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Where should I look for evidence of an emergency before "15 Days to Slow the Spread" was declared?
I keep thinking about “The Emergency” in Trenton Lee Stewart’s The Mysterious Benedict Society.
If you haven’t the read the books or seen the Disney shows - and don’t mind spoilers - Fandom captures the essence:
The Emergency took place before and during The Mysterious Benedict Society. The Emergency was an idea manufactured by Mr. Curtain, sent by the whisperer meant to cause the public to panic about unreal issues, and ignore real true problems. It filled the newspapers for years, with details about how society faced major problems regarding everything from the schools to the weather. Mr. Benedict discovered that the Emergency was artificially created through the messages that Mr. Curtain sent with The Whisperer. Despite the Emergency, people seemed unaware of real problems, such as people going missing. Once Mr. Curtain was defeated by the Mysterious Benedict Society, the Emergency left people’s minds.
The LitCharts summary is good too:
The Mysterious Benedict Society takes place in a world plagued by The Emergency, a non-specific and all-encompassing threat that drives the public to mass panic, and which symbolizes how authoritarian forces can utilize wide-scale deception as a political tactic. In the midst of The Emergency, citizens distrust their governments, and news reports provoke hysteria by reporting that everything is “desperately out of control,” from pollution to school systems to the weather. People clamor for a drastic improvement, but no one clarifies what improvement is needed. This vagueness is intentional—the Emergency has been created by Mr. Curtain, who sows fear with the mind-controlling messages he transmits to the world. Though the Emergency appears to be a state of chaos, that chaos has actually been carefully manufactured so that Mr. Curtain can seize governmental power by promising to usher in “the Improvement.” Mr. Curtain manipulates the public into believing their governments have lost control so they will welcome his control, even if it grants him absolute power.
As your 2023 self can imagine, many people in this fictional world think & talk about The Emergency as if everyone knows what The Emergency is and the imminent dangers it poses.
There is tacit agreement must be dealt with. Authority figures use The Emergency as an ever-present threat to justify why things are the way they are — including things that don’t make much sense.
The connections between The Emergency and past/current events are numerous and obvious, but I can’t help coming back to early 2020.
What was The Emergency, i.e., the alleged “Global Emergency” that required a “Coordinated Global Response”?
Was it the sudden detection and naming of something?
A coronavirus! They said.
A coronavirus from Wuhan! They said.
It’s killing people! They said.
Not flu! They said.
More than flu! They said.
And spreading! They said.
If so, let me know where, and I’ll look.
Constance Contraire - the best character in The Mysterious Benedict Society
This “Test” today seems relevant to “The Emergency.”
It reminded me of this, from November 20, 2020.
….which I questioned in real time.