The words used matter. They can change the way you think about something. And it can be really, really subtle.
I still see the occasional meme from anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers, and so on. The types of disinformation are the same that we’ve been seeing all pandemic. That’s not the important part for me right now.
What’s important is that I keep seeing the addition of “I’ve never seen people get so upset about a vaccination” or “Why is everyone so mad at us?”
There’s a quick answer, just in case you think that’s a reasonable question:
The anti-vaxxers, the anti-maskers, and the anti-quarantine people are the primary reason people are still dying from this disease, particularly in developed nations. The effects of their “personal” decision are not JUST personal.
I found myself typing that today, followed by “How could you be unaware of that after two years of a pandemic, even if you don’t agree?” when I realized my incredulous response was the point of them asking the question.
By continuing to ask that question (or variations thereof), it reframes the anti-vaxx (etc) crowd as the victim, rather than the perpetrators.
By continuing to ask that question, it reframes basic science and infection control as unreasonable, when the selfish choices of the anti-vaxx, anti-mask, anti-lockdown people are the out of control ones.
The truth is that the anti-vaxxer’s selfish actions have directly and indirectly caused people to die – and continue to do so.
The “willful ignorance” is willful – but it is not ignorance. It is a deliberate – but comparatively subtle – framing device to try to confuse you. To try to put you on the defensive.