Bizzare tweets reveal anxious/ magical thinking minds
Is it possible some COVID pundits were just not thinking clearly?
Recently, I noticed a doctor who refused to lower their n95 mask to received a nasal cannula so she could have sedation for an uncomfortable procedure. The positive pressure from the oxygen would mean the risk of getting covid is absurdly low, but this person chose to undergo the procedure without sedation.
What if many people who have been vocal commenters on COVID 19 were just not thinking clearly? What if their minds were filled with a mix of magical thinking, dark fear-mongering, and unchecked anxiety? This wouldn’t be a problem if their opinions only affected their lives, but their opinions have affected many others. Here, I offer a few tweets I have seen recently that make one wonder if the author was well suited to have commented on COVID19 policy.
First, here is a professor and director of an aerosol impact institute, commenting that it is ok to lower an n95 mask to take a picture as long as you hold your breath. Apparently, you can’t get COVID if you hold your break.
But it gets worse…..
Here is a Harvard doctor. For nursing home patients he says the CDC’s new policy that staff can remove masks at times of low transmission is tantamount to saying “just die” to them. Perhaps nursing home residents should never see faces for the rest of their life? Apparently, asking residents what they prefer is not possible.
At the same time, here he is explaining why he is allowed to choose to remove his mask to direct a doctor orchestra because that is worth it (for him). But an 88 year old in a nursing home shouldn't get to decide whether she wants her staff to mask?
Here is a parent who has decided their middle schooler's life should be riddled with COVID19 anxiety. Note: the infection fatality rate to a middle schooler from COVID19 is less than seasonal influenza. Here she demands access to untested boosters.
Finally, a huge advocate for school closures, and perpetual masking of kids, Dr G admits that when he decides it is safe, it is ok to eat indoors and unmasked. But children (two year olds) and their parents don’t get to decide that they should be unmasked for speech therapy? Dr G has continually insulted members of the Urgency of Normal, who simply want to restore kids childhood to them.
What do these tweets tell us? We see the full range of magical thinking--- covid can't get you if you hold your breath, and if it did, you didn't do it right--- to double standards — I decide when I can unmask but a toddler must mask till I say it is safe-- to deranged fear — a child should carry their own air purifier?
Being a professor or doctor is no guarantee of stability or resilience. Very smart people can engage in broken thinking. Covid19 did infect brains, but not the usual way. It damaged many people's ability ot process risk and benefit. It's a shame they used that energy to harm others with misguided policy.