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    • Ugh, in Canada?! I thought this was mainly an America-has-lost-its-mind issue, brought on by Fox news and an insane president. I didn't think our mindset could spread across the border. Is there a lack of trust in institutions and leaders there like in the U.S.?

      I had seen polls indicating that Canadians have gotten pretty comfortable with masks.

    • Canadians are much more trusting of science and the politicians are using science to guide their decisions for the most part. Canadians are less into conspiracy theories than Americans in general and I’d guess that despite having an inkling that there might be something behind the virus, I think on average they don’t generally hold as strong a confidence on the theories as Americans. But you know how conspiracy theories work, once you fall down the rabbit hole you’re likely to never escape. Social media is very good and fast at spreading misinformation. There will need to be follow up data gathering to see how this holds up.

    • Well, in general, I have more faith in the Canadians to not get sidelined by conspiracy theories. As @Chris said, that seems to mainly be an American problem. But maybe not.

      As for social media, it's a double edged sword. It's awesome that everyone has the platform to speak their minds, but on the flip side, everyone suddenly feels like an "expert" in a certain field when they're really not.

    • everyone suddenly feels like an "expert" in a certain field when they're really not.

      Which may explain why it’s only the very simple science where the public gets such hardened anti-science views.

      No one is railing about relativity or the electromagnetic spectrum, where scientists acknowledge the most uncertainties, they’re railing against masks and vaccines, where scientists and medical professionals say there’s hardly any uncertainty.

    • Deepak Chopra does a great job of spreading pseudoscientific nonsense about leading edge physics. People don't understand how science works and how scientific knowledge develops. When they see scientists having different opinions or changing their opinions then they lose trust. It's partly due to an ignorance of how science works. But it's also individuals need to make sense of the world. Conspiracy theory research says they people have a deep desire to understand what's happening and accepting a conspiracy theory gives them some kind of feeling of control and understanding if they can pin the blame on a bad actor instead of an indifferent evolving entity. They don't understand evolution either and that's a problem. But who could expect Americans to understand evolution when so many of them believe in the literal interpretation of Genesis and teachers are afraid of the controversy of teaching evolution. It's my view that when you have a population of individuals who are religious and therefore programmed to ignore or not require evidence to accept something - you have a serious proplem getting them to be critical thinkers looking for evidence.

    • The thing about religion is it’s certain and never-changing, relying on ancient texts. Science is always on the move, constantly revealing things we didn’t know, correcting things we thought we knew. It’s hard for people of one mindset to understand the other.

      Also, in religion there are dozens of viewpoints on most subjects with the differerent religions and people within them disagreeing. But it’s unusual for a Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Christian or Confucian to disagree on most of science. And if they do, there’s a lot of exchange between them. But I don’t get the sense that most religious followers are very familiar with other religious writings other than their own. Discussing the Koran with a Christian is hard.

    • As weird as this may sound to this audience, I know close people of mine who argued "but I haven't heard of anyone I know, or theirs, dying of COVID" in a very sincere way. What do you tell or show those people???

    • In Canada they did a study where they tested blood bank donations for antibodies. That study provided some evidence that only about 1% of Canadians had been exposed to coronavirus. Considering that we know say 300 people. That’d mean only about 3 people we knew even got infected by it. Since most have mild symptoms it’s unlikely statistically any of those three would die. We’d need to know between 50 and 100 people who got it before one is likely to have died from it. If you knew 10,000 people then odds are a few would have died. Who knows 10,000 people? So on average you’d have to know about 4,000 people that you communicate to know someone who died. Unlikely statistically even with a 5% death rate. Physical distancing, lock downs, isolation and masks have reduced their likelihood of meeting someone who died. But then someone who said they didn’t know anyone who died from it and therefore didn’t see it as a risk (long term) is unlikely to be very good at math. Idk maybe it’s my bias. We shouldn’t also just be focused on the deaths but all of the resulting illness and bodily health damages of those who didn’t die.

    • Your rationament is spot on. But sadly explains why massive populations thumb their nose at 'the virus'. Most are wired for direct - hands on - perception, their brain can't compute math into immediate danger. And perhaps their credit card balance, too.

    • Yeah I can understand why those who are hit particularly hard financially are frustrated and mad about things. Their world is turned upside down and they need someone or something to blame. Saying the evolution of a virus is at fault just doesn’t feel satisfying to them. It’s a truly devastating thing for so many people and to think this is a relatively mild pandemic. If it’s been a 40-60% death rate the world would be total chaos.

    • It's a strange thing, at least to me, because we were terrified of Ebola. Donald Trump called for Obama to resign after 2 Americans died of it.

      Also, the death rate of heart disease in America is super high, much higher than Covid, everyone has friends and family who died suddenly and tragically of it, but it's kindof a shrug. It only gets a small percent of the population to seriously pursue prevention.

    • It's certainly a great question to ask Chris. Here's my thoughts. Add to it your own ideas.

      The first and I think most important thing is it's a new threat and people often see new threats as larger than they are.

      The second thing is how much we read or hear about it on the news media and other sources. This increases the apparent risk and threat. Think terrorism. There's a very very low chance of dying from it but we hear about it all of the time and told to fear it.

      This is a hidden danger that could strike at any time seemingly without warning. It's out of our control. The thought of dying from it and not being able to see your loved ones while dying is very unsettling and something we haven't had to think about before. Thinking of ourselves or loved ones dying alone is very tough.

      It has directly impacted almost everyone's life and how we go about our business. It has so radically changed our lives and lifestyles that the changes magnify our perception of how bad this thing is.

      It can do damage to you even if it doesn't kill you. I'm 50 and I don't worry about dying but am very concerned that I could get lung damage or something else that could hurt my cardio and competitive lifestyle.

      Heart disease and those other diseases don't kill you within a couple of weeks. They usually take decades to kill you and generally just shorten your life. Timothy Caulfield did some research about genetic testing and said that though DNA testing companies such as 23AndMe promote awareness of future risks such as heart disease, almost nobody changes their behaviour even when they find out that they are at increased risk of an illness or disease based on their DNA. We are creatures of habit and have had to accept the daily risk we are a part of. We seldom lose weight or get into shape despite it lowering our risk of death pretty much in half. Covid is new and therefore scary. We are very fortunate that it has a relatively low death rate, at least among the younger and healthier portion of the population. I certainly don't want to get it.

      People could get into shape and lose weight and that would lower their risk of dying from covid or being as injured by it. So what do people do? Gain weight and be less active. This of course isn't helped by gyms and other activities being unavailable.