We talk masking, vaccines, getting back to “normal,” #NursesWeek, what is “Alt-Middle” and more, LIVE.

All our past years’ Nurses Week videos are here.
Timecodes for topics covered
0:00 Intro
1:21 How natural immunity and vaccination together are moving us past this pandemic
4:34 Understanding “Variant,” the most over-feared word of 2021
7:13 Why the outdoors is low risk for COVID transmission, including for kids, so no need for masks
15:22 Why vaccine education matters and vaccine shaming hurts
17:59 How coronavirus variants form and why India may be a risk for this
19:58 Should you get vaccinated if you have already had COVID
22:23 Unpacking CDC mask guidelines, why vaccinated people don’t need masks, and understanding risk
25:50 Understanding “Alt-Middle,” not as a political stance, but as a belief in challenging your beliefs
28:28 The “Alt-Middle” approach in identifying personal beliefs, the misunderstanding of risk around masks, and potential effects on child development
31:11 Challenging my own beliefs about the origin of the SARS-CoV2 virus
35:58 A Nurses Week appreciation shout out
37:43 Why mandating COVID vaccines is not the best approach, even for healthcare workers
39:54 Differentiating science as dogma versus science as method and process
41:02 Thoughts on lockdowns
43:03 What’s going on in Seychelles with vaccines and a case surge
47:28 Alt-Middle approach to misunderstanding “vaccine-related” death reporting
51:37 Christiane Northrup, the money-making misinformation machine
55:55 How you can support our alt-middle movement
Full Transcript Below 

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Okay, I’m gonna assume we’re live. Even though I have no evidence of that yet but I think it’s gonna happen. Welcome to The ZDoggMD show. We’re live it’s Friday, May 7th. It’s like 2021 is half over dudes, and we’re already tipping towards normal. This is happening. This is not a joke. And you know how you know it’s happening because I’m not the mainstream media. If I was a mainstream media you would not know what was happening.

It’s about 2:00 PM Pacific time. Welcome to the show. Come on in, bring your comments. We’re gonna talk about outdoor masking, indoor masking, vaccines, the tipping point in the US. We’re gonna talk about what it means to change your belief structure, what’s an Alt-Middle stance. And anything else you wanna talk about, ’cause it’s Friday, we ought to have some fun, damnit. We’ve paid our dues during this pandemic, all right? By the way, notice the background the temporary background change for Nurses Week. Darkside ZCatt. One of my Supporters sent me that.

They asked for a picture of my cat, and I’m like, why, that’s creepy. Next thing I know, this is in the mail. And I’m like, yeah, it’s Force Friday, snitches. Let’s do this. Welcome again. Now, let’s see, I’m gonna pull up your comments. Everybody looked like they here. All right, let’s talk about masking. So D. Daniel says, Z, I got my first shot yesterday. Good, D. Because what’s happened is we’ve reached a point now where, through vaccination, we vaccinated about 40% of the US population or so, roughly, and this is always a number in flux, and I never really know what to believe, but the truth is we’ve reached a tipping point where cases are just gone frrrp.

And there are certain states, like this isn’t one single country, it’s a patchwork of stuff, but overall you’re seeing cases just simply plummet. I mean, it’s kind of absurd. We saw it happen in other countries like Israel, 99% reduction in cases when they vaccinated, when they reached the tipping point of 60% vaccination. And remember, there’s natural immunity from people who’ve been infected. And I think anyone who says that natural immunity doesn’t actually work is an immunity denier.

They’re basically saying, oh, you don’t, the immune system doesn’t work, like it’s not a thing. It’s like, yeah, it is a thing. And as Paul Offit, vaccine specialist extraordinaire, has said on my show before, this particular virus, SARS-CoV-2, has this incubation period that somewhere in between, something that incubates really fast, like flu, where if you try to generate a vaccine for a flu, it’s a tough challenge because by the time the thing is, by the time you’re exposed to the virus, it’s only hours before you’re sick so your immune system doesn’t have as much time to spin up a memory immune response with T cells and B cells and all of that. So it can actually make you sick a little bit before you actually get your immune response fired up.

Now that doesn’t mean the immune response can’t catch up and keep you from getting very sick and so on with influenza, which is the principle behind flu shots, but it’s why they’re not fully effective, right, or close to a high efficacy of like 80, 90% that sort of thing. Then you have something like a measles or something where the incubation period is longer and you do have a good chance to spin up a memory immune response if you’ve been exposed before or you’ve been vaccinated in time to prevent yourself from being affected which, infected, which is why measles vaccination is so effective and can cause like a lifelong immunity to measles. So SARS-CoV-2 is somewhere in between.

It’s a few days, right? There was a lot of question like, is it gonna be more on the flu end of the spectrum with the vaccine or more on the measles ends of the spectrum more effective? And it turns out it’s really more, it seems to be closer to the measles end. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty darn good. Which means as more people get naturally infected, they have memory cells, right, to be able to spin up a clone army when they’re exposed again, or vaccinated, you’re gonna find there’s actually immunity. Now, are there reinfections? Sure. Are those reinfections severe? Often not.

Because of this reason, that you do spin up an immune response. Maybe it’s not fast enough for the incubation period of the virus so you have some symptoms or you show up as a case or you’re PCR testing everybody. And at that point, the idea is keep you out of the hospital, keep you off a ventilator. And so far, mostly true. Now, there are always exceptions. And as the virus starts to change, which is natural for viruses, let’s stop treating the word variant like it’s some kind of panic word, like a safe word you use in an S&M thing. Variant, stop, take the choke ball out! That got real in a hurry, didn’t it?

What it is, is just what viruses do in response to pressure where they have nowhere to go, and they’re like, all right, let me just tweak my, let’s just select for the versions of me that are slightly tweaked that may be a little more transmissible. But you know what, there’s only so much they can tweak before they start to fail as a virus as Monica Gandhi said on my show. So this idea that of a variant is just gonna escape vaccine like overnight without a lot of pressure, it’s very unlikely. So the bottom line is vaccines are working. They’re working amazingly well. National immunity is probably working.

