How to deal with "in your face" misinformation around Covid

More than a few, regrettably. There are members of organizations like the FLCCC, America’s Frontline Doctors (founded by Simone Gold, who got jail time for participating in the Capitol riot and is a vehement antivaxer), the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (a far-right group that opposes practically any government regulation of medicine and fearmongers about Covid vaccines), Mary Bowden (the ENT doc who had her privileges at a Houston hospital suspended after she declared that she wouldn’t treat vaccinated patients, Pierre Kory, Peter McCullough, Aseem Malhotra - the rogues’ gallery of medical misinformation specialists is pretty extensive.

While they represent a small minority of the medical profession, they can always be pointed to as trusted experts by the same people who tell us that experts can’t be trusted. :crazy_face:

Agree with everyone chiming in to say to keep the work relationship work-focused. Maintain company policy regarding health and safety. Be kind and compassionate. Don’t create incendiary situations.

But part of your question felt like it applied to a broader situation: how do we engage with people who refute what we see as essentially-settled science? It’s a big lift, because we get to the heart of the nexus between deeply-held beliefs and our personal bodily safety. To this end, I would like to point you to one of my very favorite podcasts, You Are Not So Smart; specifically an episode created for this very subject, How to improve your chances of nudging the vaccine hesitant away from hesitancy and toward vaccination. As you may infer from the measured language of that title, there are no magic fixits that can be employed with minimal effort. Moreover, to attempt to summarize the takeaways would undermine the nuanced approach they prescribe. But if a recommendation from an unknown stranger from the Internet holds any water with you, I have a great deal of respect for the host, David McRaney’s enduring efforts to tease out brain science to unpack why and how we form beliefs and recommend his book How Minds Change: The Surprising Science of Belief, Opinion, and Persuasion.

A good way to get punched in the face, IMO. When I had just learned that my mother died many years ago, the guy I reported to asked how old she was. “79”, I replied. “Oh, well, that’s enough.” Confused, I said “Pardon?” “That’s long enough to live,” says he. It ended up with me backing him into a corner and two people pulling me off. Ignorant assholes abound.

As for COVIDiots, I refuse to engage with them. Such stupidity doesn’t warrant a response. Much like the old “wrestling with pigs” adage.

I find a contemptuous “Oh really? You’re that f***ing stupid?” works well, followed by walking away. The “f***ing” part is optional depending on the social circumstances. But the default should be to include it.

IME dripping dontempt is the only reaction strong enough to make dent in these losers. It is highly effective at ending the conversation and that really is your goal: to get their piehole out of your ear.

Anf even that is not a requirement.