NOT Normal!!!

I suspect you have seen this meme and maybe you have tried to decide how true it is today in our country.

During my prayer time Thursday morning, something occurred to me.  Ultimately, will more people be hurt by the near destruction of our economy or the results of the virus?

Now before you respond, I know people are dying from this virus and that IS heartbreaking.  But, it seems that domestic violence has increased, drug overdoses are up, clearly many people are having to find a way to feed their families without the income they had, many jobs are gone and many businesses, especially small business, probably will not survive at all and then come the bankruptcies. Because of the social isolation, economic stress, decreased access to community and religious support, it is anticipated that suicide rates will increase.

The Constitutionally of some of the governmental control of the citizens has rightly been discussed and challenged.

Talk about troubling: Is there any way to even understand the debt that this country has now taken on??

In the long term, it is ALWAYS easier to make some of these Draconian decisions the second time around when the next ’emergency’ comes along. #EYES WIDE OPEN.

I think you will want to read every word of this:

What if we’ve all been primed?

We’re all in this together. Stay home. Stay safe. We’ll get through this. It’s our new normal.

These words have been repeated so many times, you’d think they’re used for selling the latest superfood.

They’re not selling a superfood, but is it possible they’re trying to sell us something?

A Sequence of Events

Vanessa and I were playing our morning game of Sequence and drinking our coffee in early April (we’ve been playing card games before work since well before the COVID-19 chaos). Just before the news shifted to commercial, the newsperson stated, “Stay home. Stay safe.”

The commercials came on, with one after another using the phrases I mentioned above. That was the moment I first realized how often those phrases were coming at us. Of course, once you notice something like this, you can’t not see it and hear it anymore. Welcome to the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. Perhaps my bringing it up to you will make you aware now too.

Whether the coordinated use of these phrases was some sort of nationwide scheme created by a group behind “the curtain,” or it was a simple coincidence, we’ve been primed, and it’s had a visible impact on people’s thoughts, words, and actions.

Behavioral Priming

Though its effects are controversial, psychologists, researchers, and marketers have tested behavioral priming since the middle of the 20th century.

If you’re not familiar with priming, it is the ability to influence someone’s thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors without them knowing about it, through exposing them to a previous stimulus. For example, repeating the phrase, “Stay home. Stay safe.” could be a form of priming, as it has the potential to impact the way people think (or don’t think and just do), speak, or act.

As John Bargh explains in his article, published in the European Journal of Social Psychology,

The past 25 years have seen amazing empirical advances in our knowledge of the kinds of psychological concepts and processes that can be primed or put into motion unconsciously. Social norms to guide or channel behavior within the situation; goals to achieve high performance, to cooperate with an opponent, or to be fair minded and egalitarian; emotions that shape our reactions and responses to subsequent, unrelated stimuli; and of course, knowledge structures such as stereotypes and trait constructs for use in the comprehension and encoding of often ambiguous social behavior. And social behavior itself can be produced unconsciously in the same fashion.

Still more recently, though, priming effects of even greater complexity have been discovered, such as in the nonconscious activation of deep cultural ideologies and other interpersonal relations…

Bargh JA, 2006

Consider this statement: We’re all in this together.

If you hear this over and over, and unconsciously believe it, then it means those who don’t follow the conventional recommendations aren’t in this with you. They’re outsiders. They are easy to target and hate and slander. It feels okay to treat them as outsiders because people believe they have the support of their pack to do so.

Or take this one: Stay home. Stay safe.

This implies that by staying home, you’re doing something that helps protect people. To not stay home then, would mean putting others at risk. It sets the stage for people to easily buy into the idea that if you don’t stay home, you’re selfish.

There’s nothing to prove this statement is accurate. Recent data says the opposite: 66% of hospitalizations in New York are from people sheltering in place.

Yet, if you asked the average person what they should do to protect themselves and others, they’d say, “I should stay home to stay safe.”

Behavioral priming can lead us to believe something is a fact even without evidence to support it. It would explain why some people feel it’s okay to throw stones at those who believe in something other than staying home. They want to slander doctors who suggest we’re actually safer being at work. Maybe their strong emotion comes from the fact that they’ve been well-primed over the past couple of months.

