If there’s a word that has truly lost all meaning it is the word “safe”.
(Also, am I the only one who automatically associates it with Dustin Hoffman and dentistry..?)
Companies and organisations are falling over each other to proclaim how “safe” they are. For now I’d like to set aside the perfectly sensible arguments against the pointless theatre of sanitising and mask wearing and just focus on the psychology of it.
While these theatrics continue, people will continue to feel that they are in an abnormal situation (regardless of the evidence of our senses). Quite possibly expressed in their own heads as “OH MY GOD WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE IF WE DON’T STAY SAFE!!!!!”
These people are free to do whatever they want. And in the proper sense of John Stuart Mills’ thesis, these people are free to do whatever they want until it infringes on my freedoms, and I can certainly tell you that all our freedoms have been trampled on disgracefully since March 2020, for entirely spurious reasons.
What is needed now is a reset back to true normality. The “OH MY GOD WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE” crowd are free to do whatever they want after that. And hopefully at some point shortly after, they might eventually have to admit that the sky has not fallen. Or maybe not, and they’ll spend the rest of their lives jumping at their own shadow as they cower behind the sofa. Their choice to make.
The arguments about “protecting others” do not stack up at all (the myth of asymptomatic infection etc). Pointing a righteous finger of granny-murdering guilt at those of us who have had the temerity to question the accepted narrative and universally writing us off as ignorant, selfish, right-wing oafs is wrong.
I understand why all those organisations and companies are perpetuating the fear through their pantomime theatrics: they want to “reassure” people and get them through their doors. I would argue that they are needlessly prolonging this madness.