What should really worry us about these diseases.
One is a protein prion, the other a virus. One infects humans, the other
whitetail deer and other cervids. They are very different diseases, but have some very dangerous commonalities that are worth discussing that have a huge impact on our lives. Now, these topics have a lot of opinions, some backed by “science” that all sides seem to “find” to support their opinions. This is good, but before I lay out my concerns about CWD and Covid-19, I’d like to layout a couple concerns about how people get and use their “facts” to support opinions.
Objectivity is important when gathering scientific facts. Just because something supports your thoughts or opinion, this doesn’t not mean you should just run with it. This builds strawman arguments and makes people look bad, as the “scientific facts” may be weak or just plain fake news.
Sources can be very biased, including ones that support your view. We see this on Facebook all the time. Someone posts an article from one point of view, and the source is an unrecognized one that is extremely slanted (I saw one recently that went viral where the source of the blog was a 20 year old kid who started the political blog when he was 17. Very questionable in my opinion, as I am not going to base all my information and basis for my views off what some kid throws on the internet). One has to look at these objectively and see if they are some sort of propaganda for a specific agenda, whatever the topic.
When it comes to science, one has to not only analyze the validity of the source and information/data, but also be open to information that comes in over time, and be open to adjusting your opinion. If you can’t do this, you’re not operating on the best facts and your opinion is honestly, not valid.
Just because you have an opinion, doesn’t mean it’s valid. In today’s social media age, everyone can post whatever they want, validating how they feel. This doesn’t mean its factual or true. It’s our responsibility to fact check, analyze the data in an unbiased manner, and give informed opinions. I’d venture to guess at least half (conservatively) of opinions people circulate are not valid, and should not be shared or even said.
So, with that, analyze my reasoning and opinions below for their validity, not whether they fit preconceived notions, because that’s what we should do. Maybe I just invalidated my thoughts below? You be the judge.
DANGEROUS LINKS BETWEEN CWD AND COVID-19
LINK #1: TOO MUCH GUESSWORK. Although there are scientific studies on CWD, and now some data coming in on Covid-19, most of the action (or should I say reaction) to these diseases is based on guesswork, not good data. The mantra seems to be “just do something,” as long as we do it quickly because we’re scared of a potential outcome, when maybe it should be “don’t do anything,” because we don’t know enough yet to make a good informed decision. Take for example Covid-19. We’ve locked down the world based on the fear that millions would die, based on no evidence that this would work, only the fact that it sounded plausible. Now we are finding out, through actual data, that more people are getting it who are completely isolated than those not (New York study). When it comes to CWD, the hot zone in Wisconsin has seen a leveling off of % infection of CWD in whitetail. They’ve taken extreme measures too. The problem is the actions taken by the DNR don’t have a benchmark to measure against that I’m aware of. Do they know their action caused this plateau in cases or not? How? Without a control group for comparison this is impossible, leaving us to wonder if this actually worked, and no way of knowing. Also, there is NO data, just fear, that it could jump to humans, which is the basis for a lot of the frantic “shot in the dark” plans by DNR. Sometimes NOT doing anything is actually the best action to take, until you have solid data to go from that will tell you the right path you should take.
LINK #2: LITTLE ACCOUNTABILITY. When decisions are made from guesswork, it becomes very convenient for officials in power to do whatever they want or feel. When there’s no good data to support or reject a path of action, there’s no accountability or transparency. This makes it very easy for wrong paths to be taken, money wasted, more damage done, and political or other factors to take control. Unfortunately we can clearly see that now both with CWD and Covid-19 actions taken by our government agencies. This plays right into the hands of power hungry politicians just looking for avenues to enact their personal agendas and ignorant plans. Just look at the states locking down further vs. those opening up restrictions concerning Covid-19. There is a direct relationship between Red & Blue governors and their actions, and this is concerning. When it comes to CWD, there is evidence that it does kill deer, but how many? Will it really run rampant destroying the deer herd in entire states or the nation? Is it really that dangerous in the big picture? What real data is compelling the action? Do certain actions produce the desired result? I have found no good answers on this, allowing those in charge to continue to take action based on guesswork, that we don’t even know is working.
LINK #3: TOO MUCH GOVERNMENT. When there’s too much guesswork and little accountability, this is a recipe for government overreach. Sound familiar Michigan?(who’s governor has become nationally famous for her unreasonable and unconstitutional lockdown measures with Covid-19). With both CWD and Covid, the never-ending story is set, since there is no feasible endgame. Total eradication is not plausible in either case, so government agencies set programs, take and spend money, and launch remedies with no end in sight or exit plan - a never ending story and funnel of money. How convenient.
LINK #4: WE THINK WE ARE GODS. Yes we should do what we can to mitigate the spread of disease, but the human-centered view that we can control nature with precision is ignorant, and another sign that government agencies have no end game, no real plan to end their programs or regulation, and the rocket fuel propelling their regulation. Will we ever get rid of CWD since it stays in vegetation and soil for 25 years? Most likely not. Will Covid-19 be totally eradicated from the face of the earth like Polio with simple vaccine? Maybe, but we’ve already seen signs it will mutate, so the science doesn’t seem to support this (like flu viruses that we cannot eradicate with mere vaccines, or we wouldn’t need flu shots every single year). Maybe the best course of action is actually allowing nature to take its course in some cases, including these. The idea that the scientific man is a god leads to ridiculous, unattainable, and dangerous ideas like “the green new deal.” We can’t control the weather, and need to have a sober judgement of our place in this cause/effect world we live in.
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