The combination of mass hysteria, self-interest, authoritarian politics, and an unacknowledged purity cult brings many, many unfortunate outcomes. Most obvious is the multipronged assault on humanity, the prohibition of or restrictions on many important human activities, from worship and shopping to educating the young and visiting the ill. There is also subtler damage to healthcare, social trust, social unity, trust in the media, and whatever was left of constitutional democracy.
Edward Hadas is a Research Fellow at Blackfriars, Oxford. His book on Catholic Social Teaching appeared in 2020