be, was recruiting new members with hundreds of posters in candy pink and black on bright yellow. Slogans reminiscent of the ductus from Orwell’s 1984: Vaccinate = Concerts, Vaccinate = Family, Vaccinate = Life, or Vaccinate = Friends were screaming at me from every damn light pole, every tree, at every traffic light, even on the beautiful avenue on the banks of the Rhine. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. I spontaneously feel sick to my stomach.

As I drive along the second city ring, I have a flickering staccato in the corner of my eye that could surely entertain many an epileptic. Worse than during Bundestagswahl election! Apart from the dumb content (those who don’t »vaccinate« have no family, no friends, no concerts and are dead?) this is an unacceptable waste of resources. If a radio station or a car manufacturer would plaster the city like this, there would be dozens of protest groups where Greta clones indignantly crochet anti CO2 potholders.

Well, the upside: I see that the intrusive nudging in public spaces is already being met by the recipients with creative textmarker messages and a lot of rage. Some posters are already torn. Others have been decorated with spray paint. On three posters, someone has painted over the word after = in yellow and written myocarditis, anaphylaxis and heart attack over it. Apparently, the target group is not as stupid as the inventors of this campaign would like them to be. Some things can be counted on. So back to my initial question: Am I white?

The abolition of casual coexistence

It never occurred to me to worry about the color of my skin, or that of other people. Professionally and in private I meet human beings from porcelain white to pale yellow, sandy brown and beige-rosé to velvet black. And? More important than the degree of pigmentation is whether your guitar solo should be 4 or 12 bars long, or whether the plot of our new story should be linear or told in multilevel style. Skin color was never an issue. Until five years ago, when it was suddenly declared a political problem (in the middle of Europe!), complete strangers started referring to me as a »white person« and declared me an opponent. An opponent to whom? Nobody could explain that to me. Instead, I was informed that a certain ratio of POC, light-skinned Europeans and Asians had to appear in advertisements, both visually and in the copy. Furthermore, it was to be made sure that there was a balanced presence of redheads, blondes and brunettes. Holy Kinderpost… Can we please talk about content instead of what the person presenting it looks like? Has anyone ever not bought a cleaning product, insurance or OJ because they don’t visually identify with German advertising legends like Onkel Dittmeyer, Clementine or Herr Kaiser? And how can the majority just accept that our mostly peaceful coexistence has been replaced by an artificial politicized concept in which no one can move freely anymore?

Speaking of artificial. I never cared whether someone was straight, gay, lesbian, bi, trans, pansexual, asexual, or identified as a Brokkoli. Isn’t love life a personal matter? Now, at every corner, someone tells me that I, as a cis-gender hetero woman, am the enemy who needs to pay homage to the LGBT community, and if I don’t immediately put on a rainbow T-shirt, I’m homophobic. The whole thing doesn’t come across as an individual opinion, but as a political dogma and gender concept, which regulates and corrupts blissful intimacy and sexuality on so many levels. (Btw, I do have rainbow T-shirts. My Pink Floyd »Dark Side of the Moon« shirts. They have nothing to do with virtue exhibitionism, but with great music. The lunatic is on the grass, remember?)

I experience it the same way with religions, cults and sects. Gone are the good times when we’d meet up with Catholics, Scientologists, Jehovah’s Witnesses or Wiccan priests, Neo-Sannyas, Muslims or Jews, had fun together, and philosophized about all kinds of things, without one feeling the urge to assassinate the other. Now I am informed by a cab driver in broken German that I deserve death, because I am out alone at half past two in the morning, and therefore I must be an infidel who needs to burn in hell. That’ll be 15.90 Euros. Aha. And I’m not even allowed to share this personal experience with you, dear readers, because if I do, I’ll get bashed for being »islamophobic«.

At which rusty mental railing must one sprain their synapses in order to come up with such crap?

Private aspects of life are publicized, politicized and grow like toxic fungus in dark humid catacombs of society.

When 40 years ago the India boom together with the second hippie wave washed over Central Europe and everyone had to have been to an ashram or at least on vacation to Goa for soulsearching, even the most uptight Swabian provinces finally opened up to new ideas, e.g. meditation, yoga, or vegetarian food, inspired by Indian cuisine. Lamb curry without lamb, grill plate only with vegetables, lecker. And why not? It never was a political concept. Now it is. When I went to a birthday party a while ago, some millennial with a male bun tells me in a quivering voice that he, as a vegan, cannot be in the same room with someone who is wearing a jacket made of animal corpse skin. Wow. Thanks for the warm welcome, bud. My friendly hint that my rugged second hand leather jacket is at least twice as old as he is, which makes it way more sustainable than his baby blue polyester hoodie made in China, goes unheard. What happened to »live and let live«?

