Coronapanic has taken us from virtue signaling to explicit virtue declarations?

Since April, my Facebook feed has been alive with posts of the form “I did X while social distancing.” These are from people who live in places where social distancing is required by law. Some examples:

  • Got to have an (outdoor, socially distanced) visit with my grandma today! (from someone who considers herself an independent thinker)
  • Today I attended a socially distanced picnic with the faculty at CAP DU…
  • Lovely day for socially-distanced apple-picking (above pictures of masked apple pickers)
  • Made it out for a socially distanced, masked, and peaceful demonstration re: the future livelihood of the Pt Reyes Tule Elk….
  • Socially distanced at the beach. (above pictures of children at a beach)
  • … was able to have a socially distanced dinner with him outside at a restaurant last night. (above pictures of mother and adult son, right next to each other with no masks)
  • It was a great weekend of socially distanced outdoor time…

We don’t see this in other domains where a person’s failure to comply with the law could have a statistical chance of killing others. Prior to coronapanic, people didn’t post the following, for example:

  • how do you like my new haircut? obeyed speed limit to/from the barber shop
  • cooked lasagna for friends; washed hands prior to cooking to prevent transmission of norovirus and other potentially lethal pathogens
  • wonderful meal with my cousins (served tofu and broccoli because I don’t want them to die from complications of type 2 diabetes)
  • enjoyed walk around neighborhood; held kids’ hands when crossing street so they didn’t get run over
  • nice flight to Martha’s Vineyard; made sure to fuel airplane prior to departure and ran checklists

I don’t think we can say that these folks are posting their mask and social distance virtue in order to influence others. They’ve already defriended anyone who dares to say that the W.H.O.’s advice through early June 2020 (masks for the general public won’t help) was correct. So the only people who are likely to be reading these posts are (a) living in states where masks and social distancing are required by law and disobedience is punishable via arrests, imprisonment, and fines, and (b) already in agreement with the idea of salvation through social distancing and masks.

Nearly 3 million Americans die in a typical year from various causes. Why is it only COVID-19 that motivates people to declare their virtuous attempts to reduce deaths via some sort of action?

21 thoughts on “Coronapanic has taken us from virtue signaling to explicit virtue declarations?

    • Unless you know you are being confronted by someone who is a police impostors, you should never resist a police officer. Simply fallow through his/her demands and take care of things later on.

    • @George A. They might be paid as such but those girls are impersonating police officers. Watch powerpuffpolicegirl try and subdue hockey player with takedown method learned from a book. The hockey players all should have gotten back on the ice and just laughed at the joke patrol.

  1. I’m glad you’re keeping your sense of humor. It’s a fascinating social phenomenon. People do so many things that entail more danger than any of those activities, even during a pandemic, but the combination of social media + social pressure + virtue signaling + the now-constant need for “likes”, positive regard and self-esteem has stratospherically amplified all this. These behaviors are also a social litmus test for the participants, to ensure they’re all in the same group. You wouldn’t want any friends who are not “your kind.”

    Most people on Facebook go through a phase where they broadcast things like this, but gradually it wears off over many years.

    1) Jacked up my car and put it on jack stands to change the brakes. Did not crush myself.
    2) Took a shower with new slippery liquid soap. Did not fall in the shower and knock my brains out on the soap dish.
    3) Lit the backyard barbecue successfully with lighter fluid and did not burn the house down.
    4) Used chainsaw to cut down a tree in the back yard. Did not dismember my family or myself with chainsaw. Idiot neighbor complaining about shade on his property is sorry now, though.
    5) Successfully reloaded 1,000 rounds of 9mm ammunition and fired it with no hang fires or squib loads that would have blown up the gun.
    6) Used ladder to clean 2nd floor gutter in the back of the house. Slipped and fell to the first floor, but the gazebo broke my fall. Need a new gazebo. Anyone know a good gutter-cleaning service in the Hackensack, NJ area?
    7) Successfully achieved intercourse without harming myself or my partner. We both signed consent forms prior to beginning foreplay and alerted our lawyers.

    I have the feeling this coronavirus self-congratulation will continue until the death rate is 0.

    And so it goes…

    • Well for most of those items I could post on a weekly basis on how people are successful in hurting themselves… except number 7. I guess that one doesn’t require medivac when you fail.

      Now if HIPAA only let me post pictures of those COVID transports I could get a lot of “likes.”

    • @LinePilot: But that’s my point. People in ordinary times (and even during pandemics) do things that are a lot more dangerous than being at a socially-distanced outdoor picnic, the beach, or an apple-picking. Some of the careless ones do injure themselves or others, but we don’t normally make a policy that people doing those things should be surrounded by the police and held against their will, like they are in Germany right now. And most people, after being on Facebook for a while, stop telling everyone when they do the mundane, potentially dangerous things like cleaning their gutters, taking a shower with slippery soap, or using a chainsaw or a bottle of lighter fluid. But not in the pandemic! Every time someone accomplishes something totally safe and mundane, they feel obligated to let everyone know they survived it.

      “I was completely encircled by the police. I was outside in the rain. We could not move because we were blocked with another 70 passengers,”

      Groups of people including a nine-month-old baby can be seen in the clip. “Please help us leave!” Thomys says.

      “We’re all exhausted, many people are crying. Everyone’s talking to their family members. It’s really an uncomfortable situation when all we want to do it to go home,”

      Now France is banning 10,000 freight trucks/day carrying *food* and other goods from crossing the English Channel! What justifies this? How on earth does blocking food shipments by professional truck drivers stop the pandemic?

      Does starving people and destroying their industries help them survive longer? What are the truck drivers going to post on Facebook?

  2. Because the media-fanned fear turned into belief that becoming and being a virtuous member of Masked Cult will bring salvation?

