A CASE OF LOST IDENTITY
The nation rushes into one sweeping social and financial order after another, and the ramifications for unexpected consequences and even violent confrontation must be stunning for any and every sociologist or anthropologist to consider. The culture of America, and the cultures of the world, have developed over thousands and thousands of years to arrive at a place where just about everyone on the planet today has a pretty good idea of what to expect almost under any social circumstance, from a traffic ticket to a greeting, to common courtesy and so very much more. Economically, the financial contract wherein people pay taxes, bills, save money and spend it on nonsense or more, the newly instituted changes could have deep and permanent meaning to everyone alive today.
Humans recognize each other by using certain social clues, of which seventy percent of those clues are facial recognition and analysis. Humans recognize one another almost instantly, and it’s vital that humans do so. Fight or flight is a phrase that speaks to such analysis and helps keep humans safe from one another. Dating. Friendship. Communicating. If the face mask makes its entry as a tool that is first temporarily (and then extended out over time) required of everyone going outside homes, businesses, churches and more than most identifying characteristics developed over the years may well fall into disuse. What good is a photo I.D. if no officer of any kind wants a person to take off a mask in his or her presence? What if we look at one another but see nothing but expressionless zombie eyes above masks, moving back and forth without a known or an even guessed at purpose? Along with this coming situation of lost identity enters the giant overwhelming economic picture.
Humans do not shop for the heck of it. They shop because money is the central measuring tool to trade goods and services of other goods and services. Surgeons are not usually brilliant plumbers. Women do not make most of the purses they purchase. Most men have nothing to do with the cars they buy. One deep vastly painful abyss is opening up across the American culture. It’s one of money, one of identity, and one of essential nature. Note that there are new positions and human beings that are now openly discussed as “essential.” What of the everyone else? For how long can this social divide continue without the permanence of a devastating change forcing America to become something and somewhere else.
Like the zombies in movies. Forever on the move, having lost all-purpose, only mournful eyes peering out in wonder. Wonder about what happened. Wonder because they stopped for too long. Lake Geneva has to move. Wisconsin has to move. The United States has to move. The world has to move. To do anything else is become something unthinkable that no virus is going to equal in number or mortality.