Say you're someone who believes that in order to most effectively address the COVID pandemic, a high amount of government restrictions on individual movement is necessary, including stay at home orders and shutting down large sectors of the economy.
There's plenty of data points to point to for you to rationally make that case. So, for the sake of argument... hypothetically... let's say you're right, and you're looking at some of these protests as unacceptable public health risks that are advocating a cause you believe is completely irresponsible and even deadly.
What is the better way to address this?
- Shame, where you pretend that everyone there is some redneck hillbilly racist dirt-bag missing teeth and driving a pickup truck to make up for their small dick. Pretending that what they really want is to be able to get a haircut or go Applebees or the movies or something and just don't care if people die as a result. Convincing people to dismiss or belittle them or...
- Realise that many of these people are motivated by completely understandable concerns. They've likely lost their job when it was ordered closed, and may not have enough food or diapers at their house to see them through it. Many of them are struggling members of the middle class who can't just work from home or ride this out with savings that they don't have, because they're not as privileged as the rich or those who have jobs that can be done remotely and they're also not used to being poor and reliant on living off of government assistance. Many of them can't even get through on the unemployment line because of how many Americans are out of work and suffering the economic effects of what may be the cure.
Telling these people in the middle who are really getting fucked that they're being selfish and just want a fresh haircut or Applebees happy hour is condescending, demeaning, and tone-deaf to the hardship they're going through, even if you're right about it being necessary.
Once you realise this, it seems like the next thing is to address these completely valid concerns related to how they'll even survive if this is extended too long or how the economy will be able to reopen if all the small mom and pop shops and local businesses disappear and all that can afford to remain open are the large corporations.
Now, maybe your solutions aren't ones they'd like. Universal basic income or healthcare, government housing assistance, or whatever it is backed up by MMT or some other nonsensical economic gibberish. Maybe you could make some inroads on your preferred priors that you think are necessary to address this.
But I can guarantee you that they won't hear you if you don't even try to hear them. Their concerns and their fears are valid, regardless of what "the right" policy is to address COVID.