So you have this, along with the warming of the weather as we reach spring, because this is a seasonal virus, it’s not perfectly seasonal, nothing is, but it’s pretty seasonal. And so as we warm up, things are gonna improve dramatically. And what we are seeing is cases dropping down. Now, someone here on YouTube, Fakhama 360 says, cases decrease because of lockdown, not vaccination. No. Cases do decrease if you lock people down, sure, because you’re lowering the R naught of the virus, the reproductive index, it can’t, it’s not gonna find targets to spread because people aren’t mingling, except when they mingle in houses. So even in India, where you have some degree of lockdown, what does that do? It puts people in their own houses and the disease spreads within households. And so we’re seeing in India, for example, entire households getting sick.

The reason it’s tapering is multifold, it’s not one answer, you are right about that, it’s many, many things. So some degree of human behavior after the winter when we saw those big surges, but even now what we’re seeing is it’s pretty clear that it’s vaccination combined with natural immunity, we’re reaching a equilibrium. Now, there’s been a lot of press saying, well, but herd immunity isn’t a thing, right? So like it’s never gonna happen in the US, okay? Who cares like what the definition of herd immunity is? Who cares, like, is it 80%, is it 90%? Look, as soon as we reach a tipping point, where this thing becomes like influenza where some people do get sick, some people do end up in the hospital, some people do die but the vast majority of people are willing to go and live their lives and be safe enough, then let’s go for that.

I’m down to clown with that ’cause that sounds pretty awesome to me, ’cause that means opening things up. It means what I wanna talk about now, which is taking your damn mask off outside. Masks outside were never a great idea. It’s, as Monica Gandhi, who is the mistress of mask, the UCSF infectious disease boss, whose mask inoculum theorem, theory was one of the pieces of evidence that, or lines of reasoning that convinced me that I was wrong about telling people, hey, cloth masks are stupid, don’t even wear them at all, early in the pandemic, right? She changed my mind about it because her argument is the mask, no matter what kind they are, are lowering the amount of virus that you are exposed to and that you’re exposing others to and that’s enough to keep a ventilator case from becoming a ventilator case, and instead make you an asymptomatic case or a mildly sick case.

And that’s enough to tamp down the pandemic. And the reason she was pushing masks so much is because of that theory combined with that convinced her that we could open up a lot more of people just wore masks. And really she was arguing for indoors. Because there was never great evidence that outdoor masking does anything. And in fact, most of the transmission data that we have out of Wuhan and other places shows that outdoor transmission is exceedingly rare. And when it isn’t rare, it’s because people had prolonged close distance contact.

So masking outside when you have a big tight rally where people can’t move, yeah, that probably makes sense if you’re concerned about coronavirus. Otherwise, walking outside, transiently passing someone less than six feet away is very unlikely to give you coronavirus. And part of the reason is that the coronavirus hates ultraviolet radiation, it hates humidity, it hates infinite ventilation and those are the kinda things that we have outdoors. Now, why do I care? Why am I so passionate about outdoor masking and how much I hate it? Well, first of all, I hate it, like having to wear a mask going outside feels inhuman. Now, that’s emotional, that’s not a scientific statement.

The scientific statement is there’s no science to support outdoor masking. So why is it mandated that we put a mask on outdoors, say, in California or something? And the reason is, is that that’s the public health arm that says, if we’re, if we try to be too nuanced in our messaging ’cause we know indoor masking probably a good idea, outdoor masking, what if people like just walk into a store and they forget to put their mask on? We better just make it one-size-fits-all and just creep the safetyism to its logical extreme without evidence. So what ends up happening?

You have kids like two-year-olds wearing masks at a closed playground. They’re trying to play, I mean, and on top of that, we’re discouraging people from even going outside. So they’re more likely to cower in their home where they’re gonna get vitamin D deficiency, obesity, and the things that’ll put you at risk for getting COVID anyways. So done with great intentions ends up wrong. So I think we’re in a point now, we’re at a point in the beginning, and, yeah, and as Moni Kaylin on YouTube says, why are we masking kids? That’s a great question.

They’re generally lowered, now you can say, well, there’s, MIS-C, this multisystem inflammatory syndrome of children and, but there’s influenza, there’s RSV these things have sickened and killed children since time immemorial. We don’t throw masks on them, right? Well, what if kids will infect adults then? So what if they’re a transmission vector and we’ll not get to herd immunity if we don’t protect children, because children are now the largest proportion or the young people, the largest proportion of new cases. Why, because we vaccinated all the effing old people. Vaccinated the most vulnerable. So yeah, there’s gonna be more cases in young people. Well, there’s more hospitalizations in young people, right, because there’s more cases. This disease has a very low infection fatality rate, but it’s a numbers game.

It’s like in India, the infection fatality rate of everybody who’s infected whether you know they are or not may still be 0.2, tiny, but you infect a hundred million people. You’re gonna overwhelm your hospitals. Well, in the US the concern is, well, if all the young people get infected, are we gonna overwhelm the hospitals? The answer is no. Are they gonna infect old people? Not if old people did the right thing and got vaccinated. Well, what about the old people who can’t be vaccinated? Who are they? I don’t think there’s an absolute contraindication for this vac, now there are people, so elders who have certain cancers, leukemias, immunocompromised, the vaccine may not be effective for them.

