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Recklessness and Responsibility

The Greatest Country on Earth will not conquer COVID.

Misinformation by “thought leaders” and their followers is the primary reason.

The CDC ‘s experts no longer believe herd immunity is possible. Instead COVID will become woven into the fabric of everyday life, with new variants popping up from time to time, killing the most vulnerable and sickening thousands of us. Lest one think that’s not a big deal, recall the most common version of COVID now circulating in the US came from Britain – and this version is 60% more transmissible than the “original” version. More concerning still, future variants may well be more lethal.

While there are many factors contributing to the herd immunity problem, the biggest driver is vaccine uptake (which contributes to the variant problem).

from US Dept of Health & Human Services via NYTimes

Of course, this doesn’t help.

Sturgis ND during Bike Week

Which leads to the key question – why?

Why don’t people get vaccinated? Why don’t they mask up and physically distance?

Mostly because they listen to “thought leaders”, influencers and friends who spread misinformation.

The key takeaway.

Those of us who have followings, however modest, have a moral and ethical responsibility to use that influence for good. Re-posting and re-tweeting inflammatory, wrong, and just plain stupid “information” is reckless and irresponsible.

It can also be deadly.

Do your research before publishing anything – and don’t just check “sources” that always support your thinking.

When you make a mistake, own it. Correct it publicly and apologize.

I’ve made my share of mistakes, so I’m certainly not immune; a few examples are here, here, here, here, and here.

4 thoughts on “Recklessness and Responsibility”

  1. Perhaps there might be more credibility in your post if you use more than one source than a link to the NYT. A source that needs to regular issue retractions for their biased and outright lies. Just because it’s not something you agree with, doesn’t mean it’s misinformation. Interestingly enough, we are told to listen to the experts yet the experts continue to modify their guidance.

    People DON’T get vaccinated because they “listen to thought leaders”, influencers and friends who spread misinformation. It’s because they don’t TRUST the information they are hearing and there is a disparity between what they are being fed and what is actually happening. How do I know this? One reason – I’m watching people flood my state (FL) from NY and other woke-ass states because they see actual results of…….common sense.

    Perhaps if people where given a target (i.e. how low of a number does it take to be out of a pandemic) they might have something to consider. Instead, they are shamed into submission for some nebulous goal and eventually people say; “I’m done!” and live their lives.

    Just because the media keeps saying people are getting sick and dying and things are getting worse all because of people not wearing masks and social distancing doesn’t mean it’s actually happening. Cases and hospitalizations are going DOWN nationwide. As you said… do research before posting.

    1. Hello Mike – always good to hear from you.

      Unfortunately you rely entirely on your opinion and don’t cite any sources. It is very difficult to take you seriously when you say you “know” something because you are “watching” some movement of some people and making inferences on that supposed activity and the cause(s) thereof.

      I find it interesting indeed that you “know” something because people are “flooding” into Florida from New York and infer they are doing so because they “see actual results of common sense.” I’d suggest that this clearly indicates you aren’t relying on science, data, or research, but instead believing what you want to believe. You are certainly entitled to do so, but your opinion is not research.

      Re a “target” for herd immunity, that has been discussed and reported extensively throughout the crisis; perhaps you missed this.

      Of course cases and hospitalizations are going down nationally – over 100 million vaccinations have occurred, the weather is warmer and there is less activity indoors and more outside – all conditions that drive reduced deaths and infections.

      Got to say I don’t know why you chose to dwell on COVID, which was not the focus of the post.

      So…back to the central point of the post – which was not COVID. It is personal responsibility. It’s been fascinating to watch the retractions by some media outlets faced with billion dollar lawsuits for their demonstrably false reporting. “Thought leaders” who have propagated this nonsense are equally to blame.

      Be well – Joe

  2. Spot on Joe. The one comment from Mike was a perfect example of ignorance in our country. We all know a handful of Mike’s who tend to be very vocal about their position which is rooted in opinion and not science. The biggest problem our country faces is that the Mike’s of the world tend to be louder than the rational Joe’s of our world except for you who can reach larger numbers with your blog. I agree that we need to use our voices to reach our spheres of influence and continue to encourage people to take precautions. Life is too precious. Keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks for the note and support David.

      I certainly appreciate others are entitled to their points of view. However when they demand I “do research” and then don’t do any themselves, it makes the exercise rather pointless.

      Be well – Joe

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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