Tribal warfare

COVID-19 is such a divisive disease.

In Sydney, the west blames the east for spreading it. The east blames the west for flaming it.

Regional NSW blames Greater Sydney for sharing it.

Victoria blames NSW. Queensland blames NSW. Western Australia blames everyone and wants to isolate itself forever.

In my darker moments, I curse the fact an unvaccinated limo driver spread the current scourge. I wish the NSW government had ensured the transportation of flight crews was handled more safely. It’s crazy that expert advice was ignored.

But it’s done and can’t be undone. No amount of mooching over how wonderful things were in the glorious days of freedom between the Northern Beaches Christmas lockdown and the current one is going to help.

Yes, we could have done this and we should have done that. But the bottom line is that COVID is destined to be endemic around the world.

The Delta strain appears to be an unstoppable force – it will touch all our lives eventually and I’m a bit over the current sibling-style backseat battle vibe: “She started it …. no she did … no she did … Muuuuuuuum!”

Will Australia ever be united again or have we descended into permanent tribal warfare driven by political agendas?

Are our internal borders are closed forever? How long are we going to cling to COVID zero being the only acceptable outcome?

I’m terrified of the disease taking hold in Australia, but I don’t think it’s practical to refuse to move forward collectively as a nation.

I’m also disappointed that some people are using COVID-19 as an excuse for racism, classism and anti-Semitism.

They are also tearing their neighbours apart on social media over the smallest of things. Tempers are high and patience is low.

On my local Facebook page, a woman wrote: “I just gave my son (4yo) a haircut and it didn’t go well…Can anyone recommend a hairdresser who is good with kids ( after the lockdown finishes)? Pls help”

Another immediately spat some bile about how no one would see the child’s hair so why was she wasting everyone’s time by posting such drivel.

I decided to go out on a limb and risk being witch hunted by putting a “wow” on it. It’s since been deleted, so I can’t share the exact snarky words.

Meanwhile, a local gelato place is offering discounts to those who’ve been jabbed. You’d think that would be seen as a good thing, but no. One person ranted that it was “discriminatory and unethical”; another said “how about they just be happy with any business they can get right now without worrying about preaching”.

Riiiiiiiight.

And then there’s the vaccination debate. It’s breaking up marriages and friendships left, right and centre. I’ve started muting friends on social media who are becoming increasingly unhinged by their belief in conspiracy theories.

Life in lockdown is already a downer without seeing those messages in my news feed.

A new study has confirmed paranoia and a subsequent belief in conspiracy theories has been yet another sad side effect of COVID-19.

“Our psychology is massively impacted by the state of the world around us,” said study author Phil Corlett, an associate professor of psychology at Yale University.

The COVID-19 pandemic increased feelings of paranoia in the US, particularly in states where wearing masks was mandated. That heightened paranoia was acute in states where adherence to mask mandates was low, the researchers report in the journal Nature Behavior.

Increased feelings of paranoia were also associated with greater acceptance of conspiracy theories, the researchers found.

Corlett noted conspiracy theories have flourished in the past during difficult times. One notable theory contended that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were orchestrated by the US government.

“In times of trauma and great change, sadly, we have a tendency to blame another group,” he said.

Song of the day: Frankie Goes to Hollywood “Two Tribes”

4 thoughts on “Tribal warfare

Add yours

  1. Oh Alana, I hear you. It is actually quite scary. Australia sure needs kindness right now and it would be great if some of that could trickle down from the top while we do our best down here 💛 Big hug x

  2. As usual, amazing writing Alana! With everything going on in your life you not only manage to “get up and show up”, but you also manage to “put out” binge worthy reading on your daily blog.Kudos to you Alana! Keep on writing!!

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