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It's Time To Understand That You Don't Understand
Social skills are really not my area of expertise, to put it mildly. I've committed faux pas like you wouldn't believe; I cringe just to even think about them. I accept my shortcomings in this area, which is why I accept guidance in it from people with greater social skills than I. I'm also very ignorant about archeology, among many other fields of knowledge, and I'm terrible at parallel parking. And I'm ready to admit all this both to myself and to others. Why are some other people so reluctant to accept their shortcomings in particular areas?
Over the last few days I have been involved in discussions and arguments with several people who are not all-out anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists, but who are either opposed to taking the Covid vaccine or are very skeptical about it. All these people are intelligent (well, most of them) and they are certain that they are demonstrating informed skepticism. Yet with each of them, I have demonstrated to them that they have fallen for outright lies and/or have made ridiculous errors of understanding. The correct conclusion for them to draw is that while they may be accomplished and intelligent in many areas, they are not capable of drawing intelligent conclusions about Covid and the vaccine, and that they should defer to experts, and cease spreading information and opinions on this topic.
Here's some examples from today. Someone insisted to me that six thousand people in the US were killed by the vaccine - and also insisted that this was attested to by none other than the CDC! Of course, this is not at all true. What the CDC actually said was that six thousand people were reported as having died after taking the vaccine, not from the vaccine. And since nearly two hundred million Americans have been vaccinated, it is inevitable that many thousands of people die in any given period. Any deaths can be reported to VAERS, even by family members with no medical expertise, and are duly logged and investigated. Only three of these 6000 deaths were found to be linked to the vaccine (and in a way that can be prevented in future). The rest were just the thousands of deaths that were absolutely due to occur anyway during that period, vaccine or no vaccine, and it would be inexplicable if they didn't happen!
The claim that the CDC reported six thousand dead from the vaccine was not only false; it was utterly ridiculous. Yet it took a while for me to finally convince the person of that.
Here's another. Someone else insisted to me that he is not a layman and that he analyzes and understands all the information that he reads. This was right after he forwarded a message urging everyone to listen to the testimony of a doctor about how the vaccine changes your DNA! But this "doctor" was a psychologist rather than a physician, and the vaccine most certainly has absolutely zero effect on DNA. I pointed this out, along with other blatant nonsense that this person had fallen for - such as regarding the statistic discussed yesterday that most people in Israel currently sick with Covid are vaccinated, and that Bill Gates paid trillions (!!!) of dollars to try to stop a stupid anti-vaccine video. Shouldn't this cause the person to re-evaluate their claim that they are not a layman and that they analyze and understand all the information that they read?
One more. A person told me that it's not unreasonable to be against the vaccine, since there are "many, many virologists, immunologists, and doctors" who are against it. I replied that this just isn't true, whereupon the person said that "huge numbers" do exist and I'm just not aware of them. So I said, Fine, what's the evidence that there are "huge numbers" and "many, many" such professionals against it? And they responded that they've seen lots of videos! I pointed out they certainly hadn't seen videos of thousands or even hundreds of virologists, immunologists, and doctors who are against the vaccine!
So the person added that "a team of over ten thousand (sic!) medical experts led by Dr. Reiner Fuellmich have begun legal proceedings against the CDC." It took me just a few seconds to discover and point out that Reiner Fuellmich is a lawyer rather than a doctor, and more significantly, there are not ten thousand medical experts saying that they are on his team; the claim of ten thousand medical experts is stated by nobody other than Fuellmich!
If there were thousands of virologists, immunologists, and doctors who are against the vaccine, then there would be a list of their names. No such list exists, because there are no such thousands of experts who exist. A claim that there are thousands of experts in support of a position is not evidence that there are thousands of experts in support of a position!
In fact, over 98% of physicians are in favor of the vaccine (the evidence for my claim is here). And the percentage of immunologists, virologists and other specialists who are much more qualified than random physicians is doubtless even higher. In other words, the number of relevant experts who are in favor of the vaccine is not "many" or "most" - it's close to one hundred per cent! The number of relevant experts who are against the vaccine is negligible, and it makes absolutely no sense to choose to side with them.
Every day, there are hundreds of people dying painful, tragic, senseless deaths, because they were influenced by misinformation spread by people who thought that they understood the topic of vaccinations and the existence of expert disagreement better than they actually do. Why can't people admit that they are just not very good at evaluating information regarding Covid and vaccines and doctors? There's no shame in that. It would be the appropriate, honest and humble conclusion to draw. And it would prevent them being complicit in loss of life.
(I ran all this by a PhD immunologist with twenty years of experience and a PhD pharmacologist with 25 additional years of molecular biology research, and everything that I wrote can be easily corroborated. Unless you think that I'm lying, you can share this post with those who are subject to misinformation.)
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