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How "Trust the Science" Became "Question the Science"
On October 31st, The Atlantic released a piece titled, “Let’s Declare a Pandemic Amnesty. Let’s focus on the future, and fix the problems we still need to solve.” Just like that, the last two years are over; let’s get amnesty and move on like nothing ever happened.
While researching this article, someone mentioned how interesting it was that the term used was “amnesty.” Not forgiveness, but amnesty. I agree that this was an interesting choice of words, so I looked into the word’s meaning.
According to Websters, we read the following:
Amnesty: to pardon (someone) officially, often before a trial or conviction.
That is quite an interesting choice of words because there is no trial or conviction here. But if there was one, who would be on the stand? Would it be the scientists who mandated laws that caused more harm than good? Or would it be the media companies who silenced so many voices?
Amnesty may be the right choice of words here because those scientists and media played a massive role in negatively affecting individuals through these mandates and censorship. Many individuals lost jobs, family members, and more due to the last two years, and many scientists and media outlets who pushed down the laws of the past two years are starting to realize that.
This attempt by the Atlantic to say, “we were wrong; let’s move on,” looks like their way of admitting that specific policies were wrong. We’re seeing Twitter end its “misinformation policy” and how USA Today turns on Dr. Fauci after his statements suggest that schools continue to lockdown.
So there are some things that the media outlets are taking responsibility for being wrong on. But let’s look at other aspects that the media seems to forget about.
Topics That Still Need To Be Addressed
Sure, everyone agrees that schools shouldn’t have locked down. Multiple studies have confirmed the harmful effects, particularly suicides. But other topics remain. For one, there’s the efficacy of masking: do they work or do they cause more damage? Even the author of the Atlantic piece remarks how during the pandemic, she and her family wore cloth masks outside — only now to realize that had no effect.
But the main topic that avoids the spotlight is the amount of censorship and shamming that took place by the media.
The pandemic lasted from 2020 thru 2022, and in 2022, Webster’s word of the year was gaslighting. Here’s how the term is defined:
: psychological manipulation of a person usually over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and typically leads to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, uncertainty of one’s emotional or mental stability, and a dependency on the perpetrator.
Based on this definition, what do we find if we look at the previous two years and self-reflect? Was there a manipulation of the masses over an extended period? Did the news, media, and government consistently barrage the public with instructions regarding their safety?
From the public’s perspective, did we begin to question our thoughts and our perception of reality? Did we suffer great confusion, loss of confidence, and emotional and mental instability that was dependent on the perpetrators, which in this case, happens to be our media and government?
If we ask ourselves these questions, the answer is an overwhelming yes. Not only did intense gaslighting occur, but the mandates that followed were nothing short of an authoritarian regime. By experiencing both an authoritarian regime and intense propaganda gaslighting, similar to the days of Stalin and Hitler, could this be why we hear the call for “amnesty” instead of “forgiveness?”
This question is indeed something to think about.
Why We Need To “Question The Science”
On November 10th, 2022, a congressional caucus met to discuss the pandemic response and invited, among others, a professor named Dr. Jay Bhattacharya. Like many other doctors who spoke out against the pandemic measures, Dr. Bhattacharya has had his academic career derailed for questioning the science, even though he’s been proven to be correct.
Dr. Bhattacharya makes the following statement during this caucus response:
“The primary source of the most important problems and misinformation have come from the federal government itself. The primary source of misinformation has been the federal government itself. It’s used its power to manage the spread of information in social media. It’s used effectively propaganda techniques in order to destroy the reputations and careers of people who spoke up to try to correct these ideas and information.”
Just like Dr. Bhattacharya has had this career negatively affected for speaking out against the mainstream media and government officials, another Stanford professor, Dr. John Ioannidis, was destroyed by the mainstream media for questioning the science of the pandemic.
Dr. Ioannidis has received many prominent awards, such as, in 2010, being featured in The Atlantic special edition about “Brave Thinkers,” claiming that “Ioannidis “may be one of the most influential scientists alive.” Fast forward to 2021, and we have an opinion piece titled “What the heck happened to John Ioannidis?” that described his pandemic statements as “inflammatory and politically charged,” even though he was also proven to be correct.
Even I, on the writing platform Medium, had my account shut down because my articles questioned the official narrative.
But unfortunately, as voices like Dr. Bhattacharya, Dr. Ioannidis, and others were being silenced, real harm occurred and is still occurring. We already discussed the damage to mental health caused by school closings, and now, we’re hearing more. Heart problems in young men, menstrual changes in women, and the list goes on and on.
And while platforms like The Atlantic ask for amnesty, countless individuals have had their lives impacted. Either they’ve had two years of their lives gone, shutdown alone and away from society, or worse; they’ve had their lives changed forever by the decisions forced upon them by those media and government officials.
This fact is why we need to question the science. The act of science itself is to question. There cannot be one disseminating voice that hails itself as “the expert” because when it comes to science, many voices offer many possible explanations. Science is not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Ultimately, by questioning the science, we become sharper. We become smarter. We engage our critical thinking faculties. We display more independent ability and confidence in ourselves, eliminating the effect that gaslighting has on us. Questioning the science is how we ultimately become better, well-rounded individuals.
This ethos is the core of my theoretical science section and why we should question science. In the last two years, we’ve seen how trusting the science has led to “the science” asking for amnesty. Sure, some may forgive, but hopefully, many will not forget.
We must not forget because, as the next pandemic looms around the corner, we’ll be faced with another case scenario. Should we trust the official science? Or should we question it?
That next pandemic is already around the corner; however, it’s known by a different name. This pandemic is the health threat known as climate change.
And we’ll address it in a future article.