It was December of 2019, and I was leaning back in a dentist chair awaiting a procedure. Alone in the room, as the dentist and technician were both elsewhere, I was being subjected to something more painful to me than the impending procedure. As a cruel distraction, this office, like many other dental offices, had two television sets, both streaming network television news; one on the ceiling above the chair, and one on the wall in front of the chair. As I watched the spectacle above me, the pre-trial impeachment hearings for Trump, I was amazed at how news reporters and even trial participants talked in soundbites and hashtags, all of it meaningless and intentionally confusing. Amazed, because I haven’t owned a television for about 15 years, and shocked and saddened by the vacuous programming that was being forced upon me, I rose, located the remote, and shut off the televisions.

When the dentist finally arrived in the room along with the assistant, one asked the other, “What’s wrong with the television?” I let them know that I had turned them off because I was extremely hygienic with what I allowed into my mind, privately acknowledging that I had answered the question satisfactorily. They both appeared a little flustered, and as I speculate, in order to fill the vacuum left by the noiseless set, which nature surely would have filled herself with sounds of breathing and/or the distant song of a bird, the dentist suggested piping in Christmas carols over the sound system. Weighing my personal mental hygiene against the knowing that sharp instruments were about to be placed in my mouth, and not wanting the hands wielding those tools to become unsteady, I acquiesced and accepted this lesser evil.

To this day, when someone asks where I get my news from, it reminds me of a similarly misguided question: “Where do you get your protein from?” I’ve come up with a pat answer to both questions because, when reasoned, both are begged to begin with. And not to leave the patient reader hanging, those answers are, “Messages written in the sand on the beach where I live” to the first answer and “The same place a gorilla or elephant gets theirs” to the second answer.

Fast forward to now, April 2020, and as this social experiment began about a month ago, my advice to my children and those in my circle of love was “to turn off social media and not to watch any mass media”, although the two are effectively the same. I also advised not to get in the way of the impending stampede of fear that would precipitate from the mob mentality that was ripening.

I’ve called this a social experiment from the beginning; the media calls it a pandemic. I’ve assumed from the beginning this was a test of societal compliance through manipulated data and information. Through fear and misinformation, we have allowed governments to enact laws that limit our freedom of speech, our freedom to assemble, as well as our freedom to move about. Fundamental rights removed by Rulers, fueled by, and consequently mostly accepted using spurious logic. Ambiguity, doled out via, and exacerbated by, our addiction to our computer and television screens. It is not uncommon today to see otherwise healthy people walking on nature paths wearing masks, in case anyone needs empirical proof of the brain-paralyzing propagandic fear this social experiment is running on.

Should the immunocompromised take special care with their hygiene? Of course, always. Should those who are ill take special care to limit the spread of disease? Sure. Should healthy people who have evolved over billions of years to develop herd immunity to emerging viruses be quarantined? The question should produce laughs from a sane society. It hasn’t. Social experiment complete.

Now, to the Pharmaceutical Industry, the Mass Media Industry, the Social Media Industry, and all others who have and will continue to profit greatly from this experiment, you’ve made your point; we are an extremely gullible and obedient flock of sheep. Now that our data is collected, we are easily manipulated.

Personally, I am pleased that the consumption of resources has been curtailed over the last month, and my hope is that this will be a new way of moving forward for many. The evidence that many are beginning to grow their own food, shop less, and drive cars less are all good and healthy outcomes, albeit deviously arrived at.

In the end, we are all destined for the same fate, death. We make choices every moment with how we feed our bodies, what we allow into our minds, and how we emotionally process environmental stimuli, and these choices delay or hasten that inevitable end. The inevitability of death I accept; my freedom I fight for.

If there is an entity out there that truly wants to extend the quality of life for the masses, please raise your voice now, so that our personal freedom to choose wellbeing or disease are left intact after all of this.