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LINK Why People Are Keeping Unvaccinated COVID Deaths Secret

Given where I live, this is a very relevant topic for me. Full families that are unvaccinated getting wiped out or vaccinated family members watching their unvaxxed loved ones die. This article brings up a very interesting perspective.

I'm also curious how any of you might have encountered this and how you dealt with them.

TheMiddleWay 8 Jan 18

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I couldn't finish that article because there was so much insanely stupid shit in it I couldn't take any more of it.

  1. Claiming someone couldn't grieve properly because they couldn't post "all" of the facts surrounding their loved one's death to their social media followers is a level of idiocy I can't wrap my head around. I just think back to all those poor 100% of all people. You know, from the beginning of mankind all the way up to 1983 when no one could grieve properly because Instagram et. al. hadn't been invented yet.
  2. Comparing the victim-blaming of lung cancer in a smoker to a covid death in an anti-vaxxer is totally analogous and completely fair, especially in light of the fact of all those people that caught lung cancer by walking by someone that had it in the grocery store and when the smokers allowed lung cancer to incubate longer and to a greater degree increasing likelihood of all of the mutations that allowed people to continue to keep getting lung cancer over and over again. Oh, and when there was surge after surge of all the people that were catching lung cancer filling the hospitals and stressing the health care system and supply chains until it started to break down. Additionally, all the addictive chemicals they put in not getting a covid vaccine that made people continue to not get the vaccine and all the deceptive ads targeting children to get them hooked on not getting vaccines while they were young and weren't even allowed to get the vaccine yet is exactly like smoking, too.
  3. If I had an anti-vaxxer relative that suffered as a result, I wouldn't change my tune once bit. Oh wait, I was the one that said my cousin could come to my 3 person Christmas "party" and avoid his anti-vaxxer mother half as a safety precaution, half as a punishment. Walkin' the walk.

Your #2 is fabulously bitter!!!!

RE: 1, outside of the fact that many people identify more strongly with their online community than their offline ones, keep in mind that for the past two years, social media has been the ONLY social outlet for many of us who are fastidiously quarantining or on lockdown.

As such, if we can't receive emotional support from our online communities and we can't visit friends and family at the pub for a proper wake, it's easy to see how many people feel they can't grieve properly.

I don't find it idiotic at all but then again, I've long been a student of online communities and have learned to treat them with every bit of "reality" as the offline ones.

@TheMiddleWay But that's not the only part of that equation. The author was specifically stating that the inability to out their loved one as an anti-vaxxer to said online community prevented proper grieving. That's a straw-grasping way of asking people to not be critical of anti-vaxxers/anti-maskers that have made this pandemic worse from the start.

When a person is grieving the death of a loved one, it is cruel to constantly remind them that their death could have been prevented... even if it's the truth.

I don't see the author asking people to not be critical of the anti-vaxxers; if anything, I see them asking people to not be cruel to people undergoing the tragedy of death, to allow them to express their grief without condemnation.

@TheMiddleWay The reason it's different is because their loved ones are part of the problem. Imagine an article asking people to not be cruel (which I think that word is a stretch here) to the parents of a school shooter that died while murdering a bunch of little kids who are just trying to express their grief without condemnation in a public forum, especially a forum where people are expressing their grief for the murdered children.

Yes, I believe the mother of shooter and victim should both be allowed to grieve without condemnation of them or their loved ones.

After all, it's a sweeping generalization to claim that everyone expressing grief online bears responsibility for the shooters or unvaxxed actions for one.

And for those that bear responsibility, people who are grieving are not rational. Meaning being told they are responsible on social media serves no purpose that I can see outside of virtue signaling.

@TheMiddleWay I'd be willing to bet almost no one would agree with that sentiment.

I don't understand how you think there is a generalization in my reply.

I also disagree that being alerted to the winning of a Darwin Award doesn't have a purpose. Shame and condemnation or even the potential for such can absolutely augment behavior.


I'd be willing to bet almost no one would agree with that sentiment.

Perhaps. Though that would only prove I have a unique view; not a wrong, misguided, or uninformed one.

I don't understand how you think there is a generalization in my reply.

You said, quote: "because their loved ones are part of the problem."
With no qualifiers, that is a generalization.

Shame and condemnation or even the potential for such can absolutely augment behavior.

Not according to what I know of psychology it isn't.

Take this article for example [1].
It states that shame works for people who care about what others think of them. That is EXACTLY the opposite of your typical anti-vaxxers, that they really don't give two fucks what other people think.
It also goes on to say that shaming someone who has no power to change circumstances places them in an impossible situation that can only lead to negative results. Since you can't bring back the dead, shaming the family of a dead anti-vaxxer (or shooter) can, as the article corroborates, only lead to negatives.

