Tom Brady is retiring after 22 years. He's the most accomplished quarterback in NFL history, an amazing athlete. But let me point out the obvious because it is so easy to miss. Brady is an amazing athlete and yet he could not earn a living in any of hundreds of sports. He has no natural talent at riding race horses, wrestling, soccer, gymnastics, 100 meter sprints or high jumps, ice skating (speed or figure) or volleyball. (As a professional athlete he would likely be better at all of these than any of us but I guarantee you that he's not walking away with a gold medal or big contract for any of these.) I'll go further. Any GM would sign Brady as QB but Brady could not earn a starting place for any position other than QB. He couldn't work as defensive end, offensive guard, wide receiver, or cornerback. It's not just that Brady's specialty is football. His specialty is one position in football. He would flounder in any other position. And remember Michael Jordan's attempt to play professional baseball? He helpfully demonstrated that when we say greatest athlete we have to be very specific.
Yeah but the experts said at first that we didn't need masks, you say. What else might they be wrong about? Experts do make mistakes. Tom Brady threw more than 200 interceptions in his career. He's still better than you.
Why mention all this?
You and I are not experts in epidemiology. You just aren't. You might even be wicked smart about the things you're smart about but you also need what I'll just call a meta-intelligence. What is that? Smart enough to know what you are - and are not - smart about. And if you think that Brady would be great at figure skating or you would be great at epidemiology, you lack meta-intelligence.
Stop gargling with iodine and swallowing ivermectin. Burn candles and offer prayers AFTER you've gotten your vaccination. Listen to folks who study viruses. Don't think that you can play better than any 49er or Ram you're watching tomorrow, or that you have better understanding of how a community might lower its incidence of illness or death than the experts who rigorously study viruses for a living. You pretending that you understand viruses better than the experts is not just as silly as Tom Brady pretending to be as good at basketball as Steph Curry. It is as silly as you pretending to be Brady's equal at QB. Save yourself from embarrassment and your community from harm. Show a little humility and just defer to the folks who know what they're doing in the area in which you are not a specialist.
Brady is retiring from something he did as well as anyone in history. Maybe take that as your cue to retire from something you are doing as poorly as anyone in history. Stop giving the snake oil salesmen your attention and money. Stop pretending that you're better than the specialists.