But then they’re the ones who ought to be allowed to stay home, taking care of food delivered that sort of thing, considerations until the overall case rate in the country drops enough that they can go out with reasonable risk mitigation. So should you mask children now? And the answer is, well, if most of the adults get vaccinated or are naturally immune and the kids are mostly safe from it, why the F are we masking children then? We’re teaching them, first of all, this is during their critical stages of development where they’re reading facial expressions, they’re very resilient. I actually think they’d be fine masked or not. But the truth is, they’re actually more than resilient. They’re anti-fragile. They get stronger from adversity. But the truth is why are we continuing to stigmatize human interaction by throwing masks in situations where it’s not necessary? It’s not helpful. Like right now, in the California Bay area, our cases are really low. Yet every single person I see outside is wearing a mask. They’re giving each other wide berth.

We’re all conditioned now. But I thought we were pretty much social creatures that really ought to encourage each other to be close. And when it’s scientifically feasible, like now, we ought to be doing that, we ought to be pushing, like I titled this thing, tipping towards normal because the tipping point in the US is here. Is it true in the world, no. India is in a disaster. And we’ve done shows on that. I would point you to those and I’ll put links. Brazil’s not doing well. I mean, there are countries that are not doing well, that are surging. Note: These countries are not highly vaccinated. And you can look at Israel and say, oh, Great Britain, oh, cases plummet. The vaccines work.

They really do. Now, here’s a question. What, I get a lot of messages now, because what we’ve done is we vaccinated the willing so far, right, and even some people who are on the fence who’ve been tipped over by whatever data, or whatever persuasion, or even just watching our show and going, oh, ZDogg and his family got vaccinated, although my kids aren’t vaccinating yet because they’re too young, for whatever’s EUA approved, and would I vaccinate my nine-year-old or so right now? Probably not, because her risk of dying of COVID is practically zero. Her risk of giving me or another adult that is rational and has been vaccinated COVID zero practically, for practical purposes I’m willing to take that tiny risk.

So why would I put her through a two-dose regimen of something that’s gonna make her feel kinda crappy, she might miss a day school because she’s got the man flu from the vaccine? I don’t think there’s any complications of the vaccine for her, but even that is, where’s the benefit? Well, we get herd immunity. There’s probably not gonna be herd immunity ’cause there’s gonna be a herd immunity in the absolute sense, in the sense that there’s gonna be a lot of adults that are resistant to getting the vaccine. So you see, that’s how I think about risk. But they see maybe my, me and my wife who got vaccinated, et cetera. So the willing and the almost willing have been vaccinated. We’re reaching this tipping point. Now, I get messages from people who are like, listen, I’ve been real resistant to this vaccine.

I don’t see why I should get it. I’m young and healthy. I got this and that. I saw Joe Rogan said, young people, if they’re healthy, if they’re exercising, why should they get the vaccine? Okay, here’s what I think. Instead of trying to shame those people and trying to pressure them into getting the vaccine, give them the information and go, yeah, okay, your choice. It’s your body, your choice. You don’t wanna get vaccinated, then here’s the risk of not getting vaccinated. You wanna get vaccinated, here’s the risk of getting vaccinated. Almost nothing, right? You can make a decision. I personally don’t care. And honestly wouldn’t judge you based on what your decision is.

If you’re a person at high risk and you haven’t gotten vaccinated, then someone needs to explain risk to you. And if they’ve explained risks to you and you understand and you still choose not to get the vaccine, then you have to be able to live with the consequences of unmasked people who may be infected, who may not be vaccinated, giving you the disease and you dying. If you’re willing to take that risk, I don’t care. In other words, it doesn’t hurt society because we’ve already gonna reach this tipping point. So let’s stop, let’s take the masks off outside, let’s stop pressuring people to get the vaccine, especially young people, give them information. You can try to persuade but, honestly, it doesn’t matter because they are the ones who are gonna live with the consequences. And honestly, if you’re vulnerable and high risk and you didn’t get vaccinated and one of those young people makes you sick or one of those young people happens to be one of the people that does get sick, very sick or dies from coronavirus, it’s on them. It’s personal fricking responsibility. You’ve been given the information, you chose to believe misinformation or you chose to make a decision based on your own moral palette.

Fine, you’ll probably be fine. And if you’re not fine, then you’re living with the consequences. It’s just like getting in the car, you decide, I don’t wanna wear a seatbelt today, fine. Most likely you’re gonna be fine, you’re not gonna get in a wreck. And if you do and you fly through the windshield and you die, everybody will say, well, they made the choice not to wear a seatbelt. That’s it. So I don’t think we need to be a nanny state about it. I mean, it’s just simple personal responsibility. Katie says, what about these people not taking the vaccine and causing more variants? Look, you wanna think about variants causing more variants, this is how variants form. Look at India.

They’re completely unvaccinated, not by choice, and now there’s gonna be variants there. That’s just what’s gonna happen. The variants that we had early on actually there were some even theories that they happen because you have an immunocompromised person potentially, and then again there’s no real solid evidence for this but this was one of the lines of reasoning, you have an immunocompromised person who got COVID, who could not mount an immune response so the virus is continuing to replicate in them. They treat with antibodies. They treat with plasma.

They treat with all the usual stuff. Didn’t have a vaccine at the time, but the person wouldn’t have had a vaccine response because they have a janky immune system, virus continues to replicate. They don’t die because they don’t suffer the immune cascade that kills you ’cause they don’t have a good immune system, but virus continues to replicate so much and it mutates, in other words, you select for mutants, variants as they say, that are resistant to the antibodies you’ve given, and to the plasma, the convalescent plasma you’ve given. And now you have a variant.

That’s one great Petri dish to create variants. Are unvaccinated American’s gonna create variants? Dude, it’s gonna be such a small group of people overall compared to the surge in the winter or the rest of the time that we weren’t vaccinated and everyone was going about their business, not really complying with whatever CDC’s guidelines were anyways, it’s like, it’s a drop in the bucket. And look, if there’s variants that start to escape immunity, you can generate a new vaccine that will cover that, right? Actually don’t think we’re gonna need it, honestly. Now other people disagree, but that’s called science. So you just figure it out. Figure it out as we get more data. It shouldn’t really be a belief thing, it should be based on data. So Christine Danielo says, I had the virus, my husband had the virus.

