We’ve entered a season of revised death projections and hospital bed trackers. Meanwhile, our elected officials debate whether to give Americans six hundred dollars or shut down the government instead. It’s like they want us to believe they’re from a different planet.

Today I watched videos of government officials getting shots, wearing stoic smiles as they tried not to flinch when the needle entered their arms. It was good television. And for some reason, I watched footage of anti-mask protestors marching through a discount department store somewhere in Arizona. They shouted, “Free your face,” and waved American flags. They were a shambling collection of people in athleisure wear, motorcycle gear, and sensible blouses. The internet brought them together and delivered them here, united by the delight they found in antagonizing the masked shoppers who stood nearby.

There are no microchips in the vaccine. There are no tracking devices of any kind. Authorities are doing their best to make this clear. Several years ago, I listened to a midnight preacher sermonize across my dashboard, detailing the arrival of the antichrist. “But I’m working on a special microchip that will block the signals of all demons and devils,” he said. Consigned to the margins of AM radio, his craziness was contextualized. Now this sort of thinking needs to be debunked on the front page of the New York Times.