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FTR #1161 Bio-Psy-Op Apocalypse Now, Part 21: What the Hell Does Dave Emory Mean by Bio-Psy-Op Apocalypse?

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FTR #1161 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Intro­duc­tion: Begin­ning with dis­cus­sion of ris­ing dis­trust of Chi­na, the pro­gram notes the role in that ris­ing dis­trust of the coro­n­avirus. First detect­ed in Chi­na, the avail­able evi­dence chron­i­cled in numer­ous pro­grams points to the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic as a bio­log­i­cal war­fare false flag oper­a­tion and provocation–part of the Full Court Press against Chi­na. 

The bulk of the pro­gram con­sists of Mr. Emory read­ing arti­cles from The New York Times pub­lished over the course of the lock­down in the U.S. High­light­ing the stress expe­ri­enced by var­i­ous pop­u­la­tion groups and the behav­ioral and phys­i­o­log­i­cal symp­toms stem­ming from that stress, the articles–covering a peri­od from the spring through fall of 2020–document the man­i­fes­ta­tions of the “bio-psy-op apoc­a­lypse.”

The arti­cles chron­i­cle: Stress on mar­i­tal rela­tion­ships; duress on sex­u­al behav­ior, with New York and Los Ange­les (among oth­er cities) advis­ing peo­ple to mas­tur­bate, rather than engage in sex­u­al encoun­ters with oth­ers; psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­lo­ca­tion of chil­dren, who can’t play with oth­ers; psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­lo­ca­tion of ath­let­ic youths, who can’t com­pete in sports; work­ers who can’t inter­act at the office with their peers; stress on friend­ships; peo­ple los­ing their hair in clumps, because of stress; peo­ple grind­ing their teeth and crack­ing them; the effect of peo­ple wear­ing masks and lim­it­ing the abil­i­ty of oth­ers to respond to facial stimuli–an innate and impor­tant ele­ment of human psy­cho-social behav­ior; cities expe­ri­enc­ing soar­ing mur­der rates because of stress; the effect of lock­downs on street demon­stra­tions pur­suant to the deaths of George Floyd and Bre­an­na Tay­lor; ris­ing rates of domes­tic vio­lence; ris­ing con­sump­tion of alco­hol; ris­ing inci­dence of peo­ple feel­ing sui­ci­dal; ris­ing drug abuse; peo­ple fore­go­ing wear­ing masks and prac­tic­ing social dis­tanc­ing because of what psy­chol­o­gists call “Covid Fatigue;” peo­ple flock­ing to con­trar­i­ans oppos­ing var­i­ous pub­lic safe­ty mea­sures; peo­ple express­ing sup­port for polit­i­cal lead­ers because of feel­ings of inse­cu­ri­ty. 

Mr. Emory also opines that the pan­dem­ic may well have inter­dict­ed the pro­ject­ed “Blue Wave,” because peo­ple who might oth­er­wise have endorsed a more altru­is­tic polit­i­cal agen­da instead were feel­ing fright­ened and–as a result–more needy and self­ish.

Although Belarus­sians had put up with Alexan­der Lukashenko pri­or to the coro­n­avirus: “Trapped inside their coun­try by the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic, many Belaru­sians began to chafe at the inhu­man­i­ty in Mr. Lukashenko’s rule and lan­guage that had once been easy to ignore. . . .” 

We con­clude with a look at the past, which may reflect on the future.

An aca­d­e­m­ic paper pro­duced by a Fed­er­al Reserve econ­o­mist posits the socio-polit­i­cal effects of the 1918 flu pan­dem­ic as a fac­tor con­tribut­ing to the rise of Nazism in Ger­many.

Cit­ed by numer­ous pub­li­ca­tions, includ­ing The New York Times, Bloomberg News and Politi­co, the study under­scores some of our asser­tions con­cern­ing the fas­cist and extreme right-wing ram­i­fi­ca­tions of the pan­dem­ic. 

This time­ly and very impor­tant study will be ref­er­enced in future dis­cus­sion of the psy­cho­log­i­cal, soci­o­log­i­cal and socio-eco­nom­ic aspects of the Covid-19 out­break.

Kris­t­ian Blick­le’s analy­sis under­scores points we have made about the demo­graph­ic, eco­nom­ic and psy­cho­log­i­cal dev­as­ta­tion the pan­dem­ic is hav­ing on the body politic.

A new aca­d­e­m­ic paper pro­duced by the Fed­er­al Reserve Bank of New York con­cludes that deaths caused by the 1918 influen­za pan­dem­ic “pro­found­ly shaped Ger­man soci­ety” in sub­se­quent years and con­tributed to the strength­en­ing of the Nazi Par­ty.

“The paper, pub­lished this month and authored by New York Fed econ­o­mist Kris­t­ian Blick­le, exam­ined munic­i­pal spend­ing lev­els and vot­er extrem­ism in Ger­many from the time of the ini­tial influen­za out­break until 1933, and shows that ‘areas which expe­ri­enced a greater rel­a­tive pop­u­la­tion decline’ due to the pan­dem­ic spent ‘less, per capi­ta, on their inhab­i­tants in the fol­low­ing decade.’ . . .

“. . . . The paper’s find­ings are like­ly due to ‘changes in soci­etal pref­er­ences’ fol­low­ing the 1918 out­break, Blick­le argues — sug­gest­ing the influen­za pandemic’s dis­pro­por­tion­ate toll on young peo­ple may have ‘spurred resent­ment of for­eign­ers among the sur­vivors’ and dri­ven vot­ers to par­ties ‘whose plat­form matched such sen­ti­ments.’ The con­clu­sions come amid fears that the cur­rent coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic will shake up inter­na­tion­al pol­i­tics and spur extrem­ism around the world, as offi­cials and pub­lic health experts look to pre­vi­ous out­breaks for guid­ance on how to nav­i­gate the months and years to come. . . .”

1.  Begin­ning with dis­cus­sion of ris­ing dis­trust of Chi­na, the pro­gram notes the role in that ris­ing dis­trust of the coro­n­avirus. First detect­ed in Chi­na, the avail­able evi­dence chron­i­cled in numer­ous pro­grams points to the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic as a bio­log­i­cal war­fare false flag oper­a­tion and provocation–part of the Full Court Press against Chi­na.

“Dis­trust of Chi­na Jumps to New Highs in Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nations” by Chris Buck­ley; The New York Times; 10/06/2020.

Xi Jin­ping cel­e­brates China’s bat­tle against the coro­n­avirus as a suc­cess. But in the Unit­ed States and oth­er wealthy democ­ra­cies, the pan­dem­ic has dri­ven neg­a­tive views of Chi­na to new heights, a sur­vey pub­lished on Tues­day showed.

The ill­ness, deaths and dis­rup­tion caused by the coro­n­avirus in those coun­tries have inten­si­fied already strong pub­lic dis­trust of Chi­na, where the virus emerged late last year, the results from the Pew Research Center’s sur­vey indi­cat­ed.

