Tech Censorship

A Denial-Of-Service Attack On Our Minds

By Andrew Sullivan, The Weekly Dish

The plague, the web, and our predicament.

“The lesson for man is that personal happiness has very little to do with all this. It is possible to be unhappy and very adaptive,” – E.O. Wilson, RIP.

The last weeks of 2021 were a bit of a blur to me. A pesky sinus cold led to a series of asthma attacks, until the attacks simply ensconced themselves somewhere deep in my lungs and refused to budge. My oxygen levels dipped into dodgy territory; at-home Covid tests kept telling me I was negative, but the descent into a fortnight of viral fog just kept going. The sleep that came was deep and heavy and oblivious. When I woke, I wanted to go back to sleep.

And it very much felt as if I were not alone. In the city around me, Covid infection rates were reaching peaks that were far, far beyond any previous ones; restaurants and bars and gyms emptied; friends and acquaintances popped up on social media with varying reports of illness; and as I struggled round the block to walk my beagle, the streets were eerily empty and silent. And warm — so weirdly warm. Climate change adds anxiety to everything.

I wonder when we look back on all this — including the acrid anxiety of the first 1/6 anniversary — if we will properly remember just how surreal the last two years have been; and how hard it is right now to see clearly. Much of public and private life has been gutted of vibrancy and serendipity; children are trapped in their homes and screens and fast losing critical years of socializing and learning; older people have been even more isolated than they usually are; overdoses of incredibly potent painkillers are through the roof; murder rates have soared alongside inflation; cities have been looted and burned in the name of racial justice; and a president attempted to prevent a peaceful transfer of power by using mob violence.


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