I’m tired too … of the nastiness of the Covid debate

May 11, 2021

By Karl Sweetman

In a recent opinion piece published here on CuencaHighLife, the author complained of being “tired of all the sickness, the anti-science, the hatred and the idiocy.”

Well, I’m tired too. I’m tired of baseless insults. I’m tired of attitudes like those in this article; a non-stop litany of disparaging smears and downright vitriolic name-calling on steroids, all aimed squarely at people who don’t espouse the author’s views regarding Covid-19.

One friend was so offended by it that they tallied up the total number of insults contained in the 777-word diatribe. The result? A conservative 55 separate put-downs or attacks. That’s quite an accomplishment. It’s almost as if the author pulled out his Roget’s Thesaurus and challenged himself to incorporate into his harangue every synonym listed for an addlebrained, insane, narcissistic, evil, delusional, murderer and liar.

It’s tempting to stoop to his level and respond in kind, especially since comments were disabled and anyone who disagreed with his rant was given no possible way to voice objections or counter his assertions. But exchanging insults accomplishes nothing and, if anything, just serves to further solidify already hardened opposing positions.

Therefore, the purpose of writing this article is not to trade demeaning and non-productive barbs, even though I was greatly offended and incensed by such a hateful screed. Nor is it to try to convince those who hold differing views on these issues to change their minds. No, it’s actually a call to tone down the rhetoric and recognize that no one on the face of the planet has all the answers. Not Dr. Fauci, not Dr. Ioannidis, not Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and certainly not anyone posting opinions on CHL.

The science is not settled. And it still won’t be settled for years to come. Much like religious questions, there are people who may tell you that they have the only true answers but that’s a sure indication that they are clueless and should be ignored. On imponderable questions like this, it’s time to stop calling people with whom we disagree idiots, nincompoops or evil murderers. That’s probably the only sentiment in the article with which I agree (and that the author should have heeded before he ever put pen to paper), i.e., “If you can’t be civilized, be quiet.”

Karl Sweetman is a retired orthodontist from Denton, Texas who has lived happily in Ecuador for many years.

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