And finally, what about this? A new normal.

What a perfect phrase to prime you to accept a life that’s different from the life we lived up until 2020. If you believe whatever we’re told to do next is the “new normal” after hearing that phrase a thousand times, you’ll be less likely to question whatever that suggested normal might be.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks Gov. Tony Evers’ ‘Safer at Home’ extension

POSTED 4:56 PM, MAY 13, 2020, BY AP WIRE SERVICE, UPDATED AT 09:31PM, MAY 13, 2020

MADISON  – The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ coronavirus stay-at-home order Wednesday, May 13, ruling that his administration overstepped its authority when it extended it for another month without consulting legislators.

The 4-3 ruling essentially reopens the state, lifting caps on the size of gatherings, allowing people to travel as they please and allowing shuttered businesses to reopen, including bars and restaurants. The Tavern League of Wisconsin swiftly posted the news on its website, telling members, “You can OPEN IMMEDIATELY!”

The decision let stand language that had closed schools, however, and local governments can still impose their own health restrictions. In Dane County, home to the capital of Madison, officials quickly imposed a mandate incorporating most of the statewide order. City health officials in Milwaukee said a stay-at-home order they enacted in late March remains in effect.

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‘Every One of Them’: California County Vows to Forcibly Quarantine People – Separating Families – Over COVID-19

UPDATE May 8, 3:43 p.m.: Following our story,  Ventura County Public Health Director Dr. Robert Levin attempted to mollify critics and concerned citizens by apologizing and promising not to forcibly quarantine people with COVID-19. This should come as a relief to Ventura County residents and other Californians. It’s another case of journalism getting results.

We, of course, stand by our story considering it was based entirely on the public statements of California officials.

Original report:

As I reported at PJMedia, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday he was raising up an “army” of contact tracers – as many as 20,000 people – to track down everyone with COVID-19 and quarantine them.

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Governor considers stopping COVID information sharing with police .

With personal protective equipment easier to get, Gov. Bill Lee says he might change a decision requiring the state Department of Health to share information about COVID-positive patients with law enforcement.

The governor pointed out Tuesday, May 12, the policy was intended to be temporary after he was petitioned this week to suspend the policy. The Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators and several conservative lawmakers, including state Rep. Scott Cepicky of Maury County, called for the governor to end the policy, which supplied local law enforcement agencies with the names and addresses of people who test positive for the virus.

“In the midst of imminent danger, as was part of the unknown of COVID four, five, six weeks ago, the unknown allowed for and required for decisions to be made that we knew would be temporary,” Lee said in response to questions during his Tuesday COVID-19 briefing.

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Nashville Businesses Who Don’t Comply with COVID-19 Guidelines Risk Losing Permits

May 12, 2020 Chris Butler

Any Nashville business owners who don’t obey the city’s new COVID-19 guidelines risk losing their permits to operate, Nashville Mayor John Cooper said at a press conference Monday.

Cooper, preaching safety first, said the community must respond to business owners who flagrantly violate the rules.

“Should a venue persistently not try to keep its customers or staff safe, should that happen after lots of education, then, of course, it is the right of the public health department to pull all of its permits allowing it to operate as a public business. People have a right to be safe and not just safe at home. They need to be safe when they go outside. People have worked very very very hard in this town to limit the spread of the virus, and we have to honor that work. We have to value it. We have to reinforce it,” Cooper said.

“We will encourage people not to patronize. Public notice can be involved with people understanding that they’re not going to be safe in a particular spot and that the ownership is not valuing customers, is not valuing the citizens in Nashville and all their efforts. We are in a situation together. We can, as neighbors, make it work and it’s inappropriate for one party to endanger the rest of us or more of us into the lazy, frankly, and not protecting its staff and its customers and from that laziness.”

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What might have happened if this pandemic had been treated ONLY as a health threat and NOT as a way to take out the President in this election year?? One does wonder how things might have been different.  Just ‘thinking out loud.’

One last thing—I will not use the term “new normal”!  I REFUSE to consider ANYTHING going on right now ‘normal’ in any way!!

As you see things you want to speak out about you can contact your lawmakers here: SENATE MEMBERS; HOUSE MEMBERS.

Many blessings

Bobbie Patray

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