Have we become “irrational pessimists”?

Hey y’all, so I was browsing the r/Coronavirus daily megathread in search of sanity, when I stumbled across this comment. While the author of that comment has often tended to be antagonistic towards skeptical arguments, I found this one comment of his to be disappointingly reflective of the general state of lockdown skepticism at the moment.

I have to admit it’s pretty disheartening that, faced with having many of their core narratives undermined by the winter surge, deniers and skeptics have basically turned to an actual death cult, denying that there’s any hope for vaccines/treatments and urging people to suck it up, lift all restrictions, and let themselves get exposed. It’s incredibly ironic that the same people excoriating those who took the disease seriously as being irrational pessimists are now the ones claiming that there’s no hope.

Unfortunately, I think this user’s at least partially right, especially with the last sentence. We always keep accusing the pro-lockdown side of their “doom and gloom”, yet ignoring the fact that we’ve stepped into the very same trap ourselves. In almost every other thread, I can find comments about how this is “permanent”, how “my governor is totally gonna place us back into lockdown”, how “(person) killed the (thing) industry in (place)”, how “it’s part of a government agenda”, or something like that. It’s even worse on NoNewNormal, probably due to the lack of a stringent post approval system. And it’s especially apparent on the LockdownSkepticism Discord server; the moderation there has stepped up a little. (Bernie, if you’re reading this, please don’t ban me!)

I also observe an increasing sentiment that vaccines and treatments will be the next “goalpost”. I can see that we’re definitely beginning to fear that a little—yes, even I’m guilty too—that governments won’t allow people to return to their normal lives even after the vaccine is out, and so on, which is sort of reflective of this user’s first sentence.

Now, I agree that it’s probably more because of governments everywhere “returning to March” in terms of the intensity of restrictions, rather than the winter surge itself. But lately, it seems like the skepticism movement has indeed been burning itself out.

What do you make of this? Do you agree, or disagree? Please don’t take this the wrong way; I’m not so much considering “defecting” from the skepticism movement, as merely expressing my disillusionment with the way things are currently progressing, and how we’re handling it. Critical discussion is encouraged; just because a user’s views on lockdown are different from yours doesn’t mean that you have to disagree with everything that user says.

submitted by /u/PicanteCuttlefish
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