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How I Became a Science Experiment

0 3 years ago

Trust Anthony Fauci, not Donald Trump. Trust authoritative medical bodies, not random doctors on the internet. Trust official knowledge, not conspiracy theories.

In some ways, this worldview has been vindicated — the work of science brought forth vaccines with startling rapidity, while vaccine resistance has led to many unnecessary deaths. In other ways, the Covid era has offered case studies in why so many people mistrust official science — like the drip-drip-drip of information that has taken the so-called lab-leak theory of Covid’s origins from censored conspiracy theory to plausible and mainstream hypothesis.

But in the early days of the pandemic, the problem was that there was so little official science yet in which to put our trust. Instead, because Covid was a novel pathogen, we lived in a twilight zone for months, dealing with urgent questions to which there was no clear answer: how the disease spread and who was most at risk, whether masking or handwashing mattered most, whether to put patients on ventilators or try to keep them alive without them, what kind and variety of symptoms were associated with the sickness, what kind of therapeutic drugs should be thrown into the fight. We had to act in that twilight — as citizens, as doctors, as patients — without certainty, following supposition, speculation and hypothesis. And to the extent that confident medical pronouncements were issued in those days, they often had to be amended or reversed.


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