Science has always been tricky.
We live in a world where people want to receive immediate answers. Where all of life’s problems can be summed up in a tweet.
That directly contradicts science, where facts are ascertained through weeks, months and sometimes years of observation.
So when it comes to a virus like Covid-19, which continues to flummox the world’s leading epidemiologists, there’s understandably been a public relations problem.
However, there’s arguably never been a time where the directive from scientists to the average person has never been more simple. They’re not asking people to understand the nuances between indoor or outdoor transmission, nor to comprehend how many aerosols are transmitted through speaking versus coughing. That’s for the scientists to figure out.
All we’re being told to do is wear a god damn mask.
By wearing a mask properly, it strongly decreases the likelihood of transmitting particles. It’s that simple. Aerosols leave your mouth and remain in your mask. Tah-dah.
And yet, people still refuse to believe it. Even worse, people simply choose to ignore it.
If Covid-19 has taught me anything, it’s that the concept of “individual liberty” has taken on a whole new meaning in 21st century America.
With Covid running rampant in states like Florida and Texas, states that never seemed to have taken this virus seriously from the beginning, one would think their residents and state officials would learn.
So not only are we dealing with stupidity, not only are we dealing with ignorance, but we are also dealing with stubbornness.
It’s not enough to convince people of the science behind Covid-19. Once you do that, you also have to convince them why they need to sacrifice their individual liberty for the greater good.
And when we’ve gotten to that point, you wonder if there’s even a point.
If we can’t convice people to heed advice that’s so fundamentally simple, how in the world are we ever going to convince them that their actions need to be severely altered to keep our planet inhabitable for future generations?
People don’t want to take minuscule steps that will help them right now. Whereas I once has some small hope of our ability to combat climate change, the idea of all Americans suddenly investing in natural energy, fuel-efficient cars and embracing environmental regulations now seems laughable.
Greta Thunberg, I will follow you anywhere you lead me (and hopefully that’s towards a new nation inhabited only by climate change believers), but I’m afraid you’re preaching to a brick wall.
A brick wall painted red, white and blue with a dose of Confederacy.
How do we fix it? How do we suddenly get people to believe public health officials, especially when their guidance is being reported by the mainstream media, who our very own president has urged his own followers to regard as fake?
These are the consequences of living in a post-truth era. I still believe that activists will continue to push our country towards progress, but when it comes to climate change, will it be too late?
The battle may be more uphill than ever imagined.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t keep trying.
Because that’s what hope is, right? Believing in the greater good of something even when the odds are stacked against it?
Hope is doing what’s right to benefit everybody, even those who are actively fighting to stop you.
If only #45 and his supporters could ever see that.