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Smoke and mirrors was a magical illusion trick from the eighteenth century. Spirits were supposedly conjured up. It became a phrase to mean an illusion; to embellish the truth with misleading information.

I suspect that we are about to be presented with yet more assertions to do with misleading information - that conjured up by governments to hide the truths of Covid. Further misleading information attaches itself to what the genuine perpetrators of misleading information believe is deliberately misleading - there is no virus, it's all a conspiracy, blah, blah. And there's no convincing people otherwise. Misled by the professional misleaders and the conspiracy entrepreneurs, they are taken in like believers in some new Messiah, leading them to ... . Well, what exactly?

Covid has been extraordinary in this regard. A pandemic for the contemporary social media age, the distortions crop up as regularly as new outbreaks. The control thesis, the allusion to a New World Order (etc.) is about to spread wings again. It already has in fact. The mere hint of smoking in the street being banned (where social distancing is not possible) is a classic of control conspiracy.

The Balearic government is considering a ban. Should it be? If it believes that this will help in reducing transmission, then it should. And for anyone wearing a mask who gets close to a smoker and can appreciate how the smoke can seem to cling to the mask, then all the better. But not everyone will be convinced. It's all smoke and mirrors.