Under extreme duress, such as the shock of a global pandemic, or a world war, the individual of homo sapiens sapiens will surrender its personal intelligence to join a collective intelligence, and surrender its will to the collective will.
This is a pattern repeated throughout nature and generally serves a species well in the longer term. There will be losses. A similar result is achieved when one hits a bee hive with a stick. Instead of pheromones, homo sapiens depend on symbolic communication and body language (signalling) to recruit others in the common initiative. Individuals may be sacrificed for the common good.
Crowd size and composition diversity are factors in social movement, crowd and group formation. There are healers and feelers, planners and reporters, soldiers and sages.
Personal instincts identify triggers that set in motion a series of resonant social behaviours. Talents are redirected to the apparent defense of the species.
Yet in the mass confusion the visionary goals are many, blurry and indistinct, sometimes at odds. In one moment its is perfectly clear, next it is all fog.
Mimicry, symbology, rhythm and rituals all play roles in well-constructed movements, crowds and groups. These reinforce a sense of identity, belonging, trust, loyalty and reciprocity.
Due to the population’s diversity, imbued by nature and evolution, not all individual homo sapiens will respond to the same call to action. Messages may hold many meanings, sometimes a deliberate dog-whistle, sometimes an incidental happenstance. Information and intelligence are seen as interchangeable.
Some will see the growing hoard as group-think and avoid it as a virus itself or a weapon of mass destruction. There will be a heightened sense of chaos and confusion, even paranoia, hysteria and divisive violence.
Friends and relatives will be cancelled, others radicalized to different causes. There will be a frantic search for the enemy to defeat his evil lies and deception.
There will be many losses.
Yet humanity lost shall survive.