The pandemic we are in is bringing a new light on the people we know. We are all discovering things about the people we love and sometimes, these things are not what we expected, not what we hoped.
Unfortunately, I’ve recently realized that some of my favorite people are covidiots and anti-vaxxers. Not necessarily extreme ones, not necessarily the types who believe in all the hoaxes and ridiculous theories, although some may and I just don’t know it, yet.
No matter their level of covidiocy, it troubles me and I don’t know how to handle our relationships going forward.
The pandemic has also brought a whole new meaning to what it is to be an anti-vaxxer. Before Covid, anti-vaxxers were pretty silent in Europe (Well, at least that’s how I saw them). Maybe they didn’t want to vaccinate their kids and said it out-loud every now and then, but it didn’t affect the whole world. Now? It’s a whole new story.
The vociferous & contagious wave of covidiots and anti-vaxxers was bound to happen.
Such disturbing and frightening times were inevitably going to lead to a record number of false information, fakes, hoax, clickbait and things like that. And it was inevitable that plenty of people would fall. People who would feel woke for having found the right source of info, prouder of themselves then if they had found the fountain of youth or the philosopher stone.
It was obvious that they would stick to these believes like moths to a street light. Attracting more and more moths to their undesirable fate.
And I knew I should avoid such people like the plague. For my own sanity, for my own peace of mind. Just to not loose any time. It didn’t feel like it was my fight to convince anyone that Covid is not a regular flu, why the vaccine isn’t going to make anyone sterile, it wasn’t my fight to explain why their point of view was not backed up by the statistic and science…
Actually, I tried once or twice at first, then only did I understand it was pointless.
My initial zero tolerance policy
So since the beginning of the pandemic, I had a very clear point of view on what I shall do, mostly to protect myself, when confronted with covidiots and anti-vaxxers alike: Avert & move on!!
I had a 0 tolerance policy for them, their rhetoric and their jokes. With plenty projects on hands, the lock downs didn’t feel so bad to me and I had plenty of things to focus on, instead of discussing with them, reading the stuff they shared, or trying to explain these were false information.
Yes, I shall repeat once again that I am a white privileged woman, leaving in a apartment that feels nice, with a partner who is not an asshole (and not a covidiot!) and with a certain financial security. Everything is not peachy but I can’t complain and I was able to stay safe. Anyway, now that we got that out of the way once more, let’s get back to the point.
Then I realized my dad is a sort of covidiot!
At first I thought, from a distance, and by what he was saying, that my dad was taking this shit seriously. This was only to realize a little later that, what he did and what he said he did, were very different things.
I blame his age. My dad is an old man. Since my mom passed, time goes by and he is mostly just waiting to be reunited. Keeping occupied but waiting nevertheless.
I tried to convince him to take things seriously, to get vaccinated… It has not worked so far. I haven’t completely given up.
So my dad is covidiot #1 and anti-vaxxer #1 in my life. This isn’t a good start!
At least it isn’t because he believes in microchips and stuff like that. It’s mostly because he can’t be bothered. And to be fair, he doesn’t go out much apart from his garden and isn’t likely to be responsible for the next cluster.
And then, the number of covidiots in my life kept growing
Months passed and I got hints from things shared online and in conversations, that the number of covidiots amongst friends and family members was bigger than I initially thought.
It started with a small joke here and there. Someone pointing to such and such change or discrepency in the ‘official’ message. Maybe even sharing an article about a research on a specific aspect and the conclusion that maybe, this or that can be doubted. Sharing doubts seems innocent at first but can become a powerful way, to turn skeptics into believers of the wildest theories.
I just muted such conversations. I muted more and more people. Part of me just didn’t want to believe that such people were ‘real’ covidiots. Oh, wait! I believed some truly were and was not surprised! This isn’t about such people. This is about the ones I didn’t suspect they could ever be.