“Unfa­vor­able opin­ion has soared over the past year,” said the sur­vey on views of Chi­na tak­en this year in 14 coun­tries includ­ing Japan, South Korea, Cana­da and Ger­many, Italy and oth­er Euro­pean nations. “Today, a major­i­ty in each of the sur­veyed coun­tries has an unfa­vor­able opin­ion of Chi­na.”

The results illus­trate how much neg­a­tive opin­ions of Chi­na have tak­en hold around the world in recent years. To China’s lead­ers, such wary atti­tudes could present obsta­cles for the Com­mu­nist Party’s ambi­tions of expand­ing Beijing’s influ­ence. The tide of pub­lic dis­trust could make coop­er­a­tion hard­er even on issues where nation­al inter­ests align.

“Pub­lic opin­ion is a pow­er­ful con­straint,” said Natasha Kas­sam, a for­mer Aus­tralian diplo­mat who is a research fel­low at the Lowy Insti­tute in Syd­ney, where she stud­ies pub­lic opin­ion and for­eign pol­i­cy. “We can see in both Aus­tralia and the Unit­ed States, for exam­ple, sour­ing pub­lic opin­ion has served as a pow­er­ful dri­ver for gov­ern­ments to be par­tic­u­lar­ly vocal” about Chi­na. . . .

2. The bulk of the pro­gram con­sists of Mr. Emory read­ing arti­cles from The New York Times pub­lished over the course of the lock­down in the U.S. High­light­ing the stress expe­ri­enced by var­i­ous pop­u­la­tion groups and the behav­ioral and phys­i­o­log­i­cal symp­toms stem­ming from that stress, the articles–covering a peri­od from the spring through fall of 2020–document the man­i­fes­ta­tions of the “bio-psy-op apoc­a­lypse.”

The arti­cles chron­i­cle: Stress on mar­i­tal rela­tion­ships; duress on sex­u­al behav­ior, with New York and Los Ange­les (among oth­er cities) advis­ing peo­ple to mas­tur­bate, rather than engage in sex­u­al encoun­ters with oth­ers; psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­lo­ca­tion of chil­dren, who can’t play with oth­ers; psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­lo­ca­tion of ath­let­ic youths, who can’t com­pete in sports; work­ers who can’t inter­act at the office with their peers; stress on friend­ships; peo­ple los­ing their hair in clumps, because of stress; peo­ple grind­ing their teeth and crack­ing them; cities expe­ri­enc­ing soar­ing mur­der rates because of stress; the effect of lock­downs on street demon­stra­tions pur­suant to the deaths of George Floyd and Bre­an­na Tay­lor; ris­ing rates of domes­tic vio­lence; ris­ing con­sump­tion of alco­hol; ris­ing inci­dence of peo­ple feel­ing sui­ci­dal; ris­ing drug abuse; peo­ple fore­go­ing wear­ing masks and prac­tic­ing social dis­tanc­ing because of what psy­chol­o­gists call “Covid Fatigue;” peo­ple flock­ing to con­trar­i­ans oppos­ing var­i­ous pub­lic safe­ty mea­sures; peo­ple express­ing sup­port for polit­i­cal lead­ers because of feel­ings of inse­cu­ri­ty. 

3. Although Belarus­sians had put up with Alexan­der Lukashenko pri­or to the coro­n­avirus: “Trapped inside their coun­try by the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic, many Belaru­sians began to chafe at the inhu­man­i­ty in Mr. Lukashenko’s rule and lan­guage that had once been easy to ignore. . . .” 

“ ‘Some­thing Broke Inside Apo­lit­i­cal Belorus­sians’ Why an Apo­lit­i­cal Peo­ple Rose Up” by Anton Troianovsky; The New York Times; 8/29/2020.

. . . . But to a large mid­dle class and a world­ly elite in the for­mer Sovi­et repub­lic of 9.5 mil­lion peo­ple, the sys­tem was one they could live with: For those who stayed out of pol­i­tics, the good roads, clean streets, prim lawns, tax breaks for tech com­pa­nies and ease of trav­el to the West could make for a good liv­ing by East­ern Europe stan­dards.

It took just months this year for that bal­ance to col­lapse. Trapped inside their coun­try by the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic, many Belaru­sians began to chafe at the inhu­man­i­ty in Mr. Lukashenko’s rule and lan­guage that had once been easy to ignore. . . .

The Reich­stag Fire

4. In our ongo­ing series about the Covid-19 out­break and its mul­ti-dimen­sion­al man­i­fes­ta­tions, we have termed it a “bio-psy-op.” An aca­d­e­m­ic paper pro­duced by a Fed­er­al Reserve econ­o­mist posits the socio-polit­i­cal effects of the 1918 flu pan­dem­ic as a fac­tor con­tribut­ing to the rise of Nazism in Ger­many.

Cit­ed by numer­ous pub­li­ca­tions, includ­ing The New York Times, Bloomberg News and Politi­co, the study under­scores some of our asser­tions con­cern­ing the fas­cist and extreme right-wing ram­i­fi­ca­tions of the pan­dem­ic. 

This time­ly and very impor­tant study will be ref­er­enced in future dis­cus­sion of the psy­cho­log­i­cal, soci­o­log­i­cal and socio-eco­nom­ic aspects of the Covid-19 out­break.

Kris­t­ian Blick­le’s analy­sis under­scores points we have made about the demo­graph­ic, eco­nom­ic and psy­cho­log­i­cal dev­as­ta­tion the pan­dem­ic is hav­ing on the body politic.

A new aca­d­e­m­ic paper pro­duced by the Fed­er­al Reserve Bank of New York con­cludes that deaths caused by the 1918 influen­za pan­dem­ic “pro­found­ly shaped Ger­man soci­ety” in sub­se­quent years and con­tributed to the strength­en­ing of the Nazi Par­ty.

“The paper, pub­lished this month and authored by New York Fed econ­o­mist Kris­t­ian Blick­le, exam­ined munic­i­pal spend­ing lev­els and vot­er extrem­ism in Ger­many from the time of the ini­tial influen­za out­break until 1933, and shows that ‘areas which expe­ri­enced a greater rel­a­tive pop­u­la­tion decline’ due to the pan­dem­ic spent ‘less, per capi­ta, on their inhab­i­tants in the fol­low­ing decade.’ . . .

“. . . . The paper’s find­ings are like­ly due to ‘changes in soci­etal pref­er­ences’ fol­low­ing the 1918 out­break, Blick­le argues — sug­gest­ing the influen­za pandemic’s dis­pro­por­tion­ate toll on young peo­ple may have ‘spurred resent­ment of for­eign­ers among the sur­vivors’ and dri­ven vot­ers to par­ties ‘whose plat­form matched such sen­ti­ments.’ The con­clu­sions come amid fears that the cur­rent coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic will shake up inter­na­tion­al pol­i­tics and spur extrem­ism around the world, as offi­cials and pub­lic health experts look to pre­vi­ous out­breaks for guid­ance on how to nav­i­gate the months and years to come. . . .”

