The Inverted Quarantine

What is an inverted quarantine? According to Andrew Szasz, author of Shopping Our Way to Safety, it is an imaginary safety bubble we have placed around ourselves by purchasing products that we think are protecting us, while ignoring the bigger issue.

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Bottled water is an obvious example, which runs at 1000x the cost of tap water, is unregulated, and is often just tap water anyway, like Dasani. Or purchasing “eco-friendly” cleaning products that still are environmentally harmful.
Ultimately, it is the danger in assuming that we can fend off threats by buying “green” products, which pacifies us, and as a result, there is little chance that something substantial will be done to fix the actual issue.

We are insulating ourselves from environmental problems rather than facing them head on. The idea that bottled water is safe undermines public support for improving water systems in the cities that need it most, like Flint. While the organic food market limits our ability to take on the industrial agricultural system. All food should be organic and affordable.
Having healthy food, clean water, and fresh air shouldn’t be a luxury of the privileged. By creating these inverted quarantines, or the illusion that we’ve protected ourselves from the elements, we have actually created something worse entirely.



By Madison MacLeod



Are green cleaners better for your health?

Shopping Our Way to Safety


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