Covid-19 fear porn has cast a chill over love, sex, and birthrates, and we were damn fools to let it happen
Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist. He is the author of 'Midnight in the American Empire,' How Corporations and Their Political Servants are Destroying the American Dream. @Robert_Bridge
Since it is well known that ‘familiarity breeds contempt’, it should come as no surprise that it also does little to breed babies. Even the most amorous lovebirds will go frigid when their wings have been clipped and predictions of impending doom scream from every mainstream channel. That may be the main takeaway from the radical experiment known as Lockdown 2020, as the US birthrate took an unexpected hit at a time when all the indicators were looking rosy.
The US birthrate didn’t just go wobbly last year, it plummeted a whopping four percent, marking the worst single-year decrease in nearly 50 years. To further break it down, birthrates fell eight percent for Asian American women, three percent for Hispanic women, and four percent for African American and Caucasian women. Locked-down Europeans are reporting similarly precipitous declines.
And no, this decline was not the result of caged couples wisely resorting to safe-sex practices. Sales of Trojan condoms slumped six percent during the three months ending Sept. 30, 2020, coming on the heels of a 13 percent decline in the previous quarter. In other words, when you hit ‘pause’ on life you may succeed at ‘flattening the curve’, but you will also flatten the libido.
With any luck, the Biden administration will look to these dire statistics not as a reason for luring more illegal aliens – and potential future Democratic voters – across the Mexican border, but as a basis for rethinking the wisdom of selling gloom, doom, and protracted lockdowns at the peak of a pandemic.
As the declining birthrate strongly suggests, when you shut down your entire country – businesses, schools, churches and all of the attendant social events, from weddings to funerals and everything in between – you effectively and quite literally cancel life, up to and including childbirth. Only well-paid adult film stars or people with nerves of steel could think about coition with Anthony Fauci fear-mongering on the nightly news, hand-wringing about the possible need to wear multiple masks during a stroll through the park.
Flip the channel, and there’s newly divorced Bill Gates fantasizing about a bloodless AI future slated for nothing more sociable than Zoom meetings and stadiums occupied with cardboard cutouts substituting for living, breathing human beings. This refusal to live seems to be a very curious and self-defeating method of cheating death. Shall we remain forever prisoners in our homes for fear of dying in a car crash, getting struck by a random bolt of lightning, or having some rogue microbe slip through our porous masks? How long should this climate of fear prevail?
Throughout history, mankind has been forced to contend with a number of serial diseases, many of which had a far better track record for killing than the current coronavirus strain, which comes with a better than 99 percent survival rate. And our ancestors confronted those invisible enemies with heroism, without feeling the need to sacrifice what made them quintessentially human.
In the novel ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’, by the late Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the prospect of death and dying during the cholera outbreak of the late 19th century took a deserved back seat to the animated celebration of life and love that leaps from every page.
“There were cockfights in the patios, accordion music on the street corners, riders on thoroughbred horses, rockets and bells,” Marquez wrote of his South American town at a time when bubble-wrapping the populace was an unthinkable preventive measure against the pandemic. “At midnight the visitors left, the public fiesta scattered into smoldering embers…”
Despite this lusty, unbridled passion for life, Marquez was careful to point out that the native population was not reckless with its health and safety, but rather took all of the normal – with emphasis on the word ‘normal’ – precautions against the deadly cholera outbreak.
In one scene reminiscent of our current imbroglio, a riverboat captain is confronted by an armed patrol assigned to stop any vessel that may be transporting infected passengers. He tells the patrol that he had “only three passengers on board and all of them had cholera… but none of the twenty-seven men of the crew had any contact with them.”
Nevertheless, the commander of the patrol “was not satisfied, and he ordered them to leave the bay and wait in Las Mercedes Marsh… while the forms were prepared for placing the ship in quarantine.” In other words, the people did what they could to prevent unnecessary death, but the great play of life never stopped or hid in the shadows.
What will future writers convey about our current battle against Covid-19, which many believe has led humanity to the brink of absolute madness? That far from allowing the human spirit to triumph in the face of adversity, we cowered and hid ourselves in our homes, prevented children from learning and playing together, while letting our small businesses go up in proverbial flames? That is not the way humans over the millennia have responded to crises.
Even during the darkest moments of World War II, when the threat of a Nazi attack hung heavy in the air, the daily business of living did not stop. In similar fashion, people should not let the fear and risk of Covid destroy the essence of what it means to be human. If we stop living as a way to achieve victory over an enemy – be it a foreign adversary or an invisible contagion – then we have already admitted our defeat.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.