I have been travelling extensively for the last two weeks. My travels have taken me through various Asian hub airports and around the Indian sub-continent.
Through observation, I can confirm the petty bureaucrats and rule-givers across Asia are as illogical and stupid as their counterparts in Australia.
In a message exchange to a good friend I expressed the sentiment that I have accepted the lunacy. He congratulated me on reaching the fifth stage of the Kubler-Ross rubric.
The fact that I may have reached acceptance still doesn’t make any of this madness right though.
For example, I must wear a mask on the train to Sydney airport. I can remove it in the airport. I must replace it on the Malaysian Airways flight, except whilst sipping on a drink or eating (I can nurse a drink for a loooong time).
The mask must remain on at Kuala Lumpur airport unless I am in the Business Class Lounge. It must go back on the moment I leave the lounge, of course.
I must also wear the mask on the Indian domestic flights. The pre-flight announcement requests us to maintain anti-social distancing between our fellow passengers, seemingly oblivious to the sardine-tin we are sharing. Officially, we must wear our masks in the airports, unless proving our identify but the local security staff nearly all use theirs as chin-warmers so are not enforcing the rule on the public anyway.
The day prior to a visit to a supplier’s office, a test kit was delivered to my hotel room with the request that I use it and bring the negative result with me the next day. This wasn’t requested at all during the visit.
Trying to make any sense of this results in a headache. Questioning why this still is going on is a fool’s errand; there is no consistent thread of logic holding any of this together.
In the meantime, my colleagues chuckle behind their hands at the ineffective and leaky Indian airport security checks as we remove shoes and belts, take laptops out of bags, display our power adaptors for inspection, etc. and make disparaging remarks about how silly it all is.
We don’t comment on the inconsistency of the masks though. There’s a code of silence as we put them on, take them off, rinse, repeat.
This is either a deadly disease that can be prevented by the addition of a knitted woollen barrier over the mouth and nose, or isn’t and it can’t.
That we are all continually living like this makes me wonder if we have become fully house-trained. What else might we quietly and compliantly accept now in the future?
I can think of only two possible reasons for this bio-security theatre to remain in place;
1. The process to remove the rule has far more steps and gatekeepers than the process to impose it. We must participate in the Holy Communion to the god of Covid until eventually a person in authority decides we can stop, or
2. It’s about the love of power and control. The gatekeepers preventing the removal of this ridiculous charade from our lives know it serves no purpose. They know we know it serves no purpose. They know we know they know we know it serves no purpose. But yet they keep the rules in place.