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Thursday, April 15, 2021

The trouble with Expert Advice


The trouble with Expert Advice

A good man, but sometimes...

 I was watching a show recently where a doctor was giving expert advice on dealing with Covid-19.   It was frightening.  I wondered,

“How much of this advice is scary because it is ‘cover your ass’ advice that the doctor is giving.”

In other words, is his advice slanted such that there is no way for him to be accused of not taking the virus serious, being ridiculed, or even taken to court?


Years ago pregnant women might be told that if they had a glass of wine a day it would be fine.  No one was encouraged to drink while pregnant, but in many doctors opinion moderation was reasonably safe.  Unfortunately, some women got plastered daily and when the baby had issues claimed the doctor said it was OK.  In order to protect themselves, a doctor now will not take any chances.  He will tell pregnant women absolutely no alcohol. 

I am not advising pregnant women to drink, just giving an example where medical advice is slanted to protect the doctor by not necessarily giving his actual  medical opinion.  Most people recognize when the doctors advice is as much to protect himself as to give accurate information and the result is a diminishing value towards a doctors advice.

While listening to the scary Covid expert (and yes I know Covid is serious and dangerous) I envisioned the same type of advice applied to crossing a street.

Moderator: “Tell me Dr. Doom, these days, is it safe to cross the street?”

Dr. Doom: “Well that depends on who is crossing the street.  Studies have shown that children under six should not cross the street without adult supervision.  Even with supervision, parents should be sure to look both ways for cars before crossing, and if they see a car they should wait.  There have been cases of adults crossing the street with children who have been hit by a car and it is very dangerous…it has even caused DEATH!”

Moderator: “Is there anything we can do to stay safe while crossing?”

Dr. Doom: “Along with the suggestion to always look both ways, people should wear bright clothes and at night have reflector tape.  You should only cross at an intersection, preferably one with a traffic light.  Only cross at the green light.  Make sure the green light is facing you, not ongoing traffic.  Also, while walking, always stay on the sidewalk until you need to cross.”

Moderator: “So, if you follow all these rules crossing the street is safe?”

Dr. Doom: “Safe is relative.  There have been instances of a driver losing control or running a light and pedestrians who have followed all the rules still being run over.”

Moderator: “You mean even wearing light clothes with reflector tape, looking both ways and crossing at the green can be dangerous?”

Dr. Doom: “Certainly.  You are dealing with 3000 pounds of metal traveling sometimes 70 miles an hour.  It is very dangerous.

Moderator: “What else should people do?”

Dr. Doom: “Well, if you absolutely HAVE to cross a street, in addition to wearing the correct clothes, looking both ways and waiting for the green light, you should walk fast, do not dawdle, pay attention while crossing, but and I can not stress this strongly enough, crossing the street is NEVER 100% safe.  Anything can happen.  You could slip and fall, there could be driver error, some people freeze, dogs sometimes attack…there are a number of things that can go wrong.  My advice is ‘If you do not have to cross the street, don’t!’”

Moderator: “Great advice! Thank you Dr. Doom.  

There it is folks, stay at home, it is too dangerous out there! 

Coming up after words from our sponsor, a home economic advisor tells us if it is safe to put away knives from the dishwasher.”


OK, OK, I get it.  Wear a mask, actually wear two masks, stay six feet from others, wash you hands often and scrub for at least 30 seconds, get tested often, get the vaccine, but then still do all of the above.  Finally, wait until experts say you can leave the house.


There is an instructional on street crossing! 



  1. I remember being taught road crossing safety in early school years, but there's no accounting for the stupids who run red lights.

  2. I agree. There’s a lot of CYA advice being given. I understand that there’s still a lot of unknowns about this virus, but the lack of common sense is overwhelming.

  3. With the flagrant disregard for common sense we have seen almost half of John Q Public displaying since the get go, I don't blame the experts for dumbing the instructions down hoping someone pays attention. And if their ass gets covered, bonus. Kind of why there are "do not drink" warnings on Clorox.

  4. Follow. The. Money.

    Have a great day, Joe. ☺

  5. After working in health care for 50yrs there were a million rules that we had to follow that were in place just to cover our bums. They didn't even want to hire anyone who's name was Sue.

  6. I refuse to wear bright clothing and to being told what I should and should not do, when crossing the street. Instead I will shelter in place at home and fear every vehicle that passes my house.

    Good post Joe.

  7. Well said! It would be nice to stay home for a while, if i could.

  8. HEARING T FROM MR DOOM IS MAKES ME FEEL SICK so i won't listen to him because being sick can cause me an accident i=while crossing the street
    you nailed it well dear Joe ,i agree that such dumb advises can bring no good except anxiety and stress among people .i trust people of today totally and i know that we like to learn from our own mistakes most of the time