No, it isn’t.
Do not jump immediately to the assumption that everything must be a conspiracy. Hanlon’s Razor always applies: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
And we, in America specifically, are absolutely floundering in — nay. Swimming… basking? — stupidity, arrogance, and a considerable amount of denial.
We — yes, I’m still looking at you, Fellow Americans — could’ve had this sorted a few months ago within just a few weeks and returned to some semblance or normality. But, oh, no… people get together in large groups to protest, argue, and yell about infringing upon “m’rights!”
No, there’s not some government conspiracy to manipulate you into wearing a hijab and accepting Islam.
No, there’s no government conspiracy to force the AI to learn how to use facial recognition through a mask*.
The situation we’re faced with presently, having endured the death of, so far 150,000 Americans, is the direct result of literally screaming at everybody about your “rights”.
But there’s a fundamental right not being discussed — the right to exist.
Your “rights” are fine… up to the moment that your rights negatively impact another’s right to exist, then the discussion and debate becomes meaningless.
Now, let’s talk about conspiracy for a moment:
Borrowing a quote from an old-ish movie from way back in 1984:
That terminator is out there.
It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity or remorse or fear, and it absolutely will not stop. Ever! Until you are dead.Kyle Reese, Resistance Soldier, The Terminator (1984)
Oh, sorry, let me make one small adjustment to that quote, perhaps it’ll be meaningful — or perhaps it becomes too ‘meta’ for people to comprehend:
That virus is out there.
It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity or remorse or fear, and it absolutely will not stop. Ever! Until you are dead.
You cannot negotiate with a virus. It cares not of your age, gender, race, financial status, political affiliation, or belief system.
Yes, some viruses are rather harmless as far as viruses go — rhinovirus is a good example.
Others are somewhat horrifying. Especially horrifying because there’s a significant pre-symptomatic period (a few weeks) where somebody can be contagious and not even know they’re spreading a virus.
* It’s an absolutely meaningless argument about how, somehow, your face — or your own name, FFS — could possibly be used against you. I’m still trying to comprehend that line or reasoning. Don’t believe me? Go ask an actual, licensed attorney.