“At the very beginning [of the pandemic] people just didn’t know how to be polite,” says Zech. It was hard to communicate a smile, and it became necessary to avoid rather than embrace people. But after a certain point, the unintentional rudeness became intentional and deliberate. “It’s meant to call attention to what they see as this kind of unjust policy, some discrimination, or some infringement on some other right,” says Zech. In the minds of some of the individuals, snapping at the flight attendant is not rude, it’s civil disobedience. source
We trully are living through an unprecedented global trauma and there are a number of people who seem to think that the best solution is to get everything back to “normal” as fast as possible, rather than dealing with the effect this trauma is having on most people. Perhaps the realisation of the futility of this desire causes considerable mental anguish and cognitive dissonance which manifests itself in anti-social behaviour.
Yes, I am worried about us not being able to let down our guards and listen to each other even when everyone is doing everything in good faith because we are listening carefully for hidden enemies, the same enemies who have actually popped out in the past where and when we least expected. Overriding this is hard work because it involves re-learning how to interact in the world and also what the world is like in terms of the potential for threat it contains. Threatened and reactive people make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes add more inflammation and actively make things worse.
Maybe masks are making communication worse, I bet you’ve been in several situations where a stranger makes a jokey comment and you struggle to figure out if they’re grinning behind their mask or not. There are paranoid people who think that all conversations in other languages are about them, people who now think that everyone is sneering at them behind their mask, instead of the big fake smile you usually get from service workers.
Or maybe our social skills have regressed and many of the aptitudes we have developed to work within a neuro-typical world have to be re-built.
It might have a lot to do with the idea that we’ve deputized restaurant workers, airline employees and grocery store clerks to be guardians of public health. They have to verify vaccine compliance, mask compliance, 2m of distance, without any additional protections, training or assistance. Some places even put cops in stores, how can that not get a bit crazy?
It’s a case study in turning a huge percentage of your population into defacto criminals and then being surprised when they get pissy. Remember all those articles about removing park benches so people have no place to sit and they get angry? Well, we did that at clinics, airports, schools and lots of other places now too.
Lack of sleep from staying up on social media. Lack of sleep from long and/or irregular work hours.
Maybe the cognitive decline from covid-19 may be contributing to an increase in anti-social behavior.
At least some of this could be attributed to an increase in substance abuse problems because so many people just seem completely isolated at this point.
Also, keep in mind that hostility breeds hostility, maybe it’s just become aspirational. People now performatively “love being trolls”, it’s like a pantomime of rudeness. I know I love being a troll.
Between massive poverty, lack of social safety nets, abuse from bosses and basically zero protections for people from anything because cops only exist to protect capital, people have to be losing their minds. The whole world is upside down from what the people in charge claim it is. You can’t trust the cops, who are supposed to protect you. Your politicians don’t represent you or your interests. Hard work gets you nothing but more hard work and poverty. Working is for suckers and the real lazy people live off investments while telling working people they are lazy and selfish.
People surely know that social media is nothing but lies and that the traditional media is more worried about profit than truth or justice.
We also know you can’t actually trust pharmaceutical companies because they will rip you off and let you die to make profits.
Is it any wonder some of us started screaming “Fake News!” and are refusing to get vaccinated?
Maybe your patience is running out because you’ve spent the last few years doing exactly what was asked of you so that you can get back to doing the things you enjoy, yet you are still being criticized by both sides. One side calls you a sheep as they do everything they want to without consequences and the other side thinks that being vaccinated and wearing masks when told still isn’t enough.
But the implications of wide-spread neurological and cognitive issues from long term effects of both reported symptomatic and unreported asymptomatic covid cases is really kind of scary. What happens to our society if everyone across the board suddenly is 20-50% more tired all the time and suddenly who knows how many IQ points less intelligent? Like what the hell is going to happen if suddenly major portions of the population are somehow just notably less intelligent (and I’m including emotional intelligence in this) than they were before the pandemic?
Of course we also learned that Facebook’s algorithms value outrage and anger-generating content five times over other kinds of posts because they generate the most user engagement. Social media users are perpetually bombarded with outrage-provoking content and then having no outlet or sense of justice.
So, why so rude?