Behind on grading therefore behind on most things..but I am working away; taking time to run.
This pandemic and the overall response to things is driving me batty.
I’ll just start with a list:
First of all, you won’t find many more pro-science than I am. BUT, honest science (and that is what the vast, vast, vast majority of scientists do) involves, at times, quite a bit of uncertainty. This is one of those times.
We know so little about this virus and how it interacts with the human body and how it will react to changing seasons, and today’s reasonable, honestly made conjectures may well fall apart under scrutiny. All we can do is to give our “best guess” as to a spread of outcomes, which will have a massive amount of variation.
So you take this, and then add in that a well intentioned but not scientifically literate media tries to write about it and spread the word, and often what you get is either just plain wrong, misleading, or presented in a way that produces confusion or skepticism in the public.
And I “get it”: though I mostly hang with scientifically literate people, I also grew up with very skeptical, uneducated people (“gee, why don’t those so-called-experts make up their minds…first they tell you that is good for you, now it is bad for you!”)
Add in how social distancing was sold: you heard all sorts of rationale: “keep the hospitals from being overwhelmed” (true), “buy us time to get test-and-trace, treatments, work on a vaccine” (also true, but not always a selling point).
Then add in that social distancing measures are really more about limiting the spread; keeping it away from the most vulnerable (tend to be elderly with existing conditions..NOT limited those bedridden in nursing homes) and, things like “exponential growth” and “you are saving someone you haven’t even met” are tough concepts to wrap your head around.
Then, to this mix, add in that businesses are going under, people are losing jobs and health insurance, savings are gone..social connections are cut… (not my situation, at least not now)
Then, to this, add that we are a very diverse country. For example: Chicago has been hit hard. But the rural areas: not so much (as yet) and they don’t see why Chicago’s problems should force them to risk/endure economic hardship or ruin. I can understand the resentment and anger. Look at these COVID spread maps; Illinois, and two of Texas (where i used to live).
Part of me just wants to split up the country and to let “Them” go their own way. But how? Regional? Nope: I am more at home, socially speaking, in Austin, TX than I am in may parts of my own state. And it isn’t as if there isn’t a ton of ignorance being passed around as “informed skepticism” in Democratic circles. There is.
Oh well..this is a pandemic time and things are supposed to suck. Sure, my life isn’t that bad..right now..in fact, it isn’t bad at all, though the things I most love to do..and hope to do again, are gone for now (ball games, races). I still have a paycheck, I still have a job to do (one keeping me very busy) and I have a signed contract (NOT conditional ) for the next year. So, while I am far from “set”, I do have a bit of a cushion….but sure, bad things can happen to me as they can to anyone else. I am not “special.”
It is just that I have a higher level of uncertainty than I am used to..or maybe this has exposed the level of uncertainty that I was happily ignorant of?
Who knows. I am planning to enjoy a “run/walk” (knee is still a bit tender) and finish up some academic stuff (making good progress).