I did not get vaccinated, my husband did. He got very sick from the vaccine. So that could be that he had the immune response ’cause he was exposed to the virus, which brings up this question, like if you’ve had COVID, should you get the vaccine? This is one that really, everybody asks this question. And the truth is, well, if you want super immunity from future coronavirus reinfection, which is again a small amount of people because I think the vaccines are more immunogenic than, especially the mRNA vaccines, than natural infection, if you get the two dose series, then yeah. If you get a single dose after you’ve been infected, that may be as good as getting two doses, right, in terms of immune, in fact, they’ve done some measurements, at least it was a pre-print. I haven’t followed up to look at the final data on that.

It’s a give or take. I think if we had a real shortage of vaccine in this country, I’d say, well, maybe we should wait to get you vaccinated, which we’ve said. If we don’t have a shortage and you’re willing to put up some symptoms, ’cause it does feel shitty, and get really solid immunity, including from variants, then probably get the vaccine. But again, it’s your choice, right? This is not like kids and MMR, in measles, where if we don’t get 94% community immunization, measles will escape. It’s that contagious. And it’s going to harm and injure and kill children. That’s not really what we’re seeing here, right? It’s a different scenario. And let’s see, let’s see, let’s see, let’s look at some, look at some stuff.

Now, one of the things Lynn Scott kinda points out, as she’s worried about flu coming back and all of that, because if we do take off our masks, ’cause flu was probably mitigated by viral interference from the current dominating respiratory virus, which is COVID, ’cause RSV disappeared too, the masking definitely because flu is less contagious than coronavirus. So masking that prevented flu almost absolutely kinda mitigates coronavirus, but doesn’t prevent it absolutely. The distancing, the closing of schools, the decrease in air travel that’s all the things that kind of affected influenza. And definitely influenza is gonna come back as we open up, no doubt about it. If you’ve had the vaccine, do you need to continue wearing a mask when you go to church?

Sherri Shepherd. So these are the great questions. We’re in the CDC guidelines, the CDC will say whether you’re vaccinated or not, you need to wear a mask indoors. Here’s the truth. Here’s what CDC will not tell you because they don’t want you to screw up, and they don’t know how to distinguish between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Vaccinated people with other vaccinated people, and even with unvaccinated people, indoors do not need to wear a mask. And the reason is their chance of getting infected is very low. Now, unless they’re at very high risk, unless they’re at high risk for complications, their chances of infecting other people is also quite low. It’s not zero.

They could still get asymptomatically infected, we see those breakthrough cases, but it’s still quite low. The unvaccinated people are typically unvaccinated by choice. So they’ve already made a choice, I don’t wanna get this vaccine. So they know that in those indoor situations they could get COVID and they’re willing to take that risk from either other unvaccinated people inside there or from vaccinated people who have that, one of the low chances of like passing on an asymptomatic infection or something like that. So everybody is very clear on where they stand. So you could argue in a church especially, where, now poor ventilation, everybody’s tight together, people singing and praying, higher risk. But if everybody in that church says, I’m down with that.

And if I’m not, I’ll wear a mask ’cause it’ll protect me and protect others from me. I don’t see why we shouldn’t be able to do that. But CDC cannot say that. Now, I’m saying this in the setting of vaccines. Pre-vaccine, I would’ve been like, hmm, that’s a bad idea. Now, you can also look at what the case rate is in your community. If the case rate is low, like it is in the Bay Area, I don’t even understand why we’re wearing masks at all anymore here. And we have a very high vaccine penetrants here, especially in San Francisco. It’s one of the most vaccinated places in the country. It’s like 60 odd percent. Vinay Prasad and I were walking around the area where our studio is without masks the other day ’cause we gone to lunch, and people looked at us like we were the devil. It was great. We’re both vaccinated, and we’re outdoors, and it’s sunny, and we’re not in a crowd, and we’re following CDC guidelines. But none of that matters because people are so conditioned.

They’re so conditioned. Take the mask off your kid outdoors, man. Ugh, what we’re conditioning our children to believe. John Pittman: Is there a difference between the vaccines regarding percentage of immunity? Well, if you believe the trials, the mRNA vaccines have higher efficacy in terms of their trial data, including real-world data. Whereas, you look at Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca lower, Sinopharm lower. But in the end, if you got enough of the population vaccinated, all that stuff is pretty good because all of them are pretty good against severe disease and hospitalization, which is the things you care about, right? Now, a couple of things I wanna mention in terms of, ’cause what else did I say we were gonna talk about? I have to look at my video description again. Masking, vaccines, getting back to normal, Nurses Week. Okay, well, before we get to Nurses Week, okay, still on the vaccine, on the pandemic stuff.

So I often talk about being in the alt-middle, right, and that’s not really a political stance. What that is saying is it’s a way of looking at the world, interacting with others and look, and interacting with yourself that says, I only have one dogmatic belief, my sentinel belief, and that is all my beliefs need to be examined and questioned and updated when necessary. That’s what it means to be alt-middle. So it means you will listen to people who disagree with you, as if they have good intent and that they might be right. So don’t close down because you have a core belief that feels threatened. Examine the core belief. What’s my core belief here? Vaccines are good.

Okay, well, now there’s people saying that the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccine can cause rare, unusual and potentially fatal blood clotting in certain population groups. If my core belief is vaccines are good, I will immediately cherry-pick data to say, no, it’s not happening, or, go, well, minimize it, go up, yeah, just risk benefit, the risk is tiny compared to the benefit. Instead of going, oh, I wonder what it could be in the vaccine that might cause that. We should look at that and then we should tell people, hey, here’s the risks and benefits. And also I have to look at my core belief and go, hey, vaccines that are out in the world are not always perfect, which I knew anyways, but let’s say I didn’t know that, that’s my core belief.

