If you think the only type of science that’s really a religion is Christian Science, then you might be a science religious zealot yourself.
Just because I’m skeptical about some Biblical passages being the “inerrant Word of God” doesn’t mean I don’t believe in God. Similarly, just because I raise the possibility that some of the COVID vaccine gospels we’ve heard preached from the CDC mountaintop and echoed by mainstream media enablers and general public ‘Vaccintologists’ could be wrong doesn’t make me an ‘anti-vaxxer.’
I do believe in God, and I do believe in vaccines. What I don’t believe is that human beings – whether biblical scholars or scientists – are infallible.
By the time you’re reading this, conventional wisdom (and I use that term loosely) about COVID may have changed yet again. We may be facing another lockdown, or cases may drop.
Don’t forget, these same experts told us almost a year and a half ago that we’d be closing “for 15 days, to slow the spread.” They also said masks do absolutely no good, and then they recommended wearing two masks, even three. None of this means they’re wrong about what they say we should do now, but it doesn’t mean they’re right either.
All throughout this hellacious experience, I’ve respected people’s wishes. I’m not going to shame someone into getting the vaccine, or into not getting it, with any sort of arrogant certainty, because I could be wrong. The subtitle of my latest book, called How to Talk Politics without Arguing (which essentially can apply to any topic, political or not) is: “I Think I’m Right, but I Could Be Wrong.” Unfortunately, too many people think they’re omniscient, whether they’re discussing Genesis or genetics.
Closely related to the “I could be wrong” acknowledgment is this simple, three-word phrase that is tragically underused in countless instances of human interaction: “I don’t know.” After happily retiring from the practice of law, when friends or family members would ask my advice about selecting an attorney, I’d counsel them to pick someone who’s comfortable with saying “I don’t know” (hopefully followed by “but I’m going to find out”), because that’s the sign of an honest person, rather than someone trying to captivate you with a facade of confident assurance.
One of the more pressing questions in my mind, to which my answer remains “I don’t know” and is followed by “but I’d like to find out,” is why those who are vaxxinated (‘vaxxed’) will physically gather with others who are also vaxxed, but not with anyone who is unvaxxed?
Consider this example, to illustrate: suppose that Vaggelis, who’s vaxxed, wants to have a party and among the friends he’d like to invite are Vaso, who’s also vaxxed, and Urania, who is not. (The two names beginning with a ‘V’ are vaxxed, and the one starting with a ‘U’ is unvaxxed – get it?)
When Vaso tells Vaggelis over the phone that she’s fully vaccinated, he says “oh good, see you next Saturday!” But when Urania breaks the news to Vaggelis that not only is she unvaccinated, but she doesn’t think she’ll ever break down and get the jab, and certainly not before the party, he tells her that although he’d love for her to be there, he simply won’t let any unvaxxed person into his home.
Now, let’s try our hand at a bit of logical reasoning: Vaggelis, like the rest of us, has one of three opinions regarding the vaccine: 1) that it works (that either it renders the vaxxed invincible, or at worst they remain susceptible to COVID but only with mild symptoms), 2) that it doesn’t work (that the vaxxed are no better off than the unvaxxed in terms of COVID consequences, and may even be worse off), or 3) it’s all up in the air, one way or the other, because the ever changing information is so confusing and overwhelming.
Let’s begin with the first option, that Vaggelis thinks being vaxxed means he’s almost guaranteed inoculation from COVID, or in a worst-case scenario, he’ll just get the sniffles. In that case, why would he steer clear of Urania? Doesn’t being protected means the virus itself won’t harm you, no matter if the carrier is vaxxed or unvaxxed? If this was five years ago, long before the COVID scare, would Vaggelis have told Urania not to attend? Did pre-COVID RSVPs ever warn: “if you’re sneezing, please stay home!”?
On the other hand, if Vaggelis is really skeptical about the vaccine, and either regrets getting it or at least hopes for the best but remains very leery about its effectiveness, then it makes sense why he’d stay away from Urania. But why would he be ok with hanging out with Vaso? If the vaccine doesn’t work or if he’s too worried to take the chance, shouldn’t Vaggelis just cancel the party altogether and not hang out with anyone, whether vaxxed or unvaxxed?
Suppose that during the phonecall, Vaggelis calls Urania irresponsible for refusing the vaccine, and that the needless deaths of tens if not hundreds of thousands more people are on her head. Urania, in response, says that vaccinating during a pandemic peak is unwise, and inconsistent with past practice, as it forces the virus to mutate more aggressively than if we just let it run its course, and so the ones really responsible for more deaths are the vaccine advocates.
“You’re not following the science!” Vaggelis screams. “Science has taught us that you can’t outsmart a virus!” Urania shouts back. Sadly, the two friends end the call furious with one another.
Vaggelis later learns that Urania is not the only unvaxxed person on his guest list; only 11 of his 16 potential invitees are vaxxed. The uninvited, unvaxxed remaining five stay home, unable to understand why Vaggelis has shunned them, while he and his vaxxed guests judgmentally gossip about their unvaxxed friends’ foolishness and irresponsibility.
I wonder what God thinks about all this as He’s gazing upon it. I’m not going to guess, because, repeat after me: I … don’t … know!