Is it any surprise that, hypochondria having been normalized, the strange practices associated with this sickness aren’t going away?
The wearing of “masks,” for instance. If people believe that wearing them “stops the spread” of one virus why not wear them forever, to “stop the spread” of any virus? Like the flu virus, for instance. The University of California at Berkeley is probably just the first of many places to decree that “mask” wearing is mandatory – again – because of the ordinary flu. Which means, of course, that “mask” wearing will always be mandatory.
This is the predictable – the inevitable – reductio ad absurdum of there-there’ing hypochondriacs, who’ve been almost ennobled – as opposed to being diagnosed as people psychologically crippled by an overweening, obsessive fear of catching cold.
Prior to the weaponization of hypochondria, people who were afflicted by an overweening, obsessive fear of catching cold – of germs, everywhere! – were looked upon as abnormal. So also their strange rituals and fetishes, such as over-washing of hands, refusal to shake hands and – the Big One – the wearing of “masks.”
I remember the first time I saw a “mask” wearer in a public place. It was at the very beginning of what was styled the “pandemic,” but prior to the general spread of hypochondria. Almost everyone behaved normally in those days. You may recall them. They were about three years ago, not quite. We were hearing fearful talk on the TeeVee and seeing even more fearful things, such as video images from Chyna purportedly showing people keeling over from the ‘Rona – right there in the street. No one ever did that in our streets, so it is likely the whole thing was part of the performance – choreographed with the deftness of a Rodgers & Hammerstein production.
One day in January of 2020, I was sitting at a table at the coffee shop I used to frequent before everything went crazy. A metric of the sanity then still operative was that when what looked like a crazy person – i.e., a “masked” person – walked into the shop, everyone looked.
As is usual whenever something abnormal occurs.
I was on friendly terms, at the time, with the staff of this coffee shop and we talked about how sad and strange this “masked” person looked. The presence of this person was off-putting, for the same reason that – in these Before Times – sane people tended to be on guard when in the presence of someone obviously mentally ill. One never knows whether such an individual will do something else abnormal – such as pull a knife out and begin slashing at the “devils” he (or she, as the case may be) thinks are threatening them.
That kind of person was ennobled via the weaponization of hypochondria. Which made such performances – the strange rites and bizarre fetishes – not only “normal” in the sickest way imaginable but also (and even sicker) laudable.
As in: These people are doing the caring thing. With the implicit corollary that we who do not perform strange rites and bizarre rituals such as “mask” wearing don’t “care.” Which of course is perfectly true – because why would we? Sane people don’t usually care to indulge the manias of people not right in the head and definitely object to being told we must participate in strange rites and bizarre rituals in order to calm the hysterics.
This is not merely a point of principle – all by itself sufficient warrant to hold onto one’s sanity. It is necessary – in order to stop the spread of insanity. The more who “mask,” the more normal this abnormal practice seems to be. The more enabled the hysterics – who fear all colds as much as the cold.
For that is what defines hypochondria. And that is what has been abnormalized.
It is why college campuses such as the UC at Berkeley look like a snapshot from the classic (1975) Jack Nicholson movie about an asylum for mentally ill people, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. With the difference that none of the inmates in the asylum depicted in the movie were wearing “masks.”
Now, thanks to the enabling and ennobling of mental illness, “mask” wearing is everywhere, even if not everyone is wearing them. Even in places where almost no one wears them. Wherever you go, just about, you are almost certain to see at least a few people still wearing them.
These people will never stop wearing them, either.
For there is always a another “virus” going around. Dirty germs – and dirty people – around. Gotta “stay safe,” as they see themselves.
It will never go back to being the occasional sight of a crazy person – understood by everyone else to be a crazy person – until hypochondria is once again understood to be a sickness of the mind and treated accordingly, rather than abnormally – as by pretending it isn’t a sickness of the mind.
. . .
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