Is it okay for us to disagree about core questions about this pandemic? Can thoughtful, good-hearted people see the source of the pandemic, and the best steps to alleviate it, in very different ways? When it comes to infectious disease, can we acknowledge there are different health philosophies that have very different things to say about how best to respond – both in terms of intervention and prevention? What could it mean if we listened to all voices on these matters, and not just those with power?  

It was a chance to investigate competing narratives of depression and our response to depression that sparked my interest in the power of competing interpretive frameworks. Since that time, I’ve focused mostly on creating educational materials that helps illuminate key differences between different approaches to health – sometimes venturing in competing socio-political narratives about sexuality, climate change, etc.

Early on in the pandemic, my focus was trying to provide more hope and reassurance to people who are feeling discouraged, by compiling the words of Latter-day prophets offering encouragement to all of us:

But the bulk of my interest and writing from the beginning of the pandemic has been focused on the hostility that has arisen between people with different perspectives:

My second primary focus has been encouraging space for different people to not only see what’s going on differently, but to have opportunities to share that together:

For those in my faith community grappling with these questions, I’ve written about how to reconcile faith and desire to follow the prophet, targeting especially those people who don’t feel comfortable taking the vaccination – some of whom are feeling estranged from their faith over this tension:

  • To Those Who Love the Prophet, But Not the Vaccine (speaking to those who are concluding they must somehow distance themselves from the Church if they do not feel comfortable following the vaccination counsel).
  • Obedience…No Matter What? (addressing the idea popularized by enemies of the Church that members are asked to “blindly obey” – aka, ‘when the prophet speaks, the thinking stops’ – highlighting what differentiates healthy community from that kind of a cult-like following)

I’ve also spent time discussing how exactly we know what is true about the pandemic:

And because an imbalanced conversation can lead quickly, as we’ve seen, to restrictions in freedom, I’ve also done some work to bring more attention to a less popular approach to the pandemic, drawing more attention to the various choices we can make to reduce vulnerability in our own lives:

And I have drawn attention to the increasingly shoddy way that those holding these minority views have been treated (censorship, mockery, rhetorical attacks, now limitations on their freedom):

And as some threats on freedom have grown, I’ve started to comment on that as well:

To this point, I’ve only written a handful of pieces directly examining the dominant view:

But in the wake of the growing restrictions on freedom, the release of the Special Shot Series of books [“The Special Shot that Saved (and Divided) the World“] coincides with some additional exploration and scrutiny of the dominant narrative itself:

  • Narrating Side-Effects
  • Two Stories about this Moment in the Pandemic