Outside the Circle

Cindy Milstein

Mask Up … Still

All good anarchists wear masks—whether the government tells us to or not. And you should too—whether you’re an anarchist or not. 

Because the government, via its CDC (Center for Disease Confusion? Center for Disaster Capitalism? Center for Death by COVID?), overnight can do a pandemic disappearing act, with the trick being that, voila!, the pandemic is still here. 

The secret? Simply change the way you count COVID numbers, or rather, who counts in terms of living, dying, and long COVID. 

So just a few days ago, 95 percent of the counties in the so-called United States were considered high risk, then the CDC pulled a new color coding system out of its hat, and voila!, less than 30 percent of now live in high-risk counties. And voila!, the CDC declares that 70 percent of us can take our masks off (cleverly disappearing the other 30 percent). In this sleight of hand, the US government and its Center of Deadly Coconspirators hope that people—in their glee at the magic of the pandemic suddenly being “over”—don’t look behind the curtain and see the 2,000 people still dying daily across this continent, or all those at high risk in the now “low-risk” game of public unhealth deceit. 

Of course, this creates even more of an anarchist dilemma: sticking to an ethics of #CollectiveCare and #SocialSolidarity means we self-limit our own joyous spaces and gatherings. 

As the masks come off, however, it means our stance has less and less tangible impact on collective well-being—though as the like-minded Zapatistas have asserted, “When it seems like nothing remains, principles remain.” 

And for better and worse, as the masks come off, we anarchists and our accomplices will be there with our #MutualAid to help pick up the pieces, and it’ll be like the pre-pandemic days (within a pandemic): anarchists and Zapatistas will be clearly visible again because we’ll be the only ones masked up! Who knows, maybe our renewed visibility will at least do the trick of lowering the number of tankies and increasing the appeal of anarchism again? After all, we may have our problems, but we anarchists don’t trick people to death—like governments and authoritarians do. #MaskUp! 

(photo: window art on stolen Anishinaabeg lands in so-called Ann Arbor, MI)

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This entry was posted on February 28, 2022 by in Uncategorized.
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