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Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Coronavirus: Our generation's paradigm shift

Something that's been twirling around my gray matter since last night:

The coronavirus situation is bringing about the first real paradigm shift since the fall of communism thirty years ago.

We are not going to come out of this the same that we were before, just as life in the civilized world - or anywhere in the world for that matter - did not proceed as it had been before the Soviet Union lost control of its satellites before itself imploding.  That chain of events precipitated an entirely new sphere of being and now for these current generations, COVID-19 is doing much the same.  Albeit, on a vastly larger scale.  It's one thing to watch the Berlin Wall coming down from thousands of miles away.  It's something else entirely more drastic when it's the President of the United States telling you... yes you... to wear a mask when going out in public.

Solidarity Party march in Poland
circa 1980s
"But Chris, what about Nine-Eleven?  Didn't that cause a paradigm shift??"  No, not really.  And I say that not in disparagement of the memories of those who perished that day, or who have perished in the wars that came about because of our trying to end terrorism.  The September 11 attacks, through the lens of an objective observer, were still part of that previous paradigm.  Some might even say that Osama Bin Laden was an element resulting from the collapse of communism, in that he rose to power during the waning of Russia's involvement in Afghanistan.  In the broader sense, September 11 was one act of a larger drama, but it did not remarkably alter the drama itself.

The coronavirus pandemic however has that potential.  And right now it's more than living up to it.

American industry will not be the same.  American law will not be the same.  American constitutional rights are already not the same (whatever happened to freedom of worship, now that some governors have declared wholesale that churches and synagogues are not "essential services"?).  American government will not be the same and indeed some are calling for the November elections to be cancelled across the board.

America has endured its petty would-be tyrants who would have altered or outlawed these areas of our society and for the most part it has come out of it unscathed.  That can not be said for what is now transpiring.  For no matter how much we may recover - and I pray that we will do so mightily - the damage is done and there will be those who will try their damndest to exploit it.

The paradigm is shifting, ladies and gentlemen.  It is mutating into something we could not foresee and can not extrapolate the end result of being.  It is, for lack of a polite way to put it, as scary as hell a time as any in living memory.

I do not write this to arouse terror.  But I do write this to arouse awareness of the situation.  And maybe, do my best to instill a little hope for the best.