Following the Science

I grew up learning how to evaluate “science” for myself. I was very lucky to be raised in an enquiring community, who never fully trusted the state, with a strong commitment to safety and challenge. I underwent several experimental treatments for my own bodily science as a child and a teenager, where the pros and cons where laid out before both me and my parents. The treatments carried risks, no treating carried lesser risks and inside of all of that was social and emotional and human factors. My education, my life choices. And little me got to decide. All my docs were honest with me. They told me what they didn’t know and what their worries were with the science. Some of the trials failed and the medicine was recalled.This continued as an adult. Various medical trials. Even got to try that Trump wonder drug Hydroxychloroquinine. Then I tried to have babies and the risk-cost-benefit discussions start to involve more people and more emotions. And then eventually when the pups were here they had to be fed. And that meant a whole new set of sciences to be weighed up on the science of baby formula. And that also really exposed me to the sanctimony and snide, that piles in on bodily choice. Midwives who told me I was poisoning my baby. Health visitors who asked me to leave the spaces that were not for mothers like me. Our government ministers are actually being way TOO honest with us at the moment, they are actually showing us exactly HOW unclear this all is. THE WHO (not the band) advice is that the mass wearing of masks may not help, but we are not sure. Kids as super spreaders? We don’t know. Vaccine might be years..or not. This might kill you. It might not. Bleach should not be drunk by anyone – think most of us are happy with that one.
One of the communities I have most immersed myself into in the last decade is the world of dirty terror and the uncertainty of its trail. Chemical and biological and nuclear threats. I have learnt the importance of the words “I am sorry, we don’t know yet…” It was not said soon enough or loud enough in Salisbury in 2018, but it was said loudly after the poisoning of Litvinenko. Bojo seems unable to say it. Maybe he equates it to weakness which it isn’t. So let me say it for him and for everyone else – we simply do not know enough about this virus to PROMISE safety from this little bastard. But what we do know about is the other horrors that all the social science tells us will accompany a really lengthy lock down. It is likely that when epidemiologists evaluate this in a decade, more children will have died from failing to learn to swim this year, than will die from Covid. More young men will kill themselves. More older people will have died from late diagnosed and poorly treated other conditions. We have three more weeks of whatever this is and then some big changes on June 1st. Use this time to brain train. Ask me where to go and what to read, follow Independent SAGE and The Lancet on The Twitter as well as SAGE and gov. Have a read around when you are doing your own evaluation of what to do next. Following the science is passive, overly deferential and sheep like. Learn to do your own risk assessment. Send me your qs. And keep washing your hands.

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