“Fed Study Ties 1918 Flu Pan­dem­ic to Nazi Par­ty Gains” by Quint Forgey; Politi­co; 5/05/2020.

A new aca­d­e­m­ic paper pro­duced by the Fed­er­al Reserve Bank of New York con­cludes that deaths caused by the 1918 influen­za pan­dem­ic “pro­found­ly shaped Ger­man soci­ety” in sub­se­quent years and con­tributed to the strength­en­ing of the Nazi Par­ty.

The paper, pub­lished this month and authored by New York Fed econ­o­mist Kris­t­ian Blick­le, exam­ined munic­i­pal spend­ing lev­els and vot­er extrem­ism in Ger­many from the time of the ini­tial influen­za out­break until 1933, and shows that “areas which expe­ri­enced a greater rel­a­tive pop­u­la­tion decline” due to the pan­dem­ic spent “less, per capi­ta, on their inhab­i­tants in the fol­low­ing decade.”

The paper also shows that “influen­za deaths of 1918 are cor­re­lat­ed with an increase in the share of votes won by right-wing extrem­ists, such as the Nation­al Social­ist Work­ers Par­ty” in Germany’s 1932 and 1933 elec­tions.

Togeth­er, the low­er spend­ing and flu-relat­ed deaths “had a strong effect on the share of votes won by extrem­ists, specif­i­cal­ly the extrem­ist nation­al social­ist par­ty” — the Nazis — the paper posits. “This result is stronger for right-wing extrem­ists, and large­ly non-exis­tent for left-wing extrem­ists.”

Despite becom­ing pop­u­lar­ly known as the Span­ish flu, the influen­za pan­dem­ic like­ly orig­i­nat­ed in the Unit­ed States at a Kansas mil­i­tary base, even­tu­al­ly infect­ing about one-third of the glob­al pop­u­la­tion and killing at least 50 mil­lion peo­ple world­wide, accord­ing to the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion.

Ger­many expe­ri­enced rough­ly 287,000 influen­za deaths between 1918 and 1920, Blick­le writes.

The paper’s find­ings are like­ly due to “changes in soci­etal pref­er­ences” fol­low­ing the 1918 out­break, Blick­le argues — sug­gest­ing the influen­za pandemic’s dis­pro­por­tion­ate toll on young peo­ple may have “spurred resent­ment of for­eign­ers among the sur­vivors” and dri­ven vot­ers to par­ties “whose plat­form matched such sen­ti­ments.”

The con­clu­sions come amid fears that the cur­rent coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic will shake up inter­na­tion­al pol­i­tics and spur extrem­ism around the world, as offi­cials and pub­lic health experts look to pre­vi­ous out­breaks for guid­ance on how to nav­i­gate the months and years to come.

 

Discussion

2 comments for “FTR #1161 Bio-Psy-Op Apocalypse Now, Part 21: What the Hell Does Dave Emory Mean by Bio-Psy-Op Apocalypse?”

  1. The CEOs of Mod­er­na and Pfiz­er both came out yes­ter­day with the announce­ment that a third boost­er shot of the com­pa­nies’ mRNA coro­n­avirus vac­cines may be need­ed for peo­ple who already had two shots as soon as Sep­tem­ber. It was the kind of report that’s a grim reminder that we still don’t yet have a sense of how aggres­sive the ‘new nor­mal’ COVID vac­ci­na­tion regime will be going for­ward. Are peo­ple going to be expect­ed to take two, three, or more coro­n­avirus vac­cine shots for the rest of their lives? Is this a per­ma­nent fea­ture of the mod­ern world?

    Along those lines, here’s a recent arti­cle in STAT News look­ing at the how the COVID pan­dem­ic might end. Or not end. It’s a good news/bad news kind of sto­ry. The bad news is that a grow­ing num­ber of experts are con­clud­ing that there’s no way of avoid­ing a SARS-CoV­‑2 endem­ic. It’s just going to be here for­ev­er. The will nev­er be any herd immu­ni­ty that extin­guish­es the virus from the pop­u­lace.

    The good news is that experts are also increas­ing­ly sus­pect­ing that we’re going to see a sim­i­lar sce­nario play out with SARS-CoV­‑2 that is sus­pect­ed to have tak­en place with pre­vi­ous nov­el coro­n­avirus out­breaks: the virus and human immune sys­tems will evolve to an immuno­log­i­cal detente, leav­ing ren­der­ing SARS-CoV­‑2 into lit­tle more than a com­mon cold. Recall how, for exam­ple, the OC43 com­mon cold coro­n­avirus is sus­pect­ed of jump from cows to humans in the late 19th cen­tu­ry, caus­ing waves of deaths at first before tak­ing its place as one of human­i­ty’s con­tem­po­rary com­mon colds. And evi­dence sug­gests expo­sure to these com­mon cold coro­n­avirus­es can con­fer at least par­tial immu­ni­ty against SARS-CoV­‑2. It’s not quite herd immu­ni­ty, but pret­ty good.

    That said, the addi­tion­al bad news is that we don’t actu­al­ly know for sure if that’s what actu­al­ly hap­pened with past coro­n­avirus­es and there’s no guar­an­tee SARS-CoV­‑2 will behave the same way, leav­ing a high degree of ambi­gu­i­ty about what’s the appro­pri­ate course of action. Some experts are pre­dict­ing that, if the virus fol­lows the pat­tern of nov­el flu virus­es, we could see SARS-CoV­‑2 achieve com­mon cold-like sta­tus in a mat­ter of a cou­ple years. It’s the elder­ly, in par­tic­u­lar, who could ben­e­fit the most from their pri­or expo­sure to the virus or vac­cine. Oth­ers are far more cau­tious and con­tin­ue to rec­om­mend not just con­tin­u­ing to focus vac­ci­na­tions but also main­tain all the oth­er tools at our dis­pos­al for min­i­miz­ing the spread of the virus (i.e. mask­ing, and social dis­tanc­ing poli­cies).

    In oth­er words, one of the big unan­swered ques­tions when this pan­dem­ic first hit was whether or not this is the kind of virus that peo­ple just need to get exposed to — and sur­vive — just once before their immune sys­tems have enough expo­sure to deal with repeat­ed expo­sures. If that’s the case, we could be on the path towards SARS-CoV­‑2 becom­ing a common-cold...but only after every­one alive has either been exposed to the virus or the vac­cine. But if the first expo­sure to SARS-CoV­‑2 isn’t enough to pre­pare immune sys­tems, in par­tic­u­lar elder­ly immune sys­tems, to repeat­ed expo­sures then we might not be look­ing at a SARS-CoV-2-to-com­mon-cold sce­nario. And that all remains an open ques­tion.

