Covid-19 has become a religion and its rituals serve the same purpose as religious rituals—demonstrating fealty to the religion and to fellow adherents. From the Zman at theburningplatform:
Depending upon when you mark the beginning, the world is anywhere between six and eight months into the Covid panic. While some parts of the world have slowly climbed back down from the ledge, other parts of the world seem committed to another round of lock downs and public hysteria. In fact, the great and the good are telling us that the public rituals may be a permanent condition. The question, though, is why has the world gone crazy over this particular pandemic?
Strangely forgotten in all of this is the fact that every generation or so has a nasty virus get loose that results in a very bad flu season. The last one was Swine flu, which was about a decade ago. There was a worldwide outbreak of H1N1 called the Soviet flu in the 1970’s and before that the Hong Kong flu. There are localized outbreaks of even scarier things like MERS and SARS. In other words, Covid is neither unusual or particular harmful compared to the regularly occurring pandemics.
In fairness, the initial concern over the virus was justified. It could have been another Spanish flu or it could have been an engineered super-bug. Given the origin and the behavior of China, it was a safe bet that this virus came from a lab. That means it could have been much worse for many obvious reasons. While it most certainly originated in a Chinese lab, we know it is not a super-bug that will plunge the world into darkness or become an extinction event.