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I've talked about how governments are doubling down as denial that they might have been scammed. Let's talk about how individual persons react.

The constant panic mindset of these people may be chalked up to virtue signalling, but it's also an indication of implicit denial of the idea that their measures have little to no effect

This is the sunk cost effect to being scammed, and so we see the wider acceptance of this virus being more deadly than the alternative of NPI's having minimal effect

Think of it this way, you spent a lot of money on masks, followed every rule to your detriment, and you have nothing to show for it e.g., your neighbor not following measures hasn't died yet

You can cut your losses and be more proportional with your behavior, but tons of factors make justifying measures in the form of exaggerating virus damages a better option