Steve Templeton

Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Indiana University School of Medicine - Terre Haute. Formerly CDC/NIOSH. Immunology of Infectious Disease.

Plagues and the Unleashing of Power

We can see the long arm of history reaching from the times of the Black Death to modern epidemics, where coercion and state control are accepted by a terrified public and conveniently deemed by a power-hungry elite to be the only acceptable way to combat natural disasters, even at the risk of tremendous and unnecessary collateral damage.

War Was Always the Wrong Metaphor

With two full years of hindsight, it’s clear that lockdowns were a disaster and that mandated measures caused more harm than benefit, yet this has not prevented leaders from declaring victory, crediting their own brave and resolute leadership for saving millions of lives and routing the viral enemy. However, SARS-CoV-2 isn’t a real enemy—it doesn’t have an intention other than to exist and spread, and it won’t agree to an armistice. Instead, we will have to live with the virus forever in an endemic state, and skip the victory parades.

The High Costs of the Appearance of Safety

The public demanded control over something that couldn’t be controlled. Local, state, and national leaders, whether they understood that they couldn’t actually offer increased safety or not, began to offer the next best thing—The Appearance of Safety.

A Manual for Post-Pandemic Germophobia Therapy

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that living in the modern world has left most people, including journalists, politicians, physicians, and even many scientists, with little or no appreciation of how important their relationship with microbes is to their overall health. Not just bacteria and fungi, but also viruses, too.

How Covid Panic Destroyed Communities: Our Church and My Story

Shutting down everything couldn’t last indefinitely, and people couldn’t avoid being in personal proximity indefinitely without serious consequences. The virus was going to spread no matter what we did. With too much separation and fear of one another, we would cease to function as a community and couldn’t help others.

A Fantasy of Virus-Free Air

In our current safety culture-driven pandemic response, any risk of infection is deemed unacceptable, and those who highlight potential costs of mitigation measures are labeled irresponsible and dangerous. However, safety worship and building engineers might override old-fashioned common sense, but they can’t override our own biology.

The Politicization of Immunology

Both immunity to vaccination and infection protect against severe disease, but the scope of immunity that develops after infection is broader, generally more durable, and more specific to lung reinfection. Stronger immunity derived from infection comes with increased risk of severe disease and a higher incidence of long-term effects, especially in older people and those with comorbidities.

The Problem With Science Is Scientists

The overwhelming desire of a terrified public for evidence of interventions that effectively eliminate the risk of infection will inevitably pressure scientists to provide that evidence. Ideally, an acknowledgement of this bias would result in increased skepticism from other scientists and media outlets, but that hasn’t happened

Masks: Before and After They Became Political

If one actually takes the time to consider the preponderance of evidence regarding universal masking, it becomes extremely difficult to conclude that it has had, or was ever expected to have, a significant effect on the course of the pandemic. The evidence certainly doesn’t come even close to matching the quasi-religious fervor exhibited by the popular media, mask-mandating helicopter politicians, or your judgy virtue-signaling neighbor.

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