In the age of Covid you must indulge other people’s paranoia
People have been driven into a state of mass psychosis over the past year. You can see it in the extreme germaphobia that is everywhere now. If this thing ever ends, millions of people will have to retrain themselves just to go about daily life in a manner we took for granted as normal prior to March of 2020.
They will have to relearn how to pass someone on the sidewalk without stepping into oncoming traffic or crossing the road. They will have to break the compulsion to strap-on the magic facecloth that wards off malevolent spirits before daring to walk out their front door.
Sadly, it seems the question of whether or not this thing ever ends is still very much up in the air. If anything, the paranoia appears to be crystalizing rather than dissipating as the months drag on.
In fact, marinating in their own hysteria is no longer good enough for many people. Their mania is now so all-consuming they’ve come to believe the rest of us are obligated to validate their paranoia too.
You know this is true if you happen to have reached a conclusion that is different to theirs about the degree of threat posed by this virus, or the efficacy of masks, or the justifiability of authoritarian lockdowns or the wisdom of mass, indiscriminate inoculation with rushed experimental pharmaceutical products. You’re not entitled to your own thoughts on these matters. Blind to their hypocrisy, they have taken it upon themselves to declare that not seeing things their way is selfish. So naturally the only option is for you to subjugate your views to theirs. Why do these people believe their views should override yours?
Apparently it’s because they feel really really strongly about it.
Seriously. That seems to be it.
Now, one of the best ways to figure out how other people are thinking is to ask: What would it take for me to arrive at the kind of conclusions they’ve embraced. What would I have to accept as true in order to believe what they believe?
And in this case you would ask yourself: What would make me believe that because I feel strongly about something it automatically delegitimizes what other people feel strongly about?
And to be clear, we’re not talking about agreeing to disagree here. We’re talking about people who really believe their fellow citizens are no longer entitled to perceive the world differently to themselves.
In fact, many of these people literally think that failing to indulge their paranoia should be an offence punishable by the state.
What could possibly make normal, middle class people so thoroughly abandon rationality, self-control, ethics, morality and any capacity for humility in favour of such tyrannical narcissism?
Is it hysteria? Paranoid delusion? Whatever you want to call it, it’s as if some primal survival mechanism deep within them has been awakened and is screaming in their ear… ‘The Volcano God is angry! If we sacrifice the non-believers maybe it won’t kill me!’
And here’s the crazy thing: They are absolutely convinced this makes them the good people!
Think I’m exaggerating? Just remember how many people now believe that what they think you should put in your body overrides what you think you should put in your body.
One thing we can say for sure is that a kind of fanatical absolutism has infected the thinking of the mainstream middle-class.
Recognizing the fallibility of one’s own conceptions is fundamental to wisdom. Remembering that our understanding is conditional on encountering better information is crucial to the pursuit of truth.
But these essential insights have been banished along with the humility and self-regulation they cultivate. In their place there is an unrestrained and often vicious zealotry.
In short, the possibility they could be wrong about any of this has been completely deleted from their worldview. Like religious fundamentalists, their personal investment in the unalterable perfection of the official narrative and the absolute righteousness they believe this bestows upon them is total.
Let’s face it, anyone who demands you take certain medications you feel uncomfortable taking because it makes them feel more comfortable has left all consideration of their own capacity for error far behind.
Clearly the government-media coalition has propagated mass hysteria. They have perpetrated a relentless campaign of fear and misinformation on the public for over a year. An apocalyptic narrative based on insufficient data was established back in March of 2020. But better data began to quickly accumulate which indicated the threat was nowhere near the catastrophic board-game version of the virus that public health officials and computer modellers were playing behind closed doors. But instead of announcing the good news and de-escalating the situation… politicians and their lackeys in the mainstream media doubled-down. And it was all catastrophe all the way from there on in.
But we can’t lay all the blame at the feet of those with power and influence. At the end of the day, each individual is responsible for his or her own conscience.
Fear is a funny thing. Yes, it makes people susceptible to manipulation by those in power. But it can also disinhibit a tendency towards malice in individuals which they may otherwise keep in check during less stressful times.