IN response to Kathy Gyngell: How irrational fear of Covid was stoked by ministers and media, Andrew Devine wrote:
Of course, the role of media and government has grossly exacerbated people’s fears over Covid. However, there also has to be something lacking in the wider culture for such hysteria to take root. I think if during the 1969 Hong Kong flu they had attempted a lockdown strategy there would have been mass resistance. People then were used to dealing with sickness and death, and actual existential threats. Many had recently survived a world war. A slightly more severe flu strain barely fazed them.
The West really hasn’t faced any severe hardship/existential threat since WW2. Every decade since has seen great strides in living standards. You can be poor and fat with access to unlimited entertainment for the first time in human history. Then along comes a new virus that reminds us we are not immortal and shakes us out of our complacency. We didn’t like being reminded of this fact when we were trying to get on with the pursuit of pleasure and enjoying our comforts.
Sure, this is a nasty virus for some, a very small minority, but not with a high death rate by historical standards. However, due to no build-up of cultural resilience, people succumb to the fear-mongering and hysteria agenda that is inevitable in an enfeebled culture.