Have you ever had those nightmares where you try to yell to warn people that something horrible is happening but no sound comes out of your throat?
I feel that way as I hear about governments trying to develop plans to lift the restrictions. I keep shaking my head and trying to slow my increasing heart rate, wondering why governments are talking about this right now.
I can see, without any ability to predict the future, where we are headed: a relaxation of the restrictions, boredom and frustration and fear taking hold, and more and more people having less and less social distance…. followed by death, followed my more doctors facing going to work and risking their lives, faced with trying to decide whose life to save. The loss, the grief, the suffering.
I’m asking you to do something hard right now:
Take a really close look at your self. What is it that you want?
Each and everyone of us is faced with a set of desires that are in direct conflict with each other – competing agendas.
It’s a pretty simple concept: you want to lose weight, but you also want to have the delightful feeling that comes when you eat ice cream.
You want life to go back to normal, you want to have job security and keep your house and pay your bills, but you also want to stay alive, or keep your parents alive or prevent mass deaths.
You don’t have to look too deeply to see these two agendas. But you do have to look a little deeper to see how they structure what you hear and what you believe.
Right now, even experts don’t have answers. When this started we were told masks wouldn’t protect us. Now we are mandated to wear them by our government.
When this started we were told it would only hurt old people. Now daily people 40 and under are ending up in intensive care or dying.
When this started we were told that testing would be easily available because we’d secured the genetic code of the virus. Now we are facing global shortages of the chemicals needed for the tests and we still haven’t gotten easily accessible widespread testing here in the U.S.
Daily we are being told that serology testing for antibodies should be done, that we have the technology for it, and we are told it isn’t reliable and we don’t know what it means.
We’ll develop immunity if we get it and we don’t know how long immunity lasts.
We can’t catch it from surfaces and it lives on surfaces more than 24 hours.
Running and biking is fine as long as you are 6 feet apart and respiratory particles travel more than six feet, stay further apart.
Pets don’t catch it. A tiger is sick.
This mis-information is not a conspiracy. And even though politics, and specifically our president, are part of why we are in such trouble right now, that is not the cause of the confusion and changing messages.
Its simply that we don’t know everything. We are doing science in a rapid and sloppy way because we have to, if we don’t do it this way more people will die.
But because of this you have a responsibility to listen differently. You can’t believe what you hear because it suits what you want to hear. And you have to know what you want to hear so you can be aware when you believe something that you might be placing faith in something you want rather than something that is true.
And its not just your mixed agendas that you have to worry about. You absolutely have to look at the underlying agendas of each source, the quantity of data each source is basing their “facts” on, and the actual uncertainty.
You must gather data from multiple sources, with as many different agendas as possible and you have to listen carefully to what makes the most sense, and not believe anything just because an authority or authoritative source said it.
Here’s an example: the CDC is a public health organization. That means that they deal in group numbers. They aren’t worried about a disease that kills one person. They aren’t worried about your father or your grandma. They are worried about the global impact or the impact to a community or society. That’s why they 100% believe in vaccinations. From a public health agenda, vaccinations are 100% the right choice. If you have an immune system that can’t tolerate them, they aren’t at all the right choice for you. Because serious vaccination issues are rare, it’s just not factored into the information the CDC offers about vaccination safety.
Here’s another example: when an expert says “we don’t have any evidence you can catch this from food” they are not saying “you can’t catch this from food.” They are saying, we don’t know if you can catch it from food, but based on what I’ve observed, read about and know about other viruses, it seems unlikely to me…and I am an expert.but it’s not like I have reliable studies.”
I heard a specialist interviewed on NPR say “the risk of not eating outweighs the risk of getting COVID-19 from food.” I was overjoyed. It is absolutely true. There is no competing agenda being expressed, no best guess being buried with the word “evidence.” This is the kind of fact that we have to seek out right now. We have to accept that there are two sides to everything. Not lifting restrictions is bad. Lifting restrictions is bad. Which risk is worse?
The bottom line is this, we don’t have enough evidence or long term information to know what is right, how its transmitted, how many people will die if we lift restrictions, when we will have treatments, when we will have vaccinations, if we can make vaccinations, what is the best thing to do for the economy…. and scientists, doctors, even politicians, are doing the best they can with the information they have. They all have competing agendas driving them though, so listen carefully, evaluate thoughtfully and examine yourself with rigor. It might save your life.