This Is How Easy It Is

I’ve had this thought for a while and I have tried not to say it to anyone, family, friend, coworker, or stranger, for any reason. But, as we all process our thoughts on pandemic, self-isolation, social distancing, public health information, and policy decisions, I keep feeling like I should be saying or writing everything I am thinking, and seeing, and feeling in a blog or a journal. I should be recording this, not for posterity, who will read far better accounts of 2020 than anything I’ll jot down, but for myself, for my memory, and to maybe give an identity to whatever is gnawing at me.

What I’ve been thinking is: I never thought it would be this easy. I never thought it would be this easy to drive almost the entire country into their homes and make them lock their doors. I never thought it would be this easy to force people to stay inside.

But, this is how easy it is.

There is almost no government presence, not here, anyway. There are no tanks, no roving packs of squad cars, no police helicopters sweeping the streets for violators. There is no police state.

We were frightened indoors by news stories and rumors, blog posts and YouTube videos, by press conferences, public health announcements, and approximate body counts. “They” didn’t have to take our guns or cut up the Constitution. They didn’t have to threaten our families or seize control of our governments.

This is how easy it is to clear the streets, close businesses and schools, and make people afraid to leave their homes. This is how easy it is to shut our country down.

A virus.

It’s almost bloodless. This is why a government would consider biological warfare against its own citizens. A virus – invisible, silent, odorless, flavorless, humorless, and without a conscience – would chase them indoors, no shots fired, and keep them cowering far away from windows and doors, with no thought of marching, demonstrating, or fighting, for months.

A virus can tame the world.

No resistance and only a few questions. We barely hesitated, on our way home; we wanted the government to shut us down.

I don’t know what about this…event/situation bothers me the most, but maybe that’s it. How easy it was and how quick.

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