Consider the Source

Back during my undergraduate degree, I had to take a course called "Consider the Source," which if I remember correctly was a one-credit class aimed at teaching us to discern the validity of different sources as we were putting together a persuasive case. We didn't actually have to make any arguments, but instead we had to vet sources and justify their usefulness in supporting an argument.

For years, I was a lead in the customer solutions department at the laboratory where I work. What we often saw were the escalated issues from our clients where something got screwed up and errors were made. I remember certain employees on the team getting exasperated because "oh great, we screwed up again."

I had to remind them to consider the source of our work. We handled issues, full time. No one was going to call us and say, "Hey, you guys just did a bang-up job again, thank you for not making any mistakes." No, we were tasked with the issues only. I had to remind them of the big picture, that in the largest scope of our organization, about 99% of the work performed each night for our patients was done flawlessly. We saw the issues, which were serious and important, but in the larger scheme of things, they were very few.

I had an appointment with my personal physician this week to get my prescriptions renewed, and of course he asked me if I had gotten the COVID-19 vaccine. I had debated how I was going to answer this going in to my appointment, but I decided to be honest and told him that I had not. I knew he would try to persuade me to get it, and he did. He began, in his kind way, sharing details of horror stories of very sick patients he had treated in the hospital - unvaccinated and filled with regret. 

I wanted to say, "Yes, but I only call the plumber when I have an issue, not when the pipes are running smoothly." He's a doctor, he lives in a world of sickness. I don't discredit his stories, I am sure they are true and that his concern for me is legitimate. But he isn't calling on the asymptomatic or mild symptom patients. He is dealing with the severely sick, and it is the same argument he has made to me every year when trying to get me to get the flu shot (and me refusing that as well). I understand the lens through which he sees the world might be frightening in terms of COVID. 

But it doesn't change the fact that I am distrustful of these vaccines, this government, and the intense push to mandate it.

I told him I would consider the information he presented, and to his credit, he said, "And that is all I can do and leave you with a free choice."

I am still unconvinced. I respect his opinions, but I consider the source.