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RE: Misinformation, Misconceptions, and Covid-19

in #biology2 years ago (edited)

There is quite a clear divide that runs through all areas of life and is particularly visible again at the moment: Such between professions where people work practically, who come into direct contact with the things their training was aimed at, and such professions where the direct contact with the human as a whole no longer takes place. This is turning out to be a problem, and it's not so since yesterday.
Always there, where the data desired by science is to be collected practically. As educated people, we should also not forget the conflicts of interest that are now inherent in many scientific researches.

Whoever treats thousands of patients as a doctor, whoever cares for the much-vaunted old and sick as a nurse, for example, receives something in the long run through practice with people, (or animals and plants) that purely scientifically working people do not receive: a feeling for how to help people in spontaneously occurring situations that goes beyond data and quantities - more an art than a science. They all have valuable things to say after years of professional experience. Practitioners are of great value to the community of people.

The world of science, when it deals exclusively at the desk, in the laboratory, with models and statistics, when it deals with publications and papers, with reputation and participation in clinical trials, it can give probabilities and averages. Individual cases and exceptions, those that do not fit into the test series, experiments that cannot be reproduced exactly, are not part of studies. That in itself is a problem, but that is not my point.

Scientific education alone is not enough to understand a complex creature or life at all. Because in order to "understand" a virus, you would also have to study and research much more about the many interactions and other influences that we, as human beings, experience in this world, and preferably in a combination of both: theory and practice. You'd study "life". If you have spent ten or twenty or thirty years in the field, as well as in books and with a great many people, you will find that you know very little. That all the knowledge you are so confident in applying and bringing into the world is never really enough when you are dealing with people in hospitals, doctors' offices, schools, kindergartens, all institutions where people treat or care for other people. And that's what all is about. To care, right?

Science itself is not the ultimate wisdom. It has its proper place in society, it is ONE field among many others, but it is not ABOVE them.

When you talk about freeing people from their lack of knowledge and you take a pro-vaccination, I want to tell you that I don't think that way. A lot of people don't think that way. They don't need any scientific justification or special eloquence for it. They do not need an accurate scientific explanation because they do not want one. So if I am against a vaccination of the Corona virus, it is my personal decision. People have feelings, they are irrational and everyone believes exactly what they want to believe in the end. No scientist can be exempt from this and in very many cases faith is behind a scientifically produced argument, if not all. That much should be clear to you.


I agreed with you up to the point where you say that being against the vaccine is a personal decision.

I agree that especially research scientists quickly lose sight of humans and human interaction. I agree that it's impossible to know everything and that it's important to look outside of science and at humans.

But I don't agree that the refusal of a vaccine is something I should just accept.

I can accept it for tetanus - you're not infecting anyone else with it, so go ahead and refuse the vaccine. You're the only one who suffers. But when it comes to infectious disease? You're not just endangering yourself, but those who are not (yet) vaccinated. And the more people refuse the vaccine, the greater is the danger due to lack of herd immunity.

I think the vaccine needs to be properly tested for safety and effectivity. But beyond that? It's necessary to protect people, especially those who are unable to protect themselves.

I don't think that having me vaccinated against my will, is anything I must accept.

This whole thing sounds. It probably will be a run whose numbers are going to be accepted and what numbers are contaminated by the inaccurate tests and form of counting. I can only hope that the data will be honest eventually.

We are far from how the term "pandemic" is usually understood. Until now, strangely enough. One must understand what causes people to die in masses. It has never a single cause, multiple things have to come together like warlike zones, deep distress, hunger, contaminated water, polluted air and so on and so forth. Distributing panic and so called education by using subtle formulations and extra frightening examples adds to this list.

The full title of my degree is "Immunology and Global Health" so I understand the additional causes you're talking about. But it just doesn't apply here.

I'm not advocating for people to be forcefully vaccinated, I'm advocating for providing relevant information and educating people in a way that makes them understand why vaccines are necessary.

I know that many people want to believe this whole thing is less serious than it's made out to be. Hell, I honestly wish it is, I wish it'd go away in a month. I wish I could finish my education in peace, start my PhD as I had planned, travel Ireland as intended, have my wedding next year with a hundred people and international friends.

But I have to face the reality that many of those things might not happen, because people are dying en masse, especially where there are less restrictive measures in place, even in first world countries. Yes, often it's due to a factor like lack of available hospital beds - but what if the numbers rise? Even in Germany, there is only so much space in the hospitals.

I understand that you are scared. We all have special and personal anxieties. If you want to lose anxiety the best thing is to talk to people who are out there in the hospitals and ask them if they are having any troubles in forms of capacity.

Germany has so far one of the best health care systems I know of. It is not comparable to other countries, not to Italy or Spain, to name those who are in the media as "having the most cases/deaths". We can be critical towards the intention to close hospitals in the long run and it already began. We have already a relevant shutdown of hospitals nationwide but still enough to take care of intense times (IF people do not panic).

Your age is actually the one in which you need the least to worry. You are young and if you do not have any chronic illnesses there is really no reason to worry. Elderly people who are vulnerable right now do have a really hard time. They are avoided, they cannot go to the doctor (a huge and important part for elders to be in touch with society), not sitting around in the supermarket cafes where they like to hang around and I often see them, not in churches or other gatherings. In the nursing homes having staff which worries about their own lives. Don't you think it's a good idea to have them back their lives instead of waiting for a vaccine they either might not get or want. If you want to know what the vulnerable think: Talk to them and be in touch.

