During this cocktail of misinformation and pandemic, I am stunned by how ill-informed so many people are. How can women who remind me so much of our neighbors when I was growing up, believe so many conspiracy theories?
That might be the easiest question to answer: the women of my childhood were well informed. The Internet and cable television did not exist then. We basically all read the same newspapers and listened to one of three news broadcasts on television. And no, the news was not propaganda. It was a competitive market, which actually raised the level of journalism.
The current women I see distrust the local news and newspapers, and instead, feed on ludicrous, unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. How do you debunk a negative when someone has been programmed to believe only that negative?
So let’s look back a few more years: specifically to September 11, 2000. Even now, I think most of us can agree that the terrorist attacks against the United States were horrendous.
Well planned and executed, they threw the country into–if not chaos–then what? Edginess? Fear? And then resolve.
Since two of the four airplanes took off from Logan Airport in Boston at the time, and since I lived a mere 18 miles from the airport, it all became personal to me. Those fall days following the attacks were wonderful New England Fall days. The beautiful weather belied the truth, and maybe we needed that.
I would go to bed at night and listen to the jets flying above my home. Logan Airport was closed to all commercial flights, so I knew these were military planes protecting the border. I’d like to say that I felt safer, but I remember one nightmare where I was outside on a beautiful day and caught unprepared for an approaching atomic bomb. In my dream, I dropped to my knees as the blast hit us. The flash was overwhelming. Was I dead?
No, but I was troubled, and relieved, to wake up and realize that this particular atrocity was a dream.
I know the current events are, however much they seem like a nightmare, not a dream. And I’m not at all sure how we return to reality.