by Peter W. Dunn, PhD
Marshal McCluhan, professor at University of Toronto, coined the expression, “The medium is the message.” It means that the medium imposes it biases on the content of a message. So if we study the structure of a means of communication, that structure will reveal what is really being communicated, which is often more important than the other, ostensible objective.
What I want to talk about today is that the very structure of social distancing and masking creates isolation, hatred and alienation. It is true that many people believe that social-distancing message is (1) safety from a deadly virus; (2) love and concern for my neighbor, my family, and my friends (“I wear a mask for you, you wear a mask for me”); (3) protection of the most vulnerable. Thus, safety, love and concern, and protection is what we think we are saying with COVID 19 measures.
But I cannot love you without being with you. The nature of love requires presence. I can say, “I love you”, but if I never want to see you, be close to you, touch you, hug you and kiss you, then I show by my actions that I actually hate you. Thus, there is a Cameroonian expression, “Love has hands and feet.” The Bible puts it this way, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
Therefore, I want to present six other key terms that will reveal the true message of COVID 19 measures—and these messages are locked into the very structure of the measures themselves—and yes, they are related to the isolation, hatred, and alienation that are created by the very structure of creating social distance. In other words, social distance cannot do what proximity and presence does. Proximity and presence are the structure of love and concern. But social distancing is the structure of some very bad trends:
The first real effect of COVID 19 measures is elitism. COVID 19 has been a pretext for implementing vast changes to our lives that suit the agendas of powerful people who seek to gain a fortune or to put themselves in positions of privilege. Small businesses are in lockdown because they are deemed “non-essential” but the big corporations like Costco, Walmart, and Amazon continue to thrive in this environment. COVID 19 creates an elite corporate structure by leaving these businesses open while closing down the little guy. In addition, new billionaires, especially in the vaccine and COVID 19 testing industry have been created. They take huge bonuses and thus make it look like the profit levels of their companies are at a reasonable level (and they don’t have to pay these bonuses out in dividends to retail investors in their company).
Politicians accept private transport to secret islands against ethics rules. Billionaires and politicians are invited to private islands for the enjoyment of young girls not the age of consent. The elite fly in private jets and vacation on private islands and private yachts. They don’t want to reduce their prestige or privilege, but they want to stop you from leaving your house, from flying to a vacation destination, taking a cruise, or visiting an island paradise. And they don’t care how many people they kill to implement this agenda.
Elitism also means that there are two standards of lockdown enforcement. Here in Ontario in 2020, there were threats of fines against Christians and Jews of up to $1 million and three years in jail for celebrating Easter or Passover (see memo below), but there was no fine for Doug Ford for having a 2020 Mother’s Day party at his own home in violation of the rules that he had imposed on the rest of Ontario. It is thus a hypocritical elitism. Protestors get fines for exercising their Charter rights, but Doug Ford gets off scot-free.
Another kind of elitism is the attitude expressed by some that the vaccinated will have more privileges, more donuts, more right to travel or attend Leafs’ hockey matches, and even more lottery tickets. I saw an odious woman at ca.nextdoor.com taunt her vaccine hesitant neighbor this way, “…soon I’ll be free and the unvaccinated will be stuck at home. Have fun. I’m already, finally, planning my first post Covid vacation. You won’t be able to leave the country because no one will let you in.”
Detention is an obvious message of the medium of social distancing. People have been locked into their homes via stay-at-home orders from Doug Ford. He has been our babysitter telling us whether we can leave our homes and for what reasons. Actually he is our prison warden. We have been detained in our homes without habeas corpus. Normally, we would have a right when detained to have a habeas corpus hearing, where the government would have to prove its case that we need to be detained, that somehow each of us a threat to the society and therefore we need to be imprisoned. But to my knowledge there have been zero habeas corpus hearings. And that is because it would be quite an easy matter to show in court that healthy people are not a threat to anyone’s health. The COVID 19 canard that asymptomatic people can be a threat is the biggest lie of the “pandemic”, what immunologist Prof. Beda Stadler of University of Bern called “the crowning of stupidity”.
Meanwhile people have suffered isolation during the detention. Children in our area are six times more likely to experience suicidal ideation, while our elderly deteriorate in their homes—their families have lost the right to visit them. It is utter cruelty both to the elderly and to their families. And that is the real message of social distancing—not love and concern.
Bullying has been a huge part of the message of COVID 19. Because this virus is so deadly that people are literally dropping dead on the streets before our very eyes NOT. Anyone who dissents from the COVID 19 measures has been bullied: By our premier who has called us yahoos; even our Queen has called those who won’t get vaccinated, “selfish”. On social media, all dissent has been stifled and even censored. Why do I stand on the street corner and shout this message? Because at Nextdoor.com I am currently serving 31 day suspension for COVID 19 heresy. On Nextdoor and on Facebook, my neighbors have gaslighted me, have called me stupid and uneducated (despite my PhD), and belittle me and anyone else that doesn’t tow the line.
