Gaslighting the end of COVID, part 2
Misogyny, that's not what karma means, and the global economy
More thinking as I pull together my theory of COVID everything:
I’ve been spending time on the masks4all subreddit. That is…an experience. Some of the posters have incredibly cogent things to say about COVID and risk calculation. Some of the posters do very detailed, very useful reviews of masks. I’ve found several new ones to try as a result of those reviews. And some of the posters are definitely not mentally healthy people attempting to make good choices in a complex work. They are exactly the paranoid oddballs I get accused of being. They probably feel just as unfairly accused as I do. It’s a lot of world out there, folks.
I’ve been thinking a lot about social identity theory. The way we make choices to signal that we belong in the mainstream. That we are part of communities, not vulnerable loners. And right now, taking COVID precautions is vulnerable loner behavior. I suspect that is emphasized by the way that being careful about illness has connotations of physical weakness. It reminds me of the history of the suitcase with wheels - it took decades before men would use on because they seemed weak and unmanly. Which makes me think that misogyny is a piece of this, too. One ongoing problem in healthcare is that most people see healthcare as something for women, especially preventative and routine care. Men only see a doctor when they’re bleeding. Does caring about COVID make you feeble and womanly?
Does the misogyny or the othering explain the deep unkindness? We are being so very cruel to each other about COVID choices? I know a woman who has been disowned by her parents for masking. A friend whose aunt celebrated his COVID infection and called it karma for being too careful.
Finally, more than a decade ago, an economist colleague told me that as climate change worsens and resources become scarcer, we’re going to start kicking people out of the global economy. Just giving up on health and security for whole countries and groups of people. Life won’t change for the top 50% of the population but the bottom half will just getting more and more vulnerable. That’s what it looks like to me as we give up on COVID precautions. The top 50% is doing fine, with our Paxlovid and our work from home jobs. But the bottom 50% is just going to see things get uglier and uglier as disability from long COVID gets increasingly common.
Unrelated, but here is a good Paxlovid explainer:
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I am sorry to say, "I think you nailed it". Bullseye Alanna. I think about this, ask myself this question. What does it feel like, how does One "square" what it feels like - - - to be right (correct), and to wish - you could be wrong? (What is that feeling called?)