As a sly social media wit puts it, the first rule of Dunning Kruger Club is, you don’t know you’re a member of Dunning Kruger Club. The Dunning-Kruger effect, as you will recall, is a documented cognitive bias where some people with low ability, low expertise, or little experience regarding a certain type of task or area of knowledge tend to overestimate that ability or knowledge. Smug (and tragically wrong) assertions about Covid-19 are common examples of the Dunning-Kruger effect.
Loathsome anti-vaxxer and even more loathsome Proud Boy Aaron Laigaie, who declared “covid is over,” who also said Covid is “a problem for the elderly” and that he didn’t need the vaccine because he previously had Covid-19 and “it sucked for 2 days and it was over,” has — you guessed it — died from Covid-19. He died last Friday.
Laigaie famously refused to get a Covid-19 shot asserting, in a Dunning-Kruger-ly sort of way, that his immune system was strong enough all by itself. He was one of the original members of the so-called “MT Baker Proud Boys.”
The Proud Boys, as most of you know, are an all-male, neo-fascist, far-right organisation with its headquarters in the US. They are notorious for their participation in political violence and for their infamous participation in the January 6 insurrection. The governments of Canada and New Zealand have classified the Proud Boys as a terrorist organisation.
So once again, Covid doesn’t care who you are, who you think your god is or what political party you belong to. All it knows is every time it sees an unvaccinated idiot — it’s dinner time. This should serve as a reminder for everyone else out there with any common sense that Covid is alive and well and still deadly. So if you haven’t done so yet, get vaccinated. And don’t forget to wear a mask in crowded public places, practise social distancing and wash your hands. Your life just might depend on it.
There are eight million stories in the naked city of human stupidity. This has been one of them. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.