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"Before the outbreak, life-as-normal within the urban environment was characterised by the universal familiarity with unfamiliarity. With the outbreak of the pandemic, however, this relationship of indifference, this familiarity with unfamiliarity, became untenable if not quite frightening. Within a couple of short days, it actually did matter what all those unfamiliar faces did before you had to pass them by on the street. They and everyone they knew now posed a threat to you and everyone you knew. They were no longer human beings but carriers of disease that could not be trusted. And if you could not trust others, could you trust yourself?

This piece focuses in particular on how fear and the spread of fear can be used to the extent where the basic traits of natural human behaviour are banished out of social existence."

- Donnchadh Mac Gabhann

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