One of the best ways to control a population is through fear and it is even better when it involves their life. Stalin had executions and Siberia. Mao and Pol Pot had re-education camps. Canada had the residential school system. In this case the cause of your death if you were not obedient was sold as being your life. Not washing your hands could be a fatal mistake. Oh fear! Oh shiver! Don’t obey the commands of “public service” messages you are stupid, rude and ignorant.
Hence on the advice of the medicos social distancing was the umbrella concept and that meant curtailment on freedom of association and a right to make a living but as I said medicos aren’t concerned with such inconvenient truths and neither did they have much compassion for the collateral damages caused by much of their advice although the politicos framed all decisions as political decisions on the advice of their “medical team” so if matters went askew there was someone the politicos could blame. The medicos as human shields for the politicos. My job as a physician is heal the patient not cajole and terrify them.
Of course at some point they miscalculated that the vast overdoing of their propaganda made it close to meaningless hence the crowded beaches off the Alabama coast in the United States on Memorial Day in 2020 and the infamous partying at Trinity-Bellwood’s Park in Toronto on the same week-end. Poor Millennials vilified by the politico medico elite. Democracies are a bit flabby when it comes to effective propaganda. Both these incidents caused a huge case surge in Alabama and in Toronto and considering it was youth that wasn’t so bad as it sped up herd immunity. When it comes to propaganda you can fool some of the people some of the time but you can’t fool them all the time so you have to freshen up the propaganda playbook to be most effective. The next ruse was vaccinate, vaccinate and vaccinate! A social duty and no vaccination no right to dine out or watch a movie. Seems trivial but in reality a momentous violation of freedom of association. Dare criticize the party line the so called independent media would label you as naughty “anti-vaxxers” with a goal of equating you with a leper.
There was also fear of the COVID police who could fine you a substantial amount for violating social distancing rules. In some countries you could even be imprisoned and given the hotspots prisons were as congregate settings COVID that just about amounted to a death sentence.
And the good honest citizens who cowered in fear in their homes could, along with some politicians, express their indignation at such irresponsibility leading to social ostracization of the irresponsible. Little did these good citizens realize they would be cannon fodder for subsequent waves of COVID-19. What is that expression, “There is no goodness in virtue”?
The propaganda campaigns were so effective that in Canada 64% of the population expressed anxiety at some point in leaving the house. What a gift for the subsequent wave of COVID that attacked those hidden away in fear so they could not hasten herd immunity!
Some of fellow physicians went so far as to suggest the insertion of microchips for those vaccinated so as to better track the unvaccinated. Stalin and Hitler would have been proud of them. All in the name of the common good! My colleagues as stoolies.