Today I was asked to be a hero and save the world. Or be totally irrelevant and, in the act, risk possible neurological issues. These two conclusions come from the same action.
At the dermatologist (I go yearly, mostly because melanoma hates my family) I was "approached" by my doctor to participate in one of her colleagues' vaccine trials. They are testing a vaccine for small pox. And while you may be saying to yourself "small pox was eradicated", you, my friend, are wrong. Because, geniuses that we are, there are two specimens of the virus in the world. One in the US and one in GB (and something about Russia? Her story meandered). It's clearly not fool proof storage because at one point the virus "escaped" and killed someone in GB. The government and scientists are trying to "head off" any possible biological warfare in case the virus is stolen. Because it could be leaked and kill boatloads of people. Doesn't that sound like it's sort of possible someone already stole it? It all boils down to terrorism and biological warfare.
So, why approach me about the drug trial? Because it's entirely likely that I have eczema. And people with eczema? Not supposed to have the vaccine because bad things can happen. So while you all are being saved from biological weapons, I will likely die because my skin is not good. True story. Wikipedia it.
In the end, it sort of comes down to...do I think it's necessary to participate and save the world (and self, since I'll be vaccinated), risking ruined skin and possible brain injury? Or do I think that small pox will not be stolen/used against the US therefore making the brain injury/ruined skin a stupid, unnecessary risk?
Self vs. community. I'll get more info down the line, when the trial passes some ethics commission, but I don't think it's out of character for me to say - fuck that, let small pox kill you all.