    So it sounds like we could be head­ing into a peri­od where the virus could be effec­tive­ly nor­mal­iz­ing itself, but we won’t real­ly know right away, leav­ing a high degree of uncer­tain­ty about the appro­pri­ate poli­cies and lev­els of cau­tion to main­tain going for­ward. It’s pos­si­ble the virus could behave very dif­fer­ent­ly from past coro­n­avirus­es and turn into some­thing nas­ti­er. But it’s also pos­si­ble we could end up main­tain effec­tive lock­down poli­cies for a virus that is in the process of quelling itself. And that’s the kind of ambi­gu­i­ty that’s going to make for some tricky pol­i­cy-mak­ing going for­ward, whether we’re look­ing at a good new or bad news sce­nario:

    STAT News

    How the Covid pan­dem­ic ends: Sci­en­tists look to the past to see the future

    By Helen Bran­swell
    May 19, 2021

    We’re approach­ing the year-and-a-half mark of the globe’s col­lec­tive expe­ri­ence with the SARS-CoV­‑2 virus and the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic it has trig­gered. At this point, it’s fair to assume peo­ple the world over are ask­ing them­selves the same two ques­tions: How will this end? And when?

    There may have been a fleet­ing chance humans could have halt­ed spread of SARS‑2 and dri­ven it back into nature, as hap­pened with its cousin, SARS‑1. But that door was firm­ly shut long ago. It also seems that anoth­er option — vac­ci­nat­ing our way out of the pan­dem­ic — is an expen­sive toll high­way that few coun­tries will be able to access in the near term.

    That prob­a­bly sounds bleak, but don’t despair. The truth of the mat­ter is that pan­demics always end. And to date vac­cines have nev­er played a sig­nif­i­cant role in end­ing them. (That doesn’t mean vac­cines aren’t play­ing a crit­i­cal role this time. Far few­er peo­ple will die from Covid-19 because of them.)

    But there were no flu vac­cines in 1918, when the world didn’t yet know that the great influen­za was caused by a virus, H1N1. In 1957, when the H2N2 pan­dem­ic swept the world, flu vac­cine was main­ly a tool of the mil­i­tary. In the pan­dem­ic of 1968, which brought us H3N2, the Unit­ed States pro­duced near­ly 22 mil­lion dos­es of vac­cine, but by the time it was ready the worst of the pan­dem­ic had passed, and demand sub­sided. That “too lit­tle and too late” phe­nom­e­non played out again in 2009, when the world final­ly had the capac­i­ty to make hun­dreds of mil­lions of dos­es of H1N1 vac­cine; some coun­tries can­celed large por­tions of their orders because they end­ed up not need­ing them.

    How did those pan­demics end? The virus­es didn’t go away; a descen­dent of the Span­ish flu virus, the mod­ern H1N1, cir­cu­lates to this day, as does H3N2. Humans didn’t devel­op herd immu­ni­ty to them, either. That’s a phe­nom­e­non by which a pathogen stops spread­ing because so many peo­ple are pro­tect­ed against it, because they’ve already been infect­ed or vac­ci­nat­ed.

    Instead, the virus­es that caused these pan­demics under­went a tran­si­tion. Or more to the point, we did. Our immune sys­tems learned enough about them to fend off the dead­liest man­i­fes­ta­tions of infec­tion, at least most of the time. Humans and virus­es reached an immuno­log­i­cal détente. Instead of caus­ing tsunamis of dev­as­tat­ing ill­ness, over time the virus­es came to trig­ger small surges of milder ill­ness. Pan­dem­ic flu became sea­son­al flu.

    The virus­es became endem­ic.

    If the pat­tern holds, and it is expect­ed to, SARS‑2 will at some point join a hand­ful of human coro­n­avirus­es that cause colds, main­ly in the win­ter, when con­di­tions favor their trans­mis­sion.

    When will that hap­pen? That’s the big, unan­swer­able ques­tion. “I thought that we’d be out of this acute phase already,” admit­ted Maria Van Kerk­hove, the World Health Organization’s lead­ing coro­n­avirus expert. Van Kerkhove’s think­ing, though, is influ­enced by her adamant view that the world could stop the pan­dem­ic if coun­tries would only take the steps coun­tries like New Zealand, Viet­nam, and oth­ers have done, and bring trans­mis­sion under con­trol.

    “There’s noth­ing — there’s noth­ing — includ­ing the virus vari­ants, that sug­gests we couldn’t be out of the acute phase already,” she told STAT in a recent inter­view. “Because this is con­trol­lable.”

    Expe­ri­ence from the last four pan­demics — the ones men­tioned above — would sug­gest that virus­es morph from pan­dem­ic pathogens to endem­ic sources of dis­ease with­in a year and a half or two of emerg­ing. But all of those pan­demics were influen­za pan­demics. A dif­fer­ent pathogen could mean we’ll see a dif­fer­ent pat­tern.

    There may well have been pre­vi­ous coro­n­avirus pan­demics; there’s a school of thought that a pan­dem­ic in 1889, known in med­ical his­to­ries as “the Russ­ian flu,” might actu­al­ly have been caused by one of the human coro­n­avirus­es, OC43. All four of the human coro­n­avirus­es are assumed to have jumped to peo­ple from an ani­mal species; OC43 is believed to have come from cat­tle, poten­tial­ly in the late 1800s. But this is in the realm of the­o­ry, not con­clu­sive fact, hav­ing occurred before the era of mod­ern virol­o­gy.

    There’s no his­tor­i­cal record of how much ill­ness and how much severe ill­ness those oth­er coro­n­avirus­es caused when they start­ed to infect humans or how long it took for them to set­tle into an endem­ic state. As such, the flu pan­demics are the clos­est thing we have to road maps. “In recent his­to­ry, every­thing has been influen­za and the time­line has been with­in a cou­ple of years,” said Jen­nie Lavine, a biol­o­gy research fel­low at Emory Uni­ver­si­ty who was the first author of a mod­el­ing paper pub­lished in Sci­ence that envi­sioned how the pan­dem­ic might end.

    Lavine and her co-authors pre­dict­ed that as old­er adults — most sus­cep­ti­ble to hos­pi­tal­iza­tion and death with Covid — acquire expe­ri­ence cop­ing with the virus, it will no longer induce severe dis­ease, at least not in most of those peo­ple. (Noth­ing is absolute; flu, for instance, occa­sion­al­ly kills pre­vi­ous­ly healthy peo­ple.)

    That immune sys­tem train­ing will like­ly turn future Covid-19 infec­tions into the equiv­a­lent of a cold, the authors con­clud­ed. Over time, as a degree of pro­tec­tion becomes more stan­dard in adults, the peo­ple who will most com­mon­ly catch Covid will be young kids, in whom infec­tions even now are rarely seri­ous. That’s the pat­tern with human coro­n­avirus infec­tions.

