Wendy Priesnitz - writer, editor, changemaker
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The Precautionary Principle
and the Pandemic

Pandemics as Portals to Change

My mother always used to tell me that it was “better to be safe than sorry.” Her many clichés often annoyed me, and they often were contradictory or just plain wrong. And, as an adventurous teenager, I thought she was just anti-risk and wanted to coddle me. However, I now believe that there was some wisdom in what she said. In fact, she was, I think, expressing one of the foundations of common sense – certainly in terms of making decisions about health and environmental matters, but perhaps in other aspects of life too. And it has come to be called the Precautionary Principle.

Author Terry Tempest Williams has said that the Precautionary Principle is “restraint in the name of reverence,” which I think describes it well.

Basically, it means that decision-making bodies should take precautionary measures in the face of potentially harmful products or activities even when all the scientific evidence is not yet available. I've recently written at length in Natural Life Magazine about how I perceive that governments have been following the precautionary approach as scientific knowledge evolves during the current pandemic. They may not have been using the term, and some have implemented it better than others. As I wrote in that article, some of us apply the idea in our daily lives, pandemic or not. And there are those of us who are opposed to the compulsory rules created by governments in the form of things like vaccine mandates, especially in the face of apparent corporate manipulation, questionable safety records, and the supression of discussion. But, however you define it, I think that precaution is the basis for getting us through. (So wash your hands!)

Wendy Priesnitz

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copyright (c) 2023

Beyond School by Wendy Priesnitz    Natural Life's Green and Healthy Homes by Wendy Priesnitz    It Hasn't Shut Me Up by Wendy Priesnitz    Challenging Assumptions in Education by Wendy Priesnitz    Life Learning by Wendy Priesnitz