Editorial – Science is not conspiracy

Over two million people worldwide have died since the COVID-19 pandemic began a year ago. Over 20,000 Canadians have died from COVID-19, which has made it the third-most leading cause of death in 2020 behind Cancer and Heart Disease. So far, COVID-19 deaths in Canada exceed Influenza and Pneumonia deaths from 2018, 2019, and 2020 combined. One in 49 Canadians has contracted the Novel Coronavirus so far. And the pandemic is not over.

Hundreds of thousands of scientists, doctors, virologists, public health officials, and a rash of other medical experts have all said how contagious and deadly COVID-19 is. Science is not democracy. It is not a popularity contest. It is not politics. Science is proven fact.

More than two million people are dead from a virus in one year, science says so.

But to more than a few people, the science is wrong.

A much smaller group of self-proclaimed ‘experts’ say that COVID-19 is not as bad as science says. “It’s no different than a bad case of the flu,” is a commonly heard argument from these self-proclaimed ‘experts’. Facts do not matter to that fringe group because that fringe has their own set of beliefs. What they believe trumps scientific proof and hard facts. They are among us, posting on social media and other places on the internet, calling public health guidance an infringement of their civil liberties. They are among us, refusing to wear masks in a public setting and, when confronted with their flouting of public health rules, pretending their decision is based on health conditions they don’t have. They publish free newspapers pushing conspiracy theories disguising them as real news. It is disinformation of the highest order and undermines the efforts of those fighting to get control of and to end the pandemic.

To those people who are working against the common good of battling COVID-19 we ask, please stop. Just stop it. Stop it now.

This pandemic has taken a toll on everyday life. Some people have lost their livelihoods. Some are at risk of losing their homes. Kids aren’t having a normal school experience. Businesses are failing. The economy has taken a catastrophic hit from which it will take many years to recover. Many facets of our lives are undergoing fundamental changes, some short term, some permanent.

Yes, politicians have bungled aspects of dealing with the pandemic, but that does not undo science. Science is the answer to ending the pandemic.

In a single year since this pandemic began, more than 101 million people have been infected with it, and two million people have died from it world-wide. At the same time, at least four vaccines have been developed to inoculate the world with more on the way. That is because of the efforts of science. Science will get us through the pandemic, not conspiracy theorists.

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