Have you tried plugging your fingers into an outlet? Why anti-vaxxers are so persistent in their delusions

Have you tried plugging your fingers into an outlet? Why anti-vaxxers are so persistent in their delusions
Opinion

18 October, 16:00
Максим Слепов
Сетевой аналитик
The psychological phenomenon of the anti-vaxxers' movement in a civilized society is a huge and very important topic for study.

Maxim Slepov, network analyst

The country received another record for deaths from covid per day. The record for registered cases has also been updated. I read all the anti-vaccines and I just can't grasp the essence: what is their position.

Denial is complete. By the way, there are still dinosaurs who squeal "have not isolated any virus", "a pharma conspiracy", "no worse than the flu." Well that's okay, just crazy.

But many, admitting the presence of the disease, are holding the line on a principled refusal to vaccinate against covid. As I was told in one forum, this is "an attempt to preserve one's own dignity". However, it is not clear how exactly the dignity is preserved. A stupid, uneducated person who sticks his fingers into an outlet can also say that he is an adult and has the right to make an independent decision. But are we going to respect him for that?

And it would be fine if the vaccine carried a serious, statistically significant risk: then there would be talk about difficult choices, caring for others, general versus particular, and so on. But no! Anti-vaxxers post in a circle some very muddy sources, often frankly funny, if you read them with sober eyes, about the fact that "the vaccine kills".

By the way, remember, a year ago they had a popular idea that "the vaccine causes infertility"? Where is it now? Caused? This season there is a new fashion - "the vaccine causes thrombosis" and "people die from the vaccine more often." The first thesis, by the way, is partly true, but only for a few risk groups. The second thesis is generally complete nonsense, and usually arguments like "my friend died". Some of the officer's daughters.

The most difficult, psychologically difficult moment with relatively smart anti-vaxxers - those who disdain to spread fakes from idiotic resources, but still are not vaccinated. I asked a couple of these: "What are you waiting for? What should happen as a result of your actions? What is a positive strategy behind this?"

Can't answer. You show them statistics around the world: on average, a vaccine reduces the mortality rate and the severity of the disease. They are silent. Or it starts "and your mustache is unstuck," but this is from helplessness.

In fact, this is Dostoevism. A "positive", so to speak, way out of the situation for them is when people really start dying from vaccines or getting complications. Then these smart anti-vaxxers will be able to say that they were right. But they still understand that for the country as a whole, for the economy, it will be horrible. It better not have happened. And if it doesn’t happen, then it turns out, what was the whole pose for?

It seems that this is how eschatology is born, when people are waiting for the end of the world, which will once and for all resolve all issues "justly".

From the same series, their argument is easier: "The people are being vaccinated, and the incidence is growing, your vaccine is not working!" Well, normal people have figured out that the vaccine is not a panacea, it reduces the severity, but does not guarantee against the disease itself. Yes, worse than the propaganda broadcast to us a year ago, lower than expectations. However, even this is better than nothing: for any person, even relief from suffering is better than complete uncertainty and inability to do anything in principle.

The psychological phenomenon of the anti-vaxxer movement is itself a huge and very important topic for study. Our technologically advanced civilization has long been ready to introduce elements of direct democracy. But as Oleg Artamonov very rightly noted in his recent article, mass democracy removes responsibility from anyone.

People took it and, in an electronic vote, by a simple majority, decided to abolish all antiquated policies completely. "The virus does not exist." And let's say half of the population died out. Who will be in charge?

This is a very difficult question. A scientific view of things, an elementary mastery of methods of assessment, analytics - this should be very deeply rooted in the culture, in the habits of people. Until they broke everything.

Original is here.

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