Welcome to the Frightgeist
When fear is your constant companion...
Frightgeist: The atmosphere of fear which pervades the world in troubled times, driven and amplified by misinformation and poor understanding of the dilemma facing the world.
The Frightgeist is very evident in a world living in the shadow of coronavirus.
Fed by a regular diet of alarming projections and graphs of doom and reinforced by the constant sight of be-masked folk shuffling nervously around each other, the level of fear in the general populace is kept high.
Uncertainty as to the likely outcomes of coronavirus infection lead the people to demand more and more dramatic interventions, and governments reluctantly accept the need to impose ever greater restrictions on freedom.
The frightgeist is a self-amplifying entity. Fear drives the population to either demand that action is taken whilst at the same time not really accepting the consequences of those actions, or to lunge headlong into conspiracy theories.
Some of the population are able to employ doublethink to hold the damage of both the virus/other problem and the mitigating actions simultaneously in mind as 'necessary' evils. This can lead to an inability to relax based on cognitive dissonance: doublethink derangement
Others feel driven to resist the measures as an unwarranted restriction on their basic rights and freedom and will vocally oppose and actively disobey any rules, eschewing any reason: defiance delirium.
Some will take the middle ground, feeling that it is an imposition but fearing the consequences of not following. This leads to reluctant compliance which is equally damaging in that the individual feels weak and disappointed in their own unwillingness to stand up and be counted – acquiescence anxiety or submission psychosis.
Yet others will be fully bought into the measures and will be dismissive of even contemptuous of the non-compliant for any infringement. The mildest expression of this is a minor dismissiveness – giving someone the covid shoulder.
More full throated opposition to opposing views can result in the all too common modern phenomenon: the tribal tirade
The restriction and long term impact on psychological and economic wellbeing lead to the inevitable drift from frightgeist into shitegeist as the ultimate consequences become apparent.