Westneat: Should we care if a COVID-19 skeptic falls to the disease?

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert / Medical notations are written on a window of a COVID-19 patient's room in an intensive care unit at the Willis-Knighton Medical Center in Shreveport, La., on Aug. 18, 2021.

A reader wrote in with a blunt and honest comment that I want to share, because it alludes to a shift that's taking place in society as we struggle to deal with this latest surge of the pandemic.

"I realized this pandemic is changing me, and not for the better," the reader wrote. "It's making me a colder and more callous person."

She went on to describe a growing phenomenon. Which is that when people die of COVID-19 now, and inevitably it turns out they were unvaccinated or even had views that were hostile to the public health effort, "what pops into my mind first thing is 'oh well, too bad.'"

"It's a horrible reaction for any fellow human to have. I feel awful about it. But it's there."

It sure is. It happened locally when a man, aged 67, died this month of COVID-19 in north Puget Sound.

But