— To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury Signifying nothing.— Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)
Let us pray, now, for science. Pray for empiricism and for epidemiology and for vaccines. Pray for peer review and controlled double-blinds. For flu shots, herd immunity and washing your hands. Pray for reason, rigor and expertise. Pray for the precautionary principle. Pray for the N.I.H. and the C.D.C. Pray for the W.H.O.
And pray not just for science, but for scientists, too, as well as their colleagues in the application of science — the tireless health care workers, the whistle-blowing first responders, the rumpled, righteous public servants whose long-ignored warnings we will learn about only when the 12-part coronavirus docu-disaster series drops on Netflix. Wish them all well in the fights ahead. Their weapons, the weapons of science, are all we have left — perhaps the only true weapons our kind has ever marshaled against encroaching oblivion.— Farhad Manjoo (in the New York Times, March 4, 2020 )