The coronavirus pandemic has really riled up the anti-vaxxers and other individuals who have attempted to turn ignoring the advice of doctors and medical science institutions into a personality. This makes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, commonly known as the CDC, the perfect target for science deniers.
Even the simple, easy-to-follow advice of “wear a mask outside of the home” is a conspiracy to these people, granting them the title of “anti-maskers” as normal individuals grow increasingly impatient with their antics. It’s bad enough that they brought the measles back, but now they’re worsening a pandemic by actively encouraging anyone who will listen to ignore and defy CDC advice.
One person in particular ended up on the Murdered By Words subReddit when they absolutely lost it on an anti-masker who dropped a common accusation that people are “blindly” listening to the CDC.
“So Becuase [sic] the CDC said it, you’re just going to blindly listen to them without doing your own research?” says the anti-masker.
This kind of loaded question is meant to make you feel shame for believing experts trained and paid to do the research the rest of us don’t know how to do. One commenter was not having it.
“YES. 100% YES. YES YES YES,” was their response.
“What f***ing research am I going to do that it going to in any way be more valid and valuable than research from a government agency that spends $6.5 BILLION a year on studying diseases???”
What’s so great about this argument is that it shuts down every annoying talking point that any science denier can come up with about the CDC or any other agency that human people tasked with doing medical research for us. Why do they think the CDC exists? It’s because the rest of us don’t have the time or resources available to do official studies on the effectiveness of wearing masks to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The “research” demanded by the anti-masker that any average person can do is a Google search that, if you do it in good faith, brings up the actual research done by the CDC. Reading conspiracy theories on Facebook is not an acceptable substitute.
“Do you honestly think your Google skills are worth six and a half-billion dollars a year of scientific research by scientists specializing in that field?” the commenter continued. “You listen to the CDC when they say how to handle a pandemic. Period.”
Perhaps the best part of the response, however, is when they shut down the anti-masker before they can respond with some further nonsense.
“I don’t need to hear another reason for you to not do such a simple thing. I don’t have the time or energy to deal with a breathing Dunning–Kruger graph.”
If you’re a psychology nerd, you know that this is a sick burn. If not, the Dunning-Kruger graph shows a phenomenon in which people will gain high confidence in their knowledge of a subject after obtaining only a very small amount of actual knowledge. It looks like this:
Perfect. Reddit commenters widely appreciated the metaphor and the message in general.
The CDC isn’t always right about everything but I’ll take their advice over that of the people who brought eradicated deadly diseases back from the dead because they don’t understand what vaccines are.