I’ve noted in earlier posts a book by Neil Rackham called “Spin Selling”. One significant aspect of this selling technique is the idea of Implications to Change. This post will apply this idea to changing one’s position on a belief in a god and the severity belief of Covid-19 in the United States.
The current Covid-19 pandemic looks to be very serious and worthy of concern. Here are the current stats both in the U.S. and Worldwide as of April 15, 2020 (the date of this writing).
In the U.S., between April 2009 and April 2010, the CDC estimates there were 60.8 million cases of H1N1 (aka: swine flu), with over 274,000 hospitalizations and nearly 12,500 deaths — that’s a mortality rate of ~ 2%. The numbers above indicate the mortality rate of Covid-19 is significantly higher than that of the H1N1 pandemic from a decade ago and sits currently at 4.2%. So, is the Covid-19 pandemic we’re experiencing a serious issue? In some ways, it depends on your mindset and the implications of believing in things without evidence.
A belief in a God is not something humans are born with. We as people are indoctrinated largely into the religion (God belief) of our parents and likely their parents, and so on. Agreeing to participate in a doctrinal religion as a child isn’t much of a choice. If you want to live in the house of your parents, the average person would go along with their religious upbringing to get along. Why rock the boat if someone is paying for your food and housing right? Most people wouldn’t even think of questioning at an early age. The implications of doing so could prove deadly if you were forced onto the streets because you denied the savior of your parents. Thus, the implications of denial at this stage are significant and often cause severe risk aversion. As someone grows older and starts a family, much of their religious upbringing often forms the type of spouse one seeks out. If Christian, I think it’s fair to say most religious people seek out other like-minded religious people for their love interests. Once this hook is set in motion and a marriage happens, it’s even harder to jettison one’s faith. Add kids to the mix and the hook is set even deeper. The larger point here is, the further down the rabbit hole of religion one goes with family, friends, social cohesion, and co-worker, the greater the implications to oneself and one’s family should they exit their belief in a Supernatural God. This is precisely the reason most people fake it to make it.
In the case of the latest Covid-19 Pandemic, there is a strange situation going on in the United States that’s eerily similar to a belief in a God. It appears there are two schools of thought when it comes to the reality of this virus. One is the thought of the Religious Right and the “Fake News” crowd. The other is reality-based as witnessed by the actual virus numbers. Across this country, the folks who lean more to the political right are touting how this latest virus is no more deadly than any other virus and how the country should get back to work. The reality-based camp on this is attempting to do the least amount of harm and suggest the social distancing is working and should continue until things truly get better and it’s safe to leave our homes and interact again with one another. There is little doubt Covid-19 is highly infectious and even those who are asymptomatic can still transfer this virus quite easily to others without knowing it.
For those on the religious right who want to open up the country again, having a different belief as to the severity of this virus is tribal. Many of them associate with family and friends who share their ideological beliefs when it come to the severity of Covid-19. Should they switch their views and espouse continued social distancing, the implications to them personally and even professionally could be jeopardized. This tribe of thinking is not easily swayed from their belief structure and highly unlikely to move from their positions.
For those viewing the Covid-19 crisis through the lens of facts, figures, reality, and espousing continued social distancing, changing one’s views to the Religious right’s position would also have possible severe social and professional implications.
So who is right and who’s wrong on this issue? Only time will tell as the death toll continues to rise. One thing for sure, the reality of the situation will present itself regardless of ones beliefs. The question truly comes down to this, how many lives are worth saving and at what cost is this reasonable? Let’s not forget the implications of changing one’s views on this as we engage in conversations with folks about the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic. We all need to be mindful of the actual costs associated with changing one’s perspectives.