Masking and the Anger Gap

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.


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.

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4 Responses to Masking and the Anger Gap

  1. John says:

    In the same spirit, I imagined asking a General or former General calling for continued fighting in Afghanistan, denouncing the withdrawal, this:”Would you continue the Afghan war if you were to be axed to pieces on national television as punishment?”

  2. David says:

    This is the heart of the current American political debate. Many conservatives seem to value a self-image of being armed and ready to fight for individual liberty against intrusive government, while progressives (as I see us) value people showing mutual respect (conservatives call this being “woke”), and want government programs that achieve a collective benefit.

  3. Pingback: We’re Suffering from “Pandemic Fatigue” Too, Assholes | Mike the Mad Biologist

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