The York Regional Police have also bullied me with illegal fines to keep me from exercising my Charter Freedoms. They stand there hiding behind their masks and tell me that they will fine me if I don’t go home. So yeah, I’ve backed down and gone home to avoid fines and allowed myself to be bullied. In Canada, police have broken federal law (176) to arrest pastors in their churches or in the middle of busy roads. They have fined people for doing ordinary things like exercise. They have been Doug Ford’s instruments of bullying in Ontario.
Vaccine apologists have bullied people into getting vaccines in violation of every principle of bioethics. I’ve heard of children telling their aged parents that they may not even see their grandchildren, if they, the parents don’t get vaccinated. There is no informed consent in Canada anymore. Here in the province of Ontario, Doug Ford is literally bribing us with our own freedom, because he has tied the end of lockdown with vaccination rates. But Doug Ford portrays himself as caring. In fact, he is the biggest human rights violator and bully in Ontario.
Masks zealots are also bullies. While the province of Ontario and each region have carved out mask exemption for people based on medical conditions and based on the human rights code, local stores and busybodies continue to bully people with exemptions, insisting against the very law that they must wear masks. I myself have been bullied in this regard. I walked into Hillcrest Mall, and busybody mask zealot angrily let me know that I was going to “get it” for not wearing a mask. They are motivated by fear. They think that I am going to infect them. Even my dentist and my rheumatologist won’t let me enter their offices without a mask. They don’t care about my health—they are motivated by fear and hatred. Indeed, some of my neighbors have wished COVID 19 upon those who don’t wear masks. I’ve seen it on social media. This is obviously not the message of love and concern but of fear and hatred.
Atheism is a part of the message of COVID 19 because churches and synagogues and temples have been ordered to stop meeting or have been reduced to congregations of a fraction of capacity. This is a basic message: While physical food is deemed essential, spiritual food is not. While alcohol is an essential service, religious services are not. While marijuana is an essential high, getting high on God’s presence with the rest of his people is not. In other words, COVID 19 measures are the wet dream of radical atheists who want to destroy religion in Canada.
Another real message of COVID 19 measures is communism. Putting millions of Canadians out of work via lockdown of non-essential jobs and giving them instead CERB to prevent them from starving to death, has been the message of communism. Instead of individuals providing for their own needs, we have now a de facto communist state whereby the government provides a living to every person that they have intentional made unemployed. But as we have seen from communist experiments in the last century, it will eventually lead to utter destitution of the population because to pay for this communism, the Bank of Canada is diluting our fiat currency via quantitative easing (i.e., money printing).
Fear (or the New Xenophobia)
Fear or what I call the New Xenophobia is the most important real message of COVID 19. And this fear is communicated via social distancing and masks most effectively. Fear expresses itself in racism: people of Asian race have been targets of hatred—Go back to China, they have been told. In China, they can’t tell themselves to go back to China, and so they have blamed COVID 19 on Africans, many of whom have fled to escape the scapegoating.
I too have been victim of bullying. While people bully me on social media, they call me stupid. I am an Asian person with a PhD from Cambridge, and some white people are calling me brainless, stupid and uneducated. What conclusion can I reach except that they hate me also because I am of Korean race? When hatred is the message, racism becomes an integral part of it.
But we Canadians consider ourselves enlightened and so we frown upon racism. But as we distance ourselves from everyone except possibly the members of our own household (and even after positive test we are supposed to shun them as well), we are demonstrating hatred for everyone. Social distancing is an extreme form of apartheid. It’s not putting some groups into shanty towns and keeping them segregated, but the segregation of everyone from everyone else. I hide behind my mask because I am afraid of you and you project your fear of me by your mask and by your stepping aside while I walk by you, as though I am some sort of untouchable, pariah, or leper. Some Christians even think that wearing masks and social distancing is an expression of love. But Jesus touched the leper. He didn’t shun the sick but laid his hands on them. So we are not following the example of Jesus when we shun the sick; nor did Jesus shun the healthy. We are giving into the COVID 19 narrative, that everyone is a threat to me, and I am a threat to everyone. This is why I call it the New Xenophobia. Instead of just hating foreigners or people of a certain race or colour, I now have the right to hate everyone, including my own neighbor. While the Torah instructs us, “Love they neighbor as thyself”, the COVID 19 narrative says “Thou shalt hate and shun all people including thy neighbors, because they could kill thee.”
So the medium is the message. The medium of social distancing, masks and lockdowns by its very structure sends a strong message of isolation, hatred, and alienation. And this is ultimately destructive of our society and culture and leads to bullying and poverty. It is not a wise message as our Torah and Bible texts would instruct us to love one another, to show kindness and not to be afraid of one another. But the message of COVID 19 lockdown is one of pure hatred and disgust with our neighbor. We must stop this nonsense before our children are destroyed by it.
[This speech was presented at the anti-lockdown protest in Vaughan at Bathurst and Rutherford, June 6, 2021]
This memo was sent out to Jews in my area and it implies that a $1,000,000 and 3 years in jail could result from having more than five people at their house at Passover. A similar message was sent to Christians before the Easter holiday: