As the world is already overly full of knee-jerk reactions and uninformed opinions, it seems profoundly unwise to add to the mix by using foolish phrases like “covid-19 deniers.” This tendency to use trite and trendy phrases in place of substantive thought merely encourages the already-too-developed human tendency to see things in simplistic terms. In reality, given the highly complex situation, it is entirely reasonable for informed and thoughtful people to question current government policies while being fully aware of the facts of the matter such as contagion rates and predispositions towards susceptibility. There is, therefore, a world of difference between the mindless statements of a Bolsonaro and the carefully considered reservations of those who observe that we’re fixated on “saving” lives while ignoring the real impact of the measures we’ve adopted. Thus the balance sheet today nicely shows “lives saved” but entirely omits “lives harmed or ended in consequence.” A position of careful skepticism combined with a search for superior alternatives is entirely reasonable and a basis for rational discussion. It serves no one to paint it with slogans such as “covid-19 denial.” As governments discover they’ve rushed into unsustainable positions that are creating unimagined consequences, reason and careful consideration will be required. Empty silly slogans are at best a pointless distraction and at worst contribute to self-harm.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.