I characterize the mindset of American conservatives—specifically the ones who are blasé or antipathetic toward anti-COVID measures such as vaccines and face-masks—thusly:
Bad things happen to other people. That is, until they happen to me.
Oddly enough, that is also my progressive-but-not-lunatic-fringe-liberal mindset. I figure that it is more healthy to assume I will probably be all right, given the precautions I take, rather than to expect the worst and be anxious about it all the time. (I’ve already done that about COVID for a solid year or more.) I prepare for the worst, so that I can protect myself and my family as best I can, but I assume the worst won’t happen to me.
I admit that new information, such as learning that breakthrough infections are a thing and that the are new COVID cases in my daughter’s school and my wife’s school every day or so, shakes this mindset quite a bit sometimes. COVID is like a specter that is constantly moving closer.
Based on the COVID-related stress I am still dealing with on a daily basis, this healthy-when-I-apply-it attitude is all I have to keep me going. I know I am whistling past the graveyard. I know the Angel of Death will not pass over my house forever. I know I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. But for now, the thought that “bad things happen to other people” is getting me from mini-crisis to mini-crisis without completely losing my mind.