KAMPALA – Many people have been indoctrinated by the lockdown bullies to accept certain terms as the “new-normal love and care”. Often times, you’ll receive a message from a loved one telling you to Stay safe or keep safe or any of that garbage. That is the effect of lockdown propagandists. Obviously, many people use some of these terms religiously without ever critically asking themselves what they represent.
A phrase or term used to persuade which carries emotional impact but lacks useful information is a called a ‘glittering generality’ in communication studies. They are typically in the form of vague but universally respected values. Thus, they are hard to refute in themselves. Often used by politicians, they create an association between a political position and a feel-good concept without explaining how the concept applies.
Stay safe” is a very common glittering generality created by lockdown propagandists. Who can argue against ‘staying safe?’ How would you like your mom to not be “safe”? This heart-warming expression really means to avoid people as much as you can. Social neglect is anything but safe. It creates serious mental and physical disintegration. The whole end game of lockdown propagandists is to manipulate emotions such as love to make us think that it’s actually “safe” to remain under restrictive COVID-19 strategies which ought to keep us “safe” such as lockdowns.
Some Covidist glittering generalities revolve around how saving lives is more the most important consideration of public policy. “Lives are more important than jobs,” is one of these, as is “Saving lives comes before protecting freedoms.” These generalities make it sound like it is a given that COVID restrictions save lives, which they don’t. Thus, they don’t even apply to the entire COVID situation. Everyone places a high value on saving lives, which is precisely why social distancing and lockdown restrictions must stop. Distancing decreases life expectancy by profoundly affecting socio-economic determinants of health. Coronavirus is too benign to affect overall life expectancy no matter how many people are affected.
Other glittering generalities thrown around by clever elitists and COVID-19 propagandists include “stop the spread”,“flatten the curve”, “wear it for me”.All of these expressions seem rosy on the surface but really mean to practice social neglect which is the end game of lockdowns, which is terribly harmful and dangerous. To all loving Ugandans, do your community a favor and make it a habit to tell people to “stop the spread of loneliness”, “stay in the safety of your friends, family, and congregation” but above all #EndLockdownsNow
Let’s stop the rosy language that makes us feel good but champions the oppression of lockdowns. There is no nobility or dignity in throwing around “Stay safe” narrative. It only justifies a tactical approach of deliberately keeping you locked down. Do you want to voluntarily keep in house arrest disguised as lockdown??
Let’s keep it safe by saying #EndLockdownsNow.
The writer, Simon Ssenyonga is a lawyer.