Over the last two years, have you heard somebody you know say they are glad somebody died from COVID? I don’t mean the cult leaders. Those you hear it often. After all, a lot of the right has become a death cult. I don’t begrudge this with people who have, by their actions and words, inspired millions of their fellow citizens to avoid a vaccine that could keep them out of the hospital.
There is anger at the unvaccinated. Especially at religious, political and media influencers that have done this. They are playing with the lives of those that listen to them. So when some of them inevitably die, the scorn is to a point understandable. These are the people who are responsible for the continuation of the pandemic.
But this scorn now transfers to anybody who died from COVID who refused the shot. Perhaps to the rare person who cannot take the shot.
Patience is short. But now we are doing something else. We have crossed into othering people. They are no longer part of the tribe. Don’t worry, it’s mutual. We are not part of their tribe either. The disdain across tribal lines is clear. So is the sense of Schadenfreude that they are suffering.
It’s not healthy.
In the current circumstances, when red states are engaging in nullification, it points to a civil war. Examples of this abound. Whether it is the refusal in Florida to follow mask mandates. Or Texas using its national guard to patrol the border.
The claim of federal overreach is one coming from where Republicans currently find themselves. A seemingly persecuted minority, that is doing their very best to block anything done by their existential enemies: The Democrats.
This is also a minority that is doing all it can to stop progress and keep power by any means. Power is not about good government. This is precisely where the attitudes towards vaccination have morphed into an exercise of civil rights. It has also become a political act.
This is about control, we are told.
So when we learn of the death of a leader in this movement, some may see them as strangers among us. Or at least with my tribe. Some people celebrate these deaths. Indeed, if you play stupid games, you might win the big one.