    “I think the sce­nario … remains the most like­ly one,” said Marc Lip­sitch, an infec­tious dis­eases epi­demi­ol­o­gist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Pub­lic Health. “That essen­tial­ly, almost every­body has some form of immu­ni­ty from nat­ur­al infec­tion and/or vac­ci­na­tion and/or one fol­lowed by the oth­er, and that that will per­sist long enough so that they don’t get real­ly sick when they get it again. And then we tran­si­tion to endemic­i­ty.”

    Lavine is unfazed by the notion that SARS‑2 could still be with us when the pan­dem­ic is over.

    “It’s not a death sen­tence in any way, shape, or form to say we’re not going to have herd immu­ni­ty,” she said. “It just means it’s going to become endem­ic and then the ques­tion is, is it going to be mild and endem­ic, or is it going to be severe and endem­ic? And I would say my odds are on mild and endem­ic at some point. I think that seems real­ly, real­ly like­ly.”

    Lavine is not alone in think­ing we’re not going con­trol spread of SARS‑2 through herd immu­ni­ty. Ear­li­er this spring, Jonathan Yewdell, a senior inves­ti­ga­tor in cel­lu­lar biol­o­gy and viral immunol­o­gy at the Nation­al Insti­tute of Aller­gy and Infec­tious Dis­eases, pub­lished an opin­ion piece in the jour­nal PLOS Pathogens argu­ing that coro­n­avirus­es don’t trig­ger the kind of long-last­ing immune pro­tec­tion we’d need for herd immu­ni­ty to take hold.

    Endem­ic SARS‑2 would have a sea­son­al pat­tern, spread­ing in the win­ter months when kids are in school and when we spend more time indoors in prox­im­i­ty to each oth­er. Flo­ri­an Kram­mer, a vac­ci­nol­o­gist at the Icahn School of Med­i­cine at Mount Sinai in New York, said that ear­ly on some of these sea­sons may be more severe than oth­ers — but not pan­dem­ic severe.

    “If this thing becomes sea­son­al and you have coun­tries where the vac­ci­na­tion rate is low and the immu­ni­ty back­ground is low, those sea­sons in the begin­ning might be a lit­tle bit stronger. In coun­tries where vac­ci­na­tion rates are high, they might be very low,” said Kram­mer.

    He and oth­ers told STAT this tran­si­tion will play out at dif­fer­ent times across the globe. “I think we will see a huge dif­fer­ence between the West and every­body else who kind of didn’t get enough vac­cines,” Kram­mer said. “Although there might be coun­tries like Iran, where the infec­tion rates have been incred­i­bly high, and I think they have by now so much back­ground immu­ni­ty that if they bring it down now, it’s unlike­ly to come back as a wave.”

    Lavine believes the shift could hap­pen fair­ly soon in coun­tries like the Unit­ed States that have had both high lev­els of infec­tions and large num­bers of vac­ci­nat­ed peo­ple.

    “In the U.S., I would say that is not far off,” she said. “Not to say that it’s just going to dis­ap­pear, but the idea that it would no longer be this kind of path­o­gen­ic scourge, I think we might not be too far from that.”

    There are some experts who are more cau­tious about the time­line. His­to­ri­an John Bar­ry, who wrote the defin­i­tive account of the Span­ish flu, “The Great Influen­za,” not­ed there are sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences between Covid infec­tion and trans­mis­sion and influen­za infec­tion and trans­mis­sion. The incu­ba­tion peri­od — the time from expo­sure to ill­ness — is longer with Covid. Peo­ple are sick for longer; they’re infec­tious for longer, too.

    “This is like influen­za mov­ing in very slow motion,” Bar­ry said. Influen­za pan­demics have abrupt end­ings to their waves, with trans­mis­sion dying out in any giv­en loca­tion in a mat­ter of weeks. That has not been the case with Covid. Instead, human behav­ior — soci­etal shut­downs and reopen­ings — appear to be dri­ving pat­terns.

    ...

    Cécile Viboud, an infec­tious dis­eases mod­el­er who has exten­sive­ly stud­ied flu pan­demics, also believes the pan­dem­ic ends with SARS‑2 being endem­ic. But she’s not sure when.

    “I’m try­ing to be cau­tious, because I’ve always been an opti­mist and dur­ing Covid-19 I’ve been proven wrong,” said Viboud, who is based at the Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health’s Fog­a­r­ty Inter­na­tion­al Cen­ter.

    She sug­gest­ed it’s pos­si­ble that the four sea­son­al coro­n­avirus­es, the ones that cause colds, were always milder than Covid. Or that SARS‑2 will con­tin­ue hurl­ing vari­ants at us — espe­cial­ly once it comes under pres­sure to evolve when large swathes of peo­ple are vac­ci­nat­ed. “So I think we have to be cau­tious. We only have like 15 months of data or some­thing, right?”

    Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s Health Emer­gen­cies Pro­gram, agreed.

    “We don’t know where we are, because this is the first pan­dem­ic of a SARS coro­n­avirus,” he said. “From my per­spec­tive, crys­tal-balling it … we’re not even close to the end of it.”

    Ryan picks up Van Kerkhove’s refrain, argu­ing coun­tries shouldn’t be wait­ing for vac­cines or for the virus to tran­si­tion into an endem­ic mode. They should be using the oth­er tools that have been shown to stop trans­mis­sion, he said. “I think we can get to very high lev­els of dis­ease con­trol, so much so that this ceas­es to be a pan­dem­ic in the sense that it ceas­es to be … caus­ing dis­ease and deaths and fill­ing up our hos­pi­tals. So, in that sense it ceas­es to be a pub­lic health cri­sis.”

    ———-

    “How the Covid pan­dem­ic ends: Sci­en­tists look to the past to see the future” by Helen Bran­swell; STAT News; 05/19/2021

    “If the pat­tern holds, and it is expect­ed to, SARS‑2 will at some point join a hand­ful of human coro­n­avirus­es that cause colds, main­ly in the win­ter, when con­di­tions favor their trans­mis­sion.”

    If the his­toric pat­tern holds, we should expect SARS-CoV­‑2 to stick with us for­ev­er as a com­mon cold virus. But we unfor­tu­nate­ly have so lit­tle actu­al expe­ri­ence with these kinds of events that we don’t real­ly know what to expect and can’t even say for cer­tain what hap­pened with the last coro­n­avirus jump to humans. We know experts sus­pect OC43 start­ed off like SARS-CoV­‑2 before rapid­ly turn­ing into a com­mon cold. But we don’t know for sure. It’s just an edu­cat­ed guess:

    ...
    When will that hap­pen? That’s the big, unan­swer­able ques­tion. “I thought that we’d be out of this acute phase already,” admit­ted Maria Van Kerk­hove, the World Health Organization’s lead­ing coro­n­avirus expert. Van Kerkhove’s think­ing, though, is influ­enced by her adamant view that the world could stop the pan­dem­ic if coun­tries would only take the steps coun­tries like New Zealand, Viet­nam, and oth­ers have done, and bring trans­mis­sion under con­trol.

