It feels as if it has been a very long 2021, as if the speed of 2020 couldn’t be fast enough but now, we’re all longing for a cessation of speed. Summer has been off and on for the entirety of, well, Summer, and it’s hard to know what way the world is going. I keep wondering when Autumn and then Winter will come, and wonder why I care so much. What do I think will change?
I struggle often, reading Facebook or the AP NEWS or even listening to podcasts, which of the three, tend to be the most solutions-based news that I could hope for. Search for the positive came up fruitful, in the form of a new site started by David Byrne (yes, that David Byrne.) Called “Reasons to Be Cheerful,” after a punk song, the site delivers news that is based on solutions, not whining. The site is here, https://reasonstobecheerful.world/, for anyone interested. This, however, was not the reason for my post today.
I have been doing my best to “read the opposition.” Whenever I run into a viewpoint that is in opposition to my own, I’m stopping and reading it thoroughly. I’m questioning my own mind, and decisions, and seeking the honest truth (as much as it eludes us all…) of a situation. I am truly questioning the other viewpoint, person, or site not with a desire to make them wrong but with a desire to see if my own reasons for believing what I believe are based in foundation. I look for those things based in fact, not in hyperbole, obfuscation, and vague allusions to “evidence.” I question everything – for myself. I question where I heard something, where I saw it, who published it, who seeks to gain from it, etc. Everyone and every organization has an ego-propelled system to survive; companies even more than humans.
I read a post today from someone who I consider to be very skeptical of government and authority in general. In this post, she encouraged people to be skeptical of the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine. It was an opening slam that FDA approval means nothing when so many ‘approved’ drugs have been shown to cause cancer or death. It went on, but that was the gist of the post. The FDA does recall dozens of drugs a year (https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/drug-recalls) and for all sorts of reasons. They do testing, they uncover issues, the drug is recalled. Are they a perfect organization? No. Name one that is. However, they do have a years-long rigorous testing protocol that is designed to ferret out the worst of the issues.
Honestly, I’m more nervous taking vitamin and mineral supplements that are NOT tested by any governmental organization; only one company does extensive testing: an independent company called ConsumerLab. Truth is, we can’t test everything. We are living the Omnivore’s Dilemma for everything we get from nearly any company. Is that soap you’re using REALLY organic? You have to trust it or just not use it. Where do you draw the line?
Not to get side-tracked, I thought about this for a while. It’s not in a government’s best interest to kill off its citizens. Control, I can see the argument that some people make that the ‘government wants to control us.’ Hello, everyone wants to control us – not just our governments. But killing off its citizens isn’t in its best interest for financial, productivity, and even power reasons.
I don’t want to go down the conspiracy route. People may think that I’m burying my head in the sand but I’m not. I have read them, and they do not make sense to me. They seem to be a way of feeling in-control of a situation that is not controllable. Here’s a very good article, out of Canada, regarding parallels between the anti-vaccination strife with smallpox and what is happening today, with Covid.
Be that as it may, I am tired. And I have relied on enough common sense to decide for myself. I have taken the vaccine because I know vaccines work. Masks work. Antibiotics work. Vitamins work. Why? because I have used them and seen for myself what they have done for me. Do I know the mechanisms behind them? Basic level, for sure. Do I know mRNA doesn’t penetrate the nucleus and alter our DNA? Have I seen that? No. I’m not a scientist with that level of training. Do I have to take their word for it? Yes. Does it make me a “libtard” or a “radical” or a “sheeple?” I don’t really care. I have to take care of myself, and that’s really the bottom line. I have a medical condition that makes my immune system challenged. I monitor my health carefully. I’ve got a cliff for you to jump from if you think I’m going to sway my personal health based on the option of someone other than what I feel is a qualified medical professional.
Because you know what? The world is complicated and that’s all we got. “Research” is not Facebook, AP News, or even a discussion with your doctor. It’s your own foray into understanding what is going on. Educate yourself. Understand how the human body works. Look it up, if you want to know – books, medical articles, heck, take an anatomy and physiology class from a trained professional. Read the opposition if it has factual data, testing, and valid theories that coincide with what you know. Don’t take it for granted but don’t dismiss someone who clearly has more training on the subject than you.
And this is why I’m tired. Sometimes, said Freud, a cigar is just a cigar. Sometimes a vaccine is just a vaccine. Is it perfect? No. Is the cigar? Nope. But both are fairly effective when professionally created.
Can we all get back to some semblance of thinking? Please? Can we stop emoting all over these daily events and just get back to thought? Perhaps all I and any of us can do is turn off the media, turn off the Facebook, and lean on logic and rhetoric. Good ol’ debate with well-armed people. I don’t know. Right now, I just want to sleep, honestly. A lot. I’ll leave you (and perhaps me, too) with this… “You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength” – Marcus Aurelius.
I love the Stoics.