One of the worst side effects of the Covid pandemic has been the social isolation.  Before the introduction of vaccinations, isolating oneself or one’s family unit was one of the few solid protections that people had to avoid contracting the disease.  Now that a large percentage of people in the Western world have gotten the vaccine, many people are still suspicious of big social gatherings, and there has been a tendency among some people to not make as many social plans as they used to before Covid entered the picture.  This is because it has been discovered that the vaccines don’t protect people from contracting Covid as much as they do from getting severe cases of Covid that require hospitalization.  So, many people are still thinking twice about getting together with other people even in small gatherings.  The result is tremendous loneliness.  And an increasing sense of numbness that is reinforced by the experiential vacuum that is created by modern technology.  Covid is harmful to humans not only as a stand-alone pandemic but also as something that interacts with the environmental problems that have been generated by modern technology.  People feel intrinsically isolated from the external world because of all the technological devices that tend to mediate between them and their fields of experience.  Furthermore, these devices make the processes and the activities that have to be carried out so frictionless that they diminish the sense of contact between the humans and the parts of the external world that the humans are acting upon.  In short, these devices carry out a mechanical isolation for humans that merges with the organic isolation generated by the Corona virus.

And it is this intensified isolation that leads to some of the pathological behavior being manifested lately.  There seems to be an accelerating increase in the number of mass shootings that are occurring in the United States.  What a terrific way to intensely insert oneself into the external world and at least momentarily pull oneself out of the experiential vacuum in which we all are immersed to a greater or lesser extent.  A couple of weeks ago it was the massacre of ten African-Americans at a Buffalo New York supermarket.  A week and a half later, nineteen school children and two teachers were massacred at a school in Uvalde, Texas.  Even when the killer does get killed, for a brief moment he has succeeded in pulling himself out of his numbness, using the incredibly abrasive form of stimulation of a horrific massacre to do it.

Obviously, there can be layers of causation with regard to these massacres.  The shooting in Buffalo was obviously caused, on one level, by racism.  The shooter had indicated on the Internet before he died how he was influenced by other racist massacres, at least one of which had occurred in New Zealand at the other end of the world.  But the shooting in Uvalde had no racist overtones.  Not only were most of the victims Hispanic, but the shooter was Hispanic as well.  Good luck in finding some coherent rational reason for the Uvalde massacre.  Many massacres are not based on some focused hatred of a particular group, be it a racial group, a national group, a religious group or a group based on sexual preference.  Furthermore, they aren’t always based on a particular grievance that, having been repressed in the shooters mind for a period of time, simply explodes forth in a random violent exercise.  

Some shootings seem to lack any kind of a rational explanation.  They just burst forth with no warning.  And it can be hard for the people around the shooter to pick up any warning signs that would help them stop him from carrying out his acts of destruction.

Returning to the matter of Covid, it is not so easy to control the presence and spread of a pandemic like Covid in today’s world.  Too many people in the developed world are anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers.  Furthermore, there doesn’t seem to be the will in the developed countries to spend the money necessary to vaccinate all the people in the developing world who want to be vaccinated.  So Covid continues to be a major cause of social isolation for people in today’s world..

On the other hand, there are things that haven’t been tried or even thought of with regard to those aspects of modern isolation that relate to the use of modern technology.  What would happen if standards were created for limiting the use of modern technological screens particularly for young people?  What would happen if all sorts of activities in the external world could be created that would engage young people in a proactive way?  More activities filled with primary experience from direct interaction with other people and fewer activities based on the mediated experience of sitting in front of different screens.  Granted that sustained interaction should be limited as much as possible to a fixed group of people to avoid contagion.  But, still, it could be one possible solution to the pathological behavior and events that seem to fill our consciousness in today’s world.  It certainly is an approach that is worth trying.


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Durante mi estadía en la Ciudad de México en los años setenta, me di cuenta que esta enorme ciudad contenía en sus colonias distintos "medio ambientes vivenciales", que iban desde muy antiguas a muy recientes; desde muy primitivas a muy modernas.

Observé que había diferencias sutiles en la conducta de la gente y en sus interacciones en las diferentes colonias. Esta observación fue fundamental en la fundación de mis teorías con respecto a los efectos de la tecnología moderna sobre los medio ambientes vivenciales y sobre la conducta humana.

En México, publiqué mi libro "Paisaje Sin Terreno" (Editorial Pax-México), y luego di conferencias para la U.N.A.M. y la Universidad Anahuac. También, presenté un ensayo para un Congreso de Psicología.

Ahora que mis hijas son adultas, tengo el tiempo de explorar mis ideas de vuelta. Le agradezco mucho a y en especial al Sr. Daniel Ajzen por la oportunidad de presentar mis ideas.