    “There’s noth­ing — there’s noth­ing — includ­ing the virus vari­ants, that sug­gests we couldn’t be out of the acute phase already,” she told STAT in a recent inter­view. “Because this is con­trol­lable.”

    Expe­ri­ence from the last four pan­demics — the ones men­tioned above — would sug­gest that virus­es morph from pan­dem­ic pathogens to endem­ic sources of dis­ease with­in a year and a half or two of emerg­ing. But all of those pan­demics were influen­za pan­demics. A dif­fer­ent pathogen could mean we’ll see a dif­fer­ent pat­tern.

    There may well have been pre­vi­ous coro­n­avirus pan­demics; there’s a school of thought that a pan­dem­ic in 1889, known in med­ical his­to­ries as “the Russ­ian flu,” might actu­al­ly have been caused by one of the human coro­n­avirus­es, OC43. All four of the human coro­n­avirus­es are assumed to have jumped to peo­ple from an ani­mal species; OC43 is believed to have come from cat­tle, poten­tial­ly in the late 1800s. But this is in the realm of the­o­ry, not con­clu­sive fact, hav­ing occurred before the era of mod­ern virol­o­gy.

    There’s no his­tor­i­cal record of how much ill­ness and how much severe ill­ness those oth­er coro­n­avirus­es caused when they start­ed to infect humans or how long it took for them to set­tle into an endem­ic state. As such, the flu pan­demics are the clos­est thing we have to road maps. “In recent his­to­ry, every­thing has been influen­za and the time­line has been with­in a cou­ple of years,” said Jen­nie Lavine, a biol­o­gy research fel­low at Emory Uni­ver­si­ty who was the first author of a mod­el­ing paper pub­lished in Sci­ence that envi­sioned how the pan­dem­ic might end.

    Lavine and her co-authors pre­dict­ed that as old­er adults — most sus­cep­ti­ble to hos­pi­tal­iza­tion and death with Covid — acquire expe­ri­ence cop­ing with the virus, it will no longer induce severe dis­ease, at least not in most of those peo­ple. (Noth­ing is absolute; flu, for instance, occa­sion­al­ly kills pre­vi­ous­ly healthy peo­ple.)

    That immune sys­tem train­ing will like­ly turn future Covid-19 infec­tions into the equiv­a­lent of a cold, the authors con­clud­ed. Over time, as a degree of pro­tec­tion becomes more stan­dard in adults, the peo­ple who will most com­mon­ly catch Covid will be young kids, in whom infec­tions even now are rarely seri­ous. That’s the pat­tern with human coro­n­avirus infec­tions.
    ...

    And then there’s the words of cau­tion from sci­en­tists at the NIH or WHO, with the head of the WHO’s Health Emer­gen­cies Pro­gram pre­dict­ing that we’re not even close to the end of this and that “the oth­er tools that have been shown to stop trans­mis­sion” (social dis­tanc­ing and mask­ing) should be main­tained:

    ...
    Cécile Viboud, an infec­tious dis­eases mod­el­er who has exten­sive­ly stud­ied flu pan­demics, also believes the pan­dem­ic ends with SARS‑2 being endem­ic. But she’s not sure when.

    “I’m try­ing to be cau­tious, because I’ve always been an opti­mist and dur­ing Covid-19 I’ve been proven wrong,” said Viboud, who is based at the Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health’s Fog­a­r­ty Inter­na­tion­al Cen­ter.

    She sug­gest­ed it’s pos­si­ble that the four sea­son­al coro­n­avirus­es, the ones that cause colds, were always milder than Covid. Or that SARS‑2 will con­tin­ue hurl­ing vari­ants at us — espe­cial­ly once it comes under pres­sure to evolve when large swathes of peo­ple are vac­ci­nat­ed. “So I think we have to be cau­tious. We only have like 15 months of data or some­thing, right?”

    Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s Health Emer­gen­cies Pro­gram, agreed.

    “We don’t know where we are, because this is the first pan­dem­ic of a SARS coro­n­avirus,” he said. “From my per­spec­tive, crys­tal-balling it … we’re not even close to the end of it.”

    Ryan picks up Van Kerkhove’s refrain, argu­ing coun­tries shouldn’t be wait­ing for vac­cines or for the virus to tran­si­tion into an endem­ic mode. They should be using the oth­er tools that have been shown to stop trans­mis­sion, he said. “I think we can get to very high lev­els of dis­ease con­trol, so much so that this ceas­es to be a pan­dem­ic in the sense that it ceas­es to be … caus­ing dis­ease and deaths and fill­ing up our hos­pi­tals. So, in that sense it ceas­es to be a pub­lic health cri­sis.”
    ...

    So while we can’t pre­dict how the virus will evolve, that lack of con­fi­dence allows us to con­fi­dent­ly pre­dict that the debate over the prop­er pol­i­cy respons­es are going to be excep­tion­al­ly con­tentious. Now, on the one hand, the evi­dence of whether or not fur­ther lock­downs are nec­es­sary will be read­i­ly appar­ent. It’s a mat­ter of how packed the hos­pi­tal emer­gency rooms are get­ting with COVID patients. If there’s no surge in COVID patients, future lock­downs will be pre­sum­ably be deemed no longer nec­es­sary. And if hos­pi­tals are fill­ing up again, new lock­owns will be obvi­ous sen­si­ble mea­sures. But there are plen­ty of messier sce­nar­ios, like maybe one or two more years of dead­ly SARS-CoV­‑2 vari­ants before the virus and human­i­ty’s immune sys­tems arrive at a truce. Accord­ing to one school of thought, expo­sure to SARS-CoV­‑2 is the key to train­ing our immune sys­tems and get­ting this virus under con­trol. Under anoth­er school, expo­sure is the key to extend­ing the pan­dem­ic and giv­ing rise to new vari­ants. It’s a pret­ty big divide that’s prob­a­bly going to get big­ger the more things open up. Or, depend­ing on how things play out, the more they don’t open up.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 21, 2021, 4:34 pm
  2. This next June 5, 2021 ABC News arti­cle by Josh Mar­golin, Aaron Kater­sky, Pierre Thomas and Sony Salz­man dis­cuss­es how Pres­i­dent Biden report­ed that vio­lent crime has “spiked since the start of the pan­dem­ic over a year ago,” An inter­nal Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty from spring of 2020 warned that the emo­tion­al, men­tal and finan­cial strain exac­er­bat­ed by the new coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic com­bined with social iso­la­tion — espe­cial­ly if pro­longed — may “increase the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty of some cit­i­zens to mobi­lize to vio­lence.”

