If there is any justice to come from this pandemic, it will be that our “expert“ culture – the browbeating, anti-scientific version of it that has appropriated the notion of “science“ among so much of our “elites“ – will take a crippling kick to the delicates.
Because they certainly deserve the opprobrium:
The simple, elite explanation for all our problems during the pandemic has been that the public failed to trust the experts and didn’t “follow the science.” This, they argue, is the result of tolerating too much skepticism, which is an ordinary feature of scientific debate. Instead, elites have openly embraced the notion that the public is better served by exaggeration, downplaying uncertainty, or even deception (such as in official estimates of herd immunity).
This disdain for healthy skepticism, a normal part of functioning science and democracy, is corrosive to public trust and impedes the accumulation of knowledge. A climate of overconfidence makes it both more likely that we will adopt bad policy and harder to fix our missteps. Reversals of conventional wisdom are, for better or worse, inevitable in science. We have had many reversals of official positions on COVID-19—from the usefulness of masksto which medications work to guidance about school openings—and will likely see more as evidence continues to come in. The problem is that our current climate locks us into polarized mindsets, which makes it harder to recategorize “misinformation” that winds up being correct.
Among the major victims have been, of course, children – who’s mental health is taking it got shot in the past year.
As it may have all been for nothing:
By June 2020, the evidence was fairly clear on one unusual, but fortunate, aspect of COVID-19 when compared to many other respiratory diseases: It was orders of magnitude less dangerous to children. That’s why even the American Academy of Pediatrics, usually known for its caution, came out in favor of in-person learning in June. Thus, there were two main risks left to consider in reopening schools: the effect on teachers, and the effect on community spread. (On both, evidence was already mounting that schools were not especially risky.) On the flip side, there were risks to consider of children not being in school—their education, mental health, and so forth—which in many cases were drowned out by exaggerated, politically driven coverage of the direct risks of the virus for children.
The entire article is very much worth a read – and worth passing around.