In badly affected US Southern States students have been holding Coronavirus Parties with a cash prize for the first person to test positive for the virus. These grim ‘parties’ invite or are hosted by a person who has tested positive. Why? Apparently due to ideas that the virus is fake, a conspiracy, a plot or scheme of underhanded Government or Government agencies. These students do not ‘believe’ that a percentage of them are in danger of permanent damage or infecting others. What possibly could have convinced them to ignore the warnings of the medical profession and the WHO, scientists in general and instead go along with the idea that they are in some unknown way protected from the reality of hospitals overrun with patients?
Quite possibly these students are stupid. But the words of politicians may have an influence as well as the usual sub-currents of suspicion of authority and distrust of government spreading through social media and word of mouth. It is very likely that social acceptance your peers in teenagers trumps reading newspapers or listening to news reports. The great government conspiracy, everyone knows, is out to curtail your freedoms and wants to violate your person by injecting tracking chips under your skin so they can control you. Social pressure to be cool and accept that this sort of logic is valid and being spoon fed knowledge is easily summed up as part of the process of that troublesome transition between the innocence of childhood and the responsibilities of adulthood, requiring rejection of childhood influences and the formation of independent thinking.
That these children becoming adults listen to Trump as the voice of dissent is troublesome. That Trump is seen as a sort of counter-culture hero by some is upside-down. He is rich, privileged and ridiculous. He has proven that, himself. He does not need the ‘radical Left’ to make him look stupid, he is fairly good at that, himself.
Evolution seems to be on the side of reason, for a change.