So questioning your core belief is crucial, reevaluating it, can I change it, which means you’re gonna listen to others respectfully and make decisions based on critical thinking, that’s what the alt-middle is. And there’s other words for it, it’s integral thinking, it’s just critical thinking, it’s being a good human, it’s what we used to have. And I think that’s important. So right now, for example, let’s look at this. DL Bridenthal sent like five bucks Super Chat on YouTube and says, quotes me, and says, what are we conditioning our children to believe? And he or she says, I don’t know, being cautious? This is only an issue here in the US with my freedoms. All right, so let me look inside right now. What is my belief that makes me strongly feel that conditioning children with masks and all of that is a bad thing? And she or he is challenging that belief right now. So let me put this belief out here.

I have a very libertarian elephant, so you’re right, I do care about freedoms, but also I have this feeling that, and this is emotional feeling, that humans are meant to be together without fearing each other as contagion when the science says it’s not true. So my concern is you put a mask on a kid, first of all, you’re changing their development in a way we don’t understand. So we have no data on what the effect on kids of chronic masking is.

The second thing is the data does say they’re very low risk. The third thing says, well, adults are now vaccinated. The fourth thing says, I can go down a list to confirm my existing bias and present it to you, right? Now, let me listen to your angle, cautious. So this is the belief that there’s a precautionary principle, that if something doesn’t cause a lot of harm, let’s, out of an abundance of caution, continue to do it. For example, masking children. ‘Cause maybe later we’ll show that they are big transmitters, although there’s not data yet at all showing that.

But let’s say there’s a new variant that it preferentially infects kids, wouldn’t you have wanted them to wear the mask to protect them from that? So I 100% can see where you’re coming from. I can then hold up my belief and go, okay, where does it fall apart, right? Now, what I would then say is, okay, looking at my own belief, looking at your belief, I think I would argue back and say, yeah, but we don’t apply the same precautionary principle to influenza which kills hundreds of children a year, we don’t apply it to driving in a car which is vastly more fatal to children than COVID. In other words, we don’t think twice before getting in a car to take them on an unnecessary trip. So our understanding of risk is not right.

So the precautionary principle with masking in kids is yet another misunderstanding of risk and I worry that it actually sets a magical thinking kind of mindset. So that’s how I would have a discussion with someone who disagrees based on a separate belief structure with the same data, right? Now, was that so painful? Are we enemies now? Are we both triggered that our identity and our person has been attacked, no. And I could detect even the way you asked the question that you were being respectful. That’s called alt-middle, right? Now, everyone listening now you may be persuaded one way or another. You may be looking inside and going, what do I believe about this? Absolutely, that’s what we want.

That’s what we want. So I wanted to talk about something where I’m starting to shift my thinking based on new evidence and questioning a fundamental belief that I had that I think I need to question. So let me put it out there. And that is this, that this virus was a result of a natural tragedy. In other words, a bat virus jumping to an intermediate animal host, a wet market somewhere in Wuhan, developing enough mutations to jump to humans, and then spreading as a pandemic. And I’ll tell you why. I think I, my core belief on this that I have to question and hold up to scrutiny, is that I trusted and trust scientists that are smarter than me when they said, there’s no evidence that this virus has been genetically manipulated the way we would see, the way there are these insertion points and things like that in the RNA, and so on.

And also when WHO goes to China, and they said, well, it doesn’t look like it, it looks like it was this, and so on. And talking to certain scientists, I was like, hmm, it seems farfetched that this thing was a lab-produced virus. Now, the second belief that I hold up, so the one is a trust in scientists. The second belief I hold up of my own that I have to examine is well, I think it’s kinda xenophobic, politically motivated and vaguely unpleasant to say, well, somebody in a Chinese lab created and released this virus, right? So I worry that that’s gonna lead to bad things, which we do see, right? So those are the two kinda core beliefs. Now, why am I questioning those beliefs?

Because there are very, also very smart scientists, like I think these atomic scientists that wrote up medium piece that was very compelling, that it is entirely possible, if not likely, that there were really two things that might’ve happened here, that are different than the natural infection theory, natural emergence theory. One is that Wuhan has this lab that’s, by the way, funded by NIAID Fauci dollars to study gain-of-function mutations in viruses. And actually let me back up, I’m not 100% sure they were funded to study gain-of-function mutations.

They got funding to study these viruses. They specialize in coronaviruses. One of the researchers there is a, like goes to bat caves and scoops up guano to sample for these viruses. Now, in a very sort of compelling way, they presented the possibility that, this is still very possible, that either they were studying it in the lab and it escaped, so not intentional release, not a bio weapon or anything like that, studying it so that they could figure out how these things hop from humans, from animals to human and how to fight them, so good intention. Or during one of the collection trips one of them got infected with SARS-CoV-2 that comes from bats originally and it spread into Wuhan from there.

So I was very resistant to this idea, for the two belief structures that I point to you. Now, having examined those beliefs and realizing how they might lead me to blind myself to other lines of reasoning, right, in a knee jerk way, I can now examine and go, I think it’s possible that that could’ve happened and it’s possible it was naturally emergent. Why does it matter? Because if it was a lab accident, we better figure out how to regulate labs and monitor for that better and prevent it from happening in the future. If it’s a natural event, we better spin up more science on how to prevent that from happening, and some of that is not encroaching on natural wilderness and eating these crazy wild animals, if we can avoid that. So that’s how I process these things myself. And I would encourage you to do the same thing.

If you just watch the news, you’re just gonna get these black and white polarizing answers. If you go on social media, it’s weaponized to produce black and white polarizing positions. That’s not how we should talk about anything, let alone science which is not a dogma; it’s a process. Somebody just hit me with a PayPal tip, 50 bucks from Liz. Thanks for all you do. Thanks for helping us keep our integrity intact. And thanks for making it bearable enough not to quit. You are so kind. She says, love you, Zubin. That is really kind. You guys can always, I always respond by email to every single PayPal comment and PayPal donation. It’s paypal.me/zdoggmd. All right, that’s a good transition point.

