Being virtually confined to my apartment by the threat of the virus has not really made any measurable change in my ability to have an effect on the world in which I live. During the first 86 years of my life I was free to move about as I wished and during that long time nothing I did made any noticeable difference to more than the handful of people with whom I came in contact. But I was able to keep alive the illusion that what I did made a difference. So I voted and worked for candidates and took part in protests and gave bits of money and wrote books and letters to the editor, and got myself arrested in a anti-apartheid protest (this last more or less as a lark.) I even actually ran for office once in 1977. There were two open seats on the Northampton Massachusetts school committee and I managed to run third for one of them in a three-person race.
But now I am confined to my apartment save for my morning walk, a quick trip downstairs to get the mail, an even shorter trip to the end of the hall to throw the garbage in the garbage chute and of course – most exciting of all – my occasional trips to the dentist or the doctor. Thus confined, I delude myself into thinking that if only I could get out I could do something, anything, to make a difference. Unless I am much mistaken, my situation is not much different from that of the folks who comment on this blog. And yet the anger and intensity of the comments seems to suggest that it will make a very big difference which of us has adopted the correct judgmental standpoint.
I wish it were so. It would be so invigorating to discover that winning an argument actually had the effect of changing the world. But alas, if I could persuade everyone who has ever visited this blog to act exactly as I specify the net observable result on the world would be zero. However, many decades ago I chose to make it my life's work to have opinions and it is too late to find another line of employment. So I shall go on offering my opinions, though not making the mistake of supposing that persuading anybody will change anything.
I can see the subtle attractions of dictatorship, at least to the dictator.