Future historians will look back on the coronavirus outbreak as more an outbreak of psychological rather than physical illness. From Craig Pirrong at aier.org:
It’s more than fair to say that we are experiencing a pandemic, but not the one you hear about ad nauseum. No, the pandemic is not a virus, it is a pandemic outbreak of Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy which focuses its obsessions on the virus.
Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy is a mental illness in which the sufferer fantasizes that others–usually people in their charge, such as children–are suffering from serious illness and require drastic medical intervention.
Observe what has happened over the last 7 months, and what if anything is increasing in intensity today. The obsession with Covid-19. The monomaniacal focus on “cases” (usually the result of hypersensitive tests prone to false positives), with the belief that people who test positive are sick, and huge numbers of those who become sick will die.
Given the actual experience over the last several months, these beliefs are wildly exaggerated–imaginary, fantasized illnesses, with fantasized severity, just the kind of thing that a sufferer of MSbP does.
And there’s more to the diagnosis. MSbP sufferers subject the people whom they imagine are ill with suffocating attention and unnecessary, and often harmful, health-related interventions. You know, like lockdowns; draconian restrictions on movement, social contact, and other features of everyday life; the shutting down of schools and colleges; and strident demands to wear masks–even between bites of your meal if you are in California.