‘On the couch’ with Jasminda


DEAR Jasminda,

Our elderly mother spends her days watching Sky News, interspersed with Youtube clips from far right US Conspiracy groups.

She is aggressive and argumentative continually wanting to talk about the sea level, quoting someone called Alan or Pauline, and blaming Covid outbreaks on minority racial groups.

Speaking of Covid; she bounces between claiming “it’s just the flu” to panicking and trying to book an instant vaccination whenever it looks like there is a local outbreak – only to cancel her appointment when the urgency subsides.

The other day we found a packet of Ivermectin tablets in her bathroom.

What should we do?

Please help,

Dear Don,

Gosh, there are more layers to this conundrum than an N95 mask.

When people are faced with uncertainty, they will seek all sorts of ways to make sense of the world and sometimes those sense-making avenues have agendas that may be more appealing than the dry and dreary statistics and solutions offered by scientists. Conspiracy theorists spruiking the idea of shape-shifting lizards taking human forms in a plot to rule the world are probably far more entertaining than world leaders on the back foot due to the ever-changing parameters of a pandemic.

Nivea from Byron with her Certified Juice Therapy Certificate is also no doubt more interesting than the world’s leading immunologists and disease experts, but that is not a good enough reason to take her theories on board.

Unfortunately, your elderly mother’s good old confirmation bias is in full swing and there may not be a lot you can do to change that.

Ultimately, you may need to agree to disagree for your own sanity.

Change the subject to something less emotive (but do let her know that the dosage rates for black market Ivermectin are probably for horses, not humans).

Carpe diem, Jasminda.

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