Well, and now – the Kovid Kult.

Studio appointment. Instead of the usual cheerful greeting, I get a cold, inquisitorial »Wait, have you been vaccinated?« from what feels like a mile away. Again. The umpteenth time this week. Once again, I don’t answer the question. I am perfectly healthy, I behave responsibly, that has to be enough. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here. Why would I share private lab test results or medical data with anyone who is not even a doctor?

By the way, the person who comes at me so indiscreetly is a musician who, until a few years ago, regularly brought all possible and impossible childhood diseases of his offspring into the rehearsal room. Without even once asking himself what damage he was causing, and whether this was not somewhat antisocial and therefore to be avoided. For example, by staying at home or keeping a distance. And he’s not the only one.

Many people who call for compulsory vaccinations, tests and masks seem to suffer from this kind of partial amnesia. Until two years ago, did those who came to our meetings, pitches and events with a cold and a cough, ever consider that they might infect someone? Or did they take the good old-fashioned flu test just to be on the safe side before attending a Christmas party, a concert, a band rehearsal, a meeting or a New Year’s Eve party? No, of course not. At that time, the now so überkorrekt mandate fetishists had no problem with hugging and kissing their fellow human beings straight into sickbed. Cognitive dissonance, anyone?

Sure, everyone catches something from time to time. Shit happens. Whether it’s Norovirus on the ferry, a nasty cough in the S-Bahn, or the »Asian flu« Influenza on a FRA shuttle bus full of Japanese businessmen (all masked, by the way, and yes, it was a serious illness.) And? Were these infections worth even one line in the media at the time? A political intervention with lockdown, track-and-trace app, or admission checks with temperature-taking, testing, and disinfectant-spraying? No. Of course not. It was a private matter.

Think and let think.

What would have been swept off the table as an insane joke just a few years ago has established itself as a fashion statement within a few weeks: Mask good, breathing bad. The face covering serves as a metaphor. I am right, I am good, I do what I am told. Even while jogging in the forest, alone in the streets at night, or in the car.

How about the fact that lungs per se are an excretory organ whose output should not be collected in a warm humid petri dish on the human face, turned into a home-grown culture of fungi, viruses and bacteria, and breathed back for hours? Ever wondered why doctors, and especially surgeons, change their masks regularly, put them on and take them off properly and, above all, don’t fiddle with them all the time with unwashed hands?

And then there are people who we are not allowed to talk about.

People who cannot deal with masks due to certain contraindications. For example, allergy patients, pain patients, deaf people, autistic people, or severely traumatized PTSD patients, to name just a few that I personally know of. They do not appear in any statistics, are never part of the public dialogue, are considered non-existent and therefore suffer silently. Whenever they try and articulate themselves, they get mocked and attacked with zero empathy. Grocery store chains and supermarkets in Germany declare on self-written signs that access is forbidden without a mask. Certified mask exemptions are not accepted. One of the disturbingly enthusiastic bouncers at a local grocery store told me that anyone who doesn’t wear a mask is, per definition, a corona denier and probably an antivaxxer too who shouldn’t be allowed to buy food anyway. Please let this sink in for a moment. And then tell me again that all this is not a cult, but all about public health and a virus.

We will remember this when the tide is turning. Don’t you think that those who have no scruples about denying certain people access to food for purely political reasons are also capable of other atrocities?

The mental and spiritual monorail course of collective consciousness feels like a surreal fever nightmare to me. Someone in the evening news hallucinates about a »pandemic of the unvaccinated«, and the next morning the masses go to war against (alleged) antivaxxers, Querdenkers or corona deniers. Whether this »pandemic of the unvaccinated« exists at all, nobody wants to know. Nevertheless, they all know that the enemy must be somehow right wing-ish. After all, the copy-paste media canon has sung it. These fictional »enemies« have already been removed from the public life in 2G-controlled Germany. They are no longer allowed to fly, book hotel rooms, visit museums or concerts. They have even been turned away at the church door and denied to participate in the Holy Christmas mass. (Again for those who ignored the last line because they just checked their WhatsApp: turned away at the church door on Christmas Eve.)

