If you listened to the latest Real Man Would podcast, I talked about getting into the head of the normal person, a good person, someone who thinks and believes all the right things.
Here’s how I imagine it:
I try to be a good person. Not perfect, obviously, but I get along with others and respect everyone’s differences. And I don’t mean flat-earth types, but real people who get what’s going on and are doing their part. Kind people who would lend a hand to a friend and reciprocate when a hand is offered.
I don’t understand what’s happened to so many people. I just don’t see the appeal of racism or transphobia. Sure, maybe you feel better about yourself for five minutes if you tear someone down, but it’s cruel and selfish. That’s the part that gets me. How hard is it to be kind or at least not a jerk? People are just trying to get by as best they can, so why would you make it worse for them?
I’m the first to admit our institutions aren’t perfect. Economics is hard. Science takes time to get right. Well-meaning public officials did the best they could in a once in a century pandemic. People were dying for God sake, and I’m not gonna play Monday morning quarterback.
Do masks work? I think the more important question is “Are you willing to do your part?” There’s obviously some chance they help, and knowing that, why wouldn’t you just wear one? It’s not a huge ask, and if it makes people feel comfortable you do it. Call it empathy or common courtesy. Of course, politics and ideology get in the way of that, and you have people who won’t lift a finger during a freaking pandemic just to claim, “muh freedom.” That’s not something I have much patience for.
Please don’t make me talk about the vaccine. We know for a fact it’s saved millions of lives, and anyone who doesn’t take it at this point is just an asshole. Do you want ICUs to be overrun? Do you want to put hospitals and nurses at higher risk? Oh right, you’re the same person who won’t wear a mask because it impinges upon your precious freedom! LOL, some people are just not reachable.
It’s so dumb at this point, I really am sick of talking about it. Yes, the vaccinated can catch the virus, but do you have any idea how much worse it would be without it? Sorry, I can’t argue 2+2 = 4 anymore. If you don’t want to do your basic civic duty, I’m sorry, but there should be *some* consequences.
Anyway, I don’t mean to sound salty. I’m actually lucky to be surrounded by so many decent friends and colleagues who respect science and who aren’t falling for every insane conspiracy theory. “ThE ViRus LeAKed FrOm A CHiNeSE LAb!” “ThE VAXxINE Is KiLliNG PeOple!” Give me a break. Not everyone is out to get you.
How do we move forward? I honestly don’t know. I tell people, just try to be kind and tolerant. If someone starts in with antivax (or worse, 2020 election!) insanity, just walk away. If 1/6 taught us anything it’s that true believers will go to any lengths — overthrow the US government!!!! — to justify their delusions.
Hopefully, the problem will solve itself Darwin-style. I just hope they don’t take us all down with them. That’s the thing that keeps me up at night. Public health and even democracy itself are at stake. At some point, everyone makes a choice — are you a good person, do you care about others? Or are you selfish and petty?
It’s infuriating if you let yourself think about it. Honestly I’m done on this topic. I’d rather just enjoy a baseball game, a beer and a slice of pizza. Pineapple on my pizza? LOL, no thanks! That’s the worst!