Since the Great Panic began almost two years ago, the question on the minds of the curious has been how long will it last? Panics are not new in human society and they are not new to recent times either. The satanic panic that started in the 1980’s never really ended completely. The “face on a milk carton” meme is still with us, despite the fact few people remember is started in a panic. That was close to half a century ago, suggesting panics never really end.
The missing kid panic changed American society. Prior to that time, it was not unusual for children to walk to school with just the older kids supervising. Kids spent their after-school time playing outside, usually unsupervised. In big cities, kids would ride public transit to school. No one thought it was strange. After the panic, supervised activities became the norm. Video games found a target-rich environment of kids stuck inside by themselves or within earshot of their parents.
That suggests the Covid panic has a long way to go and may never end. That should be obvious at this point. First it was two weeks to bend the curve so hospitals could avoid being overrun by flu patients. That gave way to a regime of total fright with people required to wear amulets reminding everyone of the great fear. The vaccine should have broken the fear, but here we are facing new lockdowns due to the omicron strain, which reportedly attacks the vaccinated for some reason.
The omicron variant is probably the most amusing twist in the great Covid panic so far, because it suggests someone in the system has a sense of humor. As many have pointed out, the word “omicron” is an anagram for “moronic”. There is also the reference to a classic Star Trek episode. The spores on Omicron ceti iii made people euphoric and gave them everlasting health in exchange for a desire to never leave. The plants and the humans became two sides of a blissful relationship.
Part of what is driving this is belief. Humans are believing machines and with the collapse of traditional religion, people are falling into cultural and political cults that scratch the same itch as the old gods. Nature cults have been a staple of human existence since the beginning. At a certain level, the people swept up in the cult of Covid feel they are being punished for a sin against nature. Covid is nature’s vengeance against mankind.
That is why good news is always bad news with Covid. The new mysterious variant that does not make people sick is “symptomless Covid” rather than the natural weakening the virus with each new mutation. The omicron variant is similarly a weaker mutation, but it is setting off panic around the world. Covid is a proxy for a new mystery god, one that reveals itself only through it actions. Like all gods, it is eternal, so its manifestations will be eternal as well. Covid is here forever.
The main driver of the panic from the beginning has been the ruling class, which is looking like Howard Hughes at the end. Instead of shutting themselves up in their mansions and wearing tissue boxes on their feet, they are obsessed with conquering death itself. The actors they hire to perform the rituals off democracy are not quite as bad, but they are a gerontocracy now. As such, they startle at the slightest touch, assuming it must be the Grim Reaper.
There is also the weird isolation of the managerial class. It is not a physical isolation as they do leave their compounds to explore the land of the Dirt People. It is a psychological and cultural isolation. They can imagine hospitals overflowing and people dying in the streets, even though they see no evidence of these things, because they are conditioned by their existence to trust their coevals over their own eyes. If they see it in their media, it is true, no matter what reality has to say.
This combination of old and isolated has created a ruling class that is deeply paranoid about what happens outside the safety of their safe zones. Note how often the word “safe” comes up in their rhetoric. They see themselves as the protectors of society, so they are constantly going on about safety. The reason for that is they assume everyone shares their fear and paranoia about the world. Covid is powerful juju for a ruling class hiding from nature, reality and their own mortality.
Of course, a big part of the panic is the opportunity for the deranged to inflict themselves on the rest of us. Covid has been manna from heaven for the sort of person who sees herself as everyone’s den mother. These people will never get enough of the state of emergency, which provides the panic stricken elite with an amen chorus giving them the allusion of consent. One side pleads to be made safe while the other side pleads to be the savior of mankind.
This brings us back to the original question. When does this panic end? Most likely, it will require a generational turnover. The gerontocracy will die off and be replaced by something worse, but something younger. That means these health panics are probably a feature of the empire now. Like superhero movies, Covid will be rebooted and reimagined every few years. If you want a picture of the future, imagine an ornamental mask on a human face— forever.
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