The narrative has finally and truly collapsed. The government and elites will keep lying like they did when the GWOT narrative fell apart, but nobody sane is going along with the bullshit anymore. Best commentary:
First, people suffering from depression want the outside world to match the inside one. It justifies their feelings and confirms they aren’t crazy when the world “out there” really is as bad as they feel like it is in their minds. These people believed that the world was ending when Donald Trump was elected; that the COVID pandemic came during his administration only served as the aforementioned verifier that reality really was a disaster, just as they had felt that it was.
Second, because the pandemic came to be such a political matter to that group of people, it has become central to the reality of their identities. Their opponents have said it’s “not that bad” since the beginning. To admit that they’re now right would be to lose the political argument, and perhaps to admit to yourself that the world is not in the existential crisis that for so long your identity has depended on it being in. That’s really hard.
Third, I’d be remiss not to mention that an awful lot of these people are irreligious and have only this material world to cling to. Not that death isn’t a concern for nearly all of us, but it can be all the more terrifying for people who have no hope for anything beyond this life.