President Donald Trump’s distinctive language is a gift that keeps on giving. This week he said that the pandemic will go away even without a vaccine: “You will develop like a herd mentality. It’s going to be herd developed.” Wags might note that herd mentality itself is the pandemic that’s sweeping the world these days, where people unthinkingly follow their leader. The White House press secretary explained Trump was referring to the “medical term” herd immunity. But of course the press keeps mining it for Freudian gold. The thrall in which Trump keeps 40% of Americans despite gross Covid mismanagement amplified by damning exposés, could indeed have something to do with high levels of herd mentality.
Across the pond Prime Minister Boris Johnson actually led his country with a herd immunity strategy, until Covid put him in ICU too. Soon after, the man whom the opposition had been accusing of putting NHS “up for sale” began singing its paeans: “NHS is the beating heart of this country. It is unconquerable. It is powered by love.” On the herd mentality front, among bhakts Johnson became totemically intertwined with NHS, with one going so far as to say that his health was by extension the health of the nation itself.
These days Kangana, Rhea and phantasmal drug hunts centring around them (or darker crimes, if you should so choose) seem to be keeping us busy, taking our minds away from such ‘trivial’ matters as the Indian economy losing almost a quarter of its value over April-June. With the country being willy nilly dragged towards a disastrously costly herd immunity, we urgently need to re-embrace our rational selves. In the animal kingdom herd mentality is associated with lemmings, casting themselves off a cliff en masse. We don’t need to head towards the cliff.
DISCLAIMER : This article is intended to bring a smile to your face. Any connection to events and characters in real life is coincidental.