Shame

Monday, July 27, 2020

I recently listened to a piece on NPR titled “Why Shame Is A Bad Public Health Tool — Especially In A Pandemic.” It helped me to think about things in that perspective. I’ve been feeling very angry about people not wearing masks. Very indignant and upset at my country and a whole lot of people in it. Hearing a plea to not think of things in an absolutist/black-and-white mindset, and to focus our anger at institutional failings rather than individual ones, made me feel a little better in my heart.

Then I see this vlog from a watercolor artist in Singapore and hear…

“Life is almost back to normal except everyone has to wear a mask now…”

Everyone. Not with any exception like “if you’re unable to be socially distant.” Everyone has to wear a mask. There’s no concern about stigma or upsetting and shaming someone. Everyone must wear a mask (unless they’re smoking or eating).

Things could be “almost back to normal” here if Americans weren’t as stubborn as cats and being led by a fascist proto-dictator. I’m sure there are reasons I wouldn’t want to live in Singapore. I’m sure there are problematic things about their government and society that I don’t know about. But right now, being anywhere but the USA sounds great.

Maybe I’ll try to not be as angry at people doing what I consider to be foolish things, but shame on our president and any Republican in 2020.