You may recall that, during the thick of it in 2020-2021, Covidians were immune—no, that’s not the right metaphor—they were allergic to facts. They did not respond well even to the common sense statement that, since the C0Vld-19 shots hadn’t been through long-term trials, it might be unwise to take one.
Like terrorized lab animals dosed with flight, fight or freeze chemicals, some cannot unlearn what they got from the news in 2020. They suffer from PTSD. Like veterans who jump at the sound of a car backfiring, associating any loud noises with bombs raining down on them, they are still in the midst of the War on C0v1d. Today, if you happen to say, I will not comply with any new mask or vax mandates, they will imagine that you are the Nazi fascist enemy. That’s just how their brains work now.
Facts don’t work on this crowd. You can send them all the carefully researched articles, documentaries, and books on the topic you can find to straighten them out, but they won’t be convinced; they are not even able to read them. Their minds have been closed and certain doors are bolted shut.
However, through narrative, an author can get inside readers’ minds and show them a new perspective. Satire, subtle satire, is particularly effective because it first lures brainwashed readers in by reconstructing the skewed reality that they are used to and then slowly introduces a few details that can dispel the illusion.
Covidians need to return to 2020 and relive it from a different perspective. This is what fiction can do. We don’t have enough good fiction writers on the right side of history these days. The “literary” crowd is churning out identity-politics clichés— propaganda, not artful fiction.