Susan Slotnick: Humility

When I was a girl, if I was not living up to my mother’s standards about what I wore, ate, played with, or anything else, including my beliefs she would say, “You can’t be that or what will ‘they’ think of you?” One day I finally asked her who are the invisible “they” out there judging me?

Until recently, I had not heard about the amorphous “they” who was conjured up by an intelligent friend of mine. She asked me to look up a doctor who had the absolute truth about the vaccination.  So I did.  All I could find was reams of information about what a charlatan that doctor is and has been for decades, spewing dangerous information about healthcare. When I told her what I discovered, she said, “Well, as soon as Dr…. posts something anywhere, ‘they’ remove it immediately.”  A conspiracy of “theys” trolling cyberspace finding the real truth and eliminating it.  Why this doctor, when the internet is inundated with misinformation that remains?  It doesn’t make sense.  It must be the imperceptible “they” police.

If we can’t count on the phantom “them” to be the arbiter of truth, where can we go to for the facts?

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Finding out about the vaccination presents a troublesome and hazardous situation where reality is prognosticated by the power of each party’s intensity of emotions and surety.

It is so much easier to agree with those who agree with us than to change our minds. It’s so much more difficult to face, no matter what the evidence, that what we cling to as a certainty is false.

In this conundrum we only have one option, sometimes an imperfect one, but the only one — science.  When science fails, and it sometimes does, we don’t count on mysterious coincidences, whispers from angels, or divining nighttime dreams to herald the truth. We count on bigger and better science; the scientific method we all first heard about in grade school. We consult the majority opinions of the best and most well-researched scientists.

I have access to a lifelong friend who has been working in the fields of infectious diseases and immunology for 30 years. His entire life’s work has been to save lives, not kill anyone.

I have asked him about masking, traveling and exposing my newborn grandchild to my kisses. Each time he prefaces his response with the only words of humility I have heard out of anyone’s mouth regardless of their opinion for or against, “We scientists don’t know everything.  But I can tell you, based on the facts, we do know what is the best recommendation at this moment.”

Someone I care about is unvaccinated, had cancer, is obese and diabetic. She called my friend, the scientist, at my urging. He did his best to debunk all of her concerns.  However, when he said, “We don’t know everything,” she jumped on that with a resounding, “Aha! Then I must be right.”  To which my friend said, “So does science not having all the answers mean that you do?”

But let’s give her the benefit of the doubt and stay open-minded.

Is it true that Big Pharma has been corrupt in the past and now has cashed in exponentially from the vaccine?

Was the “time warp” vaccine roll-out unprecedented and dangerous?

Why aren’t the vaccines fully approved of?

Can the vaccine make us magnetic?

Is there a microchip in the needle tracking every vaccinated person for unknown nefarious conspiratorial reasons?

Are thousands of vaccinated people dying from COVID?

Let’s assume all the above concerns are true.

Thousands of people have died from COVID after being fully vaccinated.  It is true.

Four-and-a-half million people have died worldwide from COVID. One-point-four percent of those were fully vaccinated. Sixty-three-thousand human souls fully vaccinated have been lost to their loved ones but not from the vaccine, death of fully vaccinated people are collected and reported who died of COVID but not vaccine related).  One-point-four people out of 100 will lose their life regardless of whether they took the vaccine or not.

Righteous fears are fueling the controversy for understandable reasons.  Dread reigns which trumps humility.  Each of us wants to be right, have the answers so we can live through this alarming time and be alive for the new day.

One-point-four out of 100.  I’ll take those odds even if it is a gamble.

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