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Shame April 9, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Interesting piece on Slate.com about the uses of shame in the context of the pandemic, that is in regard to those who break restrictions and the response that should be made to them. To sum it up briefly – so far voices have been very much arranged against shaming people for such actions – but this piece argues the opposite…

Shame is a form of punishment that derives its power from depriving you of your reputation within the society. When people make blanket proclamations that we should not shame others, what they are criticizing, in a very real way, is the ability to make and enforce social norms. Many of those articles that warn against shame, do so partly because COVID-19 is a systemic issue, but that ignores that even in the presence of clear rules and support, it still requires a bit of social cohesion. And as one popular meme points out: Wearing a mask is a lot like wearing pants. The reason many of us don’t stroll through town naked is not because we fear arrest but because we fear shame. It’s worth noting that early research suggests that collectivist cultures—which tend to employ shame more—better contained COVID early on in their outbreaks.

It does seem strange that those who do break restrictions should suffer no ramifications whatsoever – and it does feel – though this is subjective, as if this is a function or product of individualisation of what should be collective responses.


1. Alibaba - April 9, 2021

Whatever about shaming individuals for breaking restrictions, I think we should confront other troublesome realities.

Teachers are upset because a promised privilege was taken away from them – their prioritisation for vaccination. Their representatives voted overwhelmingly for a ballot on industrial action. That’s what highly unionised and powerful lobbies tend to do. Not so others in crowded environments, say, supermarket workers. 

The vaccination benefits-to-risk ratio for people by age rather than by occupation is beyond dispute. To my mind, politicians should send out a clear message to all (excluding frontliners and the medically vulnerable): If you are in your 20s, 30s or 40s … Wait for your turn.

The definition of frontline workers remains ambiguous of course and the well-connected take advantage of that. Bottom line – it’s a bit of a vaccination lottery.

Liked by 1 person

2. Jim Monaghan - April 10, 2021

There has to be sanctions on those who break the restrictions and those who jump the queue. There will be new pandemics. I am calling for real sanctions. Public servants who knowingly jump the queue should face denial of promotional opportunities for at least a decade.Places such as the Beacon should be off the tender list for public contracts for ever.
There are many who do the above and who will sneer at the rest of us who are trying to stop the virus spreading and whose actions have prolonged and deepened the crisis


Fergal - April 10, 2021

What’s stopping anybody from nipping over the border or across the Irish Sea to get vaccinated?!
Is that queue-jumping?


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