October, 2021 archive
At NJ.com, Clifford Kulwin reports on his visit to a polity where the pandemic did not become politicized. A snippet:
No one enjoys wearing masks, of course, but they weren’t a source of conflict. No slipping it under the nose, no arguing with a museum guard or a flight attendant, no articles in the newspaper about groups or individuals challenging government public health edicts. Everybody followed the rules.
Shortly after my arrival, a friend emailed,“ do you feel safe there?” I answered honestly. “Safer than I do at home.”
WHYY (my old NPR station when I lived in the Philly area) takes a look at how taking sensible health precautions has morphed into a theater of stupid. Here’s an excerpt; follow the link for the rest (emphasis added).
Still, the battle to inoculate the nation against the coronavirus has reached a fever pitch in recent months. President Biden has focused on getting as many Americans as possible vaccinated against the coronavirus, most notably rolling out wide-reaching vaccine mandates for government employees and for businesses with more than 100 workers.
But Republicans have grown increasingly hostile to the notion of mandatory vaccines — despite vaccine mandates existing in the background in parts of the United States since the 19th century — and have parlayed the fight against COVID-19 into a political battle, with vaccine mandates as the latest frontier in the great American defense of freedom and liberty. . . . .
“Somehow it has morphed into not getting the vaccine as a way to defend their freedom and resist this ‘tyranny,’ ” said Ken Resnicow, a professor in the school of public health at the University of Michigan. “There’s not many countries that have this dynamic.”
They just can’t seem to help it. A snippet:
The woman claimed her car was broken into, then insisted that Black fit the description of the individual who was breaking into other cars at the complex because he was wearing a hoodie and a backpack.
The apartment complex said the person accused of the break-ins was actually described as a white adolescent on a bike with a red backpack, News 4 Nashville reported. He told the news station that he believed the woman accused him because he is Black.
A maskless marauder drops the (figurative) mask. (Warning: short ad at the end.)
At Psychology Today Blogs, Eugen Dimant discusses some disheartening research. His summary:
- Attitudes regarding mask-wearing behavior are highly polarized.
- We tested Republicans and Democrats separately on whether we could increase the rates at which people wear masks.
- We found that behavior change is difficult in such a polarizing environment and nudges alone might not be enough.
Follow link for details and the study, its methodology, and its findings.