Are we finally done with covid here in Spain?
I’m not sure, but it looks hopeful.
A couple of days before Christmas, the government announced they were bringing back the pointless “obligatory mask outdoors policy”.
Here in Barcelona, though, about half the people just aren’t doing it.
(And why would you?)
Most of the bars and restaurants have similarly lost enthusiasm for checking “vaccine passports”. A lot of places – but definitely not all – were scanning them in the beginning, but at this point it’s been a few weeks since anyone’s asked me.
Here in Barcelona, the only measure that’s still in place is the closing of discos. I think. Hard to tell what’s legal and what’s not, with the laws changing every five minutes.
In any case, there seems to be no attempt to enforce most things. The “authorities” aren’t doing much. So maybe it’s just for aesthetics, on the part of the Socialist party, or the Catalan nationalists.
Pretend like you’re doing something, hope nothing big happens before the next election.
Who’s afraid of a little witch hunt?
A whole lot of people got the omicron variant, right around the New Year.
Symptoms include feeling bad for a few days. Maybe a headache. In other words, a lot of people got a cold around the holidays. Whoop-dee-do.
Apparently, this was somewhat taxing on the sick leave system at health centers. Otherwise, it seems to be about like a normal cold and flu season.
In other news, the Catalan parliament is planning to grant posthumous pardons to more than 800 women who were burned as witches between the 15th and 17th centuries.
I don’t know if Spanish witch hunts were anything like the Salem, Massachusetts situation back in the day, but I guess it probably was: let people denounce their neighbors over made-up “crimes” with no evidence, hang the “guilty” parties, and repeat until the world is 100% safe and everybody can relax.
Seems logical, right?
Actually, it’s pretty terrifying. Check out the Jocko Unravelling podcast for all you need to know about witch hunts: The Devil Moves in Crowds.
Because mass hysteria is real.
Solzhenitsyn reports that back during the Soviet era, Stalin would give speeches, and afterwards, people would clap. Thing is, you couldn’t be the first person to stop clapping. You could be sent to the gulag, for a lack of enthusiasm for the revolution. People would clap for ten to twenty minutes, or more, big standing ovations, in order to appear appropriately enthusiastic.
Eventually, communist party authorities started installing bells in the places where Stalin was going to speak: after 20 minutes or so, they’d ring the bell, indicating that it was safe to stop clapping.
This isn’t the Soviet Union quite yet.
But I used to think that obeying the law meant I had nothing to worry about.
Turns out if you let a bunch of hysterical morons spread mass psychosis about whole classes of people being suddenly “dangerous” – and if you let them change their minds every five minutes about what constitutes legal and acceptable behaviour, well then… you might be illegal yourself, before you know it. Whether or not you’ve actually “done anything wrong”.
Can you prove you’re not a witch? Actually, you can’t.
And can you prove that you’re not giving me covid, even as we speak? Well, no.
You got tested yesterday. But that leaves all last night and this morning for you to have gotten it, you filthy disease vector. I bet you don’t even mask in the shower… disgusting!
Anyway, before you go, listen to the podcast I linked to. Just trust me. The conclusion – in case you don’t have time – is that the witch hunt ended when people just stopped paying attention to the opinions of hysterical morons.
And maybe that’s what we need right now, here in Spain.
Daniel AKA Mr Chorizo.
P.S. Are people in your town still wearing masks? Or participating in other forms of hygiene theater? Let me know, right here in the comments… ¡Salud!