Viral Brave, New World of Lonely Narcissism

Uploaded 3/30/2020, approx. 10 minute read

I hate to disappoint you, many of you at least, but I am still alive, and I am Sam Vaknin, the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited.

Evidently, even viruses can cope with narcissists. The pandemic is over in Italy and the United Kingdom. Appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, another 10 days, another 14 days, and it will level off.

The reason we still have new infections and new deaths is because of the long tail of the pandemic, the fact that the incubation period is inordinately long. The pandemic is still going strong in Spain and in the United States, but even in these two third world countries it will last three to four weeks at most.

The pandemic's petering out has nothing to do with current teens and social distancing. It has everything to do with the typical dynamics of a self-limiting virus of the SARS family.

We have a big experience with this family more than 20 years.

As every textbook in Epidemiology 101 will tell you, universal current teens and social distancing are precisely the wrong measures to cope with pandemics. It's the first thing they teach you in epidemiology.

For a variety of reasons, it reduces herd immunity, it induces people to lie and to cheat, etc.

But as usual, we have been fighting the last war and shooting ourselves in both feet simultaneously.

Ironically, the thing is that we have been ready for this virus. All our institutions have crumbled in the past two decades. There's no more family, there's no more neighborhood, there are no more functional couples or relationships, and there's no community. We all became schizoid loners whose sole human contact is the occasional impersonal encounter of casual sex, and many of us don't have even this.

The only social left in our lives are social media, and our only friends are strangers on Facebook who call themselves, for some oblivious reason, dating survived only in dating applications.

Social distancing was a fact of life long before the virus made its illustrious appearance. The virus stood no chance of propagating anyhow.

This pandemic also exposed other structural weaknesses in what was left of our civilization.

Our narcissistic preoccupation with our bodies, for example. Our extreme risk aversion, which has to do with hypochondriasis, fear of disease, mutilation, and all kinds of somatoform disorders, body dysmorphic disorders, eating disorders.

And then there's the issue of intergenerational lack of solidarity or even conflict between young and old. I will talk about it a bit later.

There's distrust of authorities, mainstream media of experts.

And then there's our malignant technology empowered, self-sufficiency. I call it malignant individualism.

We were already falling apart. We were already disintegrated. The virus just shined a bright and transient light on our incremental demise as a cooperative, intelligent species.

Having said all this, optimism mixed with pessimism equals realism. Having said all this, there's one bit of news or maybe two or three bits of news, which for the first time in this entire pandemic, make me worry, frighten me.

Two days ago, I came across the first truly worrying news in this entire pandemic. A newborn baby died in the United States of COVID-19. If this baby had no underlying conditions, no comorbidities, it is a seriously scary development because it implies that the virus is mutating in vivo in real life out there and that it is possibly recombining with a flu virus, maybe avian flu.

This is more terrifying than I can tell you.

There were scientists in 2011 and earlier, and they have achieved similar feats in laboratories in the United States and elsewhere. Don't ask me what they were thinking. After idiocy, with zero scientific value, just generating dangerous germs and viruses in laboratories, for God knows what, not even for biological warfare, because you cannot weaponize. It's very difficult to weaponize these microorganisms and viruses. They just did it for the heck of it.

But one thing is that they have demonstrated what will happen if a SARS-type virus will combine with a flu virus, and you don't want to know the results.

Additionally, several impeccably healthy adults in their 50s had also died in the United States. All this, the death of the baby and the death of the perfectly healthy adults in their 50s with no pre-existing conditions, all these put together suggest that perhaps there's a new strain at work, a new variation or mutation of the virus. And that's seriously scary.

Let me explain why.

Newborns have only the bare rudiments of an immune system.

The SARS CoVID-19 culprit, this virus is essentially an autoimmune virus. It provokes the immune system. Even if the immune system is already depleted, it goes into overdrive. This overdrive is known as hyperinflammation.

Certain types of immune cells like cytokines end up attacking the body's own tissues. Cytokines, so as I said, immune cells, they go haywire.

In elderly and immunocopromised patients, they cause death. This is called a cytokine storm.

The reason younger folks have higher survival rates in this pandemic is because their immune system is still under construction, not fully developed. For the virus to have decimated a healthy newborn, or for that matter, a healthy adult, it must have mutated. It must have merged with another nasty. This is bad news all around.

Equipped with a formidable arsenal of even the common flu, we stand no chance. A Spanish flu-like pandemic will ensue.

In 1918 to 1920, about 50 to 100 million people died. We stopped counting. This time, the toll in human lives will be closer to 1 billion.


Because in our narcissistic panic, we universally quarantined and self-isolated, and we failed to develop the only true protection against the propagation of this virus and possibly its mutations, herd immunity.

