Others have addressed some of the OP's non-COVID talking points, so I just want to focus on COVID right now. And this isn't directed specifically towards the OP, but rather towards the general politics surrounding this pandemic.
I totally get "COVID fatigue." I do. It's been almost two years since this started. That's a long time. But the pandemic is still here. The bodies are still piling up, with over 10,000 Americans dying each week because of this disease, and countless thousands more around the world. At its worst point it was producing a death toll in the U.S. greater than that of the 9/11 attacks every single day on average. We'll likely cross the one million death line before summer (and that's just "official" deaths from COVID). The omicron wave may be in decline, but every time we think we're past the worst of it we let our guards down and another wave hits. Omicron was the fifth wave, and there's no reason to think it'll be the last. Not enough of us are vaccinated yet, and there are still too many holdouts. It takes time for things to get back to normal when recovering from a catastrophe, but getting things back to normal isn't being helped by people who think they can try to force normalcy by sheer force of will rather than through responsible behavior that would diminish the spread of a contagious and deadly disease (like masking up and getting vaccinated), because this pandemic was made worse than it should have been because of irresponsible behavior.
One of the main reasons things got to be this bad in the first place is a combination of past leadership that didn't take this pandemic seriously and an unacceptably large portion of the population, mostly conservatives, whose concept of freedom is that of a petulant child. The former kept insisting that the pandemic wasn't a big deal ("It'll be gone by April , like a miracle!" among other Trump proclamations), and this helped primed the latter group to fight back against mask or vaccine requirements. Conservatives are far more likely than other groups to refuse to wear a mask in public or get vaccinated against COVID, and far more likely to protest any rules requiring either of those things.
Based on my observations, these are people who never got past their "rebellious teenager" phase. Just like some kid angry at their parents for telling them to eat their vegetables or at their teacher for telling them to sit down and do their classwork, these people are blindly lashing out at the authorities of adulthood. Sure, authority does deserve to be questioned, but a lot of the time the answer is "the authorities are correct." Yes, freedom is important, but it's not unqualified, and we have a responsibility to not do shitty or dangerous things to others. I believe societies, through their elected representatives, do have the power to regulate or ban behaviors that are harmful to other people or otherwise impose undue burdens on others, even beyond the more obvious things like violence and stealing. Things like, say, bans on drunk driving, smoking in public, and, yes, engaging in behaviors that exacerbate the spread of a deadly contagion. You don't have a right to make other people sick. It's reasonable for one to be expected to do what they can to prevent the spread of preventable disease. It's why we already have all sorts of other vaccine mandates. I and everyone else my age had to get shots for measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, polio, and other diseases before we could attend public school, and that's a good thing, because vaccination works.
But some people can't accept that reality if it means having to do something they don't want to do, no matter how reasonable the thing they are asked and expected to do is. These are the people who pitched temper tantrums in the middle of retail stores and other private businesses because the owner had a mask rule in place (and this was before state governments started mandating masks). As far as they're concerned, nobody has the power to tell them what to do, for any reason or under any circumstances. They want liberty, but without all that inconvenient "responsibility" business. They don't care about public safety if it means they have to modify their own behavior even one iota.
The people whinging on about their "freedom," or more appropriately their imagined right to act irresponsibly regardless of the potential or actual consequences, are essentially doing the adult version of pouting, folding their arms, stamping their feet, and defiantly proclaiming "You can't tell me what to do! You're not the boss of me!" It's so incredibly immature, yet that seems to be a defining characteristic of conservatives these days. And this isn't anything new. We've been through this with past pandemics. We saw anti-maskers during the Spanish flu outbreak, and we had anti-vaxxers protesting vaccine mandates during the smallpox epidemic (BTW, the latter led to the Supreme Court ruling that such mandates were legal). And it extends beyond disease prevention. For example, back in the 80s there was outrage over seat belt laws. What makes this particular wave of adults pitching a collective temper tantrum worse is that they're wrapping all of their outrage up in layers of conspiracy theories and general misinformation, the kind that gets people killed. Bullshit like "Masks don't work!" and "The vaccines are dangerous!"
