The worried well was a phrase I heard today. It was used to describe what appears to be much of the American population in regards to the current reported viral pandemic.
As of yet there is little evidence that the virus posses a threat beyond that of any mild illness. In other words, for most people the virus if contracted, would be an inconvenience. Not a grave threat to their well being much less their life.
Nevertheless the country is close to full-out panic. As of now people are not looting and rioting. There is still order.
But what happens next
depends upon a rational, measured, appropriate (damn, I have little use for that word, but here–it is appropriate) approach. However, in today’s political and social environment (toxic tribalism) reason is irrational.
The culture of narcissism
was the title of a book published in 1979, written by Christopher Lasch. He well could be pulling his hair out now if he were still alive. Chris, You think it was bad then? Ha! He got a lot right, but also some things wrong. Such as “diminishing expectations”.
That was then, maybe, but now expectations have risen to such extent that many Americans expect free health care, free college, and even free money. They’ve been gaslighted (manipulated) to believe they have a right to, not only those things, but to a long, long life devoid of pain! That competition, comparison, and hierarchy are evil “things” invented by “the patriarchy”, also known as nefarious, greedy, white men – the worst of which is President Donald Trump. Those white men want only to oppress, enslave, and subjugate all others. Meaning women and children, etc. and so on, to include all and everyone else. They (the thought leaders) have come up with a word, a label – malignant narcissism.
Trump Derangement Syndrome
Yep. And that will bring about the apocalypse, or End Times, or Revelation. Depending upon which tribe you identify with. The irony is so thick, one would need a laser sword to cut through it.
Ego defense mechanisms
exist for our protection. But, we have so altered the natural world that they can now be a contributor to threat and chaos. Both real and imagined.
We are aliens in the world in which we live.
Contagion is real. “We are complicated, highly social beings. We live in a staggering array of environments, both ecological and social.” We are “a smart, upright-walking, highly social primate and nothing more.” Why Sex Matters (2000).
I’m running out of patience. I alternate between “it’ll be alright” and despair. Please, “smart” primates … relax, wake up. Too much too ask?