Conspiracy theories and movements like antivaccination activists, virus conspiracists, and the like have been around for a long time. Too often (but not always), conspiracy theories exist solely to spread misinformation, disinformation, lies, and dishonesty — more times than not outright and intentionally. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has only exacerbated things further.
Just like religious folk who claim “god” is always on their side no matter what, both sides of the conspiracy scream about science and how it is on their side only. They adamantly proselytize about the “unanimous” evidence they have that the other side is not recognizing, hearing, listening to, accepting, and/or comprehending. All that really matters is the honest truth.
Conspiracy Theories Versus Current Data, Evidence, Facts, Information, & Knowledge (The Honest Truth)
As a gnostic scientist, I look to the data available at present coupled with logic and reason to come to the most educated, informed, and knowledge-based scientific decision and point of view/perspective I can come to here and now. I remain open to new ideas, data, evidence, facts, and points of view as they roll in, which is basically a neverending process. And I always reserve the right to review my perspective and point of view and adapt, evolve, and change it as needed as new data and information does, indeed, roll in.
In truth, maintaining an accurate, knowledgable, real point of view and perspective is a requirement of being an honest person. Too many people out there fail to achieve an honest point of view and perspective. Too many lock on to false and inaccurate information and then shut out any new information and the like, essentially putting their head in the sand or closing their eyes and covering their ears while humming loudly like an irreverent child.
Maintaining an honest point of view at any given moment of time is difficult. A key element in this process is keeping the mind open to new information, data, evidence, facts, and points of view/perspectives as they become available. One of the main goals is weeding out what is true and accurate from what is false and inaccurate.
Vaccines – Are They Really Safe and Do They Actually Work?
Polio, the measles, the mumps, smallpox, and other viruses all have been no less than brought under control thanks to successful vaccines. We know this for a fact because all these viruses/diseases, along with the help of improved diet (nutrition), exercise, lifestyle, and immunity, have basically disappeared or at least been well-wrangled in the first world. Well, until recently when the anti-vaccination (anti-vaxxer) movement gained steam — now the measles and mumps are making a comeback.
This, of course, does not mean that all vaccines work or are truly effective, safe, or worthwhile. The flu vaccine is much less effective because there are so many different evolving strains of the flu. But, all in all, vaccines do work and are vital tools in the medical toolbox to fight viruses and disease.
Risk is inherent in life. The risk of getting a vaccine and possibly experiencing negative and harmful side-effects, versus not getting the vaccine and risking disease, long-term unhealth, and even death. Not to mention the health care costs that can come with becoming seriously sick/ill which can include loss of work and inability to pay bills. All of which can put undue stress on the individual and their family and friends.
The Dangers of Conspiracy Theories
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on our world and lives. Many people are suffering and dying from the devasting illness itself. Many more are suffering from not being able to work. No work means people cannot pay their bills or rent or support their families. Which can be just as devastating as getting seriously sick. But desperation and ignorance do not justify or make virus conspiracists’ conspiracy theories ok.
In fact, it really only increases the risk further. Aside from a vaccine or cure, the only viable, safe way to reopen the economy is to have accurate, regularly available COVID-19 testing. Trump would rather lie and spout conspiracy theories, blame Obama and everyone else, claim testing is “beautiful” as is or not necessary, and throw 5-year-old tantrums than take responsibility and do what is right.
Life is evolution. Survival is dependant on one’s ability to truly adapt, evolve, and change. In times like this, this especially involves learning new skills and abilities so as to be able to perform different/new types of work/jobs. The internet and online world makes such learning and jobs more accessible to many more people. But too many people are resistant to change.
Conspiracy Theories – Frontline Workers & Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Choosing not to believe the current evidence and facts while calling the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic a hoax only puts lives in danger, including your own. You cannot work if you are seriously sick or dead, nor can you pay your bills or support your family. And you needlessly put other people, including your family and friends, as well as health care workers and other front-liners in further jeopardy with such egregious carelessness and ignorance.
By not wearing proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), particularly in public, including face masks, your dishonest selfishness puts everyone else in danger. This disease is highly contagious, spread simply by breathing/breath and talking/singing (vapor droplets). Frontline workers are not invincible, nor expendable.
Scientific Versus Unscientific – Conspiracy Theories
In no way is it scientific to say we have no evidence for something and therefore that somehow means we know everything about it, including that it for certain does not exist, is not real, or is not true. This is not how science works. Refusing to genuinely look at new ideas, theories, evidence, data, information, and such with unbiased eyes because/as if we already know everything about everything is the definition of unscientific.
The honest truth is, we humans know very little about anything — we are not even a Type 1 civilization/species. And what little we do know, we have learned most of it in just the past 100 years or so. Yet, there are a lot of “scientists” (both professionals and laypeople alike) out there who adamantly and stubbornly hold to painfully outdated, obviously incorrect, ignorant, and dishonest points of view/perspectives relative to “accepted” evidence and facts about history as if it is written in stone and the case is closed. Which is the same thing as pushing false and inaccurate conspiracy theories.
True scientists are not static with no intention of honestly reviewing new data and information to adapt, evolve, and change their point of view and perspective. True scientists are dynamic. They are reasonably open-minded, aware, and steadfastly honest about all the currently known and unknown information at hand. Are you a true scientist?