OPINION

Denial as a way of life

denial-as-a-way-of-life

The UEFA European Football Championship final, like the rest of the tournament, took place at the “wrong” time. The tournament was set to be held in 2020 but was postponed until the current year. In fact, the games were not hosted by a single European country.

The reasons behind this time-space anomaly are well known. Many sports, political, social and cultural events had to be postponed or canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, Covid-19 still gnashes its teeth worldwide.

Just when we had started to relax a bit (I have to say that many experts were actually cautioning the public against showing any complacency), new mutations of the virus started to appear. Meanwhile, the phenomenon of anti-vaxxers became more acute. 

It’s a big problem. Vaccination resistance has come in the wake of Covid-19 denial. To be sure, not all Covid-19 vaccine deniers refuse to believe that the virus actually exists.

Some are intimidated by vaccines in general, others are concerned about unknown side effects because the vaccine was developed at an unprecedented pace, others cite ideological concerns (the profits of the pharmaceutical industry), while others have been anti-vaxxers all along – and have been unwilling to inoculate their children. (Paradoxical as it may sound, I know people who refused to have their kids vaccinated yet lined up to have the Covid-19 jab. The will of deniers is unknown.)

You often hear people saying, “Why should I get the shot if everyone else has?” And this is the argument put forward by the more moderates. At the same time, it’s infuriating. If there’s something colorful or even amusing to the wacky conspiracy theories, the let-others-have-the-jab attitude is just exasperating, because it is evidence of excess egocentrism and extreme ignorance about the risks stemming from that attitude.

The same unbearable egocentrism is shown by the parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. “If other children are vaccinated,” you will often hear them say, “why should I vaccinate mine?” 

For some people there is something rebellious in saying no, in negationism as a way of life. However, it may well be an indirect expression of nihilism. Because it is at its core a negation of life itself.