Social media, spectacle, and truth in the time of COVID

To the Editor:
Ludwig Feurerbach in the preface of his book, “The Essence of Christianity,” observed that, as a result of people becoming entranced by spectacle, humankind would eventually prefer “appearance to essence” and mere “representation” over reality.

And I ask: Isn’t this where we find ourselves today concerning COVID? Citizens willing to passively believe the misinformation about the vaccine spewed by anarchists that would rather see our nation suffer than to compromise one’s “freedom.”

Certain social media platforms, including TV and radio, emit baseless information to make it “appear” the vaccines do not work; that they’re harmful, or a plot by the government to keep control over citizens, etc.   Stubborn and ignorant views that certain folks believe, despite the reality of the situation.

But reality is such that unvaccinated children are at risk. That there will be more death to relatives and grandparents, acquaintances and friends. Because COVID doesn’t care about political stances or social views or your big decision to choose “freedom” over the simple sanctity of our lives.

Will we as a community, a village, a nation ultimately give over to the trance and sway of the worn-out spectacle around this issue? If you’re one who won’t get the vaccine for the above reasons, I can assure you of one more hard point. If you continue to believe fervently in such unbelief, then eventually, in the words of Feurerbach, “illusion will become sacred … and the truth, become profane.”

Let’s choose care, acceptance, and interdependence. Let’s choose simple selfless action and get well together. There’s no more time for spectacle. No more time for make-believe.

Robert Mason



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