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The Washington Post: Vaxed, waxed, but definitely not relaxed: Welcome to the pandemic swerve

From The Washington Post:  After a few carefree weeks of letting our collective guard down, the sudden plunge back into the pandemic lifestyle is giving people whiplash. Google and Apple employees who were preparing to return to the office have been told to wait another month. Disney World went back to requiring masks for all guests indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

The best way to describe what we’re going through right now is the prisoner’s dilemma, says Gretchen Chapman, a professor of psychology who studies vaccination decision-making at Carnegie Mellon University. Vaccines, as with the classic game theory model, provide a collective reward when everyone cooperates, though individuals may have personal incentives not to cooperate. If not enough individuals cooperate, then the people who did the right thing suffer the consequences.

“In social dilemmas, people really do not like being the sucker,” says Chapman. “They do not like to cooperate when the other person has defected.”

Read the full story in The Washington Post. 

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