Do you have any psychology or social science articles to the contrary, any study that concludes that shaming is an effective tool against anti-vaxxers (or shootings)?

[1] []

@TheMiddleWay It wouldn't have to be about, or work on, the sociopath specifically. Social / societal pressures can effect loved ones that can put pressure on the individual, they can effect legislative change that can force remedies. Do you believe that societal pressure or shaming had zero impact on the reduction of the use of the n-word?


Do you believe that societal pressure or shaming had zero impact on the reduction of the use of the n-word?

I'm sure it worked for some people, specifically people that were shamed by other people that they care deeply about (as the psychology today article indicates)

But for the other 99.9999% of the world that we don't care deeply about, a random person saying "Shame on you for saying that word!" simply has no teeth such that I would change me behavior because of it. And that's the online model: it has no teeth.

Now economic and legal pressures OTOH. That has teeth and that is why I think those are effective tools because they work regardless of your relationship with the person saying the n-word, dying while unvaxxed, or shooting up a school full of children.

Hence why I advocate economic and legal pressures against the un-vaxxed but not shaming their surviving family members in their time of grief.

@TheMiddleWay Why would you assume that the shaming couldn't drive economic and legal pressures?

Also, you're talking about one person saying shame on you, which isn't what we're discussing. I tell individual people who don't like my verbiage/driving/etc. to go fuck themselves all day. But massive, global shaming is completely different.

Because I've been given no reason to assume that it does.

Can you point me to a body of work that speaks to shaming leading to economic or legal pressures?

The article talks about people who post that their loved one died of covid, wete unvaxed, and then individuals responded with shame and vitriol towards the poster. There is nothing massive or global about the shame that individuals are trying to inflict upon this poster.

@TheMiddleWay Not global? Tiktok, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are 4 of the top 10 most used websites in the entire world. How exactly is condemnation from people all over the globe on those sites not massive and global exactly?

"The #MeToo movement is one example of how publicly calling out powerful individuals can lead to a widespread cultural shift. When sexual abuse allegations against former film producer Harvey Weinstein became public in 2017, it led to his conviction as a sex offender. Other influential people have faced their own reckonings for similar misconducts, and societal attitudes toward sexism and sexual harassment are becoming more intolerant."


I would note that this has made many, if not most men more cognizant of how their behaviors and words may be construed or harmful to women. Even the fear that I could do something to harm a woman (and get canceled) makes me want to be extra careful, regretful if I had ever done anything that made a woman uncomfortable, and thankful I had the opportunity to improve my behavior before it canceled me ("killed me" for this analogy). Anti-vaxxers that aren't dead yet, family members of dead anti-vaxxers who are anti-vaxxers themselves or have other loved ones they can still persuade to get vaccinated, and any third party looking at the public condemnation of anti-vaxxers has the opportunity to correct the behavior they're participating in, that would invite such condemnation, in the same way.

As for your response to: Why would you assume that the shaming couldn't drive economic and legal pressures?

"Because I've been given no reason to assume that it does."

How about the new laws in dozens of states that help to address sexual abuse that were a direct result of the public shaming of the #MeToo movement??

Publicly calling out is not the same as shaming.

Consider the two #metoo poster child's: weinstein and cosby.

They had been publicly called out for decades for their actions yet they felt no shame. Did Cosby or Weinstein ever give any hint that they FELT shame by being called out? Did their actions change any because of their behaivour was publically called out? Is there any evidence that shaming someone online about their anti-vaxx behaiviour changed them into a pro-vaxx stance?


It wasn't until it wasn't just publicly calling out and shaming but actual people coming forth detailing their story (i.e., #metoo) that the courts finally took notice and took them down.

Further, even if we accept that #metoo was shaming Wesinstein and Cosby, did their behaivour change as a result of that shame? Not one iota.

If you are going to make the case for shaming as an effective tool, make sure that SHAME is part of the evidence you present, just like I did in support of my case that shaming doesn't work by bringiing up a psychology today article that directly spoke to shame. Using #metoo and then attaching shame or "publically calling out" and saying that is shameful doesn't carry the same weight as an article that DIRECTLY speaks to the ineffectiveness of shame.

Do you have anything like that? An article that DIRECTLY speaks to the benefits of shame? This isn't an empty challenge BTW. Because I feel so strongly that shame has no benefit statistically (eventhough as I said before it can be effective personally) that I want to challenge that bias. But to challenge SHAME DOESN"T WORK, you have to provide something, anything, that directly says SHAME DOES WORK.

