I do not suppose I have ever had a dialog that lengthy with anybody. Seriously — take into consideration that. We sat in a windowless podcast sales space with two units of headphones and microphones, and a number of toes between us. Not a single interruption. No cellphones. No distractions. No toilet breaks.
At a time when there’s a want for shorter, crisper content material — responding to abbreviated human consideration spans — probably the most well-liked podcasts within the nation options conversations that final exceptionally lengthy and go significantly deep.
Many buddies cautioned me towards accepting Joe’s invitation. “There is little room for reasonable conversations anymore,” one individual instructed me. “He is a brawler and doesn’t play fair,” one other warned. In reality, when I instructed Joe early within the podcast that I did not agree along with his obvious views on vaccines towards Covid, ivermectin and many issues in between, a part of me thought the MMA, former Taekwondo champion would possibly hurtle himself throughout the desk and throttle my neck. But, as a substitute he smiled, and off we went.
OK, I am embellishing right here, however Joe Rogan is the one man within the nation I needed to change views with in an actual dialogue — one that would probably be among the many most necessary conversations of this complete pandemic. After listening to his podcasts for some time now, I needed to know: Was Joe merely a sower of doubt, a creator of chaos? Or was there one thing more? Was he asking questions that begged to be requested, fueled by crucial suspicion and skepticism?
Into the lion’s den
It wasn’t what Joe Rogan thinks that almost all me, it was how he thinks. That is what I actually needed to know.
Truth is, I have at all times been a naturally skeptical individual myself. One of my private heroes, the physicist Edwin Hubble, mentioned a scientist has a “healthy skepticism, suspended judgment and disciplined imagination, not only about other people’s ideas but also about their own.”
It’s a great way of occupied with the world — stuffed with honesty and humility. I dwell by that, and I suppose Joe might to some extent as effectively. He would be the first to level out that he’s not a physician or a scientist who has studied these subjects. Instead, he appears to see himself much less a rapscallion and more of a type of guardian of the galaxy, stating the missteps made by massive establishments resembling the federal government and mainstream medication, and then questioning aloud if they will nonetheless be trusted to make suggestions and even mandates for the remainder of us. To many, he represents a queen bee in a hive thoughts, advancing free will and private liberty above all else.
The free will of your fist ends the place my nostril begins
When I mentioned this to Joe, the MMA fighter, he paused, sat again and listened for some time. I requested him: Is it not doable to advocate strongly for private freedoms, but additionally acknowledge the distinctive menace a extremely contagious illness represents? He appeared to agree, however then rapidly countered with a typical false impression in regards to the general utility of the vaccines.
If vaccinated individuals transmit simply as a lot because the unvaccinated, why are they actually crucial?
Vaccines will not be excellent, however he needed to agree they’re actually a worthy device to assist management the unfold of the virus. And, they’re significantly efficient at retaining individuals from getting severely ailing or dying. They additionally might assist forestall the event of lengthy Covid, a persistent state of sickness that some individuals develop after pure an infection, even when their bout with the acute section of an infection was delicate.
What he mentioned subsequent shocked me
So, it seems that Joe Rogan almost acquired vaccinated. That was a headline. It was a number of months in the past when he was in Las Vegas. He had an appointment scheduled however had logistical hurdles and could not make it. He supplied up this story as proof he’s not essentially “anti-vaccine,” even when he does constantly elevate points questioning their legitimacy.
It’s this type of again and forth that makes it exhausting to pin Joe Rogan down, each in martial arts and a podcast interview.
Despite a downplaying of Covid dangers typically heard on Joe’s podcast, his personal studio prioritizes security. A nurse was current to carry out a fast Covid take a look at earlier than we started. We have been even checked for the presence of antibodies with a finger prick blood take a look at.
Both of us carried antibodies — his from pure immunity, mine from the vaccine. I was vaccinated in December of final 12 months and Rogan contracted Covid on the finish of August. Even although this antibody take a look at might solely detect the presence of antibodies and not their energy, Joe took nice delight in his take a look at, insisting the thickness of his traces should imply stronger immunity. I am pretty sure he was joking. And, I did not have the center to inform him that my antibody line was considerably thicker than his anyway.
The nuance of immunity
So the question Joe raises, as do many others: Why should those who have previously had Covid still get the vaccine?
Another concern with pure immunity is that it will probably differ considerably based mostly on the age of the person and simply how sick they acquired within the first place. Milder sickness in older individuals typically resulted in fewer antibodies being produced.
I guess a small a part of me thought I would possibly change Joe Rogan’s thoughts about vaccines. After this final change, I realized it was most likely futile. His thoughts was made up, and there would at all times be loads of misinformation on the market neatly packaged to assist his convictions. Truth is although, I am nonetheless glad I did it. My three-hour-long dialog wasn’t simply with Rogan. If only a few of his listeners have been satisfied, it’ll have been effectively value it.