    “The out­break of Covid-19, and gov­ern­men­t’s response to it, have inten­si­fied con­cerns that could accel­er­ate mobi­liza­tion to vio­lence with extend­ed peri­ods of social dis­tanc­ing,” the memo reads, not­ing such iso­la­tion is a “known risk fac­tor” in incit­ing vio­lent extrem­ism, along with “finan­cial stress and work dis­rup­tions, includ­ing unex­pect­ed unem­ploy­ment and lay­offs” also “increas­ing.”

    “COVID has been a tip­ping point,”

    Iso­lat­ing fac­tors like these can increase the risk of engag­ing — or attempt­ing to engage — in vio­lent extrem­ism, accord­ing to the DHS memo.

    The memo warned, under­scor­ing the research-backed “need to build social links and bridges to pre­vent social iso­la­tion, which in turn, reduces the risk of rad­i­cal­iza­tion to vio­lence.”

    Social dis­tanc­ing has been key to stop­ping the virus’ spread — but after more than a year of being fear­ful of any­one near poten­tial­ly being infect­ed, experts point out that self-preser­va­tion may have ampli­fied feel­ings of mis­trust in our com­mu­ni­ties.

    “Some­one who’s com­ing towards you on the side­walk, and you’d think, you’re spray­ing your droplets at me!” Butts said. “Peo­ple were afraid. More so than before, we had to see oth­er peo­ple as a poten­tial dead­ly threat.”

    https://abcnews.go.com/Health/feds-warned-spring-spike-violence-extremism-pandemic-memo/story?id=78408266

    Feds warned last spring of spike in vio­lence and extrem­ism dur­ing pan­dem­ic: Memo
    ABC News
    Gun vio­lence and extrem­ism are on the rise.
    July 5, 2021, 11:30 AM

    Near­ly one out of 10 of the Capi­tol riot­ers arrest­ed so far are vet­er­ans, so what is the mil...
    Xin­hua via Get­ty Images, FILE
    While COVID-19’s surge has ebbed, vio­lence is on the rise across the Unit­ed States.

    There has been a rash of gun vio­lence in what Pres­i­dent Joe Biden called an “epi­dem­ic,” includ­ing sev­er­al pub­lic mass shoot­ings, increas­es in inci­dents in major met­ro­pol­i­tan areas and an uptick in road rage clash­es.
    While dra­mat­ic declines in lev­els of coro­n­avirus have engen­dered new hope and opti­mism for some, the effects of the pan­dem­ic and the mea­sures tak­en to com­bat it linger, sim­mer­ing ten­sions brought to a boil and man­i­fest­ing them­selves in anger, and in some cas­es, vio­lence, experts say.

    Fed­er­al author­i­ties saw that swell in vio­lence spurred on by COVID’s hard­ships com­ing — before the pan­dem­ic even got into full swing.

    An inter­nal Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty memo obtained by ABC News from spring of 2020 warned that the emo­tion­al, men­tal and finan­cial strain exac­er­bat­ed by the new coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic com­bined with social iso­la­tion — espe­cial­ly if pro­longed — may “increase the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty of some cit­i­zens to mobi­lize to vio­lence.”
    “The out­break of Covid-19, and gov­ern­men­t’s response to it, have inten­si­fied con­cerns that could accel­er­ate mobi­liza­tion to vio­lence with extend­ed peri­ods of social dis­tanc­ing,” the memo reads, not­ing such iso­la­tion is a “known risk fac­tor” in incit­ing vio­lent extrem­ism, along with “finan­cial stress and work dis­rup­tions, includ­ing unex­pect­ed unem­ploy­ment and lay­offs” also “increas­ing.”

    Even as the nation and globe was lock­ing down, the memo, which has not been pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed, urged agency part­ners to devel­op an “action plan” for when com­mu­ni­ties begin to return to “nor­mal” activ­i­ties, pre­dict­ing “the increase in mass gath­er­ings, com­bined with the lengthy social iso­la­tion and oth­er life stres­sors,” may cre­ate envi­rons churned up by COVID, and ripe for vio­lent upheaval.

    When reached by ABC News regard­ing these ear­ly warn­ings, DHS declined to com­ment.

    As a ten­ta­tive reopen­ing got under­way in May, DHS Sec­re­tary May­orkas estab­lished the Cen­ter for Pre­ven­tion Pro­grams and Part­ner­ships, and a domes­tic ter­ror­ism branch in the Depart­men­t’s Office of Intel­li­gence & Analy­sis, aimed at shoring up the Depart­men­t’s “whole-of-soci­ety approach” to thwart­ing extrem­ism and oth­er tar­get­ed vio­lent acts in the U.S.
    Attor­ney Gen­er­al Mer­rick Gar­land announced a “renewed com­mit­ment” and mul­ti-pronged Jus­tice Depart­ment effort to reduce vio­lent crime through com­mu­ni­ty engage­ment, tar­get­ed enforce­ment, and inter­a­gency col­lab­o­ra­tion.

    Vio­lent crime has “spiked since the start of the pan­dem­ic over a year ago,” Pres­i­dent Biden said in late June, announc­ing a range of actions and fed­er­al sup­port towards tar­get­ing gun vio­lence.

    “And as we emerge from this pan­dem­ic with the coun­try open­ing back up again, the tra­di­tion­al sum­mer spike may even be more pro­nounced than it usu­al­ly would be,” Biden said.

    Pan­dem­ic a ‘tip­ping point’
    It was­n’t just fed­er­al offi­cials sound­ing the alarm last year. Doc­tors — includ­ing psy­chol­o­gists — say the pres­sure of the pan­dem­ic may be exac­er­bat­ing acts of vio­lence and aggres­sion.

    “COVID has been a tip­ping point,” Dr. Aimee Har­ris-Newon a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist in Chica­go who focus­es on well­ness and pre­ven­tive care. “On top of too much chron­ic stress, the impact of all this trau­ma… now every­thing is start­ing to leak out.”

    And some experts say psy­cho­log­i­cal stres­sors were already mount­ing pri­or to the pan­dem­ic.

    “We were already in a weak­ened con­di­tion when the pan­dem­ic hit — class divi­sions, overt racism, par­ti­san­ship, a real­ly poor social sup­port infra­struc­ture — so if you think about the effect of the pan­dem­ic on an ‘epi­dem­ic’ of shoot­ings — it’s like the immune sys­tem of the Unit­ed States was already sup­pressed,” Jef­frey Butts, direc­tor of the research and eval­u­a­tion cen­ter at John Jay Col­lege of Crim­i­nal Jus­tice, told ABC News.
    “The social, psy­cho­log­i­cal and eco­nom­ic dis­tress in our coun­try has sur­passed peo­ple’s abil­i­ty to cope, and there has­n’t been enough sup­port,” added Dr. Marni Chanoff, a psy­chi­a­trist and founder of the inte­gra­tive well­ness group at McLean Hos­pi­tal. “There is no road map on how to nav­i­gate this time.”