This is why the honor system doesn't work. You ask nicely and they'll still spit in your face and continue to not do the right thing. Of course, when the rest of society sees that simply saying "please?" ain't gonna cut it and decides that maybe we ought to put in rules with real teeth, all the wannabe rebels out there that watch a little too much Tucker Carlson or whatever will proceed to play a game of chicken, escalating things to see who'll blink first. They've convinced themselves that they're fighting a war for liberty, as if they're modern-day Revolutionary Patriots. In reality, they simply don't give a shit about anyone but themselves and their own, and resent being asked to care about anyone else, and they'll come up with any bullshit excuse to justify their selfishness.
But in my experience that's par for course with conservative "thinking" in America (and clearly in much of the rest of the world). They never believed in "law and order" in the abstract, as some broad principle. Rather, the law is a weapon to use against others and a shield to use for themselves. As this quote that's been making the rounds over the past several years goes:
"Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect."
In other words "Rules for thee but not for me. Rights and freedom for me, but not for thee." To be fair, that sort of thinking isn't exclusive to the right, but it is absolutely integral to right-wing politics. Conservatism is a movement driven by beliefs in tribalistic social hierarchies and fueled by spite towards anyone who might suggest that the law exists to both protect and bind everyone.
It is absolutely the exact same thought process behind everything from their disdain towards representative democracy to even something as petty and criminal as "rolling coal."
It's why they can justify banning things that merely offend them (like same-sex marriage, for example) and then turn around and act like the government or even a private business telling them to do even the most perfunctory actions for the sake of public health is the greatest travesty ever.
It's why they see no contradiction between being pro-police and supporting the Jan. 6, 2021 attacks on the U.S. Capitol where police officers were assaulted by a mob of insurrectionists.
It's why they rail against "cancel culture" even though they've cancelled or attempted to cancel countless others, even long before the phrase "cancel culture" existed. They complain about comedians getting cancelled for saying something racist or when Dr. Seuss Enterprises voluntarily stopped publishing a few books, but were fine with destroying the careers of The Dixie Chicks and Colin Kaepernick.
It's why they can proclaim to be in favor of unrestricted laissez-faire capitalism and then turn around and demand heavy government regulation of businesses that do things they don't like. Polluting the environment and exploiting workers is perfectly fine, but it's not okay for a social media company to ban a few conservatives over COVID misinformation or the Jan. 6 attacks is not.
It's why there's a bunch of obnoxious truckers in Canada angry over COVID measures who are blocking highways, being a public nuisance, and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in economic losses even though they'd demand immediate action against a left-wing protest blocking roads and being a nuisance (and they usually get results on that; police are far more likely to swiftly break up any left-wing protest and to take a kid-glove approach to any right-wing protest).
In conservatism, hypocrisy isn't a bug. It's a feature. The contradictions have to exist or otherwise the entire philosophy falls apart. But they don't even see it as hypocrisy. It apparently doesn't even occur to them that they're being hypocritical. From their point of view, the contradictions simply do not exist. What their actions and stances are always consistent with is the "rules exist to control the out-group and protect the in-group" mindset. It all makes sense once you realize that alone was the real principle, and never lofty notions like "law and order" or "big government is bad." It's why they fight tooth and nail against any and all rules that might regulate their behavior but think nothing of regulating behaviors that offend them. It's why they fight for some imagined right to intimidate, harass, and discriminate against people they don't like and then try to act like the victim when they're called out on their bullshit. At the end of the day, the only thing conservatives are trying to conserve is what they believe is their rightful place at the top of some imagined social hierarchy, where they and they alone are free to do what they wish and anyone deemed part of an out-group exists to be controlled by and subservient to them. "Liberty and justice for my tribe. All others need not apply."
That's why the right-wingers never wanted and still refuse to do a damn thing about stopping COVID. And its obvious that their toxic conception of individualism can easily rub off on people who might not consider themselves conservative. "Freedom with no responsibility towards anyone else" is quite the alluring message, especially for frustrated people who don't truly get why some rules need to exist. Conservatism can be very appealing to that selfish, self-interested side we all have. It's why it's so easy for conservative propagandists to hook people in with this sort of bait, and from there on it's easy to convince them of other things as well, like "Illegal immigrants are bad" or "Global warming is a hoax."
But we have to remember that none of us exist in a vacuum. We are all connected, and our actions can and do impact the lives of others. As John Donne wrote 400 years ago:
"No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."
All of us should be expected to put a reasonable amount of effort towards protecting each other. Sometimes doing the right thing might be inconvenient, but I'd argue that being asked to wear a mask while you're in a store or to get a free vaccine is hardly the worst thing to ask of someone. It takes minimal effort and benefits everyone.