May 5, 2021

Two contrasting articles, and I realized they're both from The Atlantic.

One is on people who aren't going to take the vaccine. I think most of these folks are being personal wusses (none of the sets of side effect are all THAT bad) and ignoramuses about how public health works, but I think it's good to try to see where they are coming from: "This is the no-vaxxer deep story in a nutshell: *I trust my own cells more than I trust pharmaceutical goop; I trust my own mind more than I trust liberal elites‚Ä™.*"

The second (with some coverage of Somerville, where I just moved from) hits even closer to home: The Liberals Who Can't Quit Lockdown.

Where and how to get off the quarantine treadmill is a tricky one! There's absolutely an aspect of group affiliation, as well as a culture of caution and anxiety, that moves beyond what the science is saying. Masks - besides doing their job of disrupting the spread - have become a short had for "I give a shit about science and public health". And now we're in a middle zone, where someone going without a mask might just be vaccinated up and aware of the minimized risk, or they might be a yahoo who has always preferred to roll the dice.

Switching gears is tough. I used to kind of roll my eyes at people outdoors who would go mask down but then raise it when other's approached, but now it seems like a reasonable compromise. (Of course, the vaccine situation was different when my prejudice was born) Admittedly outdoors plus a little space has always been maybe not as dangerous as some of us have feared.

Silver lining of walking outdoors mask down/mask up - it really makes you appreciate the freshness of outdoor air!

(Man, The Atlantic really seems to be near the top of the production of thoughtful articles, I'm glad I'm a subscriber.)