In this time of COVID, we are faced with many challenges to our usual way of life. One of these is the attitude and behaviour of a minority who oppose vaccination and the wearing of masks.
Each of these folks have their own reasons for feeling this way. But we should not condemn them without giving a thought to how they feel in these unprecedented times. There is nothing to be gained by calling them stupid, selfish, idiots or worse.
For some, opposition to vaccination may arise from simple fear of needles, perhaps stemming from some childhood experience. For others, it may be apprehension of injecting a medication about which they know or understand little or nothing.
Others may have difficulty taking in, understanding or accepting science-based advice, even at the behest of government and the medical profession. Not everyone has confidence in authority.
Then too there are those who find the very notion of a ‘worldwide pandemic’ frightening and strange, and react by becoming angry, lashing out at the majority who don’t share their sense of confusion and fear. They may seek comfort in conspiracy theories or the ideas of cranks and quacks.
And then there are a meddlesome and troubling few who prey on the anxieties of fearful and angry people to create social division and attack the institutions of what they see as a failed or hostile society.
Only these last are deserving of our condemnation, though even they are also deserving of our compassion, as we muddle through this time of COVID. It too will pass.