However, recently, I discovered that my covidiots’ circle was far greater than I thought because such people were ‘hiding’ online. They were not sharing their views in real life. Well, at least not with me. And since I had muted the ones that shared the most, I had not realized their views had spread like wildfires.
In addition, a lot of them seems to not even share their covidiocy large and wide. They only share it in private messages, one on one. Maybe they also go on forums to find like minded people, I don’t know about that part.
No matter how far and wide it has spread, I came to the conclusion that some of my favorite people were covidiots and anti-vaxxers.
Now, I don’t know what to do about it!
Honestly, my zero tolerance policy is barely sustainable. Amongst the covidiots and anti-vaxxers in my life, there are some of my favorite people. I haven’t had the opportunity to see most of them in real life yet (except for my dad). I’m actually glad because I don’t know how to handle.
Seriously, how do you handle covidiots and anti-vaxxers, without going crazy, without fighting?
The one thing I’m not going to do is spend time trying to convince them (except for my dad!). Speaking to an anti-vaxxer is like speaking to a flat-earther. It is pointless and way too frustrating!
So what else can be done?
Do you pretend it’s ok that they are not vaccinated? At this point, where we live, it is a choice because the opportunity has been given to everyone.
Do you not ask any question? I’m sure by now you too, have gotten used to having the conversation about everyones’ vaccine status! It has become such a usual topic. Which one did you get? How was the first shot? The second? Totally normal conversation! This is so weird as well, isn’t it!?!
But since I know this or this person isn’t vaccinated, I shouldn’t start on this topic, right?
Do you avoid such conversations if they are the ones starting it? Do you just make up an excuse at the first sign the conversation is going to be an anti-vaxxer deluge of non sense?
Do you just continue avoiding them completely? Fo how long?
Do you write them off from your life completely? This pandemic isn’t over and we’ll probably get more.
Really, I’m not sure what to do, how to handle. Maybe adapting one or more of the above, on a case by case basis, is the best course of action? At least for now.
Sorry if you were looking for better tips on how to handle!
On loosing empathy and compassion…
Admittedly, realizing that some of my favorite people are covidiots and anti-vaxxers shook me to the core.
But the worst was to come and it hit me when I realized that it is also slowly eating up my empathy and compassion.
I wanted to stay empathic with anti-vaxxers who have doubt of the long terms effect of the vaccines. I wanted to respect their personal choice, especially if they were otherwise super careful, if they wore their masks, kept their distance…
But it seems that anti-vaxxers are also often covidiots and they often refuse to keep their distance, brushing off the pandemic as a hoax, a flu, etc.
And I can’t empathize with them. Not anymore. You, anti-vaxxers are asking for too much.
Just like me, you’ve heard and read plenty of times, that getting vaccinated is a personal choice and that we all need to respect such choice.
But why??? Why such a statement.
To me, now, getting vaccinated feels more like a civic duty than a personal choice.
To me, being a Covid anti-vaxxer is like being on the wrong side during a war. It’s fighting for the bad guys. It’s incredibly selfish and it would be laughable, if the consequences were not so disastrous.
So I can no longer have empathy and compassion for the covidiots and the anti-vaxxers. I will not try to convince you but do not ask me to feel anything for you if you get sick, or if you complain about your life, the restrictions you suffer from or else.
To my dear friends and family members who are covidiots and anti-vaxxers: Your attitude and ‘personal choice’ are changing me into someone I don’t want to be and I resent you for it. I don’t know if I want to talk to you now, but I know that I will silently blame you for the next waves. And since I’m a long term grudge holder (you know that!), I will also remember which side you were on during this fight and will probably never entirely trust your hygiene & your views.
Yes, I’m selfish too! Yes, I’m becoming a b@#tch! Yes, I’m terribly mad at you for the person I’m becoming. This is all partially thanks to you so don’t complain later about the consequences of your actions.
And please don’t get anywhere close to my dad!
Something else you might be interested to read: Things to do instead of falling for conspiracy theories