Apartheid as an event concept

Slogans like »Volksschädlinge! Lock them all up!« echo from radios, televisions and masked faces, from billboards and digital lecterns. Yes, this jargon is once again acceptable in Germany. Instead of »never again« people are cheering »finally.« Which brings us to the upcoming summer season of 2022. Yes, there are indeed some concerts, vernissages, theater performances, fairs, street festivals and markets planned for this summer. Not for everyone, of course.

From international top acts to cover bands from Hinterschlunzingen, people sing the high praise of segregation. Anyone without a green pass (ever wondered why it’s called green pass? You should research it, and prepare for a shock) on their cell phone is not allowed to enter a stage or attend events as a guest. Regardless of actual infection rates.

Organizers, performers and musicians are telling me these days that they will only hold 2G events, regardless of legal requirements. Again: regardless of actual infection rates. They say this as if it were normal that millions of people no longer have access to cultural events. As if it were not the insane ramblings of fanatics gone mad.

»But… but… the virus!«

Side note: No, I am not discussing the medical sense or nonsense of 2G segregation. I’m not a virologist. I am concerned with something rather non-scientific, yet deeply human and therefore more relevant to me: that more and more private spaces and areas of life are being hijacked, de-individualized and transformed into public war zones, where formerly good people reflexively, voluntarily assign themselves to one of the two war parties and turn into soldiers on a mission that’s not even their own. The Corona narrative is just one of many puzzle pieces in this bigger picture. An ugly one, yes. And it finds matching ugly counterparts.

Casual example. In 2020, some German cities ran campaigns like »Save your location«. People were asked to financially support their favorite pubs, venues and restaurants during lockdown by buying vouchers, as an advance payment for the next visit, when the place opens again. Nice idea. Of course my friends and I have bought vouchers for the venues where we used to party and play, and with whose owners I had, if not personal, then at least collegial, connections. A matter of honor, right? After all, we know each other, so we help each other, right?

Wrong.

When the locations reopened, we immediately decided to go out, celebrate and use these vouchers, most of it we would have given away as tips anyway. Above all, I was looking forward to meet those I used to party with every week at concerts and pub nights, and reflect on the last two years. Catching up. See how everyone is doing. Share what we all have experienced. Do what humans do. At least that’s what I thought.

Apparently I underestimated what two years of blind obedience and subservience can do to the soul of a human being. Instead of a joyful reunion, I am met with a rebuff that is unsurpassable in terms of arrogance. First the ubiquitous »are you vaxxed?«, which I answer – you guessed it – by »no worries, I’m perfectly healthy, otherwise I wouldn’t come here. No, I don’t have a green pass, and no, I don’t wear a mask«. Which doesn’t lead to a friendly glass of wine, but to a cold »well then, bye. People like you are not welcome here.«

People like me? Seriously? What kind of »people« are you referring to? I’m the same person I used to be when you lined up for a chance to sit at my table, remember? And now, from longtime regular to persona non grata in a minute and a half? This was one of the moments when I was so stunned, I was fresh out of words (and you know what that means.) Just a moment ago, you were railing at the right-wing AfD party, raising the gay pride rainbow flag, pretending to be an oh so left-wing liberal etablissement, and now you’re a staunch supporter of apartheid and segregation? Wow. Thanks for nothing. And yes, I take that personally.

Unimportant? A trivial matter? Perhaps. But this trifle… is it really a trifle? Or is it symptomatic of a trend I see in other areas of life as well? Passive, completely unreflective obedience to abstract authorities and their political concepts that take precedence over genuine human connections. And he loved Big Brother. Hasn’t that been done before? A scrrrreaming dwarf in uniform orders whom to avoid, and the subjects obey? Creepy. Tragic. And useless, just look at the exploding infection rates after various 2G events. Who do you want to blame for this, now that the so-called corona deniers and antivaxxers are no longer present as scapegoats?

»But… but… you’re the one who hates the vaccinated!«

Yawn. This is not the first time I’ve heard this accusation. However, the screechers never provide any proof. Of course not. Because it is not true. Why should I have anything against »the vaccinated«? Get vaxxed, tattooed, pierced, nibble batteries or bathe in the bottle bank, what’s it to me? Your body, your choice.

What I do have something against indeed: Racists, religious and political fanatics, wannabe execs and denunciants, who lately qua injection think of themselves as some kind of master race, stagger like zombies on autopilot through social spaces and deny other people the right to exist! Not even based on a personal, freely chosen conviction. But because they have fallen for a propaganda which the devil himself could not have thought up any better: Instead of destroying a country with bombs, one simply divides the people with mass-media spread horror stories into two groups, and tells one group if it crushes the other, everything will go back to normal. No sooner said than done. Friendships, relationships, places where people could meet – bamm, crushed with killer phrases from the TV. Yes, I do indeed have something against these. And I don’t care whether the participants of this evil Schmonzette are vaccinated, unvaccinated or purple anodized.