To Nurses Week. I hope you guys saw the Doc Vader video we did with, there she is, ZCatt starring in that. I just wanna say to every nurse out there, every CNA out there, this last year has been a fricking ordeal. I’m so deeply appreciative for everything that you do. I could not have survived as a doctor, as a medical student, as anything as a human without you. And I love, respect and support you. And the honest truth, as someone said it best, if you have to have a week dedicated to you, it means you’re not getting paid or supported enough. That’s what I think, and I think it’s true. That’s why doctors only get a day ’cause we get paid pretty well, if not supported. We just get a day.

Nurses get a week. Why, ’cause everybody knows unconsciously they’re undervalued. So I reposted Always a Nurse, which is honestly one of my favorite videos I’ve made because it came from the heart. And so you can check that out on my website or Facebook or YouTube or wherever, Always a Nurse. It’s a Billy Joel song parody. And the Vader thing, and there’s gonna be more stuff. Meet Virginia, which is something we did a couple of years back. Definitely check that stuff out. Now, let’s read some comments here. By the way, Golgibaby says, that’s a great name by the way on YouTube, interesting thought exercise reminds me of an intro to philosophy class. Thank you for your work. Yeah, we really gotta think more alt-middle and we gotta talk about thinking, think about thinking. Oh, thanks for the kind words, guys.

Laura Murlou says, thank you nurses for everything you do. Now, you will be fired if you don’t agree to put something you might not trust in your body. Oh God. All right, so let’s talk about mandated vaccines. What a great comment. Okay, I don’t think that we’re at a point now where we should be mandating coronavirus vaccines for healthcare workers. I think we should be pressuring healthcare, now this is a separate situation because healthcare workers can put vulnerable patients who the vaccine is not gonna be effective for because they’re sick already or immunocompromised, technically put them at risk. But the difference is healthcare workers have to wear masks, and pretty good surgical masks, in the hospital. And nursing homes in particular, very low uptake of the vaccine. Okay, not great, but should we mandate it? First of all, it’s not been FDA approved. It’s an EUA. So can you mandate a vaccine that isn’t FDA approved?

Second, I don’t think that’s a way, coercion, is a good way to influence human behavior. How about you have some in-services? How about you bring in speakers that aren’t idiots and dogmatic and say, hey, what are your concerns about the vaccine? Let’s talk about it. And if you still don’t wanna take it, it’s kinda like people who don’t take the flu vaccine every year, they gotta wear a mask all the time in the hospital. Well, now that’s no longer stigmatized. So just wear the damn mask in the hospital all the time. So I don’t think we should be coercing people. I don’t think it’s good policy at this point. Now, kids’ vaccines are different ’cause you’re talking about public schools where they will put other kids at risk, even vaccinated kids ’cause vaccines are not perfect. And we have this long track record with kids’ vaccines, right? So you can’t say, oh, there’s a new vaccine, et cetera. Although even that, these aren’t really new, right?

But still, as the Johnson & Johnson shows us, as AstraZeneca shows us, very rare things can happen. And if you’re one of those persons who is so risk averse that you’d rather get COVID than have the vaccine, then you should be allowed to make that choice and then live with the consequences of it, which means you gotta mask all the time in the hospital and you could get COVID and die of it. Science is not dogma; it’s a process. Yes, it’s 100%. Nicole Diado. That’s it. That’s why these people are like, follow the science. It’s like, shut your hole. No offense to anyone who says that, you just don’t know better. Follow the science. The science is like saying, follow the dogma, follow the Bible, follow the Quran.

You might as well be saying the same thing. I have this belief of what the science shows, the science, and you need to follow it. Masks outdoors. Okay, so if I’m following the science, that’s whatever the public health people are saying, it’s whatever the dogma is, then I will go mask myself up outdoors. If I follow science, it means I will argue back and forth, is there a data that’s compelling? Here’s the pros, here’s the cons. What’s the precautionary principle, should we wear it anyways? What’s the downside? That’s science. Science is questioning everything, using the scientific method to observe, hypothesize, make some degree of conclusion, and then generate new questions. That’s the scientific process. As Jay Bhattacharya, who’s gotten a lot of ish for his stances on, hey, could the harms of our lockdowns and our response be worse than the disease? As he said, there’s two camps.

There’s the public health camp which requires unity and dogma in order to be effective. So they have to say, well, we need to speak with one voice because if we deviate, then it looks like we’re not messaging clearly. And then the scientists who were like, well, no, science is all about debate, it’s all about dissent. And remembering that if you dissent from someone like Fauci and you’re dependent on grant money from Fauci’s organization that he heads, you’re in a tough position, which is why you probably hear less dissent than you might have. And I’ve heard this privately from scientists and doctors who are afraid to publicly take stands on things like outdoor masking, which is not, in my estimation of the science that is available, the data that is available, I would argue strongly that the science does not, the science does not support that. Science so far does not support that.

Now, you could also argue the opposite, but I’d like to see the data. Or the reasoning at least. Thank you, Carrie, for the donation on Facebook and the kind words. Shane Bevin says, science is always trying to prove itself wrong in order to get the correct answer. That’s exactly right, as he said on YouTube. That’s exactly, you want to falsify your hypothesis. That’s the goal, prove yourself wrong. And I think it was Richard Feynman, a famous physicist, who said this, “The key thing is not to fool yourself, “and you’re the easiest person to fool,” ’cause of belief. That’s why it’s this alt-middle idea that the only belief we should desperately cling to is that we need to question all our beliefs whenever they look like they’re not working and even when they look like they’re working, right?

