Viruses are an inextricable part of life on Earth: about 8% of the human genome is viral in origin. It was forewarned that humanity was on a crash course with something new owing to the resource use inherent to economic development, disharmonic impingement on nature, and global mass transit. In my opinion, rather than see COVID-19 as a freak event, it is better to understand it as a natural consequence of human proliferation and activity.
With all this in mind, I'd like to venture a few predictions about how NPA personalities will be affected. Obviously board members are welcome to add their own thoughts. First off, a summary of two pertinent trends:
Since around 1800, with the onset of industrialization, human populations have become more concentrated in urban areas. Recent decades have seen no let up in this trend. Avoiding contagion in such densely packed metropolises is very difficult without a rapid, sustained response, as demonstrated in Seoul and Taipei. Of particular concern are dense urban apartment blocks, whereby entry/exit is through common lobbies, stairways, elevators etc. Odds are each of these contain at least a few residents careless of hygiene, and let's face it: most of us are careless from time to time.
Another trend is the lauding of sociability and showmanship. One is not considered truly alive unless indulging in opulent travel and excitement, mixing with attractive and interesting people, coruscating in luxury. A person is deemed most impressive if they live large and play to the crowd; such social assertiveness correlates with successes such as a good paying job and wide circle of acquaintances. A constant drumbeat of popular media enforces and perpetuates this outlook: the flashiest actors, sportspeople, musicians and billionaire magnates are idolized as zeniths of our species, as adulated achievers to be slavishly followed, somewhat to the exclusion of other life philosophies and job paths.
As we know from NPA theory, this description accords with some extroverted N and NA types, with a fringe of NP, NPA, PA types also subscribed. If one's own personality traits are out of step with this image-conscious live hard play hard ideal, then popular culture is less an aspirational goal than something to reject as part of a healthy maturity. Much like ultra-dense urbanization, this vapidity is presented as a one-size-fits-all equation, with glaring flaws ignored or belittled. Having been weaned off valuing facts and reason, it's no surprise a minority of people reject facts entirely: this ultimate devaluation was culturally implicit for decades.
Whatever the eventual length of its tenure, COVID-19 has and will head off hitherto ceaseless urbanization, the fetishizing of charismatic extroversion, and jet setting hyperactivity. These have been supplanted by sobering assessments of science and medicine, until now relegated in the popular mind to eccentric stereotypes, or occasional grim reports on climate change. Suddenly the proffered ideal isn't a teeming tropical bar or rock concert, but the doctor's waiting room. Suddenly small town and rural life isn't so hokey and passe, and suddenly more work (and rambling essays) can be done at home.
Modern culture is embarrassingly lopsided, valuing the punchy gratification of showbiz more than science, which by necessity is slow, plodding and cerebral. The species at large is treated as children amused by clowns at a party, while those not entertained take the role of the grumpy adults waiting for the show to end and for tangible reality to resume. A lot of us wish we were asleep through this noisy nonsense; and for the lack of regard, we might as well be.
For the various NPA personalities, the pandemic will result in a more egalitarian attitude. Those considered boring, staid, untelegenic yet competent will be accorded a touch more acknowledgment in step with the demands of modern civilization, which apparently most of us want to perpetuate. A timely reminder that ordinary people clean the shitters, keep the lights on and take the temperatures. Also, I predict the deliberate repetition and control associated with the P trait will have its methodical way with plenty of pushback. The unhealthy conflation of performative celebrity and bullying bravado with able leadership will lessen, as - quelle surprise - it proves unequal to its job, having stamped deathly ineptness into memory.
All said though...it's unlikely enough sense will be slapped into us that drooling veneration of wealthy blockheads, profligacy and megacities are permanently off the menu. That will take at least a few more calamities until humanity either expires, or is accredited as a species in sustained harmony with its environment.