The crisis we’re experiencing is more about the use of fear to subdue and manipulate people than it is about a viral epidemic. As an epidemic, it is not unusual. When the data is all in, it may be comparable to the most recent bad flu year, 2017. It will certainly be far less deadly than the Hong Kong flu of 1968, which was eclipsed at the time by news of two tragic assassinations and the Woodstock festival.
We are stronger, more creative, more resilient, when we are free of fear. In fact, shocking us into giving up hope is part of the game plan of those who are putting on this show.
Please remember the strength of human bonds and the power of creativity, which has blossomed during the worst periods of repression in history, like flowers popping up through cracks in the pavement.
There were loving families that held together during the starvation of Mao’s Great Leap
Forward. There were groups that shared mimeographed books during the Stasi era
in East Germany. There was music composed by Jews at Auschwitz.
We will resist this clampdown, but if it should succeed temporarily, there will still be
millions like us keeping love and truth and creativity alive until the day when the
top-heavy system of repression topples, as it must.
This vision of human resilience and liberation was born millennia in the past, and it will continue to inspire long after the coronavirus of 2020 has disappeared down the memory hole.
— Josh Mitteldorf, born this day in 1949