Constantly question and be open to it. Let’s see now. Reading some comments. Oh, what’s up with the Seychelles, Melanie Statom, at bbc.com article. I read that article. So the Seychelles is a little island dependent on tourism, something like a 60% vaccination, one of the high, I think the highest vaccination penetrance in the world started having cases again, like a thousand, 1,500 odd cases on the small little island. I forget their population. It’s very small. And I think 15% of those cases were in tourists and 84 or something were in locals. Now, let’s unpack this. Let’s look at this from an alt-middle perspective. A knee-jerk response would be to say, oh, well, it looks like the vaccines aren’t working ’cause cases are rising and now Seychelles is locking down again.

Okay, well, understand a couple things. Part of the reason they’re locking down is that they depend on tourism. And if they don’t make some stance, people will consider them to be unsafe and they’re gonna drop the tourism. So I’m sure there’s a political component to that. So you can think about that. Now, these cases are real. All right, so cases are going up. What could be going on? Well, let’s dig into what’s happening there. The vaccines, the majority of the cases, what am I trying to say here? The two vaccines they’re using are AstraZeneca and Sinopharm or Sinovac. So they’re the two vaccines that are slightly less efficacious in the trials, especially against variants. And it turns out South African variant, or was it Indian variant, I forget which one, is shown up in Seychelles.

Now, what’s the fatality rate? What’s the hospitalization rate? What’s the ICU rate? You have to dive into that and go, okay, is it preventing severe disease still, right? So maybe they have slightly less efficacious vaccines. And then how many of the cases are unvaccinated people? And a large proportion were unvaccinated people still. So you can start to see the kind of variables involved in determining what’s going on in Seychelles ’cause you’re not seeing that in Israel, right? And I believe Israel was using mostly the mRNA vaccines, the Pfizer vaccine. But correct me if I’m wrong, ’cause I could be wrong about that. So I think Seychelles is worth looking at carefully, but I don’t think it’s yet a case study that would say, oh, vaccines, aren’t working, right? And we may find it’s actually the opposite, that if they hadn’t vaccinated, they would’ve had a India level second surge. Do you think the Summer Olympics should go on as scheduled? Rob Mo.

Yeah, I don’t know enough about transmission rates. See, this is the problem, that I think that the argument for that is that case rates are surging in the world and then bringing the world together in Japan, which currently has low case rates, is not a good idea. But the truth is, I mean, then you talk about universal masking and those sorts of things, so I honestly don’t know, I don’t know the answer to that. And part of the problem is I don’t care about the Olympics. So if I’m putting my bias out there, I just don’t care enough about it any more that I have a strong dog in the fight. From a science standpoint, I think it’s very complicated and I don’t know enough to be able to give you a really educated answer beyond I wish I cared more about the Olympics, I just don’t. When will you have Offit on again? Thanks for all you do. Vince Spiert on YouTube, who gave me a little Super Chat 10 bucks. Thanks, Vince. I’ll ask him to come on anytime.

He just did a really great show with my friend, Peter Attia, actually introduced them. They went deep on a lot of this stuff. And so definitely check out Peter’s podcast the Drive, because they did like an hour and 20 minutes going super deep. But Paul comes on whenever I ask him. So if I ask him now, we can get them on like next week or something. So it may be worth doing just to get an update. ‘Cause Paul’s a guy, he’s a great alt-middle thinker. He has plenty of biases, but he’s able to overcome them and change his stance based on new data. So as always, and he’s super virologist and vaccinologist and educator, just a great guy. Let’s see Lena Brannon, do you know more people have died and have had adverse reaction from the three COVID vaccines than all our other vaccines over the past 10 years already?

Okay, Lena, so let’s talk about this little piece of misinformation because this has been spreading around. I’m getting lots of people messaging me this going, have you seen there are more people who died to this vaccine than all our other vaccines combined? I haven’t looked primarily at this data, but this is what’s probably happening. They’re looking at VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Event Registry or whatever, and they’re going, oh, look, look at all the people who died after getting this vaccine. Okay, put on your alt-middle hat for a second. Let’s say you have no dog in the fight about this vaccine. Why might it be that people would die after getting a vaccine like this? Oh, it could be that the vaccine is causing their death. That’s certainly possible. You woulda think we would’ve seen it in the trials that had tens of thousands of people of all ages, all ethnicities, all kinds of stuff and they saw no increase in death compared to the placebo, and they followed them out. So we could say, well, that’s weird. Why would that be? Oh, then we could also go, well, let’s use some logic here.

A lot of old people, a lot of sick people getting vaccines first because they’re at risk. Their life span is already shorter and they could, they have a higher chance of dying in the next week than you or I, just naturally. And some of them die. Correlated to having gotten a vaccine before, but having nothing to do with the vaccine. Hello, that’s what it is. When you look at childhood vaccines, what’s the chance of a child dying naturally unrelated to a vaccine? Very low. What’s the chance of an 80-year-old person with congestive heart failure dying in the next week, vaccine or not?

Much higher. Do you see why you just gotta put your head on, and what I suspect with Lena is, the way she framed that question, is she’s operating from a deep belief that these vaccines are poisonous and she doesn’t want them. And so she’s then trying to find any, desperately any data that will support her belief that this vaccine is harmful. And just sitting for a minute with logic, you can look at both sides and go, okay, is my belief clouding the truth here, right? And it is, ’cause, no, I’m open to being proven wrong on that, like maybe there’s something in that data set that does imply that maybe the degree of the strength of the immune response with the mRNA vaccines is so strong that it actually causes a heart attack in an old person because of the increased stress of a higher heart rate due to fever and muscle aches and stress.

Sure, I’m open to that idea. What’s that risk of that same person that was so fragile that the vaccine knocked them off just from increased stress, what’s the likelihood of them dying of COVID? About 100%, right? So you see that’s how you have to think about it. Like, well, life is risk and benefit. But I do believe people should be able to make their own choices based on the right information and the right framing of the information. As Dolores Idel says, 100% of us are gonna die. Yeah, I’m not gonna die, you shut up. Ralph Gifford on YouTube says, I’m not taking it. It’s not even FDA approved. Even if it was, I’m still not taking it.

