Back in 2016, I was interviewing my mom about her experiences as a nurse. At the time she was 98 years old. She lived to one month short of her 100th birthday.
She had the opportunity to watch as many of the vaccines we use today were introduced. There were many moments of passion, but one of the strongest was when she discussed vaccines.
“Can these people imagine what it was like before these vaccines were introduced?” she asked. “I can’t imagine that anyone would like to go back to what we had before.”
I have a simple point here. Experts make mistakes. Indeed they do. Medical opinions can be wrong. Just so!
But those mistakes and missteps are nothing like the arrogant ignorance of the non-experts.
I get to observe this with people who are ignorant on subjects in which I have some expertise. Jody says she avoids meeting my eyes when a preacher is using Greek or Hebrew in a sermon, because she knows how frequently I will have a fixed expression on my face, trying to avoid revealing what I’m thinking about what is said.
I have read and studied about vaccines, and I’m convinced my mother, and so many other experts, are right. But my conviction isn’t the issue. I’m so very not-an-expert. What I am doing is relying on those people who are.
When I get the vaccine (2nd dose as applicable), and the appropriate time has passed so that I can reasonably expect immunity, I will continue to wear my mask and social distance until we have a level of vaccination that I can expect the persons I come in contact with will not be threatened. Again, I will do this because the best expert opinions say it is likely possible to spread the virus. I see this not as an infringement on my rights, but as my Christian duty.
I could, of course, be wrong. But experience and mountains of data suggest that the best option is to follow the consensus opinion of those with the appropriate expertise.
And on a humorous note, no, I do not include Facebook posts that start out “I am a doctor” or even “I am an epidemiologist.” I have no way to verify that the person making that claim is actually what they claim. But more critically, that single opinion is not the consensus of the experts.