“Normal is an illusion…What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly” – Morticia Addams
August and COVID is raging unabated in the US. In my estimation this is due to two facets of the contemporary American psyche: a willingness to believe what we choose in the face of contravening science and the undisciplined nature of a society jealous of its hedonistic privilege.
I can understand the hedonism. Get too much of something good and it becomes not just a staple of life, but also a building block of a perceived sense of what happiness is. Take away our bars, beaches and restaurants and it seems-to the average American-as if someone is trying to strip us of our identity. Our very right to congregate in a social setting is under attack and we will preserve our rights! Compared to what Americans died to preserve and protect over the last several hundred years, its an embarrassing counterpoint to see the right to party become a quintessential foundation stone of what it is to be an American.
Much more difficult for me to process, however, is the bald face denial of proven scientific principals. How can a person or persons stand in front of others and announce that the preponderance of proven science is wrong and that, now, 2 + 2 = 5? If the future progress of our society is to be based on a foundation of confirmation bias we will spiral toward an uncertain place amidst the other nations of the world. Is the perception that so many Americans are willing to believe what they choose as opposed to what is demonstrably true representative of a cognitive slide in the average American?
Where is normal? Where is that increasingly more illusive place where America maintains its position among leading nations? When will we stop being willingly misled by self-serving “news” outlets, foreign powers, partisan political interest groups and aspiring and existing leaders who have demonstrated both their inability to lead a nation and to separate their self interest from the good of the nation?
What if this is the next normal?