So there you go. You’ve put your belief out on the table. I’m not taking it. We hear you, Ralph. That’s not really science. That’s not really evidence. That’s your belief. So now we know what your belief is. Thank you for sharing it. We also know that if we have a vulnerable person who the vaccine is not effective for, we’re not gonna let you near them. But you probably wouldn’t come near them anyways because of restraining orders. That’s a joke. Kenton McBurney of McBurney’s Point fame on Facebook says, what is happening with Dr. Christiane Northrup? She seems to have gone cuckoo. Kenton, I think it’s an ad hominem attack, which is a logical fallacy to call someone cuckoo. Christiane Northrup is not cuckoo. She’s batshit crazy. That’s very different. This is one thing where I’ll say I’ve looked at things she said about the vaccine and every single thing.

It’s like when Luke Skywalker says every single thing you just said is wrong, and I did a video about this, so you can watch, one of them is the female sterility video, one what was the 5G nanobot video conspiracy she was talking about, aluminum nanoparticles. She’s off her rocker when it comes to vaccine. She may be a lovely person, but when it comes to vaccines, she behaves as if she’s off her rocker so therefore I’m gonna lighten them and diffuse that ad hominem attack, which is a logical fallacy. And remember, when you’re looking at misinformation, you look at these cardinal signs of it. The first is conspiracy thinking. Well, you guys don’t understand that what Fauci doesn’t want you to know is the following.

All right, conspiracy thinking is a cardinal sign because that misinformation is gonna fall. Not always, but it’s a pretty good cardinal sign. Second, fake experts. So Christiane Northrup, not an immunologist, OB doc, sells books, talks about women’s health, doesn’t know shit about vaccines. So fake experts is a common sign of misinformation. Number next, logical fallacies. So when you go through her arguments for why these vaccines are bad, you find all kinds of logical fallacies. And there’s a whole list of logical fallacies I won’t go through, but you just look at it with your critical thinking hat on, which I wish we taught people how to do, and you will quickly see that none of her arguments hold up to any degree of scrutiny. The next one is impossible expectations.

So she will never be convinced that the vaccines are safe because she’s operating from this anti-vaxxer core belief. So they’re constantly moving the goalpost. Oh, we thought it was gonna cause instant death. Oh, nobody died, all right. Or, no, there was no causation from vaccines. Okay, well, then we thought it was gonna cause this, no, it didn’t happen. Well, now it’s gonna cause menstrual cycle irregularity. Oh no, not that. Come on. So moving expectations. And then the last piece is cherry-picking data, so finding these like kinda weak ass studies to back up whatever it is you wanna show. Like, for example, Lena with her, did you see that 6,000 people died, or however many, more than, of the vaccine than of any other vaccine. It’s like so you cherry-picked one statistic without explaining it or without proposing the counter. Now, this is another thing. When you’re looking at misinformation, a cardinal sign is they never coherently can present the opposing argument. They won’t do it. They either won’t or they can’t.

So that is another cardinal sign that they have no effing clue what they’re talking about, and they have an agenda, right? So there’s that. All right, I think, I think aloha from Oahu, Dee Momilani. I like that name. Logical fallacy poisons are good for you. Remegio Perrera. Nicky V., all caps, please help, what do you think about Canadians waiting 16 weeks between mRNA doses, thoughts? Yeah, I mean, I think it’s, I think we ought to be helping our Canadian brothers and sisters to get more vaccines so they don’t have to do that. I honestly don’t think it’s gonna cause terrific amounts of harm. But again, I’d love to see data one way or the other. I mean, we know the data from the trials, at the four-week point. I don’t know, I don’t know if there’s data on delaying and I haven’t seen it so I don’t know.

But I mean, come on, dude, this is Canada, this is the first world. We gotta get our ish together. I blame Trudeau. I have no idea if Trudeau’s involved in that. He’s just so handsome. I hate him. I hate him ’cause he’s handsome. Forget about his politics. He’s just too handsome. I wanna be handsome. All right, I think we did a thing today. Couple quick pieces of housekeeping that I need to tell you guys about.

There’s a new thing, so one of my favorite platforms where you can become a supporter of the show to pay for all this so that we’re never in big pharma’s pocket ’cause screw a big pharma, is locals.com. It’s like this kind of creator-centric platform where you as a supporter get to create the content along with me. So you get to post, I moderate it very lightly because people are cool to each other, it’s self-selecting, for really cool people that are alt-middle thinkers. If you go to zdoggmd.locals.com, you can sign up for free, just to check it out.

You can also sign up as a supporter for five bucks a month minimum. You could pay as much as you want or as little as five. Or now they have a brand new thing where you can sign up for a year subscription. So you just get it out of your mind and it’s 55 bucks. So you get a month for free and you’re sign up for a year of awesomeness. So all the live shows I do for Supporters across Facebook, YouTube, and locals, you get access to that and a tribe of people that’s pretty dope. And I’m really engaged in locals ’cause I just love the community there. So that’s my pitch for becoming a supporter.

That’s the ad on the show right now, beyond whatever Facebook or YouTube puts on it. And one last thing, like, again, if you have to have a week celebrating you, you’re not appreciated enough. So nurses, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, housekeepers, social workers, case managers, pharmacists, front desk clerks, billing staff, MAs, CNAs everybody who helps make healthcare run we need to appreciate you and allow you to play ball in a team at the top of your training, in a team. And I think that’s the future of healthcare, where we love and appreciate each other, we support each other, in service of supporting our patients who are our family basically. How would we treat our family, right? So that’s my final pitch for Nurses Week. And thank you so much for being a part of this. Please share the show. Again, you can support us in other ways through zdoggmd.com/Supporters. And now, I’m gonna fade this thing to black so we can be out. Are you guys ready? Hold on. All right, guys, say bye to ZCatt and we are out.

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