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Sunday, November 14, 2021

Phaith Can Heal You

Had a patient the other day to whom I recommended a booster covid shot while administering her flu shot. She initially received the J&J because it was only a single shot. . . until now. She argued:
Little Old Lady: "Why didn't they tell us that in the first place?"
CP: They didn't know.Would you have received a covid shot had they all been two doses?
LOL: I don't know. I don't like that I now have to get a second one. 
CP: You don't HAVE to get another. It is suggested. Data change. 
LOL: They lied to me. 
CP: No. Science evolved, unlike people.

Upon this, we three got together and discussed:

ME: I'm guessing today's lesson is lengthy.
MICE ELF: What did we do to deserve this?
CP: Settle down, both of you. It's just an analogy about belief. 
ME: Like Bigfoot or Nessie or pixies or gods or ghosts? 
CP: Yes. You are broken now but phaith can heal you. 
MICE ELF: Let me lay my holy hand up, hand upon you. 
ME: Just do everything I tell you to do. 
CP: Right. Where were we? Yes. Today's lesson: Science. 
ME & MICE ELF: Joy. Open mind time. 
CP: Why do people continue to believe the first thing they heard in spite of evidence to the contrary? 
ME: It's how they get programmed. They told me this so it must be true and new evidence be damned. 
MICE ELF: Right. Humans don't like change. We are creatures of habit. 
CP: We witnessed this first hand all of 2020 as new data came out; people lost their shit if new data challenged the old data.
ME: Don't remind me. We are still dealing with these people. 
MICE ELF: Yeah. 2020 did us no favours. That's why we are still having these conversations. 
CP: People don't like thinking of themselves as living in an experiment, but we are. We all are, but we don't realise it. 
ME: I'm guessing this is where the lesson begins?
MICE ELF: Nice segue. Here's Tom with the weather. 
CP: I write and speak in analogies because it brings a complicated issue into familiar territory for the audience. I can tailor these to fit my audience. Since most people drive, I thought of this one. 

Much like Shadow, you find yourself driving great distances across the United States. You decide that, for petrol consumption and fatigue reasons, you are going to set your cruise control at 77MPH for your entire time behind the wheel. Sound decision. But. . . what happens when the weather changes and there is a lot of rain on the plains? or snow in Colorado? What happens when someone pulls in front of you in the passing lane? This is all new evidence that challenges your firmly held belief that you can travel on cruise control at 77MPH. What do you do? Slow down? Turn off the cruise? Pass in the median? Risk your life and those of your passengers? 
What do you do with new evidence? 
Assess it?
Process it? 
Ignore it at your peril? 
You don't have to be a scientist to do your own research in this analogous situation but you do have to possess the intelligence to realise that maybe, just maybe, it's time to question your beliefs, listen to the evidence, and make a better decision. 
Or you could crash your car and injure many others with your ignorance. 
Yes, it's your choice. But if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. You have all of the evidence you need to make an informed decision and update your "77MPH or Bust" mantra. . . or you could ignore it at your peril. 

ME: Nah. I'm good. I don't need two sources to tell me what to do. 
MICE ELF: Yeah. The gods and pixies will tell me what to do.
CP: Shut up.

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