people are traumatized and have been repeatedly lied to by their leaders and confused or misled by public health professionals. If they "won't quit the pandemic" this is why.
Pretty much every single person has experienced trauma as a result of this pandemic. The trauma is widely varied in nature from acute to more background noise, and people's resources for addressing trauma varies equally widely.
But the encounter of trauma during the pandemic is real and ongoing and universal.
I think the science is pretty clear that being outside unmasked is totally safe, unless in close proximity. I think the science is pretty clear that once vaccinated being unmasked is safe for YOU in almost all contexts and likely you won't transmit it to your unvaxxed kids too.
But my empathy goes to people who feel differently because the trauma is universal and our leaders have failed us. It would not be a rational choice to assume our leaders have it right this time around, given the evidence of the last year.
The question isn't why are people still masking outside, reluctant to open schools, reluctant to trust the vaccine is working. The question is how do we rebuild trust across a society that has been racked with trauma and governed by malice and incompetence?

I don't know.
But I do know that the current "these people just won't quit the pandemic" is I think a mistaken analysis that I hope we - by which I mean journalists, analysts, public health professionals, elected leaders, neighbors, families, friends, lovers, teachers, communities - will quit.
And here's the thing: I'm seeing the "won't quit masking" takes from a lot from a lot of people, and those people who are pushing the "trust the science" have ALSO ENCOUNTERED TRAUMA during the pandemic, and are also dealing with it in varied ways, etc. We're all fucked up.
so there's a lot of work to do to rebuild society, and the path of empathy and ... recognizing the universality of the encounter with trauma during a global mass death event ... is I think step one.


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