Scientists gather to spread mutant SARS-CoV-2

A friend is heading off to Europe right now for a big academic conference. He’s a(n actual) scientist who lives in a Democrat-governed city and has supported mask orders, vaccine paper checks, school closures, and other Science-based interventions to stop the spread of the respiratory virus that causes COVID-19. Let’s call him “Professor Karen”.

Professor Karen’s family agrees with him regarding the merits of Following the Science. Down visiting an older relative, they came to pick me up at a southwest Florida FBO. The ramp looked like the usual “someone robbed a Gulfstream store” and there were about 60 people in the cavernous building. A sign near the front door reminded everyone that President Biden had ordered everyone at the airport to wear masks. Out of 60ish people there, Professor K’s family members were the only ones in masks.

(I can’t claim a total lack of COVID-19 concern. Afraid of the potential to infect my friend’s older relatives, I took the initiative to burn one of my at-home tests before starting up the plane for the 45-minute trip west.)

I was surprised, therefore, to learn that the good professor was heading off to Europe for a conference pulling together more than 1,000 people in his field from all of the SARS-CoV-2-infested countries of the world. In other words, a perfect environment for mutants to spread and/or form.

If he believed in the Science enough that he didn’t complain when his children’s public schools were closed for 1.5 years, why would he be a willing party to this potentially humanity-destroying event? His explanation was the virtual conferences weren’t effective, especially for poster sessions. But when it is a question of saving lives, so what? Professor Karen has tenure. He doesn’t need a conference publication to ensure a continued paycheck. People can work on better virtual conference technology. For a fraction of the cost of plane tickets to Europe, for example, everyone who was going to attend that conference could be supplied with virtual reality goggles for wandering around a poster session.

If Science tells us that people shouldn’t gather, why are scientists gathering unnecessarily?


3 thoughts on “Scientists gather to spread mutant SARS-CoV-2

  1. Instead of complaining about masks for the 400th post, can’t we just agree that everybody has varying risk analysis formulas? Not one of them are alike.

    Some people think skydiving is safe enough to be worth the thrill, others say, “No way!”

    I stopped cave diving when my kids were born. Did the risk change? No. Did the impact of a negative outcome? Yes.

    If your wife is in labor, about to give birth in 10 minutes, do you race down the highway to the hospital at 120+ mph? Or do you go 65 because the risk of speeding is worse than the risk of delivering at the side of the highway? There’s not necessarily a correct answer.

    Is the risk of cancer in 50 years worth the thrill of smoking as a teenager? People make different decisions.

    Different strokes for different folks. That’s why I don’t get worked up about it.

    I look forward to the next 100 posts about masks…

    • Mike: the original post is not about masks. Professor Karen’s support for mask orders and mask-wearing in SW Florida is mentioned only to show his concern for #StoppingTheSpread (i.e., his personal level of coronapanic). The post asks “If he is concerned enough to wear a mask where none is required by law or custom, why isn’t he concerned enough to refrain from participating in an unnecessary super-spreading event?”

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