• erikaraskin

We Need to Talk




Photo by Nick Bolton on Unsplash





People have lost their minds.


Seriously.


They're comparing masks to yellow stars and saying vaccine passports are signs of tyranny, refusing to comply as a sign of resistance.


Please.


My dog has to produce a vaccine passport before getting his anal glands expressed. Asking for evidence that he's up-to-date on his boosters is hardly symptomatic of a dictatorship. It’s proof that as citizens we care that the groomer is not exposed to rabies if bitten while performing an unenviable task.


Our fellow citizens are being manipulated into believing that Democrats are manufacturing a pandemic, putting Covid vaccines in salad dressing, stealing elections -- and, oh yeah, eating children. While I'm no expert, I believe the correct diagnostic term for what’s going on is Mass Freaking Insanity with Serious Consequences.


Listening to the QAnon theories is like eavesdropping on a group session for the dangerously unhinged. And because their beliefs are fixed, reasoned arguments don't work. (If that was all it took shrinks in general would have a one and done track record:


'I'm Joan of Arc.'


'No, you're not.'


'Oh, I feel much better, Doctor. You're the miracle worker!')


But the current widespread paranoid estrangement from reality is hard core and no-joke dangerous. Empathy is disappearing and bizarre accusations literally threaten the social fabric that once bound Americans to one another. People who believe they are saving children from becoming menu items --yet refuse to take a shot or cover their mouths and noses to actually protect them-- are dangerous.


Dabblers in the paranoia may share belief in just a theory or two. But it doesn't matter. You don't have to be all in for every single fever dream out there to help each other push our country off the cliff.


QAnon is known for being a Big Tent of overlapping suspicions -- that metastasize.


An otherwise lovely woman I know has stepped over the border into this weird absolutism. She doesn't believe that the threat of Covid is real for the majority of Americans. Therefore, rather than doing her part, she argues that the weak amongst us should just stay home.


Um.


Others have slipped inside QAnon's Fascist Big Top because of the long-standing profiteering by the pharmaceutical companies. (Think: Pharma-Bro, the Sackler family who made money hand over fist pushing opioids and Sen. Manchin's daughter, the EpiPen Gouger.)


I get the distrust.


But being able to discern between corporate greed and defiantly refusing to take steps to protect others from contagious diseases seems like an important reflection of stability. Skepticism reflects critical thinking. Baseless attacks on science and refusal to participate in basic public health efforts reflect fanaticism.


These people have not only lost the plot, they're losing their humanity. Seriously.






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