I often wonder if much of the polarization over how to deal with the pandemic has to do with different tolerances for risk.
Some people place staying alive as their number 1 priority while others have a different mix of priorities. This mix could be subconscious; beneath the other layers of opinion.
Death is still an inevitable outcome of being alive. Some people might think, if it isn't the virus, it's going to be something else, eventually, that ends one's life.
I got to thinking that there are some people who claim the number of deaths, from the virus, has been exaggerated. Some of these people even ascribe conspiracy theories about the numbers saying that doctors are paid more if they report death from the virus on the death certificate.
I don't buy the conspiracy theories, but I do think that death is often attributable to multiple causes. Before the Delta Variant, it was true that a lot of the people who died tended to have, what are called "comorbidity factors." Factors such as old age and / or poor health.
Now, with Delta, that's less true, but past thinking hangs on. Delta is more apt to kill just from the virus alone.
In our culture, we try and prevent as well as avoid death. This avoidance can cast a shadow over living our lives causing people to shy away from somewhat risky, but maybe fulfilling experiences. One example being the motorcycle rally at Sturgis, South Dakota. The fair in Lynden or even the crowds at Downtown Sounds, in Bellingham, can be other examples.
How willing are people to risk loosing life in order to live life? Some people do drive over the speed limit; for instance. Lots of folks are into extreme sports and risky adventure.
One can wonder how tragic it really is when someone dies, or whether it's just nature taking it's course?
These are thoughts that most people try to push out of their minds, but this reality could lie behind some of the differing ways that we think and behave.
Good point from the comments I got when I posted this on Facebook.
There are two risk factors here. First, to one's own life (as you describe). It's one thing to engage in behaviors that only affect one's self (although there are often emotional impacts to others). Second, there's the risk to other people's health and lives. Engaging in behaviors that involuntarily put other people are risk is unethical. So many people seem to be focused on what they want, but they don't take responsibility for the greater good of other people's health.