Misinformation about COVID-19 is traveling at the speed of light. Reactions range from hysteria (TP hoarding) to stupidity (See Donald Trump/Mike Pence) to apathy (what’s the big deal?). I find myself getting angry while viewing social media which is not the way I normally react to ignorance.
I rely on medical experts like Dr. Chris Mackie, London’s Medical Officer of Health when it comes to the facts. But as you likely know, it isn’t just about not getting it, it’s about not spreading it. Max Brooks may have said it best in this short video:
When my Dad was alive and experiencing mid and late-stage Parkinson’s Disease, I got the flu shot without fail. Some friends didn’t hesitate to tell me I was a fool and a pawn. Suddenly, they were wannabe medical experts who couldn’t wait to advise me on how to live my life. But it wasn’t about me.
I know how the flu vaccine works. It includes dead viruses from the last flu season and it’s not always on the mark for the next season’s virus. It mutates and evolves. But if it reduced my risk of getting the flu by even 10%, it was worth it to me to have less of a chance to pass it to my Dad, whose immune system wasn’t as strong as mine.
For me, the flu was inconvenient. For my Dad, the flu could have been fatal.
So, to those people who lectured me, I say, screw you. Science always wins. It wins over prayer, hope, assumption and the opinion of someone who “read this article one time that said…”.
It’s not hysteria to be cautious. And when this is all over, anyone who says “what was that about? Hardly anyone got sick or died!”, will get a throat punch. Hardly anyone here getting sick or dying is why public health officials are issuing these directives. Yeah, it sucks. The vacation was canceled and the kids are at home for weeks and too much togetherness can make a person nuts. We’re all concerned about peoples’ livelihoods and the economy. But we’re also not getting sick and passing it on to someone who might not survive it.
In the ocean of life, these weeks are but a few drops of water. This is the time to suck it up, be grown-ups and show each other what we’re made of. Let’s be patient, kind and wash our damn hands.