ASTORIA, NYC- A little while back I served as a judge in a global student film competition. The theme of the competition was the students’ experiences during quarantine. I expected funny videos about video games and arts and crafts and boredom. Nothing prepared me for what I got:
The results are in: we’ve thoroughly fucked up our kids. I hope our government officials are proud of themselves: they ignored science, listened to what the for-profit, pharma-financed media told them to do, and really, really liked the feel of their fists in the iron mitts of absolute power.
For a virus that doesn’t even really impact young people, they were forced to sacrifice more than any of us. They gave up sports, they gave up music, they gave up their friends and social relationships, they gave up their futures. How many athletes missed out on scholarships? How many musicians won’t get into college? How many kids watched their GPAs drop because their schooling was disrupted.
And what’s the point of going to college now anyway? Sorry, but online university doesn’t provide the lessons that are actually important to learn. Then there’s the question about what opportunities there will be out there for them anyway when they finish: Starbucks?
So now we have this generation of kids who were born with a smartphone in their hands being forced to go to high school and university online … just to go to work online — isolated, alone, socially stunted and physically and emotionally under-developed. There will always be a life out there outside the screen, away from the keyboard, and it’s a life that many of them won’t get to live for a long time yet.
Now let’s mix in the trauma of being conditioned to accept an unprecedented level of government control, where on a whim those in power can imprison you in your home, strip away your civil liberties, and tell you that the lives of hypothetical “at risk” people that you will probably never even meet are more important than your own.
They will watch how their peers fall into lockstep, wearing masks when we’ve known for years that they do nothing against viruses*, stay six feet apart from everyone even though there’s no science to back this up, and are prohibited from going to school even though there isn’t one single documented case on the entire planet of a student infecting a teacher with Sars-Cov-2. We’ve conditioned these kids to be good little gears in a social machine rather than individuals with self-determination and autonomy. Collectivism is the worst form of tyranny.
We’re now looking at a new generation of agoraphobic germ-a-phobes, whose FOGO has usurped their FOMO.
Fear of going out.
They are now afraid to get close to other people at a time when their generation was already being torn farther and farther apart, covering up with masks when their expression was already blocked by the screen, being taught to follow in line and inform on their neighbors like good little Maoists.
The human spirit needs to prevail here. And fast.
*N99 and N100 masks are effective against viruses, but I haven’t found someone wearing one of these yet. N95 masks are, according to one doctor, like “throwing sand through a chain link fence,” and cloth masks are completely ineffective.