"vaxxed hesitant" (to return to life)

the legacy of fear lingers on

this is a very interesting set of data collected by the WSJ (link HERE)

it compares states with high vs states with lower vaccination rates and then compares foot traffic at various public/retail locations based on it.

surprising many, higher vax rates = lower going out rates.

this did not surprise me at all, it’s all about how the causality flows. the states that closed hardest and locked down longest spread the most fear. they had relentless campaigns and peer pressure to keep the populace terrified and complaint and the mere act of compliance actually serves to reinforce belief in danger. that’s just human psychology. (cats laugh at you about this, btw)

so we get this:

the divergence here is really quite stark and the implication that it’s fear driving vaccination looks kind of inevitable. everyone had a similar “panic crash” in 2020 but the less vaxxed have been recovering faster all along, even well before vaccines. i mean it could also be that states that have already been open for some time to no ill effect see less reason to vaccinate, but this seems like another version of “less fear” unless we’re going to try to claim that people get vaxxed not out of fear but to regain social privileges which seems like it would be insufficient at this point to generate such wide behavioral differences and seems incompatible with wide divergence pre vaccine availability.

even more interesting, there has simply been no difference in actual outcomes in states with high vs low levels of lockdown, masking, and other mitigations. so, it’s not that “some places had it worse and are responsive to it.” it’s that some places got much more scared, acted more rashly to impose ineffective and fear inducing policy, and did even more harm.

it’s clear here:

and here:

and here:

this attempted historical whitewash of “covid lockdowns saved lives and did not hurt the economy” is pure nonsense. it did not help and it did VAST harm even to those who chose not to adopt it as it reduced trade, tourism, disrupted supply lines, and spread fear.

do not allow that pastiche of reality to be written as our history. learning that lesson is the only way to avoid doing this again.