A 14-year-old Colombian girl’s protest sign said it best in this NYT piece about COVID’s Latin America rampage.
Inequality, a longstanding scourge that had been easing before the pandemic, is widening once again, and millions have been tossed back into the precarious positions they thought they had escaped during a relative boom. Many are venting their anger in the streets, defying official pleas to stay home.
“They’ve taken so much from us that we’ve even lost our fear,” read a sign held by Brissa Rodríguez, 14, at a protest with thousands of others in Bogotá on Wednesday.
By comparison, here in my American bubble, I have not “suffered” nearly as much as Colombia, or as millions of Americans have, but I have undergone a similar COVID-19 evolution since this started. Since April, 2020, I have not been very fearful of the Coronavirus (SARS-2). Weary, cautious, yes. Afraid? Nah.
Though I’m in my mid-50’s, I’m in pretty good physical shape and take care of myself and I believe I would weather an infection successfully. I realize this is a big, risky presumption; I’m not a fool. I still take precautions. I’ve always worn masks and I keep my distance from people and avoid large gatherings. Just common sense stuff, really. I think one of the biggest risk factors for COVID-19 infection is not a very PC thing to note, but that doesn’t stop me: idiocy.
A good share of the people still catching COVID-19 are idiots.
And when you behold a continent that cannot control the pandemic, you can’t help but wonder if it is inhabited by ignorant idiots. Generalizations are valuable and appropriate as they usefully describe the cultural tendency of a group expressed by its collective behavior. Of course not all inhabitants of Latin America are ignorant idiots, but the predominant cultural ethos are just that. Some societies are less adept at subduing carnal, communal urges to congregate and contending with life in very unrestrained manners. Countries throughout the globe which have have handled the pandemic well tend to be extremely sensible, perhaps even a little sterile. The joie de vivre emblematic of Latin America’s cultures are their undoing.
Culture dies hard and the danger of a virus which appears a negligible threat to the individual cannot simply negate a fierce sense of engrained joie de vivre.
The girl’s sign, “they’ve taken so much” is a culturally petulant way of saying “this time out is no fair!” Some people can button down the hatches gracefully. They effortlessly practice self-sacrifice for the greater good and the ability to intelligently discern and respond to a disembodied threat are the traits of high-level consciousness.
I’m with the girl, though.
I’ve recently encountered pandemic fatigue and I honest-to-god don’t give a shit about it anymore.
I know this is bad. My super-ego’d intelligent, responsible adult tells me to continue masking and to act like a frightened rat, but I can’t bring myself to do the rodent bit. I got my vaccine, contrary to good sense: it’s for the sake of communal good, not because of Fauci or in response to the benevolent avarice of pharmaceutical conglomerates. I continue to mask without a fuss. I do my part, but I’m done being scared or caring much. Perhaps it’s that genetic nihilism I inherited from my Native American ancestors, a dark pall that tends to color the Hispanic character with a morosely comical sense of que sera.
In the global battle with COVID-19, culture is All, but this is a facet of the tense virus vs man duet that today’s Woke sheep cannot voice or consider because they are so thoroughly inculcated in modern leftism. Common sense does not naturally arise in their little heads. Culture is the greatest contributor to COVID-19’s spread. We can blame racism, inequality, poverty or Trump all we want but the underlying cause which spawns all avenues for the pandemic to multiply is culture.
This is distasteful to the prim and proper etiquette of today’s Left because it implies judgement of innate traits, hence the intolerance for naming the virus for its geographical origin. I suppose this would have benefited Spain in 1918, but we’ve come a long way since.