As Western societies have become adept at hiding death away and pretending that vast expenditures of medical effort can prolong life almost indefinitely, it’s highly unlikely that mere data and reason will influence people’s emotional response to c-19, especially given the role of the mass media in providing a constant stream of sensationalist (but largely context-free) reporting. Furthermore, as a group species we’re hardwired to behave as everyone around us behaves, and “think” what everyone around us is “thinking.” Now that mass hysteria is the norm, our already-limited cognitive abilities are further inhibited by the fact that the human prefrontal cortex (which is where our very modest attempts at reason take place) shuts down. So we’re panicking because we’re panicking, and there’s little hope of relief any time soon.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.