Training the mind to think, a COVID story

We think of education as the way that our children learn through their schooling and our teaching but how often do we think about what that education is teaching our children.

In 2021 we need to be looking at those around us to decide whether we should be accepting of their opinions as facts or to continue learning ourselves (Spoiler: Do not listen, find out yourself).

Whether or not this quote is correctly attributed to Albert Einstein, it is something that applied to all of us. In the current world climate we have rampant conspiracy theories about Vaccine safety vs the risk of death from covid.

If I am to use an example from 2021, a vocal minority is praying on the fears of the majority and changing some peoples attitudes towards vaccine safety when it is proven that vaccination from Covid saves lives including against the Delta Strain.

Unvaccinated are 5X more likely to catch delta, 11X more likely to die | Ars Technica

Important to us all is that we remember that we can and should use critical thought when making judgements, unfortunately for many of us our brains simply strengthen our beliefs rather than apply critical thinking to the situation.

How cognitive biases contribute to people refusing the flu vaccine | Ars Technica

Every day I read Social media posts from anti-vaxers who’s opinions and misleading information is generating much more discussion time than it should. The lack of facts and detail behind their statements is telling yet these people believe and want to share their “insights” with the broader world.

Then there are others “sitting” on the fringes, not sure which way to go regarding vaccination, this is where the “Anti vaxers” are creating more “Anti Vaxers” by being given a capacity to progress their agenda on Social media platforms.

Critical Thinking requires intelligence, not all humans are capable

When I am presented with “new” information, I look for:

  1. References to more than one study, as many as possible
  2. Does what I am reading or watching point to supportable statistics on the topic
  3. What does the person sharing knowledge with me have to gain from sharing with me
  4. Is it common sense
  5. Am I am experienced in this field myself, do I know someone who is who I can ask the question
  6. What is my Bias, this is my previous experience
  7. What happens if I ignore the advice (safety, financial concerns?)
  8. What do I want to believe? then think again from outside your person – what would I think without a bias.

I do this whenever I am looking at a new product, Covid vaccinations etc etc, most of us are not and never will be experts in 99.9% of the information that is out there but we can create a situation where we will make a decision based on solid evidence and not someones opinion who has no knowledge or place to be offering it in the first place.

Some deaths of Anti Vaxers – Horrible but like shooting Fish in a barrel. Stupid decisions cost lives

Three anti-vax conservative radio hosts have now died of Covid. This is how you should react | The Independent

Teen girl dies of Covid after anti-vax parents deny intubation | news.com.au — Australia’s leading news site

Florida radio host who called himself ‘Mr Anti-Vax’ dies of Covid-19 | Florida | The Guardian

In Texas, an anti-vax mother’s dying wish: vaccinate her children – France 24

A Texas anti-mask organizer has died from Covid-19. – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

And one site that collects all the obituaries together:

sorryantivaxxer.com | A repository of stories of anti-vaxxers who died or came close to dying of COVID.

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