Sixty to seventy percent of our population should have been infected. We should have instituted social distancing in quarantine only for vulnerable groups, the elderly, the immunocompromised, people with comorbidities, pre-existing conditions. All the rest, all the others, should have been left to be infected.

We didn't do this, and so now, if there's a mutation, we will not survive. COVID-19 is shaping up to be a war in many, many respects.

Let us hope that this baby was born with some congenital heart problem, or some other pre-existing condition.

It's very sad that the baby had died, but the message its death is sending us is unthinkable.

As I said, COVID-19, the pandemic, is shaping up to be a war on several levels.

So there's a war between the quarantined, but defiant young, against the doomed old, who ecutistically are absconding with their youth.

You see, young people are asked to sacrifice their social lives, their dating, their mating, their family creation, and their economic future, to prolong the life of an 80-year-old by six months. They are asked to make incalculable sacrifices, to actually sacrifice their lives, for a generation whose only legacy is a polluted planet, climate change, civil wars, and 70 million displaced people and refugees. This is our legacy to the young generations, and we are asking them to sacrifice themselves for us.

What rights do we have? I'm not sure we do.

This is very reminiscent of child sacrifices and human sacrifices in the ancient world, where people used to sacrifice young virgins or children to the Moloch, where Abraham almost sacrificed. Isaac was common practice at that time. The young were considered dispensable, not full adults, not fully formed, so it can be easily trashed, or sacrificed, or killed, or whatever.

We are reverting to this frame of mind. We the old have all the rights, and the young should abide and obey or be punished.

In scenes, not scenes in the Black Death, protein, self-assembling, flesh mob teenage gangs, break curfew, and maraud the streets, damaging property, coughing and speaking in the faces of passers-by, and law enforcement, and spreading saliva and secretions on various surfaces.

This is their way of protesting. Travel and movement restrictions, voluntary and mandatory, are likely to remain in place after the pandemic is over in two or three weeks, and this abnormal state will engender intergenerational tensions and conflicts akin to the post-World War I and the Vietnam eras.

But these ineluctable features will be amplified to the social breaking point by technologies such as social media.

So you should expect a plethora of Manson families. The age of the clockwork orange is dawning upon us. The enemy would be the young.

Social distancing may be a fixture in our lives as we protect ourselves against the disintegration of society around us. The virus will be long forgotten and we may still be socially isolated.

And then there's the effect on gender.

Anyhow, the situation between gender was a war. The world was becoming unigender. Men were provoked, alarmed and protested. More and more financially emancipated women mimic psychopathic men adopting both their misbehaviors and their unsavory traits.

A curious gender inversion seems to be occurring. Men are assuming hitherto feminine roles and reactive patterns.

For example, judging by numerous reports from the crowded clinics of couple therapies, men are now more sex averse, more frigid than women, and they compensate with porn and its consumption.

Men are more romantic and are more likely to be infatuated. Men are more likely to suggest to transition to a committed relationship after a bout of casual sex.

And women overwhelmingly decline such overtures. They don't want further contact after one night since.

Women, not men.

Many men are now stay-at-home dads, as women become primary breadwinners. These are not small numbers. Over 43% of primary breadwinners in the United States are women nowadays.

In many, many professions, women are the absolute majority. The legal profession, medicine, teaching. The majority of college graduates are women, not men.

Men are left behind.

This is an interconnected world, a world where empathy and networking are the strong suits and provide you with a competitive advantage.

And women do this much better than men. Muscle power is obsolete. Brain power is on the ascendance. Women are catching up to men in the frequency of cheating on their intimate partners and the number of one-night stands, especially when these involve drinking or other forms of substance abuse.

This is the kind of behaviors women adopt to demonstrate how autonomous and independent they are.

In many places, more women than men frequent singles bars and dives, and women are surging on dating-ups, where three-quarters of women admit to scouting for anonymous sex partners or for infidelity accomplices. Women sue for 73% of all divorces.

So the floodgates are wide open. In a uni-gender world, gender roles are fluid and they are often inverted. Gender vertigo ensues, followed by male avoidance in a misogynistic manosphere.

So we have miktav, we have red pillows, we have incense, and we have a lot of misogynistic violence. And this is all part and parcel of a much bigger trend, which is going to be severely exacerbated by the virus.

The ascent of loneliness, the ascent of aloneness. More and more people of both genders choose to live alone.

Starting in 2016 in the West at least, the majority of people choose to live alone. They find their own exclusive company irresistible. Technology rendered us utterly self-sufficient, so I'd be bothered with the quirks, moods, emotions, demands and expectations of other people.

Procreation, marriage and family have been phased out. Sex is gradually displaced by pornography and by the occasional casual masturbation with other people's bodies, also known as sex.

When it comes to relationships, the prize is just not worth the price. And this will be the great discovery of the pandemic.

We don't need anyone. We can live all by ourselves.

And very often, it's much more fun than being with others.

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