This is the audio version of my YouTube improv (see below) as there have been some problems with that video buffering.
Transcript of first 15 mins or so (more to come possibly):
This is a sharing of observations about the situation. I could say the global situation but I’m not able to observe the global situation, I’m only able to observe a local situation in a small town called Hope. I thought I could use this as a microcosm. I have the Hope Standard here and this is one of the things that prompted me to want to really go on record about this, because the cognitive dissonance becomes quite intense when I look at what the mainstream media’s reporting in my town. This is just a local rag that I’ve even appeared in, and written a letter for, and anyone can get into the Hope Standard, although probably not currently, and certainly I don’t imagine that something I might have to say about the situation would make it in there. It seems to me that, whatever’s going on globally, the best but possibly the only way for us as individuals to try and get to grips with it is by taking a blood sample, a holographic fragment of the collective planetary experience, and analyzing that.
We have a pretty rich opportunity for doing that because we are running a local business, a thrift store that my wife and I own and currently we are the only people who run it. We had three staff members and two of them were encouraging us to close so rather than close we reduced our hours and laid off our staff and said we’ll take the risks, we’ll take the hits, we’ll man the ship in this crisis in this storm.
So we’ve reduced the hours and the days, from seven days a week 9:30 to 5:00 p.m. to 5 days a week 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. What we’ve discovered is the profits have not reduced; there was a rocky patch for about a week where it seemed like it was pretty bad but it was still worth staying open. And since that time I’d say our sales have gone back to normal, even if you don’t adjust them for the reduced hours, as in we’re making the same in a shorter day, more or less on average, as we were with a longer day. To me this suggests that things are evening out; people are adapting to the changed hours and shopping in a more condensed time. Perhaps because all the other shops, including thrift shops, are closed, we’re picking up some of the slack, although I don’t really notice many new customers. And many of the shops in town are not open, so people who just want to have a shopping experience and interact with people have the opportunity to do so.
At the thrift store they have an unusual opportunity for interacting because we’re not imposing any kind of social distancing and I’ve noticed that customers aren’t really observing it either and we could care less frankly. In the supermarkets, I’ve noticed that there’s a certain amount of tension between the customers and the checkout people, nothing major but still, it’s there. So our thrift store is acting as something of a hub of sanity, though others might say irresponsibility, but so far nobody has, and this is one of the sources of cognitive dissonance for me: how come we’re not getting a lot of flack for staying open and for not particularly observing the rules and for not taking the coronavirus seriously?
And we’ve been able to observe by talking to our customers what the general view is: if we ask a customer first of all: do you know anyone who’s got sick. there seems to be a general “No,” with a few qualifications. And then with a little probing, how seriously you take this, or what do you think is going on, it’s almost unanimous that our customers believe that this whole thing is exaggerated, if not entirely fabricated, and that something else is going on entirely. Almost all of our customers do not believe the mainstream accounts, the numbers; they do not believe that we’re involved in a pandemic. This of course includes people who watch weird videos on YouTube and talk about the New World Order and so on; but it also includes people who are not interested or aware and those things; they’re simply not believing it.
Somebody came into the shop yesterday, a young guy, and he mentioned he has family members who are in the medical establishment in Mission, which is near Hope and Vancouver, and he said that they don’t understand what’s going on when they read the newspapers, the figures and the descriptions and the accounts. They’re just really puzzled because their experience working in hospitals is that nothing like this is going on, there’s no mad virus attack, everything’s ordinary. He didn’t give very many details but the specific detail he gave is that they have access to all the numbers because they’re within the medical establishment, and the numbers are entirely different from the ones they’re reading in the mainstream media. He said they’re about half, and obviously that’s a very significant fact; apart from anything else, it indicates how naive it is to argue that all these people couldn’t possibly be keeping it secret or pretending there is a pandemic, and that you have to trust all these professionals. But if they’re not speaking up about it, it’s probably because they’re too confused and bewildered, that they don’t understand what’s going on, and they don’t want to risk their jobs or to be irresponsible. There’s this enormous consensus and essentially they’re in a state of confusion and bewilderment, rather than indignation or outrage, which is what would motivate people to speak up, although even there, the fear of consequences might override that outrage.
The Mayor is quoted as saying that some businesses have really cut back their hours in town: “I think it’s working well, if you wander the streets as I do to check and read the signs on the doors, many businesses have cut back their hours.” We’ve also cut down our hours as I said, and one of the ways that’s been effective is it concentrates the business because people adapt to our hours. So that essentially means we’re busier but for a shorter period. So if the Mayor and his handlers and the whole edifice of social engineering and of controlled demolition of the economy, if this is what it is, were sincere, they would not encourage reducing business hours. Admittedly it does mean there’s less people on the street, though even there most people in Hope drive around, so I don’t think even that’s a good argument. But it’s certainly self-evident to anyone who had just thought about it for five seconds that, if you reduce hours, then you’re going to concentrate the customers into a smaller time period, therefore there’s going to be less social distance, unless you have the rule, like our Baker, which is to only let two people in the store at the same time.
As I said, we don’t have any rules like that, and I would say our shop has been if anything more crowded than usual. I joked to one customer today, from the point of view of these social engineers and local wanna-be social engineers, we’re like a death hub. We’re the death star of Hope and there should be a heated missile headed our way anytime soon. And that’s a big part of my cognitive dissonance: why aren’t we being told how a responsible we are? I suggest it’s because those people don’t even believe their own BS belief system, not really; but maybe overly optimistic on my part.