‘You’re lying, it’s a hoax’: Disbelief of the coronavirus is driving a wedge through American families — even those who’ve been infected

politics of covid

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COVID-19 is tearing families apart.

Political rifts have caused Americans to clash on the severity of the coronavirus and how to handle the pandemic — even among those who’ve been infected by the virus. 

Even as more than 210,000 Americans have died from the virus and the president himself has contracted it, arguments about the coronavirus continue to play out across the country over mask mandates, lockdowns, and business restrictions.

We spoke to two women on opposite sides of the political spectrum, both of whom survived COVID-19 this year, to see how the virus has impacted their lives and their choice in the 2020 election.

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Cindy Nichols-Harigel has been sick for more than five months.

But a lot of her relatives don’t believe she contracted the virus.

She said it’s difficult “for family to look you in the eye and say, ‘You’re lying,’ instead of trusting and believing that your family member has gone through this experience that they’re describing, just because you don’t want to believe it.”

Cindy has had fevers, chills, and brain fog since April. She’s also had a persistent cough, which she thinks was made worse by her decades-long cigarette-smoking habit.

Yet many of her family members deny the existence of the virus altogether. “Every time we’ve tried to talk to them about it, it’s been, ‘You’re lying, it’s a hoax, it’s a joke, you’re full of it,'” she said. “But by the same token, not a single one of them will come around us. So if it’s a hoax or a joke, why are we being avoided like the plague, if it’s not the plague? Doesn’t make any sense.”

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The arguments became so unbearable that Cindy blocked several of them on social media. “When they started calling me a liar and a hypochondriac,” she said, “you know what? Block. You are done. You are not family to me.”

Watching the president dismiss the seriousness of the illness over and over again has been especially frustrating for her. She didn’t vote in 2016, but now she’s voting for Joe Biden because she thinks it will save lives.

But she’s in the minority in Pensacola, Florida, where Trump got more than half the countywide votes in 2016.

Trump himself has alarmed experts with his public stance on COVID. He has admitted to downplaying the virus since February and was rarely seen wearing a mask before testing positive. Recently, he took his mask off to wave to cameras while still sick with the virus.

He’s been outspoken against any shutdown. Many of his supporters have followed suit, gathering in crowds at the president’s rallies in spite of restrictions against large gatherings.

Kim Enriquez of Little Elm, Texas, is part of Trump’s faithful base. She got sick with COVID-19 earlier this year. Four months later, she still has a fever, fatigue, coughing, wheezing and stomach issues.

She plans …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Politics

      

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