One of the few coherent thoughts I had during my week of crudiness was the notion of an ‘anger gap’ when it comes to masking and other protections against COVID-19. What I mean is that the anti-maskers are full of anger and, yes, rage, sometimes to the point where they threatened officials with violence. In other words, whenever we read about people angry about the issue of masking, one always assumes the authors mean anti-maskers, not people who desperately want mask protections to remain in place.
Imagine following counterfactual–AND BECAUSE THIS IS THE INTERNET WHICH MAKES PEOPLE STUPID, I AM NOT ADVOCATING THIS AT ALL:
A parent goes to a school board meeting and describes how their child is immunocompromised and needs to be protected. So far, that’s normal, and something we’ve seen plenty of video of and stories about. But then the parent adds, “And if my kid dies, I’m burying her and then coming for you.”
As the kids used to say, that escalated rapidly. Right now, all of the anger and the rage is on one side of the debate. Again, I’m not calling for violence, but telling office holders that if you don’t protect us, we’ll do everything we can to knock you out of office–because we’re trying to protect ourselves, our friends, and our families, and you have failed us–might shift the debate.
Admittedly, it’s probably too late. At thus point, even increasing evidence of long COVID among vaccinated people doesn’t seem able to shift the policy needle, but I still think the anger gap really hurt.
And, yes, anger is the appropriate emotion.