    In reality, all of this has unmistakable signs of massive and sophisticated brainwashing operation (I won’t speculate on who runs it and what the goals are). Basically, to brainwash somebody you need first to destroy his psychological defences and make him to desperately wish for salvation and resolution even if it involves radical changes in his world view.

    So, the necessary steps are isolation from normal social circle (check), depersonalization (hiding face is one of the techniques – check), and instilling senses of helplessness and disorientation (arbitrary and sudden changes in rules do that – check). Then follows gaslighting, offering highly skewed picture of reality, making one to doubt his core beliefs (incessant propaganda – check). Finally, when the subject is unable to defend his old beliefs, offering the new set of beliefs (extreme collectivism in this case) which are presented as necessary for salvation (keep obeying obviously insane orders until the Government Almighty gives you the vaccine).

    Well, it certainly looks now that spendind years in an artificial worldlet of academia being “educated” in never having an independent thought does make people more susceptible to brainwashing… thus tech and business hubs and universities have become Karen centrals.

  3. One hundred years ago, most Westerners still had a regular acquaintance with life and death through breeding and slaughtering animals. Now that we are all urbanized, we have lost that regular contact with the facts of life.

    Witness the results — sex divorced from biology, and our fear of death magnified with its absence.

    • People are stampeding to get out of the cage before the bars lock shut and the government thinks only, of course, of protecting its precious NHS. They don’t interview the people trying to flee, they castigate and criminalize them. This is the socialist government of the UK speaking loud and proud:

      “Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced today that extra police officers would be deployed at stations to prevent people from making non-essential journeys.

      In a statement, he said: “It is incredibly important the people follow the guidance, stay at home and do not attempt to travel. Our focus must be stopping the spread of the virus, protecting lives and our NHS.”

      A lot of Londoners have had enough of the madness.

    • This is normal human reaction.

      Back home in my old country Syria, water, electricity, fuel, food, including coffee, sugar, etc. are rationed by the government. This was true even before the war. Water and electricity are cut off on a rotational basics. So what do people do? They install tanks in their homes (those who don’t, they use their shower tank) and fill it up when there isn’t water. When their is water, they over use it and when they are using the reserved, they conserve. For food, such as coffee and sugar to name some, when there market has it, they would over stuck to make sure they have enough.

      So what you see is this: as soon as someone finds out a store has, lets say “coffee”, then everyone will rush to that store, wait in lines for hours to get “coffee”. Same goes for water and everything else. When there is water flow, everyone opens their taps to the max to fill up any bucket they have. As you would expect, this leads to quickly depleting the supply leading to “crises”.

      This pattern, when repeated over and over, becomes a habit as such even when there is enough supply, people continue to react in the same way. The “fear” of running out is well cemented in their mind, it becomes hard to break. It is a “herded” reaction, jumping over a cliff [1] simply because the person before you jumped.


  4. This country had a revolution [1] because it didn’t agree with the government. It than had a civil war [2] for the same reason. It amazes me how cowered this generation is compared to our grate grand parents. Even worse, how quickly this generation is brainwashed and cannot think for itself. And if that’s not enough, how dependent this generation has been on its government. THIS is the real virus that we will kill us all, not COVID-19 or the lockdown.

    History will label this generation the “Generation F” where “F” stands for “Fu*ked” or “Feared”.


    • @LinePilot, the southern wanted secession from the north because they disagreed with the policies of the government to north of them and northern didn’t want secession because they disagreed with the policies of the government to south of them.

    • So no, “the country didn’t agree with the government” is not correct. A minority group didn’t agree with the government and decided to take up arms (I guess this is where you can have the grime to whether or not secession is legal). We have been, are, and always will be in situations where some subset of the country disagrees with some laws passed by our representatives… only once has this lead to civil war. But again, it wasn’t THE COUNTRY that disagreed.

  5. I see this a lot on Instagram as well. I think it’s a defensive note, that’s all. A lot of people had posted stuff in the past where they broke isolation rules and were flamed for it. So if the photo appears to be breaking rules, it’s safer to point out that they’re being careful. It’s like the new “no homo”.

  6. For decades society has been turning fear into a virtue(I’m looking at you aviation) ‘Rona turned fear virtue into a religion. A great religion, ‘Rona fear is a far better religion than that false prophet climate change. Just afraid of the weather, hah, ‘Rona-ites can be afraid of all people and everything people can touch. It is the ultimate in being afraid and being afraid is their ultimate form of holiness.

  7. Just got a message that my aunt’s mother died, official cause: covid 19. She was 99 years and six months old (not even joking).

    If only we’d social distanced just a bit more…

    • Sorry to hear about your aunt’s mother passing away. At 99 years old, she defiantly lived a long life. Not many of us will make it to that age.

      Let me guess, when she passed away, because she was classified as COVID-19, no one was allowed to be near her, right? What’s more, she was not even given a proper funeral gathering, was she?

      A side note. Over the past 2 months, I know at least 5 people who got sick with a flue like symptoms and when tested, they were told they have COVID-19 and thus were told to be isolated at home. This they did and now they are back on their feet. How sever was their case? They all tell me it was not much different from the flue they had before. One of those 5 people was so scared when he got the report that he had COVID-19 as such he wanted to check-in into a hospital. They would not admit him because he was under 50 and his case was not considered “severe”.

      Moral of the story: we made COVID-19 sound so deadly as such simply saying “you tested positive for COVID-19”, to some, this translates to “you have few weeks left”.

  8. so, I stumbled across this via. Scott Adams’:

    “We keep hearing about how we should follow the science. The claim is tired by now. We know what’s really happening. The lockdown lobby ignores whatever contradicts their narrative, preferring unverified anecdotes over an actual scientific study of 10 million residents in what was the world’s first major hotspot for the disease we are trying to manage. “

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