Saturday 2 April 2022

Covidiots and Covidians

 The world is divided between Covidiots and Covidians. Covidiots, who think it is all overblown (or never a thing in the first place), that all major governments and global organisations got it wrong (and only they got it right), and who could not be swayed by any amount of evidence. Covidians, who would not leave the house without at least two face masks on and want everyone jabbed at least weekly. Obviously, there is a third route, the person who processes all the evidence without preconceived judgements and adjusts their actions according to the most recent data. Can we all say that we are truly in the third camp?

To a large part the divide aligns with the political spectrum (using some general ideas from Michal J. Sandel). Libertarians on the one hand would  say: "I would not force you to wear a face mask even if not doing so were to put me in danger (and hence I am not wearing one myself)." Community focussed people would say: "I would wear a face mask for you even on the off-chance that it provides any benefit at all (and hence I expect you to do so, too)." Both of those are clearly noble sentiments (if phrased like this). But, critically, neither of them actually needs to look at the data to make this judgement. And I think this is the real problem: We have already made up our minds about what is the right course of action. And then we retrofit the data to match our convictions placing us straight into the Covidiot/Covidian camps.

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