How about a friendly talk for a change?

You who have buried yourselves in 2G bubbles – why don’t you talk to »people like me« (your term, not mine) instead of just talking about us? Why do you so cowardly cut connections and articulate yourselves only in abstruse defamations about alleged antivaxxers or corona deniers, without asking even once whether these dumb labels have anything to do with reality? Or with us?

Why don’t you just ask us WHY we have not and will not join the cult of hate, paranoia and division? Does that interest you at all? Have you ever considered the possibility that we have valid reasons not to be drawn into this staged political proxy war? Are you able and willing to see things from a different perspective instead of just reciting the standardised one-size-fits-all opinion that your TV vomits into the living room every night?

We would surely have a lot to share with each other. There would be important and personal topics that we could and should talk about over a good bottle of wine. Like we used to, remember? Before the Kult had eradicated what made us human. Don’t you miss it? I find it sad that your new belief system excludes so many things that made life worthwhile, including any genuine communication with non-members of the Kult. It is even sadder, however, that you accept this. What else will you do when the Kult orders you to do it? Is there any red line where you say NO? Will you ever dare to stick your head out of the 2G bubble and open your eyes? We are out here, and our offer to talk stands. But not for much longer.

Speaking of talking –

It is becoming apparent that the Covid narrative will be obsolete in the foreseeable future. Not this year, not in the next, but eventually. All artificial cult concepts perish sooner or later. Then you will be stripped of your masks, your mental support wheels and your codes of conduct that you have been clinging to so desperately for the last two years, and that make you feel morally on the right side. Then what? When no one tells you who to fight, who to lock out, what to fear and who to blame anymore?

How do you get these evil spirits out of your head?

In the foreseeable future, you will no longer be able to use the »I’m just following the rules« alibi and hide behind an imaginary authority, but will once again be personally (!) responsible for what you say, think and do. Then what? You can throw away the masks, sure, but what do you do with the mask in your head?

What do you feel when it slowly dawns on you that those who warned you about the cult were right? And they loved you enough to warn you again and again, only to be ridiculed and mocked by you? How do you feel when you think of those who were affected by your unconditional compliance? Do you think this mess will clean up itself? It can’t be repaired with a half-assed »sorry, but I had to stick to the rules, I know it went wrong somehow, but…«

Did it never occur to you that what connects us as human souls is much more valuable than any so-called rule, political concept, or absurd »us against them« restrictions?

And here we are back at the beginning: the politicising of private and deeply human aspects of life, and the concomitant abolition of social spaces.

This development has nothing to do with a temporary virus, but is part of a larger, hostile agenda about which any reasonably well-read person can inform himself. If they want to. But those who, despite all the unmistakable indications, despite the already crumbling backdrop, are still not willing and able to pull up the zoom and look at the bigger picture from a distance (pun intended), and at least salvage what can be salvaged – well, what will happen to them? I don’t know. Maybe they will stay in mental and actual lockdown scenarios for the rest of their lives? After all, it’s conveniently »safe« in there.

Epilogue

A fortnight ago, another former bandmate asked me the omnipresent question »are you vaccinated?« Instead of answering yes or no, I asked him whether he would like to have a coffee with me sometime, and then we could talk about the if and how and what and why. Of course I sensed that his question was not based on any interest in me. He was just robotically following the paranoid cognitive compulsion to divide his environment into »right« and »wrong«. The confirmation followed promptly: he acknowledged my invitation by calling me a corona denier, a »one of those«, and prognosticated my early death on a ventilator. (But it’s »us« who are hateful and dangerous, right?)

Yesterday I found out that he died. On a ventilator. One week after our brief dialogue; one day after he had a so-called booster. Maybe he should have had that coffee with me instead of the injection? The universe does not make mistakes. It does, however, have a politically incorrect jet-black sense of humour.

My offer still stands. For now. In the words of Gottfried Benn: »Kommt, reden wir zusammen. Wer redet, ist nicht tot.«

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Photo: Pixabay
Text: Kathrin Elfman © 11 February 2022
Link for sharing/reblogging/re-posting: https://zaubertinte11.wordpress.de/2022/02/14/lockdown/
No reprinting, including excerpts, editing or commercial reuse without my written permission.

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