MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Nearly a year into the pandemic, many of the precautions put in place to keep people safe still face strong opposition.
Large gatherings to protest pandemic restrictions, such as mask wearing and quarantining, have played out across the country.READ MORE: Johnson & Johnson Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine Joining In The Fight Against Global Pandemic
Health officials largely connect the latest surge in COVID-19 cases to people ignoring pleas to follow precautions.
The question is why are some people so resistant?
Dr. Sinmi Bamgbose of Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles said while pandemic fatigue is a major reason behind the defiance, it’s not the only one.
She said peer pressure also leads some to ignore the rules.READ MORE: South Florida House Republicans Vote Against President Biden's $1.9 Trillion Pandemic Relief Package
Another big factor is confirmation bias: people giving more weight to their own experiences than the experiences of others.
“They get a little bit more lax and they’re able to say, ‘Well we did this before and it was fine, so why are you worried about this? Why don’t we just go ahead and go hang out outside or go to this restaurant and it will be fine,’” said Dr. Bamgbose.
Convincing others to get on board with the measures can be difficult, but it is possible. Experts say it begins with making it personal.
“What is it gonna take for you to take this seriously? Is it the fear of a loved one getting sick, your grandmother? And thinking about it in whatever kind of way that can resonate with you so that you take the appropriate action to keep yourself and others safe,” Dr. Bamgbose said.
She reminds people that while the pandemic will end, the choices we make now could have lifelong consequences.MORE NEWS: Trump A Dominant Force At Conservative Conference In Orlando
Dr. Bamgbose said it’s also hard to convince younger people who are typically at lower risk of severe COVID not to gather in groups. She said the part of the brain that controls judgment doesn’t fully develop until the mid-20s.