    ‘COVID turned up the vol­ume’
    When Mohammed Abdel­magied heard loud bangs near his Times Square kebab and hot dog stand the last Sun­day in June, he thought it was fire­crack­ers — some­one cel­e­brat­ing an ear­ly Fourth of July, or maybe free­dom from COVID-19.

    It was­n’t: it was gun­fire: some­thing he nev­er expect­ed in the area where he’s worked for 13 years — a heav­i­ly policed place where shoot­ings have been rel­a­tive­ly rare.
    “I turn my face to the square, I heard every­thing but I did­n’t see noth­ing,” Abdel­magied, 46, told ABC News.
    Two shoot­ings in two months at the Cross­roads of the World have brought a flood of police to the area, in a city that until recent­ly had become a mod­el of safe­ty in major met­ro­pol­i­tan areas. These flares of gun­fire aren’t only in New York, nor have they remained only with­in city lim­its across the coun­try.

    Major U.S. cities have been rocked by spates of gun vio­lence over the past few months, part of an already ris­ing trend which did not stop dur­ing lock­down, but has become more vis­i­ble as the coun­try reopens.
    “Short­ly after a resump­tion of ‘nor­mal’ life,” the memo from spring of 2020 says, ten­sions already brew­ing, then exac­er­bat­ed dur­ing the pan­dem­ic, may pro­vide an oppor­tune moment for vio­lent extrem­ism, and vio­lent attacks.

    Not includ­ing sui­cides, more than 19,400 peo­ple died by gun vio­lence in 2020, up from rough­ly 15,440 in 2019, and far past the rates in years pri­or, accord­ing to Gun Vio­lence Archive, a non­prof­it research group
    In 2021, there have already been more than 10,000 gun vio­lence deaths — with near­ly six months left to go.
    “COVID turned up the vol­ume,” and has foment­ed a dis­in­te­gra­tion of social con­nec­tions and norms, Butts said.

    “Then we see some of these hor­ri­ble shoot­ings — the actu­al mag­ni­tude of the increase is unde­ni­able,” Butts added.

    It’s not just gun vio­lence on the rise: acts of aggres­sion on air­planes have also hit new highs — and not only more flight dis­rup­tions, but more vio­lent ones as well.
    The Fed­er­al Avi­a­tion Admin­is­tra­tion is inves­ti­gat­ing a record num­ber of poten­tial vio­la­tions of fed­er­al law in unruly pas­sen­ger cas­es — iden­ti­fy­ing more than 490 cas­es this year so far where pas­sen­gers poten­tial­ly broke the law by “inter­fer­ing with the duties of a crew mem­ber.” That’s more than dou­ble the amount of cas­es inves­ti­gat­ed in 2020; and more than two and a half times the amount in 2019.

    Air­lines have now report­ed more than 3,200 reports of dis­rup­tive pas­sen­gers to the FAA this year; the vast major­i­ty — more than 2,400 — involve peo­ple who refused to wear a mask.

    In a Home­land Secu­ri­ty Threat Assess­ment released in Octo­ber 2020, author­i­ties also under­scored con­cerns aris­ing from COVID-19’s impact, where “anti-gov­ern­ment and anti-author­i­ty vio­lent extrem­ists could be moti­vat­ed to con­duct attacks in response to per­ceived infringe­ment of lib­er­ties and gov­ern­ment over­reach as all lev­els of gov­ern­ment seek to lim­it the spread of the coro­n­avirus that has caused a world­wide pan­dem­ic.”

    Iso­la­tion effect
    While social media helped main­tain per­son­al con­nec­tions dur­ing quar­an­tine, it can also be quite alien­at­ing, experts say — and present an oppor­tu­ni­ty for online rad­i­cal­iza­tion.

    In addi­tion, pan­dem­ic job loss can be both heavy finan­cial and psy­cho­log­i­cal bur­dens.

    And the unprece­dent­ed loss of life and loved ones to the virus, with more than 600,000 deaths in the U.S. alone, has tak­en an unspeak­able toll, experts say.
    Iso­lat­ing fac­tors like these can increase the risk of engag­ing — or attempt­ing to engage — in vio­lent extrem­ism, accord­ing to the DHS memo.

    “These risks are like­ly to become more wide­spread as pub­lic health mea­sures are expand­ed– or the time­frame for main­tain­ing social dis­tanc­ing increas­es,” the memo warned, under­scor­ing the research-backed “need to build social links and bridges to pre­vent social iso­la­tion, which in turn, reduces the risk of rad­i­cal­iza­tion to vio­lence.”

    Social dis­tanc­ing has been key to stop­ping the virus’ spread — but after more than a year of being fear­ful of any­one near poten­tial­ly being infect­ed, experts point out that self-preser­va­tion may have ampli­fied feel­ings of mis­trust in our com­mu­ni­ties.

    “Some­one who’s com­ing towards you on the side­walk, and you’d think, you’re spray­ing your droplets at me!” Butts said. “Peo­ple were afraid. More so than before, we had to see oth­er peo­ple as a poten­tial dead­ly threat.”
    Amer­i­cans are also still reel­ing from the eco­nom­ic and emo­tion­al blow dealt by COVID-19, despite the ebb of infec­tion, and signs of improve­ment in the labor mar­ket, accord­ing to Pew polling this spring; those most vul­ner­a­ble to the virus have also borne the brunt of its finan­cial fall­out.

    Break­ing the cycle
    Ten­sions boil­ing over across the U.S. have fed what’s becom­ing a vicious cycle dif­fi­cult to break; experts wor­ry, that resid­ual anx­i­ety and col­lec­tive trau­ma may out­last the pan­dem­ic itself.

    “That kind of men­tal and emo­tion­al wear and tear does­n’t go away,” Butts con­tin­ued. “All the harm that results will be fes­ter­ing for some time. That’s a huge con­cern.”

    As some Amer­i­cans’ anger about the state of the nation abates from where it was dur­ing the sum­mer 2020 COVID surge — experts urge vig­i­lance about what that reced­ing rage might leave in its wake.

    Even as the nation pre­pared to cel­e­brate the Fourth of July and some mea­sure of free­dom from COVID, fed­er­al author­i­ties raised con­cerns about the pos­si­bil­i­ty of domes­tic ter­ror and vio­lence, includ­ing mass shoot­ings, as the 2021 sum­mer sea­son gets into full swing.
    What­ev­er the new nor­mal might be, Chanoff notes get­ting there will take time.

    “The human spir­it is resilient and the human capac­i­ty to heal is enor­mous,” Chanoff said. “But with­out sup­port, I think that these things will like­ly con­tin­ue to rise.”
    ABC News’ Josh Mar­golin, Aaron Kater­sky, Pierre Thomas and Sony Salz­man con­tributed to this report.

    Posted by Mary Benton | July 8, 2021, 8:11 pm

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