The real pandemic is the attack on intelligence. As the COVID-19 novel coronavirus has spread around the globe, it has exposed the sad truth that humans are more susceptible to the myths of conspiratorial gossip than to the data of scientific research.
We are still caught up in a “Burn The Witch” mentality – if she’s still alive after we submerge her (and her black cat) in the purifying waters of stupidity, she must be witch! Burn the witch! Consider what we know and don’t know about the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or COVID-19.
This virus may or may not have its source in sewage waters laden with the waste of various animal species, or in the wet markets of Wuhan, but science is pretty sure it didn’t start out in a hostile foreign nation’s chemical lab or a pedophilic pizza shop in New York. And science doesn’t always get it right the first time. Remember when the theory of continental drift was mocked by mainstream geographers and geologists?
The same with masks in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak – don’t wear a mask here, wear a mask there, masks don’t work, masks do work. And then the data slowly solidified by May that wearing a mask helped to prevent the spread of virus laden droplets and aerosols significantly. We have known for six months now that masks work, and yet we have “Freedom Rally” conspiracy laden anti-maskers protesting for their right to infect and be infected.
Science is still, as Carl Sagan said, a candle in the dark against a demon-haunted world. We take the best information we have at the time and act on it, patiently wait until our preconceptions are satisfied or banished, arrive at new knowledge and adjust our actions. As noted in past blogs, science is an adversarial discipline. If one comes up with a new theory, it is the responsibility of every other practicing, published, peer reviewed and skunkworks scientist to challenge, test and either prove or disprove that theory.
Though over 97% of those meteorological scientists qualified to comment intelligently on the subject have concluded that natural climate change accelerated by human activities on the planet has reached an emergency level, it is still debated by media pundits and their politically motivated guests. It is a similar story with the coronavirus pandemic where qualified scientists and doctors are urging communities around the world to follow recommended health guidelines while they urgently try to create safe and approved vaccines, as political psychopaths and media apparachiks attack their messages.
Overshadowing the scientific and medical messages, in great part due to a media that thrives on hyping emergencies, disasters, and political “scandals” for its corporate ratings, is the deadlier pandemic. This infection comes from giving the “alternative truth” group, including paid actors who pretend to be “concerned parents”, the same amount of air time, or more, than legitimate scientists, ethical journalists and trusted educators.
When a world “leader” is identified by the World Health Organization as the leading cause of misinformation about the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, you have a bigger problem than a deadly microscopic virus. You have the deliberate dumbing down of human intelligence that pushes herd stupidity to the brink of the Sixth Extinction.
Skid Crease, Caledon