These days, it’s harder than ever to know who to trust. The virology community says one thing, a subsection of Reddit says another, and who’s to say which is correct? Listen to science? I don’t think so. Not until they earn my trust the old-fashioned way: by letting me wear one of those cute little white jackets.
For starters, how do I know if scientists are lying to me unless I have some form of collateral? If I can leave one shoe at my work desk when I use the bathroom (no one asks me to do this), scientists can let me wear one of their little white jackets. It’s not just a cute coat that’ll go perfectly with my new chunky boots; it’s a sign of trust. You want me to believe your “word”? Fork over the lab coat, Doogie.
It’s also just a versatile clothing item that I’d enjoy wearing. It’s impossible to find good outerwear these days. Puffers are expensive, pullovers are flimsy – lab coats are the only clothing item that double as a jacket, a status symbol, and a bib for pasta night. I have no clue why you would need them to do science but maybe once I’ve got my mitts on one of those funky white coats, a scientist can explain it to me and I’ll actually listen.
Scientists are desperate for the public to listen to them, and I get it. What does anyone seek in this life if not the approval of others? So I’ll listen to scientists when they give me a chance to feel cool at my high school reunion. I’ll “heed medical advice” as long as I can prove to my mom that I’ve made something of myself. Let me wear the little white jacket, and I’m all ears. You do something for me, and I’ll do something for you, you know? Quid pro coat.
Listen, I completely understand that we’re in a global pandemic, and now more than ever it’s important we heed the warnings of the scientific community. But if it’s that important, the scientific community can afford to put a liiiiiittle on the line for me. Before you ask, sure, I’ll listen to newscasters. As soon as they send me an interactive weather map and one of those official little desks.