Resistance to measures to limit disease spread are part of history. How extreme they are depends on what leaders do, and what they allow
In the pandemic’s second year, a transnational, conspiracy-minded protest movement is becoming more vocal, and in some cases more violent, in pushing back on measures to limit the spread of new variants of the Covid-19 virus. False beliefs about the vaccines and the virus can now spread worldwide on the internet at the speed of thought. For this reason, many have pointed to online disinformation as the motor of antivax protests.
That may be so but in other ways the protesters are following patterns which have been observed throughout recorded human history, which has seen civilisations rise and fall to the rhythm of novel epidemics.
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