Many (many) years ago, my then teen-aged brother was going to microwave himself a hot dog for lunch. A vigorous debate immediately ensued between one of my sisters and a visiting friend about how he should dress his hot dog. The discussion and the dog got a little heated (I come from a Polish-American family where everyone has an opinion on everything.). My other sister popped in to see what the rumpus was about, and after she’d been briefed, she asked my sister and her friend “Are you going to eat that hot dog?”. After they both answered no, she said “Then what do you care?”. Decades later, that is still a question my family asks when one person is getting upset over something that has zero effect on their life.
I remember the days when conservatives and libertarians used to constantly talk about “personal freedom”. I remember when liberals used to make their own cases for it, too, but over the last 14 months the world has gone mad.
The same people who refused to wear masks and now who refuse to get vaccinated are all het up over those of us who prefer to continue to wear masks indoors and outside in unfamiliar crowds even though they are fully vaccinated. And some of the people who wore masks and got vaccinated are incensed that some of us aren’t ready to let it all hang out yet.
If you are still being careful after being vaccinated, you are being subjected to bullshit like this:
It's very difficult to know what constitutes rational behavior during a pandemic like COVID-19 so there's a a limit to how much you might judge anybody's choices.
But I'd argue one sign of *irrationality* is if a person doesn't change their behavior much after being vaccinated.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) May 4, 2021
On one extreme there are Covid deniers. On the other extreme there are "pandemic addicts" who, it seems, never want this period to end. And in between there are the vast majority of Americans who just want common-sense guidance… https://t.co/aYG0dp1OMg
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 22, 2021
Here’s a fact: It is normal to need time to process and get over a traumatic event. We have been, and are still going through, a traumatic event even if a good chunk of the American public is in complete denial about it. My 80something dad was hospitalized in March 2020 with Covid, back when we didn’t know very much about the virus. We were lucky that he was able to come home in a few days and completely recovered with no complications, but it was a truly awful weekend for my family as we could not have any in person contact with him. I had to anticipate the death of my beloved father and also not being able to mourn in person with my family.
My experience isn’t unique, of course, and many people had much worse experiences. Expecting people to just flip a switch and start pretending everything is back to normal isn’t reasonable reaction to a traumatic event. It’s even less reasonable when you realize that the pandemic is still ongoing! Close to 1,000 people are still dying EVERY DAY.
And the spread of vaccinated people is not evenly distributed across the country. That’s why am I going to wear a mask indoors when I am among people I don’t know even if CDC lifts that guidance. Look at this map:
The fact that the same people who wouldn’t wear masks or respect social distancing now won’t get vaccinated and make a point of berating people who are still being careful isn’t lost at all on me. Worse though are the so-called liberals and progressives who now are upset if you make a choice FOR YOURSELF, quietly and without fanfare, to help you navigate this still unfamiliar hellscape. How dare you not believe in science!! They say this as they conveniently forget that guidance has changed several times as we have learned more about this novel coronavirus. Or as Chuck Wendig put it:
We’re not sitting in the dark, aroused by our own isolation. It’s just, we remember Jurassic Park. There were just dinosaurs eating people like, ten minutes ago. We’re not so eager to re-open the park just because you say it’s safe.
As my family says “What do you care?”. How is my behavior, which has zero impact on you, something that puts you on tilt?
Some people are mocking people being quietly cautious because they are terrified and they need for the rest of us to play along with their fantasy that everything is back to “normal”. (It’s not and it will never be the same normal ever again.) And it is abundantly clear that the push among some people for everyone to pretend everything is normal is fueled by their desire to escape any ramifications for exacerbating the spread of the virus by making us forget about what happened. They want us to forget about the terrible death toll of this pandemic, about the people who were infected because their employers wouldn’t implement the proper safety measures, the people in states with awful governors to tried to take away their unemployment, and the still uncontrolled spread of the virus because they won’t get vaccinated.
Well, I won’t forget any of these people or their behavior. Ever. In the meantime, leave me alone.