I don’t think I’ve ever had such a long conversation with anyone. Seriously – think about it. We sat in a windowless podcast booth with two sets of headphones and microphones and a few feet between us. Not a single interruption. no cell phones. No distraction. No bathroom breaks.
At a time when short, crisp content is longed for – a response to brief human attention spans – one of the most popular podcasts in the country has conversations that last exceptionally long and are particularly deep.
Several friends cautioned me against accepting Joe’s invitation. One person told me, “There’s little room for a proper conversation now.” “He’s a brawler and doesn’t play fair,” warned another. In fact, when I told Joe on the podcast that I didn’t agree with his outspoken views on vaccines against COVID, ivermectin and many things in between, I thought the MMA, former taekwondo champion might hurt himself at the table and press my neck But, instead he smiled, and off we went.
OK, I’m embellishing here, but Joe Rogan is the only person in the country with whom I wanted to exchange ideas in a real dialogue – one that could potentially be one of the most important conversations of this entire pandemic could. After listening to his podcast for a while, I wanted to know: Was Joe the mere planter of doubt, the creator of chaos? Or was it something else? Was he asking questions that were about to be asked, filled with necessary doubts and doubts?
in the lion’s den
it was not What What Rogan thinks I was most interested in was this How He thinks. That’s what I really wanted to understand.
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In fact, I have always been a naturally self-doubtful person. Physicist Edwin Hubble, one of my personal heroes, said a scientist has “healthy skepticism, suspended judgment and disciplined imagination, not only about other people’s thoughts but also about their own.”
It’s a good way to think about the world – full of honesty and humility. I live by that, and I think that may to some extent. He will be the first to state that he is not a doctor or a scientist who has studied these subjects. Instead, it seems that he sees himself less as a custodian of the galaxy and more as a custodian of the galaxy, pointing out missteps made by large institutions like government and mainstream medicine, and then loudly Wonders whether they can still be trusted to make recommendations or even mandates to the rest of us. To many, he represents a queen bee in the mind of a hive, pursuing free will and personal liberty.
The freedom of your fist ends where my nose begins
When I said this to MMA Fighter Joe, he stopped, sat back and listened for a while. I asked him: Is it possible not only to vigorously advocate individual liberty, but also to recognize the unique danger that a highly contagious disease represents? He seemed to agree, but then quickly countered a common misconception about the overall usefulness of vaccines.
If vaccinated people transmit as much as those not vaccinated, why are they really necessary?
what it was like and i was in now octagon
, orbiting each other. He now looked at me intently, eyebrows raised. I acknowledged that the vaccinated could still carry the virus at the same load as the unvaccinated, but rapidly added – before he could claim victory – that there was more to the story.
I shared data with Joe that showed the vaccination was done eight times less likely
to be infected in the first place, and that their viral load came down faster
If they become infected – making them contagious for a shorter duration and less likely to spread the virus.
Vaccines are not perfect, but they have to agree that they are certainly a worthy tool to help control the spread of the virus. And, they are particularly effective at keeping people from becoming seriously ill or dying. They may also help prevent the development of long-term covid, a chronic condition of the disease that some people develop after a natural infection, even if their coping with the acute phase of the infection was mild.
What he said next surprised me
So, it turns out that Joe Rogan was almost vaccinated. That was a title. It was a few months back when he was in Las Vegas. He had an appointment scheduled, but there were logistical constraints and he could not make it. He offered this story as evidence that they are not necessarily “anti-vaccine”, even though he continues to question their validity.
It’s this kind of back and forth that makes it hard to pin down Joe Rogan in both martial arts and podcast interviews.
For example: Even though he sometimes voiced his opposition to masks, “The Joe Rogan Experience” masks adorned with his logo are available for sale. his website
. I bought one ahead of time and gave it as a gift. He looked surprised. (Incidentally, they’re made in China.)
Despite downplaying the COVID risks often heard on Joe’s podcasts, his personal studio makes safety a priority. Before we started, a nurse was present to conduct the rapid COVID test. Even the presence of antibodies was checked through finger prick blood test.
We both had antibodies – from his natural immunity, from my vaccine. I was vaccinated in December last year and Rogan contracted COVID in late August. Even though this antibody test can only detect the presence of antibodies and not their strength, which Joe took great pride in his testing, emphasizing the thickness of his lines should mean stronger immunity. I’m pretty sure he was joking. And, I didn’t have the heart to tell him that my antibody line was much thicker than that anyway.
specifics of immunity
It is to reiterate that no one should choose infection instead of vaccination. This concern has been raised by many public health officials since the early days of the pandemic. If nothing else comes out of my conversation with Joe Rogan, I hope it at least makes the point. Many people have become seriously ill and died even after effective vaccines are available. Only in the last three months, there has been Over 90,000 preventable Covid-19 deaths
Among unvaccinated adults in the US, according to a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Also, Anu israeli studies
received a lot of attention after showing that natural immunity provided significant protection – even stronger than two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in people who had never been infected.”
So the question that arises, as do many others: Why should people who have had covid still get vaccinated?
It’s a fair question, and one i picked up myself
With Dr. Anthony Fauci in early September. At the time, they told me there was no concrete answer to this, and they were still looking at what recommendations should be made next and how sustainable natural immunity is in the long run.”
Part of the problem is that we still don’t have a clear idea of how many people in the United States have contracted COVID. the official number is around 45 million
, but due to the continued lack of adequate testing, it remains uncertain. And many antibody tests that are currently available have high rates of both. false negative and false positive results
, often making them unreliable as evidence of immunity.
Another issue with natural immunity is that it can vary greatly depending on a person’s age and how sick they became in the first place. Mild illness in older people often results in less antibody production.
showed that between 30 and 40 percent of people who have recovered from COVID had no detectable neutralizing antibodies at all. This probably explains why a a recent study
showed that people who had not already been vaccinated for COVID-19 were more than twice as likely to be re-infected than those who had been vaccinated.
I told Joe that even in the Israel study, the authors concluded with the recommendation that people who have recovered from COVID still get a vaccine. And while Joe emphasized the risk of myocarditis in children receiving the vaccine, especially young boys, I fought equally hard that the risk of myocarditis too much has been shown
for infected children under the age of 16 compared to their uninfected peers. those numbers are dwarf Risk of myocarditis in children
Those who receive the vaccine (and, of course, most cases of myocarditis can be treated without hospitalization). To me, the risk-benefit analysis is clear: vaccination is safer than infection.
I think a small part of me thought I could change Joe Rogan’s mind about vaccines. After this last exchange, I realized it was probably pointless. His mind was made up, and there will always be neatly packaged misinformation to back up his beliefs. The truth is, I’m still glad I did. My three-hour long conversation wasn’t just with Rogan. If some of his listeners were convinced, it would have been worth it.