There is no safety.

grassesI’ve been thinking a lot about safety recently. About insurance, vaccines, outbreaks, and all of these scary things in the world. In my line of work, I have to. I spend my time planning giant meetings where hundreds of people are interacting with each other, and it is basically a germ factory. I have to purchase insurance in case there is an outbreak or an emergency at one of my conferences. I have to plan for what we would do if there was a natural disaster or a terrorist attack. We have to submit floor plans for fire marshal approval. This is what I think about.

I was raised by a scientist and a math teacher. I live firmly in the world of logistics and planning. God and faith are a part of my belief in science. I know too many scientists, doctors, and people who are trying to fix the world to think that they are hiding the truth about vaccines. Or whatever is the current conspiracy theory. This does not make me naive. There are a lot of bad things in the world. There is a lot of negligence, and death, and lack of planning for the future of our planet. We do not need to invent more bad things because some already exist.

On the topic of vaccines I will be clear: they save lives. The world is a better place because of their existence. I have studied history enough to know the alternative is truly terrifying. The world before vaccines was a place where babies dying was just accepted because there was nothing to be done. I thought this battle was fought long ago, and it saddens me deeply that our privilege in this country is causing a situation that could bring unnecessary death and suffering to thousands of people.

We have to be able to talk about controversial topics without hating each other. We have to be able to acknowledge that there is something that we may not know about the world. There needs to be a place where we can learn from each other. I promise to try to understand, to listen. And I ask that you do the same.