Hold out both your hands. Fill one with prayers and the other with shit and see which one fills up first

How about that headline? I read a similar line in Stephen King’s “The Institution” today. I changed “wishes” to prayers.

“Thoughts and prayers.” That tired old empty statement goes around all the time. Somehow prayers don’t amount to anything but an empty hand. But shit is measurable, and most likely the case when it comes to all things wish-worthy.

When Tina tested Covid+, many of our friends and family suddenly jumped through all kinds of hoops, contorting their responses to fit whatever justification they might have to think all’s going to be okay. But for her, it was the scariest moment in her world apart from losing her mom when Tina was in her mid-twenties.

The weight of concern suffocated her ability to completely agree that all would be okay. She was paralyzed with “what ifs?” Her mom and grandmother both died young. Her grandfather wasn’t what I would consider too old at his death either. There are so many unknowns. The media hype doesn’t help. But it’s not all media. We’ve all read and heard firsthand accounts of the horrors of this disease.

But upon hearing the news, I couldn’t believe how her concern was almost disregarded with apathy.

I just read this article in Scientific American titled, “Nine Important Things We’ve Learned about the Coronavirus Pandemic So Far.”

It appears to dispel a lot of misinformation about Covid19. But this one line in the intro caught my eye:

 What’s more, people tend to remember the first things they learn about a new subject, a phenomenon called “anchoring bias,” and it’s psychologically challenging to replace old information with new knowledge. 

I stared at it for quite a while. At first, I was like, “I’ve been following scientific sources on the topic, and most, if not all of the information that I repeat has been backed up and validated by scientific data.

While a handful of my friends and family have resources that lean toward sources that doubt science, I’ve been reading from strictly scientific resources. When trying to reformulate their views, they are hit with the challenge of overcoming ideas that already took root. And thus having a road to hoe.

So many people hide behind “I don’t know what to believe?” statement. The information is available and in full sight. It’s not a conspiracy against the president. This virus is not prejudiced. It’s an one and all infecting virus.

That doesn’t mean the scientific advice has always been correct. Following advice of science, I bought into the disinfect everything idea. And while it’s still very important to wash your hands. We learned from the science that it wasn’t necessarily the main cause of spread.

Or maybe, I have been wrong this whole time and science is also wrong? But science is wrong a lot. That’s the power of it. Science doesn’t observe “dogma” the way the church does. One cannot repute the divinity of Christ. It MUST be true. But one can repute the ideas of science, it’s done all the time.

You should read the whole piece in Scientific American. I’m going to post some of the points below that stand out because it’s the talking points that I keep hearing from people who doubt the legitimacy of this pandemic, and no amount of discussion can convince anyone otherwise. It’s painful.

But before I post the things we know, I wanted to point out that there are so many people out there who are anti-mask. And they wear their maskless face like a badge of patriotic courage. There’s been so many responses, including, “Would you rather I spit on your face with a cloth covering or without?”

On my run today, I came up with, “Would you rather I shot out diarrhea on you while wearing a cloth diaper or without one?

It doesn’t take rocket science to see that masks might help slow the spread of a respiratory disease. Try, for instance, blowing out a candle while wearing a mask. Now if you and five friends tried to blow out one candle all while wearing masks, you see that not only does the candle stay lit, but everyone’s spit is contained inside the mask.

We learn basic hygiene as children. Covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough is considered polite. Why? It’s not for aesthetics. It’s because you’re trying to trap as many of your germs inside your grasp as possible.

It’s how humans show other humans we care for their health and safety. But showing people how much you care about them is not in the Republican vocabulary that I can tell. Not as a political movement. Maybe individuals show they care.

Here are the parts that stood out to me:

COVID-19 can sicken and kill anyone. The first victims of the pandemic were disproportionately older or had existing health conditions. Age and frailty are still risk factors for serious disease and death, but we now know the disease can kill young and healthy people. It can kill young adults. It can kill teenagers. It can kill children.

Contaminated surfaces are not the main danger. Early on, public health experts advised people to wash their hands frequently (while singing “Happy Birthday” twice), disinfect surfaces and avoid touching their face. This was based on studies of how other diseases spread, such as norovirus and viruses that cause the common cold. It’s still a good idea to wash your hands regularly (and avoid handshakes), but now we know that surfaces aren’t the main vector for SARS-CoV-2.

Many people are infectious without being sick.

Warm summer weather will not stop the virusInfluenza is a seasonal respiratory disease that peaks in the winter, and some experts hoped the spread of COVID-19 would show a similar pattern and slow in the Northern Hemisphere during the spring and summer. Now we know that people’s behavior, regardless of season, is the strongest predictor of whether the disease will spread.

Masks work. 

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