I have been surprised to read the myriad of anti-scientific Letters to the Editor regarding Covid-19. I fear these unlearned letters pose a health risk to the community encouraging others to flaunt public health guidelines.
If it was only the holder of these beliefs who suffered the consequences of their actions my concern would be greatly diminished. However the facts have shown Covid-19 disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable among us. As the grandson of a 98-year-old Laurel Lake resident I worry for my grandfather.
It appears those espousing these anti-scientific views are suffering from the cognitive bias Dunning-Kruger. This bias affects one’s ability to accurately self-evaluate understanding of a complex topic. This leads the sufferer to overestimate their understanding of the topic, resulting in them feeling their opinion is equal or greater than an actual subject matter expert.
Currently, this takes the form of individuals accusing public health experts of "fear mongering". These individuals, who have watched cable news reinforcing their predisposed position, feel that they are somehow privy as to what public health guidelines should be implemented.
These individuals will claim "the sky is falling" in regards to Constitutional Rights because they cannot sit in their favorite Applebee’s or get a haircut for a few weeks, all while calling those listening to the experts "Chicken Littles". The irony is almost too good.
While it is important to educate oneself and keep a critical eye, it is equally important and perhaps more difficult to remember our own limitations. Gov. Mike DeWine has been an example of this and it has undoubtedly saved lives that we will never know about. For Gov. DeWine and the others out there informing their decisions with science and taking the advice of the experts that study it, my grandfather and I are thankful.
George Murray Jr., Hudson