Why do I see these two things as related? Well. let’s start with Sean Astin. It’s hard not to think that he has lived an amazingly privileged life. He’s been famous since he was a little kid, after growing up part of Hollywood royalty. If anyone has the means to shelter himself away from the harder topics of life, he’s one of those people. But he chooses not to, because he’s seen first hand what it is like to life with, and love someone with, mental health issues. That experience drives him to advocacy. He wants to share what it was like, and help others watching a mental health condition tear apart their own family.
In short, he gets it because he knows.
The same seems to be true when it comes to how serious COVID-19 really is. It seems to me there are a lot of people thinking it’s not very serious because well, no one they know has died or anything serious. 130,000 “other people” have died in the US. On the other hand, there are those of us who do know people who’ve died, or spent time hospitalized, tend to take it very seriously. Because we know. We’ve seen it. We’ve grieved because of it.