One of my classmates is a nurse. She's come to cry in our WhatsApp groupchat more than once. There is insufficient PPE, and people are dying alone. They don't have enough space to properly isolate covid19 patients from the rest. I receive a bunch of front line news.

I don't worry about myself, I worry about my friends with underlying conditions, my grandparents, everyone who is vulnerable.

It's not just the elderly who are vulnerable. People my age can be too. I am in touch with my friends who have chronic illnesses, who haven't left the house in two months, not even for a walk because they are too scared to die. I am in touch with vulnerable people who wish people would stop behaving like those with preexisting conditions are disposable.

I'm currently not in Germany, I'm in Ireland, so yes, things are slightly different. Germany might be doing better, but if the curve isn't "flattened" enough, resources will eventually run out too.

to remain humanly you've got to face that people die and that every one can die any minute.

If a facility cannot give space for isolation then it should deal in the best positive way with the real circumstances ... not let people feel that they are a threat for each other, which is always a bad idea. If people must die alone out of fear, something is wrong with humanity. Now, is your friend who is a nurse, giving company anyways? I would call her humane and serving in real life what most of us do as lip service.

Here in Germany we run under capacity as far as I know.

Looking for good stories and actually distributing what has NOT happen in terms of disaster so far (as many many doctors and other people in the field confirm) would be a good thing, is what I think right now. If your friend has anything good to share I would be happy to receive it.

So far, the only good thing she shared was that she received the results of her Covid19 test within 3 days. She was surprised it was this fast.

If I accept that anyone can die any minute, I will become cold, because death is not something I just accept. Which is why I'm a biologist and want to help find cures for disease.

Isn't it possible to accept death and be sincere, friendly and in love with people nevertheless. Why is it a contradiction for you?

Always, since the profession of doctors are present, they were dealing with dying people. What happens to a doctor who cannot accept that people die? Will he/she probably become stressed out because of dying people, especially when they were young and healthy before? Why would you be different in your profession as a biologist? We are all humans and death is the most natural thing next do birth. I think we forget about it too often and once it moves itself in front of our eyes, we become deeply uncomfortable, like right now.

But okay. I think this could be something your educators could talk about to their students. If not, I would ask myself, why.

As you put so much weight on the experience of front line workers, on the emotions, please read this post by an ICU nurse from New York. Read it to the end. Maybe you'll then understand why I'm so angry.

So what I really don't understand is the paradox of what is happening right now. If there is no treatment and no cure for Covid, why treat and medicate people? Why are people being neglected, why are they not being given peace of mind and instead of treating them with medicine that is normally given for other forms of disease? So that you can say you did everything for people and followed medical protocol? I don't want to end up in hospital. I, for one, do not want to be on that kind of protocol. I am not a statistical figure, nor am I a guinea pig for the vanities, world saviors or economic interests of those who come around the corner with promises of salvation. You are still too young to already recognize some of these "dangers" and their "management" as what they are in most cases: Interest or fear driven. Or even by some kind of illusory do-gooderism that one wants to pin to one's chest.

If the state leaders really cared about the sick and dying, they would not have privatized the hospitals and our government representatives would not have sold them to the highest bidder. It is perverse enough to pay out shares on the profits of hospitals.

One thing all nurses can always attest to is that they have no time at all to take care of their patients personally and thoroughly and with dedication. There are shift schedules based on efficiency, not care.

Have you ever had the experience of being overlooked in hospital? You lie on some corridor for three hours where you have an MRI and no one talks to you, no one speaks to you, no one addresses you? Everyone's so busy. Yeah, with what? Caring for patients? You can spend two days in a hospital through the machinery of diagnostics without a human hand touching you or an eye knowing and recognizing you. And then you are only touched because it is the necessary manipulation for measuring blood pressure or giving you an infusion. A touch that goes beyond that, a hand that is placed on yours with the intention of coming into a living feeling contact with you, without any form of medical treatment, that is how I understand care. If you yourself have been terribly ill and you have had the impression of being invisible under medical care, you will know how painful this experience is.

People don't die from medical underprovision or from their illness alone, they die from medical overactionism and from grief over this lack of cordiality in hospitals, where you can only be totally hardheaded if you don't want to be touched by what's going on. They die with the bitter experience of unkindness, because they are not even allowed to see again those of the nurses who cared for them in the last shift and who perhaps had someone with them whom they would like to have at their side. Nor do the nurses have the chance to do so the other way around. The thing a patient needs most is time for personal contact. What the caregiver needs is the valuable experience that his profession offers him: to sit by the side of patients who cannot be rescued and to accompany them adequately when they die, to feel two or more hours of silence and peace when no relatives can be present. But this is not billable.

This is not a scientific debate at all, it's an ideological one.

Enjoy the freedom to believe in something that is important to you. I respect this freedom more than anything else and therefore I can let your stance exist alongside mine because this is really valuable to have. Of course I make passionate pleas for my position, but never in my life would I force you to have mine. I can only tell you that if you are a child of parents who had to give up this freedom because the heads of state only allowed a universal worldview, that is just terrible. My parents did not even have an opinion in principle, but it was enough to have their origin and descent as a reason to hold any coercive proceedings with them that one could think of.

You could, however, become very sensitive if the diversity of opinions is no longer part of the media reports (AND the sciences) and the law enforcement agencies and the executive branch have a single line. The state, when the first stage of the basic rights is exceeded, rarely withdraws from these legal restrictions. That frightens me more than anything else. I find death less horrible. It's a life without freedom that I fear.