Image: sestovic/Getty Images (Getty Images) Since March, people throughout the world have been living within at least two separate spheres of reality. One sphere is inhabited by those who have changed their daily habits in light of the global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, their every action now dictated by a desire to keep themselves and others safe from a new and highly contagious virus that’s killed nearly 250,000 people in the United States and pushed the economy into the abyss.

In the other lives the people who view COVID differently. Perhaps they think pandemic safety precautions, like wearing masks, are tyrannical government overreach . Maybe they have a certain fatalistic indifference to cramming into crowded restaurants, or question the scientific consensus about vaccines and social distancing. They might even think the pandemic is a hoax dreamed up by Bill Gates as part of an effort to usher in a new world order .

If you’re someone who trusts mainstream science, it can be difficult to talk to friends, loved ones, or family members who fall into the latter camp. Maybe you fear for their safety (because they aren’t following health recommendations) or worry they are falling victim to conspiracy theories (if they subscribe to Facebook groups that push misinformation about vaccines).

If that’s the case, you may yet feel compelled to talk to this person about the pandemic and their role in it. Here are a few ways to approach this difficult conversation. Try to be empathetic

This is easier said […]