Yesterday I tossed off a quick post about the Tractor Supply Company feeling the need to put up a sign warning their customers NOT to ingest chemicals designed to prevent worms from inhabiting the intestinal tracts of large farm animals in an effort to somehow save themselves from a virus primarily transmitted through aerosols. I suggested the store take down the sign.
It’s not that I want people to eat or inject Ivermectin. It’s that after we’ve seen more than 600,000 people in the US die from Covid-19, and after we’ve created vaccines specifically designed to prevent Covid infection (or reduce the effects of the virus), and after we’ve made those vaccines free and widely available, we shouldn’t have to be warning people away from other unproven and dangerous alternatives.
Imagine a room in which we’ve set up two tables–one with a vaccine that’s proven effective against the virus and one with a chemical that’s proven effective against intestinal worms in cattle. In that room, we have a person who is entirely free of either the virus or cattle worms, but who is concerned about being infected by the virus. We really shouldn’t have to give that person a lot of directions about which table to visit.
In a comment to yesterday’s post, Chris wrote:
“Take the sign down,” as in, “Sometimes you have to thin the herd”?
I’ve never been a fan of the ‘thinning the herd’ form of Darwinism. That concept inevitably leads to abandoning the weak and infirm alone in the desert, or in the forest, or on ice floes.
The thing is, we’ve made every effort to keep the weak and infirm OFF the ice floes. We’ve made it EASY to keep off the ice floes. We’ve put up ‘Thin Ice’ signs and directed people away from areas where ices flows form. Hell, we’ve even made it harder for ice floes to form, just as a way to keep folks off the damned things.
But there’s a culture out there promoting the idea that there’s no real danger in being on an ice floe. A culture that sometimes even argues ice floes don’t actually exist, that they’re a hoax. A culture that argues that purposely positioning yourself in a place where ice floes will form is somehow courageous; a display of rugged individualism; a method of demonstrating loyalty. They argue that most folks who get trapped on an ice floe are rescued, so it’s not a real problem. There’s a culture out there with leaders who argue that even if ice floes DO exist and ARE actually a threat, the best way to avoid being trapped alone on one is to rely on magical beans or wearing a fetish pouch containing peat moss and mice bones.
Advocates of that culture who find themselves suddenly alone on an ice floe are surprised by their situation. They’re shocked that the moss and mice bones didn’t work.
What happens then? Then all those folks who’ve been working their asses off trying to keep these dolts away from the thin ice have to work their asses off trying to fetch them back from the ice floes.
It’s about eighteen months; we’ve had over 610,000 people die on ice floes in the US. We’ve spent billions of dollars and working hours trying to resolve the ice floe problem. Obviously, we need to continue to help the old and weak and infirm stay away from the thin ice. But I’m weary of trying to stop those folks who deliberately play Ice Floe Roulette.