Behind Low Vaccination Rates Lurks a More Profound Social Weakness

Anita Sreedhar and Anand Gopal writing in The New York Times about vaccine hesitancy in the US hits on an idea that is disappointing, but not surprising.

Public health is no longer viewed as a collective endeavor, based on the principle of social solidarity and mutual obligation. People are conditioned to believe they’re on their own and responsible only for themselves. That means an important source of vaccine hesitancy is the erosion of the idea of a common good.

That’s the crux. People don’t give a shit about other people. Or… actually more relevant is people who believe in science and have empathy versus conspiracy theorists who don’t give a shit about anyone but themselves.

The vaccine-hesitant are mostly Republicans.

January 3, 2022

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