Americans are expressing their desire to end all mandates, as restrictions continue to be lifted.
More than a century ago, Mark Twain identified two fundamental problems that would prove relevant to the COVID pandemic. “How easy it is to make people believe a lie,” he wrote, “and how hard it is to undo that work again!”
No convincing evidence existed at the pandemic’s start that lockdowns, school closures and mask mandates would protect people against the virus, but it was remarkably easy to make the public believe these policies were “the science.”
Undoing this deception is essential to avoid further hardship and future fiascos, but it will be exceptionally hard to do. The problem is that so many people want to keep believing the falsehood.
John Tierney, a contributing editor for City Journal, is the co-author of “The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It.” Adapted from City Journal.
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