There is no more apt cautionary tale for our current COVID-19 situation than Michael Crichton's prescient 2004 novel State of Fear. Change the storyline from the climate change fearmongering we've experienced for the last several decades to the coronavirus pandemic, marked by mindless madness from the hyper-negative media and scientific community, and you have State of Fear 2020.
Where the plot becomes frighteningly similar to what we are experiencing today occurs during the dialogue between Peter Evans, one of the main characters, and Professor Norman Hoffman, an expert in the "ecology of thought." Hoffman posits that people are controlled by fear. Before 1989, the focus of world fear was the prospect of nuclear annihilation, but there was a significant shift in the use of such words as cataclysm, catastrophe, crisis, and disaster after 1989. For example, as Hoffman explains, "Durin...
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