This brings us to the dominant themes of the New Normal script – human passivity and powerlessness.
Indeed, both are continually promoted by the New Normal advocates. For example, the Guardian’s report on its favourite risk-averse society, New Zealand, is titled: ‘No “return to normal” expected in post-pandemic New Zealand – and locals say that’s fine.’ Overall, it says, ‘New Zealanders’ feelings toward Covid-19 were “passive”. Almost half – or 44 per cent – felt neutral emotions around Covid-19, and three-quarters felt the country was going in the right direction.’
The passivity of New Zealanders in the face of Covid and the ensuing restrictions highlights a dramatic loss of agency. If this report is accurate it suggests that New Zealanders are gripped by a powerful mood of fatalism. And they seem not to be alone. Across the West, many seem to be willing to accept that they can do no other. The virus is deciding their future for them.
This marks a dangerous backwards step for humanity.