What is the end game?
I won’t appeal to empathy, because those who stand with science have tried, and asking for empathy (the matter of putting oneself in another person’s shoes) has been thus far ineffective. In that vein, I will also not appeal to faith, religion or any god. Because if the plea for empathy is unsuccessful, then surely those values are inline with empathy, and therefore do not account for the following denial of fact.
Let me first define for you the nature of science, in as far as I understand it. Science evolves, develops, and yes, changes and deepens. That is why earlier this year, some science advisors to the politicians of the world were unsure if masks would be useful against Covid-19. Then, they learned more about the virus, and how it is spread (through contact and respiratory droplets). So their recommendations evolved. Science is not conservative, because the definition of conservative is to keep things the same. It is “averse to change and holds traditional values”. Conservatism is impossible in science, because science exists in a state of constant change, usually for the pursuit of improvement.
That is not to say it is wrong to hold traditional values. Good values are essential to human empathy, and since this conversation is not about empathy, and therefore not about value, nor conservatism, I will not appeal to any.
The goal of individualism, the product of an extreme capitalist society, is selfishness. When personal interests are all-consuming to the individual, then empathy lacks existence. I said I wouldn’t make pleas to empathy, and here is why: Grandparents die all the time, right? Your immune-compromised best friend is high risk, but you don’t want to stop seeing your friend. They will get depressed. You will get depressed. You don’t want to stop large parties or travel to save one, two, ten, fifteen, a thousand? deaths. We all die, right? Thousands, maybe millions of deaths, are a cause of nature. As one well-known leader once said, “one death is a tragedy, a million deaths a statistic” – Joseph Stalin. If it’s your best friend or parent who dies, it may be a tragedy for you. But to someone else, they are just one of thousands of others in the ground – a meaningless statistic.
The media, like most things in our world, exists to make money, gain followers, and increase online engagement. Red, blue, or wherever on the spectrum you stand politically, you are accessing and consuming highly biased media. We are all biased. Hello, I am biased in writing this. You are equally biased reading this, in how you perceive what I’ve written. I am not exempt from human faults, and neither are any of us. This is why we shouldn’t mindlessly “share” or “retweet” whatever we like. If you can’t write or speak your own well-thought argument, then it is not yours, and you need to put more thought into your beliefs.
Now, what should we do? Will this pandemic panic ever end? What is the end-goal? Remember, this is a (mainly) capitalist society. We need an end-goal. We equate human life and existence to a business proposal. So, without going too deeply into the science (because that is not my expertise, and science is available to anyone and everyone to read, which I encourage us all to do), there are four things that I perceive are the goals with these masks, lockdowns, and restrictions:
Reduce the infection rate in order to ease the number of hospitalisations over time, so healthcare systems are not overworked, and so some extent of herd immunity can be achieved over time.
Protect the immune-compromised, the elderly, and those who could not survive financially if they were to get sick and miss out on hourly wages they desperately require to provide for themselves and their families.
Adopt an effective Covid-19 vaccine.
I understand that it is difficult to see an end to this pandemic. We have grown up in a world of instant success and instant access. But, not everything can be cured with one Google search. There are a lot of people asking ‘when will it end’? And certainly, science has its predictions. And it’s different for every country, depending on restrictions and population density. For my friends in western Canada, for example, you may not see the mark of the pandemic as drastically as I see in the Netherlands, a country which currently has an almost equal infection rate as the United States.
Finally, I want to say that this has nothing to do with your politics or religion. This has all to do with your humanity. Since the beginning of human interaction, conspiracy theories have existed, and they always will. Humans are pattern-finders, which means we try to find meaning in everything, whether it exists or not. That’s okay, until it’s harmful to other people. Don’t let your core beliefs compromise someone else’s safety. If your beliefs or desires compromise another person, or remove their free will to live a safe and healthy life, then it is no longer okay, and you need to consider what must be done to remove this pressure. This has nothing to do with individual freedoms. It has to do with individual decisions and responsibility for actions.
Many of you are meant to be the product of the greatest generation in modern history. All I want is to see you live, be successful, be loved, love others, and stay alive so I can continue to enjoy your existence in this world. So many people have died already, and I don’t want to lose the people I love. Do you?
I have not written this in search of an argument. You don’t have to share my political views for me to love you, which is good, because this has nothing to do with your politics, and everything to do with empathy (I know, I said I wouldn’t plead). If you are willing to have an open-minded and unheated conversation about facts (not opinions), then I will happily have those discussions. As I said, however, I will not argue with opinion. Nor will I read article or youtube links, unless it is written by a renowned research center or someone with a doctorate. If you have facts you would like to share, please share them in your own writing. We need to stop sharing 16 articles a day written by another unsolicited and barely-educated blogger, like myself (sense the irony. I implore you). Obviously, I don’t have the answers. My final argument is that you wear a mask in public (because it’s human decency) and that you limit contact (especially with the immune-compromised), because that will save lives. Social responsibility is simple, but not easy.
Finally, Exponential Growth can be a difficult concept to wrap our minds around in regards to the infection rates. That is why I am also sharing a link to this physics video, which explains exponential growth in simpler terms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54XLXg4fYsc&ab_channel=minutephysics