Some people are just not amenable to public health messages

An article in this week’s CMAJ offers a pretty good overview about the differing opinions about the effectiveness of “shaming” communications during this pandemic.

And the bottom line is pretty simple: Some messages work on some people, some messages don’t.

Actually, the real bottom line is this: There is a cohort out there that will not be reached by any type of messaging to do more – especially to wear masks – during this pandemic.

These are those people who simply revel in anti-social behaviours, and if it weren’t this current battle they were glorying in, they would engage in another, mostly, I think, just to draw attention or to rile the rest of us.

I once had a notorious patient exactly like that, a man who would say and do anything just to rile up the people he was with.

And nothing anyone ever said to him or did for him made the slightest difference in his behaviour because he knew exactly what he was doing.

Sadly he clearly was not a one-off.