Let's face it: discussing and disagreeing about Covid and policies related to it is a tenuous, exhausting, and divisive process that most people tend to avoid altogether. At this stage in the pandemic, most minds are hardened and made up.
This can certainly be said for those defending the official narrative, as those still eager to discuss all of the vast issues related to Covid policy (lockdowns, masks, vaccine passports, etc.) tend to be on the skeptic side of the debate.
In my experience, those who are on the government/media promoted narrative would rather not talk with you about it, or if they're willing to engage, they'll end up responding with emotion and shutting the conversation down.
As someone who has plenty of questions regarding the policies being implemented in the name of Covid, this reality is frustrating and downright maddening at times.
To witness friends and family support seemingly incoherent and outright authoritarian policies which will fundamentally alter society forever while simultaneously being unwilling or unable to provide sufficient reasoning for this policy is disturbing.
Actively engaging with these loved ones can have a predictable and depressing outcome, one that leaves you wondering how you can ever bridge the communication gap.
Bring up your feelings of loss, sadness, and anger regarding passport policies with your supposedly "open-minded" friends and family and you will often be met with silence or something about the times being "unprecedented" and that "we have to do something".
If you mention comparisons to segregation policies of the past, you'll be greeted with some form of "public health policy is different" and it's "not the same" as race-based forms of segregation, thereby justifying the new normal medical apartheid as socially responsible and in the best interest of the whole community.
Follow this up with the fact that passport policies will disproportionately affect black and brown communities as their vaccination rates are lower than white counterparts, and observe the cognitive dissonance in action.
If you're lucky, you might get some form of acknowledgement regarding this point, but the next rationalization will often be something along the lines of "they're being misled by misinformation and they need to do what (I think) is best for them!".
Discuss the inherent violation of your privacy by having to share what medical procedure you decided to take to some random door guy at a bar, and you'll probably be thrown the false equivalence of: "You show your ID to get into bars already, having to show personal medical information is no different!"
Counter their "slow the spread" rationale for passports with the fact that even the CDC itself admits the vaccine doesn't prevent transmission or infection, thereby making the act of segregating vaxxed from unvaxxed pointless, and you definitely won't get a consistent or science-based response.
Discuss how it doesn't make sense to be so concerned with "overwhelming hospitals" while simultaneously firing essential medical workers in the middle of a pandemic and the defender of the narrative will loop back around to the false "they could get the patients sick" rationale.
Restate that this was already disproven based on the admission the vaccine doesn't prevent transmission and the person, who is likely at their peak level of cognitive dissonance (if they've made it this far), will lash out and revert back to fallacious reasoning such as "it's the only way out of the pandemic! We all have to get it!"
WARNING: at this point in the conversation, mentioning Ivermectin, hydroxycloriquine, zinc, vitamin D, natural herd immunity, and other "potential ways out of the pandemic" will likely be met with further anger, irrational emotional arguments, and possibly end the discussion altogether.
For anyone who has brought up these points with loved ones, you are undoubtedly aware that no matter how often you point out blatant contradictions and (actual) anti-science reasoning, you are almost always met with emotional outbursts, fallacious logic, and a complete unwillingness to acknowledge the situation they find themselves in.
That being, they have not resolved the contradictions of the Covid narrative on their own terms and, as a result, are largely incapable of responding to your points. In essence, they have not applied logic or reasoning to their views, making any argument from logic or reason hollow and ineffective.
You can mention infection fatality rates, discuss the unintended consequences of lockdowns and passports, or bring up data and statements from the supposed "experts" themselves and it still won't matter.
For the vast majority of your friends and family stuck in the official narrative of what Covid is and what we need to do about it, the time for open discussion ended about 17 months ago. Fear has a way of shutting off one's ability to dissect reality and come to rational conclusions. Chaos causes much of society to demand that someone else reestablish order in their lives.
Often, this mindset is masked by phrases like "I trust the experts" and "I believe in science", when really it means: I'm scared shitless and I'm delegating my decision-making power to a trusted authority, regardless of what their solution might be.
So what's the answer to this communication breakdown?
Frankly, there are no easy answers. If logic and reason don't make a dent in shifting someone's perspective, then what will?
Obviously, making equally hyperbolic, fear-based arguments about the intentions of the government, the vaccine, or anything else related to Covid is not the answer either. You don't counter fear and emotion with more fear and emotion. And logic and reason in and of themselves aren't going to cut it either.
The only possible answer I have to this riddle is that before diving headfirst into your Covid skeptic argument, it's wise to always start by asking yourself the question: what is my goal in discussing this with someone?
Realistically, you're not going to convince someone out of their position at this point, so going hard like it's some kind of officially sanctioned debate probably isn't going to work very well.
Most people have extremely strong attachments to their feelings and beliefs regarding Covid, and simply pointing out a person's logical breakdowns is unlikely to resonate with them. In actuality, you'll likely become their enemy personified as you're forcing them to face something they'd rather avoid.
Instead, speak from your perspective. Explain to them how demoralizing and sad it is to be left out of communal events. Describe how difficult it is to be fired from a job, uninvited from a wedding, unable to travel overseas to visit family, or to have a vital coping mechanism (such as attending live music shows) stripped away.
In nonviolent communication, the focus is always placed on explaining how something feels from your perspective. While people may disagree about your take on Covid policy, they can't disagree with how you feel.
