Uncivil War Over COVID Response Gaining Momentum & Distracting Us From The Real Villains

A tremendous amount of debate is apparent around the convergence of two themes I’ve posted about recently on this blog: “Divided We Fall May Be COVID’s Underlying Purpose” and “Revolution Needed, So Our Corporate Overlords Are Fanning The Flames For Civil War.

Just yesterday I saw this post from a friend on Facebook:

He was making reference to the many people posting sentiments like “Let the unvaccinated die at home rather than taking up an ICU bed when they catch COVID.” Besides the creepy tone of wishing death on others, my first thought was that it would include all children under 12. Wow.


The same source shared an excellent article on medical ethics by Dr. Jay Baruch: “It’s easy to judge the unvaccinated. As a doctor, I see a better alternative.


Dr. Baruch points out that when people ask him how he can provide care to a COVID patient who is unvaccinated, it’s analogous to asking how he could treat a drunk driver for injuries, or a burn victim who lit a cigarette while on oxygen for emphysema.


Touché.


But nearly every COVID response has been politicized to the nth degree in order to drive us ever further from common ground. 


Whether to mask, whether to vax, whether to distance, or open schools, or mandate public health measures in public places like schools — all are subject to hysterical name calling aimed at opponents and coming from both sides of any of these issues.

I’ll stop with the examples now. Compiling them all would require several websites.


My friend Pat Taub who has a background in group facilitation wrote a letter to the editor that was published this week by Maine’s biggest daily paper: “Creating listening circles to heal our divisions.” An excerpt:

I wish the media would stop reporting on the deepening clashes between the vaccinated and the anti-vaccinated as if it were a fait accompli, rather than suggesting ways to heal this division.

The vaccinated look down on the unvaccinated as irresponsible because they fail to consider that being unvaccinated means, if they get COVID, that they also can infect others and spread the virus. The unvaccinated feel that government-mandated vaccinations are an infringement on their personal freedom. Others opposed don’t trust the vaccines or believe in their efficacy.

These divisions, which are becoming increasingly violent, are distracting us from coming together to build strong communities. We are lacking in mutual understanding.

To bridge this gap, I suggest local listening projects, where individuals representing opposing views meet in a supportive environment led by a moderator experienced in communication skills. Schools, churches, synagogues and libraries are logical settings. The listening groups would be composed of pro-vaccination and anti-vaccination volunteers.

Seven of the eight comments on her letter expressed contempt for the idea of listening to the other side. Only one affirmed her diagnosis while suggesting an alternative cure:

Meanwhile, teachers and college instructors heading back to the classroom right now are sounding a note of desperation about keeping themselves and their families safe in the face of the highly infectious Delta variant. 

An example from Dalton State College in Georgia:


I just retired from teaching and I’m about to turn down two invitations to volunteer because the part of Maine I live in isn’t all that different from Georgia. With an older husband who already has respiratory issues, it’s not a gamble I feel like I can take to be indoors among unvaxxed or unmasked adults.

I’m disappointed in people’s choices, but I’m going to keep listening. 

I’m not going to wish them dead. 

Revolution Needed, So Our Corporate Overlords Are Fanning The Flames For Second Civil War

 One of President Obama’s many rewards for enriching banksters at the taxpayers’ expense was this summer “cottage” on Martha’s Vineyard.


Why do we need a revolution, you say? 

In rough order of priority:

o Global climate crisis driven by capitalism is spiraling out of control and the window to walk us back from catastrophe is rapidly closing.

o Global pandemic has killed millions and appears headed to kill millions more with a system of medical apartheid and for-profit medicine in the U.S. and other non-socialist countries.

Eviction crisis on top of already galloping homelessness not only creates trauma for millions but is a big factor in the spread of COVID.

Military spending and weapons systems surging — including building nuclear weapons, illegal under international law because they could easily end human life if used.

Incarceration for profit in the U.S. and to impoverish and disenfranchise Black, indigenous, and people of color is growing worse and was already at crisis levels. Racist policing continues at crisis levels but is now more visible due to cell phone videos.

o Student debt continues to depress the prospects of entire generations.

o Minimum wage is now about 1/3 of what an actual living wage should be in 2021, especially because of rapid, ongoing inflation of the cost of housing.

o Child care and public education continue to be underfunded in the face of immense unmet needs.

How are our corporate overlords fanning the flames for a second Civil War?

Charlottesville, Virginia “Unite the Right” rally August, 2017 

In roughly chronological order:

o Propaganda rather than useful information sharing is the norm across the spectrum of corporate-owned “news” outlets, from Fox News to CNN. The steady erosion of reliability in sourcing information is the work of corporate media and corporate social media that censors on behalf of the ruling class.

o White supremacy is in a desperate fight to remain in control, and numerous militias and other types of organizations have responded to perceived and real threats including the removal of Confederate statues and flags. Also, attacks on Black Lives Matter protesters, including killing them by running them down with cars (a practice that a few states have legalized) and targeting them for assassination.

o Law enforcement complicit in white supremacist movement, and armed to the teeth with cast off military equipment shared by the Pentagon.

o Widespread misinformation about public health protocols including vaccines, masking, and distancing and robust media coverage of refuseniks.

o Absence of national leadership on ending the pandemic leaving states, towns, and school boards to fend for themselves in the face of angry mobs. We are entering the third school year in a row pitting neighbors against neighbors and parents against school administration.

What can we in the U.S. do to bring on revolution rather than a second civil war?

In no particular order:

o Don’t fall for divisive tactics. For example, consider the possiblity that “divided we fall” “may be COVID’s underlying purpose.

o Look and listen beneath the surface of false dichotomies.

o Don’t demonize each other just because we disagree. People with ideas that seem wrong and dangerous may have PTSD from traumas. They may be experiencing hunger, bankruptcy, or lack of medical care. They may only have access to really poor information or outright disinformation. Don’t write human beings off even if you loathe their ideas. 

o Free your mind and the rest will follow. Do your own thinking, take in new information, and be willing to rethink your beliefs. Put another way, don’t mistake narratives for truth. Even this one.