This is not simply to suggest that the fear of Covid-19 will eventually extract a higher cost – however that is measured – than the virus itself. That particular fear is just one of several strains of social contagion that have swept across the globe this year. Even as Covid-19 was warming up, Extinction Rebellion (XR) was demonstrating its own infectiousness.
Many of those infected by XR virus have been equally susceptible to the global break-out of a similar strain following the grotesque death of George Floyd. The virtue-signalling protestors who dumped the statue of Edward Colston into Bristol harbour seemed much like those who joined Emma Thompson aboard a pink boat marooned in Oxford Circus last year as XR brought much of central London to a halt.