The Cut has a story about anti-vaxxers who are upset that their friends don’t understand that they’re not like those anti-vaxxers:
The first time David lied about being vaccinated against COVID-19 was during his shift at an ice-cream shop in L.A. A few months ago, a co-worker asked if he’d gotten the shot, and the 24-year-old paused for a split second before saying “Yes.” The fib felt unnatural coming out of his mouth, but he was more worried about people assuming he was a Facebook-meme-believing, Trump-loving Republican, when he felt nothing could be further from the truth. David, who requested a pseudonym, is a “pretty radical leftist” who wrote in Bernie Sanders on the ballot last November and says he believes in “science and medicine.” But he’s also skeptical about a vaccine he feels Big Pharma rushed to the market. Why be a guinea pig? He’s not “anti-vaxx,” just anti-COVID vaxx, though his fellow lefties seem unable to separate his “genuine concerns about taking an experimental vaccine with widespread side effects from the more crazy conspiracy fears about nanobots and the rapture.”So the recent UCLA grad keeps these thoughts to himself, or posts them anonymously on Reddit and lies to friends and family. David decided that having “people make assumptions about your character or your intelligence” felt worse than just pretending to “be what they want you to be.”
If Tulsi Gabbard has taught us nothing else — and she most certainly hasn’t — it’s that supporting Bernie per se isn’t some kind of guarantee of good politics. Many people supported Bernie for a variety of reasons without necessarily supporting his broader values! Some are outright reactionaries! (Cf. also the 2016 West Virginia primary.)
Vaxx-hesitant progressives say they are under attack. Over and over again, they told me about feeling like outcasts in their lefty circles (for this reason, almost all asked for pseudonyms). “The term anti-vaxxer has become associated with crazy people,” says Amy, a 40-year-old Democrat with “socialist ideals.” “I feel like an outlaw.” Another woman said: “You’re either vaccinated or you’re an irrational, uneducated, dangerous conspiracy theorist who deserves to be silenced, shunned, and punished for daring to have a difference of opinion.” The options, she insisted, boil down to “shut up or deceive.”
Since she’s started to lie about being vaccinated, Sam feels like she’s living a double life. “It’s a really painful, awkward position I put myself in,” she said. “You have to keep track of who you’ve said what to. It’s the kind of thing that keeps you up at night.” But what choice did she have? The former Bernie supporter, who is “for peace and justice,” says there’s no room to admit she’s skeptical of the vaccine “without losing her freedoms” and even some of her relationships. David’s roommates, a pair of siblings, wanted nothing to do with him after their mother died of COVID-19; some close friends he’s been honest with have “really changed their opinion of me” or teasingly called him a Trump supporter. So he’s started lying.On a recent trip to New York, where bars and restaurants require proof, he brought his friend’s vaxx card and ID. Does he feel bad about it? “I don’t feel bad breaking rules that I don’t think are sensible,” he says.
The article is very good, I should say — reports the views, but also corrects all the nihilistic nonsense.
At any rate, fuck these people. The difference between MAGA anti-vaxxism and “socialist” anti-vaxxism is absolutely nothing. Seeing vaccination as a matter of individual consumer preference and resenting people calling for solidarity in the face of a national emergency is “socialism” only in the Tucker Carlson sense. Their friends are 100% right to be upset with them and they’re right to be too ashamed to actually put their name on their views. MAGA is as MAGA does.