“I had interactions with friends on social media early on, and I had thought that I could reassure them that evidence suggested their children would be OK. Not only did they not believe me, it seemed they didn’t want to believe me. They had been watching 24-hour cable news, reading The New York Times, and listening to NPR. What I was saying sounded absolutely nothing like what they were seeing, hearing, and reading. I had run into a wall of cognitive dissonance impossible to overcome.”
I used to be so naive. In the summer of 2020, when I read a mountain of literature and learned that COVID wasn’t dangerous to kids, I was so happy. I tried telling everybody I knew. Great news! The kids aren’t in danger! The relief!
But I had the same experience as the quoted author. People acted like they were unhappy about the news. They pouted, they got weirdly aggressive. Like they didn’t want it to be true. I still don’t understand it. I’m a crazy, traumatized mother. I flip out over every minor scratch and bump my kid has. It was such a relief not to have to worry she’d get COVID. I almost cried with relief. But I was alone with my joy.
There’s clearly a psychological mechanism at work here but I can’t figure it out.