What is a culture of compliance, and ever-shifting rules, doing to us?
Learned helplessness is well documented. It takes place when an individual believes he continuously faces a negative, uncontrollable situation and stops trying to improve his circumstances, even when he has the ability to do so. Discovering the loss of control elicits a passive reaction to a harmful situation. Psychologists call this a maladaptive response, characterized by avoidance of challenges and the collapse of problem-solving when obstacles arise. You give up trying to fight back.
Truth is useless to propagandists, actually a threat. Look at what turned out to be false (in addition to Russiagate): We never ran out of ventilators or PPE or nurses or ICU beds or morgues. Masks are not needed outdoors. We did in fact develop a vaccine, several for that matter, in less than a year. Almost everyone who died was elderly or had serious comorbidities (a distinct class) but we salivated over “new case numbers” as the primary metric anyway because they went up so much faster. When people questioned the real-world view against the media portrayal, they were told about “asymptomatic COVID” or shunned as hoaxers. Everyone makes mistakes. But just as with Russiagate, all the media mistakes swung one way.
It worked. Condo boards boarded up their gyms. Restaurants forced diners to eat outside in the rain. Entire industries, such as tourism and hospitality, disappeared overnight. New groups were shoved into poverty and unemployment. Children were denied education, criminals released from jails. People were told not to hug their loved ones or celebrate birthdays or attend church. We were told to fear our neighbors as potential carriers.
Every time dissenting information popped up—Florida opening its beaches for Spring Break, for example—the media rushed in to declare everyone was going to die. Texas was declared dead, South Dakota was declared dead, and Americans believed it all even when reports of survivors started drifting out of Disney World. From The American Conservative.