Fear was increasingly used for control. Nothing else worked quite as well. Not with society at the state it was already in.

And it only drove society into further extremes.

Fear would soon permeate the culture, and dominate the thinking of every strata of society. Every decision would soon be affected, dominated by what-if worst-case scenarios.

Hesitation, which was once rare in calmer generations, became the norm. Stress-related illnesses were climbing. We thought it was just the way things were, but the cycle was generational. We couldn't really tell how life was better at the other end of the cycle because we weren't around to experience it.

We could only extrapolate current conditions outward.