Show me your sources

So, I finally had the pleasure today of being lectured by an anti-masker and a conspiracy theorist. At the bottle return depot, I met a pleasant lady in her senior years who quickly let it be known that it is her belief that Covid-19 is a fantasy perpetrated by the international business elite aided by kowtowing governments — and this is the slippery slope towards communism. 

When I politely countered that I personally know of acquaintances who have contracted the virus, her retort was that it was just the flu. Unfortunately, she walked off in a snit after that which negated any ability on my part to continue the conversation.  However, I did have a number of questions I wanted to ask of her before she made her hasty, self-imposed retreat, hence this letter.

1) With the allegations of a communist plot and their viral manifestation, where is the evidence?  Failing concrete proof, I would like to be made aware specifically which regime are you inferring:  North Korea?  Cuba? Vietnam? Or is there a domestic socialist movement to which you refer to?

2) With all the scientific evidence, epidemiological studies, and anecdotal reports from both international sources (World Health Organization, Centre for Disease Control, etc.) and those closer to home (Health Canada, Interior Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, of course), what are the sources that you refer and quote when countering with your allegations? To date, I have neither seen nor heard of any credible, medical evidence to support your theories.

3) And, finally, without knowing anything about you nor your education/certifications/degrees in medical anatomy and/or virology, am I to trust your diagnoses of the common flu over and above medical doctors who have spent their entire careers for this such instance, especially when you have not even had an opportunity to peruse the blood test results, chest x-rays, saliva swabs, and other various bio-medical tests that have been developed for this express purpose?

Please understand, I believe myself to be an open-minded individual ready to be educated and swayed by most any intelligent and convincing argument.  However, in order to do so all allegations must be supported by verifiable and documented evidence — and I am sorry, Wikipedia and "peer reviewed " documents do not count.  (By very nature of its definition, "peer reviewed" simply means that said document was looked over by a peer — a colleague, friend or younger sibling.) Without such academic ammunition, I am afraid you (and all others who attempt to debunk fact, science and truth) are at the very best wasting your time and energy on someone who is not impressed nor persuaded, and at the very worst come across as uninformed, unintelligent and uncivilized,  yet you have your right to your beliefs and tenets.

In the future, I would suggest that you come prepared for the battle of the societal intellect with fact-checked and fact-based evidentiary material; otherwise, please stay home and allow the rest of us to attempt to stay healthy and safe during this truly historic pandemic.

John Lee

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