However, they can still downplay, ignore, or disregard your feelings as just a "necessary part of staying safe". When this happens, you may begin to realize who actually cares about you and supports you for who you are as well as who doesn't.
Unfortunately, a large percentage of our friends and family are wholly invested in not seeing or empathizing with our perspective at all. To do so would require one to face the negative consequences of their actions and beliefs, something which has clearly been disincentivized throughout the entirety of Covid.
When a person reveals their inability to listen, to empathize, or to acknowledge your situation whatsoever, it might be time to equally acknowledge their limits and reflect upon what their relationship means to you.
Unlike how the media promotes shunning the unvaxxed, I'm not advocating for doing the same to those who refuse to see you for who you are. But you may decide to invest in relationships that empower you as a person instead of those that shame, blame, or overlook the things that are important to you.
Having disagreement about policy or ideology is one thing, but when one side is in favor of removing rights and privileges as a result of the disagreement, it's difficult not to question what the path ahead for your relationship will look like.
If someone who claims to love and support you is fine with you not being able to live a normal life because of your choices, it's a good idea to consider what else they'll be willing to support in service of their belief system.
Whether they admit it or not, their actions are letting you know their commitment to the narrative is stronger than their commitment to accepting you as you are.
For those that are still open and able to have a rational discussion about Covid and our next step as a society, maybe it's time we ask what the slogan "together apart" really means.
Because whether we like it or not, that's where the passport policy is leading us.
I do agree that these things should be discussed openly because this is an un precedented situation. We shouldn't accept a given situation whole heartedly without discussion when we do not know how new policies that are created today will be used in the future.
I have been fully vaccinated and living with a vaccine "passport" for at least 6 months and I have no issues with the process thus far. But I do have mixed feelings on it nonetheless because we cannot say with certainty that these policies won't change in the future and be used in new ways that are discriminatory.
It's a challenging situation and I have mixed feelings on it. On the one hand I certainly believe in personal freedoms for the individual, but on the other hand I realize that we are a social species living in a society and do have a certain obligation to the group. The group is more important than the individual, a concept who's importance sort of falls on a spectrum that is dependent on the country that the individual lives in and the socioeconomic and political policies that govern it. Basically, does the individual live in a country with universal healthcare and government support for inability to work because of infection, or not? The situation really needs to be treated differently in these two countries. A country where the cost of healthcare and unemployment are the sole responsibility of the individual can allow more freedom because the burden of consequences fall solely on the individual. On the other hand, in a country with universal healthcare, the burden falls on society, so maintaining the group is more important than the freedom of the individual. It would be "fair" if individuals who choose not to be vaccinated had to give up their rights to free healthcare and government support for missed work for any and all covid related issues. That would be a "fair" system and fall within the "rules" of individual freedom, but it would be impossible to implement, it think.
The vax doesn't stop transmission, making this whole discussion largely moot. Segregating by vax status doesn't even hold weight according to the official science.
Vax mandates are a soft genocide when taken to their conclusion. If you can't work, you can't afford to eat, therefore, you die of starvation. There is no rationalization for that, whatsoever.
No, but it reduces severity of symptoms - which means there is a less chance of hospitalization and missed work. This is a valid consideration to political, social and economic planning for a given country and government, as I discussed.
In relation to what Can? Can you explain this point further? I don't understand what you are trying to say here, sorry.
Can you explain further?
Again this goes back to hard decisions that need to be made by governments and it's systems. Resources are not unlimited economically, especially in terms of healthcare and finances so I think this is where the personal choice aspect comes in. Choosing to not be vaccinated is a choice (excluding situations where there is a health concern stopping the individual. These may need a special consideration). In a universal healthcare situation, I don't understand the argument of choosing to go against governmental support by not accepting a free precaution (I.e. vaccine) but then also hedging ones bet and saying, I want government support if my decision fails and I get covid and need a ventilator? The problem with that is, if every person in society takes that stand then the system could potentially fail financially and economically.
Everything is a risk - getting vaxed and not getting vaxed but It sometimes feels like people want their cake and to eat it to. They say, I dont want to take the risk of getting a vaccine and I don't want a government to force me to get one. But, but, but... if I'm wrong and I do get sick, well then I definitely want the government to take care of me. Lol.
If an unvaxxed person is spreading the same amount of virus, segregating by health status makes no sense. By mandating the vaccine for employment, you prevent someone from living. It's like the Holodomor in Soviet Russia. We're not killing you but we're setting you up to no longer be able to live.
"If," is an important word there. I don't know if your statement has any truth to it tbh. Intuitively, I would think that a vaccinated person with a certain level of immunity would be less likely to develop symptoms. That's kind of the point of vaccines and there is plenty of longstanding evidence to prove that. Plenty of viruses have been eliminated from the population (human and animal) through vaccines.
This is not what I'm arguing. I'm arguing the case of government employment insurance.
I see that you are from Denver so your situation is a little different in the U.S. than elsewhere because healthcare is mostly privatized - the individual pays the bill if they get sick or injured. Most other Western countries have universal healthcare though, which raises a lot of different questions (which I originally raised) and which should be discussedand debated. In a universal healthcare system the government pays the bill if a person gets sick or injured, which actually means that the tax payers pay (i.e. society pays). In such a community based system the individual does have some obligation to the community, I think.
I'm starting to wonder if this conversation is on topic to what you originally posted about?
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