The Pandemic Happening Unnoticed and Contributing to the Demise of Life on Planet Earth: Suvitis
Suvitis, pronouced s-u-vi-tis, is a contagious infection of the mind characterised by the urge or desire to purchase, own and drive a Sports and Utility Vehicle (SUV), or a vehicle that has the expression of an SUV. While it started some time ago in the upper classes of Western society it has spread across the entire planet and all classes making it into a dangerous pandemic.
Signs & Symptoms
People infected with suvitis feel compelled to buy and/or drive an SUV for urban or sub-urban environments, often on the pretended grounds that it is more practical and comfortable. There are three forms of suvitis with signs and symptoms indicating varying degrees of severity:
People afflicted with pronounced suvitis tend to purchase and drive very large SUVs for an urban environment, far beyond any reasonable needs, including vehicles like Land Rover’s Range Rover & Discovery, Mercedes GLE & GLS, Audi Q7 & Q8, BMWs X5, Toyota Landcruiser, Volvo XC90, etc. The infected person tends to be agnostic to their surroundings and may exhibit the feeling of superiority when driving in public.
People afflicted with moderate suvitis tend to purchase medium sized versions of the large specimens, aka compact SUVs, including vehicles like Mercedes GLB & GLC, Audi Q3 & Q5, or BMWs X3, Toyota Rav4, Honda CR-V, etc. The infected person is more aware of the surroundings and is less affected by an exaggerated feelings of being above all.
People afflicted with mild suvitis tend to purchase smaller versions of the large specimens, aka crossover SUVs, including vehicles like BMWs X1, Nissan Juke, etc, which are usually SUV versions of normal vehicles with an SUV make-over to add an SUV expression. The infected person is aware of his or her surroundings but may aspire to a bigger SUV.
Causes & Diagnosis
The causes for suvitis are difficult to establish. Those afflicted with the disease put forward comfort and other rational sounding reasons; for instance, arguments purported include but are not limited to:
- the vehicle seat is higher off the ground which makes getting into the car easier, in particular for older people or pregnant women,
- good visibility of the world around while driving due to the elevated driving position,
- comfortable, but also spacious interior in order not to feel to constraint,
- four wheel drive for off-road situations or heavy snow.
Nevertheless, these arguments are part of the illusion created by suvitis as SUVs fail on most of these accounts:
- for large SUVs, the vehicle seats are too high, like on a tractor, getting into the seat is even more difficult and may require a portable ladder; on the other hand, look-alike SUVs are not any better than small compact cars,
- SUVs have relatively small windows, positioned high up, thus creating a large dead zone around the vehicle with no visibility (to the detriment of cyclists, pedestrians and in particular children); moreover, height is relative and it is too easy to get into an arms race,
- given the overall envelope of a vehicle, SUVs sacrifice the volume to a more powerful engine, the drive train (including three differentials), wheel boxes for larger wheels, etc, resulting quite often a small passenger cabin,
- urban areas are mostly flat, in England and elsewhere, there is rarely enough snow to warrant a 4x4; moreover, due to the high centre of mass, vehicle handling and cornering dynamics deteriorate.
It is suspected that the real driving force and cause to aspire to driving an SUV is more psychological than practical which is only used as pretence by the infected person: it is all about the bold expression conveyed by such a vehicle. The SUV look and size is designed to impress, impose and project power. The relevant psychological condition of suvitis is a “get out of my way” attitude, a “me-first” mindset, combined with an illusion of superiority (which is a reason SUVs are sometimes dubbed bully-wagons), all character traits that society has tried to overcome throughout recent history.
Suvitis seems to be a regression in human evolution as it accentuates the instincts of posturing and display behaviour as seen in primates and primitive species. In an age of mindfulness it is surprising to see this resurgence of the ego and all vices related to vanity.
Prevention & Prognosis
The disease and an infection can be prevented through compassion and awareness of fellow human beings and the world. For instance, in terms of energy expenditure, being larger and heavier as well as more box shaped, hence less aerodynamic, SUVs consume more energy to produce and to drive, obliterating even the effects of electrification. The product offering of new, electric cars in the shape of SUVs makes a mockery of the climate change efforts. Consideration for these detrimental effects on the planet may help to fend off an infection with suvitis. Thinking about the consequences of an SUV on the planet could be one aspect of the prevention for suvitis.
Another factor for prevention would be simply not to fall for anything that promotes basic instincts such as posturing and display behaviour at the expense of the planet, or vanity (SUVs are also known as vanity-vehicles); rather, mankind should be guided on modesty. If all people observed these aspects the prognosis for mankind and the world could be much better. If not, the consequences might be quite dire as the mindset caused and influenced by suvitis is destructive in nature as it encourages an escalation of vehicle growth (arms race) and the increase of resource and energy consumption this entails, and, in a wider sense encourages destructive character traits.
Like many infectious diseases, suvitis is highly contagious and exploits weaknesses of most populations around the world, usually in the adult in the aspiring middle class. Advertising over the past decades has helped to impair the immune system with respect to this disease making people even more susceptible to infection. Over the years a certain desire has been planted in people’s mind, taping into very basic primate instincts of humans and drawing them back to the level of existence mankind has evolved away from.