Again, we know that shame works when you care what the other person thinks of you. The question is, does it work when it's complete strangers online, as is the context of the OP article?

@TheMiddleWay You're missing the part where the fear of shame can have an effect (which I already mentioned). There were a couple people here that were privately questioning whether or not to get the covid vaccine, but when one nurse publicly stated that she wasn't going to take it and tons of people shamed her, the others stopped questioning and got scheduled for the shot. Yes, it's anecdotal, but I know for a fact that it works. Even if only on one person, that's one more person who is vaccinated and one less person that isn't. All for zero cost by my estimation. I have no problem making fun people who are causing tons of harm.

That is in line with what the psychology today article stated: that shaming works when the people you are shaming care about you think of them, as seems to be your case. In your case, you have a community of workers discussing to do or not do and based on the shame they received from their peers, family, and immediate community they succumbed to the shame and took the shot.

That is not the same as posting to social media though and having people that are not family, friends, or your community shaming you. As the psychology today article then stated, in those cases shame doesn't work. And this isn't even taking into account how receptive, or rational, a person that is grieving is to legitimate critique about their dead ones.

@TheMiddleWay But if you care about preventing your relatives from getting mocked about your own death, that would be a personal relationship and immediate community...

Has anyone publicly expressed this attitude such that we can take it as a viable possibility and examine it more closely?

I ask because we can come up with all manner of imaginative scenarios to explain our positions. But lacking evidence those scenarios exist, they're just that, imagination.

@TheMiddleWay Isn't that like a cop asking you if there were any crimes you've gotten away with so far? Why would people admit that they changed their ways so that they wouldn't get ridiculed, letting people know that's the only reason they were doing the right thing?

Let's ask the reverse question. Is there anyone who refused the vaccine only because people were getting shamed for not taking it? If not, then at minimum, shaming doesn't hurt, so I have no reason not to try it since I know it could work...

So you want me to accept that your scenario happens on the basis of zero evidence that it has ever happened?

And in accepting your zero-evidence scenario, you would have me dismiss the extant evidence of psychology and social sciences?

Can't do it, sorry.

Especially when scientific studies consistently provide evidence otherwise, here stating how shame shuts down rational thinking:

"Shame, however, is more raw and typically doesn’t involve cognitive processes like logical thinking or reasoning. It’s an automatic stress response that “hijacks” the brain. Research shows that when your brain’s limbic stress response is more active, the prefrontal cortex, which controls logical thinking, is less functional.
Scientific research also links shame with the physiological urge for self-protection: The experience of shame recruits the same brain circuits that prompt people to hide from physical danger. “Shame isn’t associated with cognition at all. At the precise moment shame is triggered, we are emotionally hijacked, and there’s no prefrontal activity,” Fishkin says. “We automatically want to be anonymous and invisible.” [1]

[1] []

@TheMiddleWay No I'm not. Did I ask you to shame anyone? You don't have to buy or reject anything you don't want. I think that it can help, it can't hurt, and makes me feel better. That's easy math for me.

I think you have that backwards, I think it makes you feel better which is why you think it can help and can't hurt, both latter points without a shred of evidence in support.

This is despite evidence that I presented to the contrary, that in fact it can't help and it can hurt.

If you aren't swayed by evidence, what use presenting any to you?
And if your views aren't backed up by evidence, of what use are those views to anyone but you?

@TheMiddleWay Your evidence seems to point to singular episodes, possibly about things you can't control. Neither of which apply to covid and preventive measures. I don't see anything you presented that suggests that people would intentionally not get vaccinated ONLY because people were getting shamed for it, so I don't see where you presented evidence that using shame can hurt in any way.


I don't see anything you presented that suggests that people would intentionally not get vaccinated ONLY because people were getting shamed for it,

Because that's not what we are talking about, now is it?
That is a point you brought up at the very end of the conversation, quote: "Let's ask the reverse question. Is there anyone who refused the vaccine only because people were getting shamed for not taking it? "

A point which I did not engage, nor was the topic of the ENTIRE PREVIOUS THREAD OF OUR CONVERSATION.

so I don't see where you presented evidence that using shame can hurt in any way.

The link I posted right before you pivoted to the reverse question outlines this.

If you aren't going to review the evidence presented, again, what the use is presenting evidence for you to review?

@TheMiddleWay I read what you quoted, and it doesn't speak to what we're talking about.

Quotes are a starting point, not the entire point.

The whole of the article is the evidence, not just the quote.

