By Guest Columnist Nancy Churchill
In the 5th grade, students are introduced to the concept of the scientific method. Using the scientific method, the scientist observes something, and creates a theory, initially known as a hypothesis, that attempts to explain the observation.
Then the scientist creates a test that will prove or disprove the hypothesis. The test must be explained well enough that other scientists can recreate the test and come up with the same results.
A hypothesis is considered “true” when many scientists prove it. Then it becomes a theory. It is always a theory, on the chance that it might be disproven in the future – the theory of gravity, theory of quantum physics, etc. A theory explains something well enough for people to work with it and get the same reliable results over and over… in engineering, building, chemistry, and medicine. Simple, right?
The theory of immunity describes the idea that once we have gotten sick with a disease, our body won’t get sick with that disease again. That’s why parents used to hold chicken pox parties. People observed that adults who caught the chicken pox got really sick, but that children recovered from the disease really quickly. Parents protected their children from a future deadly disease by making sure they caught the disease when they were young enough to easily survive it.
The theory of vaccinations holds that a vaccination will confer immunity against a disease without making the patient sicker than getting the disease. Smallpox vaccinations were developed by Englishman Edward Jenner around 1800, and by 1980, smallpox was declared eradicated. It took almost 200 years to eliminate Smallpox, but that’s pretty definitive proof that vaccines work.
Over time, scientists have developed many tests and safeguards to ensure that new vaccinations are effective and relatively harmless. Vaccine injury is always a concern during the trial phase of a vaccine because the first concept of medicine is to “do no harm”. The proposed medicine can’t kill the patient. It can take 10 years of trials to develop a new vaccine under standard testing protocols.
In our current health crisis, it was decided we would allow an exception, and fast track an experimental vaccine in the hope that more lives would be saved by the vaccine than would be harmed by potential injury. This is unusually risky, but most people felt that the risk was acceptable if people were given a choice about taking the experimental vaccine or not.
This week, the CDC let us know that the COVID-19 vaccinations appear to be working. Because they appear to be effective in preventing the severe symptoms often caused by the novel coronavirus, the CDC experts feel comfortable in issuing guidance that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks. In other words, those who are fully vaccinated are “safe”.
Do you understand scientific theory? Do believe in the safety and efficacy of the vaccinations? Have you had your Trump vaccine? Then take off your mask, and fearlessly carry on. Either you believe in the effectiveness of the vaccination, or you are choosing to ignore the massive body of scientific evidence that proves it’s working. Your Trump vaccine will protect you regardless of how many other people have taken or not taken it. That’s how vaccines work.
Or were you wearing your mask for a different reason?
Nancy Churchill is the state committeewoman for the Ferry County Republican Party. She may be reached at DangerousRhetoric@pm.me. The opinions expressed in Dangerous Rhetoric are her own.