Sunday, March 15, 2020

Attention: virus skeptics.

Attention: virus skeptics.

This will be the gentlest message you'll be hearing from anyone. I respect your right to think/say/do as you see fit, but I have a very small favor to ask.

Let's say Italy and Iran have not become essential warzones. Let's say the CDC and WHO (along with all the non-political non-partisan major public health experts) are part of a liberal media conspiracy to drive us into panic, wreck our economy, and tarnish Our President.

Let's grant for argument that this is just another flu...and I'll politely ignore the companion argument that this is bio-terrorism from those slanty-eyed Chinese devils (which sort of contradicts the "it's-a-nothingburger" claim, but whatever).

I'll also concede that if you don't want to socially distance, because you feel we're all over-reacting, you don't need to. You may go and do as you'd like, though you might be infected and non-symptomatic (or pre-symptomatic) and infect innocents, some of whom will infect old people. But it's okay with me. I get it; I don't like to be told what to do, either.

That's a lot of concession! But I do have one request.

Maybe don't broadcast your skepticism as loudly as you possibly can. Maybe it's ok if the rest of us stay home and flatten the curve out of pure gullibility. If there's just a small chance that you're wrong and the experts are right, we'll save millions. So we may be fools, but we're not the most foolish fools who've ever been fooled.

I understand you believe you're right and the experts are wrong. I respect your intellectual primacy; the sanctity of your gut feelings. But if there's a slight chance that this is what experts unanimously say it is, maybe don't work SUPER-hard to urge people to ignore official safety instructions amid what Donald Trump yesterday declared to be a National Emergency. Would that be okay?

If vaccines are safe and effective, there's a place in hell for parents who don't vaccinate their kids. But those who work to convince lots of other parents not to vaccinate will occupy a much deeper, much toastier slot. Because that's mass murder.

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