Just like the whole of a research paper is the evidence, not the abstract.

This is why i always provide links so you can read the entire article to get the full context...
...which you are admitting you don't do...
... and I'm starting to see as a major reason why we have such difficulty reaching consensus.

@TheMiddleWay Seems pretty silly and pointless to quote anything, but not, at minimum, quote the part that supports your claim. This failure to reach consensus sounds like it's on you...

Well that won't be a problem anymore as I shall no longer engage in debate with you given the radically different styles of debate we both employ.

@TheMiddleWay Agreed. I post only pertinent points and details, and you employ information dumps like lawyers do when trying to hide something, then claim, "Well you didn't read everything I posted links to even though I didn't quote relevant excerpts from it that would require you to verify its veracity and context."


My only response to "When a COVID obituary is posted on a forum, the only comments are was that person vaccinated?"

We are just asking out of fear for ourselves and our loved ones. If triple vaxxed people with no underlying conditions are dying - that's a problem.

I think that is true if this is someone you could reasonably come into contact with, a neighbor, family, friend. But being social media, this is usually not the case.

And thus asking that question is, in my view, more motivated by how much sympathy the person gets from the person asking the question.

As such, and merely for myself, I will view a person who did everything to prevent it and still died WAY more sympathetically than one that did nothing to prevent it and dies. I'm not un-sympathetic to the unvaxxed... just MORE sympathetic towards the vaxxed.

@TheMiddleWay I don't understand what proximity has to do with her comment. If vaccinated healthy people are dying nextdoor or across the country, it would mean the same thing in this context.

@TheMiddleWay Also, if you're sympathetic to the people that did everything they could to prevent it, I don't understand why you wouldn't be critical of the population that allows the virus to incubate in them longer, get to a higher viral load, transmit with a higher dose, and provide greater opportunity to mutate, all of which can contribute to the deaths of the people that were trying their best.

I see what you are saying, yeah. I took it to mean that she was asking to find if a person wasn't vaxxed and they died and came into contact with friends and family.

But yeah, also makes sense if she meant it as an indication that maybe things aren't on the up and up with the vaccines.


Also, if you're sympathetic to the people that did everything they could to prevent it, I don't understand why you wouldn't be critical of the population that allows [...]

Where did I say I wasn't critical of the unvaxxed?
Thought I was saying the exact opposite: that my critique of the unvaxxed is why they don't get as much sympathy from me as the vaxxed. This is not to say none, just less.

@TheMiddleWay I don't know, to me that's like having  some  sympathy for tobacco companies because lung cancer has hurt their bottom line.

A tabacco company isn't a person that can grieve the loss of a loved one.
That's where the analogy between sympathy for a corporation and a human being breaks down for me.

@TheMiddleWay Tobacco companies are made up of people who could suffer if the company does poorly via layoffs etc. Fine then, would you have some sympathy for scientists who intentionally created a communicable disease if their loved ones caught it and died? Would you have some sympathy for Republican lawmakers who spent their entire careers fighting against gun control legislation who had a child die in a school shooting?

To be clear, sympathy is something I express for individuals, not collectives.
So I would have sympathy for their individual loss regardless of them being complicit in their deaths.
Not as much as someone who wasn't complicit to be sure, but never wholly unsympathetic or with outright hostility or condemnation.

@TheMiddleWay Yeah, I'd bet you're alone on this, but I'd be curious to find out. I'll post a poll.

@TheMiddleWay "@TheMiddleWay and I argued about the reasonableness of the scenario posed in the poll below in the ..."

I don't see how being potentially alone in my opinion affects the merit(s) of my opinion but have at it.

And while I have no doubt my opinion is in the minority, keep in mind that it only takes one person to supports it for you to lose that bet. 😉

And no, I'm not voting exactly for that reason. 🙂

@TheMiddleWay This was the first thing I said in response, "I'd be willing to bet almost no one would agree with that sentiment." That last time I was being lazy.
You might find people vote against me simply because they don't like me, so obviously I wouldn't bet zero people would vote your way.

@TheMiddleWay That didn't post as a link... Do you have to put it in quotes or something?

You guys are going to get me to level 9 - labor free. Thanks!

Not that I'm aware. I thought you just post the URL and it does the rest

@UrsiMajor Oh, I'll get you to level 9 labor free all right.


Faith and shame.

The shame angle is clear in the article.
I'm not quite getting a faith angle though...

@TheMiddleWay the Faith is just my experience with it. the ole, "yeah, but not me" characteristic of a persons invincibility. it's too late by the time that's upended to take precautions. the faith that says it'll all be fine.

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