Coronaviruses and Conspiracies-how to tell the difference

Here’s a quote from Dr Peter Daszak in The Guardian

Determining the origins and emergence of a pandemic is as messy and complex as studying a plane crash. Just as the air crash investigator pieces together the fragments at a crash site, pinpointing the origins of a new virus is painstakingly difficult and time consuming, and requires logic and reason.

Now here are some conspiracy theories which you will find all over the internet. You don’t have to look very hard.

It came from outer space. It’s all the work of Bill Gates, who wants to control the world. It was created in a government lab in China. It comes from 5g masts……

Of course everyone has an opinion. Merely existing gives you opinions. So does beer. Isolation. Personal unhappiness. The need to be noticed-lots of reasons, in fact. The post modern crowd say that all are equally valid, from Nigel Farage to Dianne Abbott. If that is true, we at LSS have a problem. If we have a persistent pain and cough, should we consult the opinion of a Doctor, or a painter and decorator? If I we have a knocking sound coming from a car, then should it be the opinion of a mechanic, or an expert in literary structural theory? (hey, he’s even got a PhD!)

Practical people need practical examples. Let’s compare Dr Daszak and a conspiracy theorist, both talking about the Covid-19 outbreak and decide whose opinion might be more useful to us.

Dr Daszak: Trained scientist. Head of Eco Health alliance which maps disease hotspots around the world.

Conspiracy theorist: has been “going on the internet a lot since this thing started, and what you find there, it’s really scary, they say………”

Dr D and team: 15 years studying problem in China

Conspiracy theorist: Has no team. Has spent 15 days talking to like minded souls on internet.

Dr D Has sampled 16 000 bats.

CT No bats sampled. Or Rats. Or Cats. Used to think bats were used in cricket, but now recalls them from old Scooby Doo cartoons.

Dr D Has found cluster of corona viruses in Yunnan, Laos, Vietnam region, all related to Sars-Cov-2.

CT: Has read menu in local Chinese restaurant. Saw a film once about these guys in the Vietnam war, that bloke from the West Wing was in it, or was it his son?….anyway..

Dr D: Has found that 3% of locals there have antibodies for bat corona viruses. Implies 7 million people have them naturally.

CT: If they put them antibodies in us, it will destroy our freedom!

Dr D: Has found that the protein sequence on the Sars-Cov-2 “spike” occurs in natural variants of the virus.

CT: Has difficulty with this one as failed biology at school. But believes firmly in freedom of speech.

Dr D: Thinks the balance strongly indicates a natural origin in a disease hotspot in South East Asia. And there are more to come

CT: Heard from their mate Dave who used to go to the Dog and Duck before this thing started that the Chinese had a Lab and it got out, but really the North Koreans were behind it, because it’s just the sort of thing they would do………

Dr D: changes ideas as facts come along.

CT: When a new fact comes along it must be quickly cut and butchered to fit his opinion, because that must never change.

Before you read the article, we shall take a personal note, a thing we rarely do at LSS. For many years, we had the privilege to work alongside leading Forensic Scientists whose job was to investigate difficult and complex criminal cases (we repeat-alongside, not as). Whatever their personal faults, each one of them knew that every case they did required immense amounts of time, hard work, thorough examination, and the intellectual honesty to admit, again and again, that their initial ideas were wrong, and so were modified as they found new things. So, having witnessed seen how much hard work and thought is required to obtain just a little truth, we tire of those who can seem to demonstrate neither in the support of their opinions.

Western countries and their freedoms face many threats in years to come. China may well be one of them. To face them with a population where large numbers of people are prey to hoaxes and delusions is a sure way to let these threats overcome us all.

#covid19 #coronavirus #ecohealthalliance #conspiracy #billgates #5g

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