More Joy Of Coronapanic
How we managed to go from absurd to dangerously absurd
When children are small it’s easy for them to become agitated and over-excited. They become very emotional, run around frantically for a while, then have a meltdown. After that they succumb to exhaustion and fall fast asleep, to wake sometime later refreshed and with their emotions re-set to normal levels.
Unfortunately, when children grow older they become less likely to exhaust themselves and far less likely to achieve emotional re-set after a much-needed nap. This means that most people who manage to live past the age of ten can remain in an over-excited condition for astonishingly long periods of time. This perpetual state of agitation is exacerbated by our modern mass media that relies entirely on generating a never-ending stream of sensationalist nonsense with which to grab for a few precious moments as many monetizable eyeballs as possible.
Not entirely surprisingly, the current pandemic offers a host of opportunities for enthusiastic journalists to pump out an endless river of lucrative fear-inducing reportage that predictably results in a great many people being convinced the world is coming to an end.
In the USA, attitudes to SARS-COV2 are largely determined by political affiliation. Republicans-Trumpists believe (i) that covid-19 is a Chinese bioweapon while simultaneously (ii) being a hoax invented by Bill Gates to provide an excuse for injecting tiny clones of George Soros into people so UN black helicopters can confiscate patriots’ bibles and rape their guns. Democrat voters conversely believe so many people will die of covid-19 that the USA will have to import foreigners simply to meet mortality projections and that it’s the worst catastrophe in human history apart from Friends coming to an end after only ten seasons.
Meanwhile in Europe, attitudes are largely decoupled from political affiliation and more dependent on national characteristics. The stolid Swiss mostly refused to panic until the French cantons buckled under the never-ending barrage of scaremongering spilling over from France. The French themselves, meanwhile, despite endless media sensationalism modeled on the US and UK variants, have a healthy tendency to remain skeptical of government and of ivory-tower…