One of the lingering questions about the Covid panic is why did the West suddenly go insane over a regularly occurring phenomena? Pandemics hit the West every generation or so with varying lethality. Most are like Covid in that they are bad for the old and the sick, but mostly a bad flu for everyone else. Once it was clear that Covid was not the Spanish flu, much less the Black Death, the response should have been like those of the past, but instead we got a panic.
In the United States, the panic started when Trump announced the cancellation of travel to and from Europe. That was March of 2020. Europe quickly returned the favor and then the race was on to see who could be the most egregious with regards to abusing their subjects in the name of health and safety. In the United States that meant laughably ridiculous policies like mask mandates, social distancing and the forced closure of restaurants and barbershops.
Panics are what they are because they are irrational, so much of what happened at the beginning is just mass insanity egged on by the media. The nonsense stories about bodies stacked up in morgues kept getting recycled because there was an eager audience of panic-stricken people. Social media was full of people needing to feel like part of the story by spinning personal tales to support the narrative. Many people derived psychic pleasure from feeling like the end was nigh.
After the chubby nurses had finished their TikTok videos, someone had to notice that the hospitals were not overwhelmed. Forgotten now, but people got curious, defied the lockdowns, and went to their local hospitals to see what was happening. Contrary to the reports, the hospitals were not panicked triage centers. They were ghost towns because everything had been cancelled except emergency care. At some point, the staff had to know what was really happening, but they remained silent.
That is the biggest concern about the panic. We were getting good data on the reality of the virus by the autumn of 2020, and it was clear the virus was something like the Asian flu or Hong Kong flu at the worst. The doctors and nurses had to know this by late summer and early fall, but the public health officials insisted otherwise. In fact, we now know they colluded with the tech companies and the media to silence anyone pointing out the facts about Covid. Why did they do this?
The most common response to this question is to shout, “money or power” and then move onto another topic. No doubt some people made money from the panic, and it did give the managers a sense of power. The trouble is we had plenty of state governments go the other way on the issue of lockdowns. Ron DeSantis is going to make a big deal of the fact he did not succumb to the panic. He was not alone, but he had all the same incentives as other states but did not follow the herd.
Maybe the way to think of the money and power answer here is to put it in the context of the managerial society in which we live. The millions of administrators and their managerial bosses finally had their war. The people who populate the array of public and private bureaucracies dedicated to managing some aspect of your life were finally being called upon to defend the world from destruction. The army of public health experts were going to have their turn on the big stage.
The managerial madness that set in and stayed with us long past when it made any sense was not the crude form of money and power that is the most popular answer to every question regarding the behavior of our rulers. People were not taking bribes or gaining new authority in the system. Instead, the vast managerial class and their administrative underlings finally had the sense of control they had always imagined they should have over your life.
It is important to understand that the people who populate the big chairs in the big offices of this age have been bred for this life. They are like dogs selectively breed for certain sorts of work. Anyone who has owned a dachshund, for example, will tell you they have an innate need to dig. If you let them, they will turn the backyard into the surface of the moon trying to find whatever it is they think is there. The wiener dog lives to root around and find what lies beneath.
Like a working dog, the people in the managerial class are bred for their role, so they have that same desire. Instead of digging around the backyard, they desire to manage the life of people that fall under their area of management. In a crisis, that desire explodes in a mania of micromanagement. In other times, it expresses itself as an endless need to expand their roles and thus expand their control. The manager is bred to manage, and she will manage something.
This managerial madness also explains the manufactured crisis. The same people who went berserk over Covid made the predictable mistakes with Ukraine war. If who you are is defined by how you handle the unexpected, after all, you are the one your people come to handle the exceptions, then you will be tuned to seek out the situations that need your particular set of skills. A form of Munchausen syndrome by proxy has infected the managerial class resulting in endless crises.
The reason the system often feels like it is shaking itself apart is that we are plagued with people looking for a crisis to manage. That has resulted in people finding a crisis where none exists. The end point of a society run by managers is a society run by females standing on chairs shrieking at imaginary mice. This also explains why females now outnumber males in the managerial class. You see this most clearly in health care, where the demand for crisis managers is the highest.
It must be said that a fair bit of what went on during Covid was driven by corruption, stupidity, and avarice. The vaccine boondoggle was just a scaled-up version of the Sackler family opioid scam. It was not the genocide the Sackler’s committed against poor people, but there is still time. The negative effects of the Covid vaccines will not fully be known for a long time. A competent system would have stopped both, but stupidity and corruption make avarice the coin of the realm.
Even accounting for the simple answers, we are left with the question as to why the managerial class went mad with Covid. The simple answer here is that perpetual panic is the natural end to managerialism. Once your society is consumed by a ruling class that imagines itself as the indispensable answer to every problem, they eventually are consumed with the need for problems to solve. We are being destroyed by an out of control need to manage the next crisis.
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