This phenomenon is taking place dangerously in the rural Michigan county where I live.

We did a very good job of taking precautions at the beginning of the pandemic. People were careful to wear masks in stores, and students were sent home from the small university in the county seat. As a result, incidence of infection was remarkably low. Fewer than 50 confirmed cases through August, and just two deaths.

But at the end of August, the university opened back up to on-campus learning and within 3 weeks the number of cases in the county had skyrocketed to almost 400, centered in the university town of course, but not limited to students.

But instead of tightening down precautions, people were just too fatigued. Mask use is visibly much lower now, and people are behaving as if the worst is behind us, even though objectively we are in far more danger now than we were at the beginning of the summer.

Local media sources are doing a very good job of highlighting the danger, but the psychology is hard to overcome.

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Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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