Not everyone who does big or important things in the world gets recognized. Some people, called “unsung heros” help shape the world in a quiet way. You can be brave and be an unsung hero too.

Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Ronni: Hey, Brittany.

Brittany: Hi, Ronni.

Ronni: So, I think we talked a little bit about this previously, but I first came into the whole world of libertarianism and caring about the importance of liberty after COVID, right? COVID was a really big wake-up call for me and all the different restrictions.

Brittany: For a lot of people.

Ronni: So, during that time I actually got pretty active online, and I was most active on Twitter, which is not for kids, but it is a place where adults can share a lot of information. So, I got really involved on there and started asking questions and was sharing a lot of data and information that wasn’t being shared out in the world. Do you remember in the early days when no one really knew what was going on?

Brittany: It was terrifying. It is crazy to me because it seems so surreal now. I am like, did that really happen? Yeah, it was very scary. Nobody knew it was going on at all. We didn’t know what was going to happen.

Ronni: And then I think what was also really bad is that the only information that was being presented at the time was through the typical media sources, but even still the numbers and things that were being presented, you weren’t even sure if they were correct. No one knew which data to trust. Do you remember that too?

Brittany: Yeah. I mean, I still don’t know what data, well, I’m still not sure what data to trust, but yeah, there was just so much going on when it was coming in so quickly it was very confusing.

Ronni: So, this past weekend I attended this. It was a little conference, but what was so great about it was it was a conference for a lot of other people who, like me in the early days of COVID had gotten on Twitter or gotten online and were really committed to trying to figure out what was going on. So we were the people who were finding all the bits of data that were not being shared in the regular mainstream media. We were the ones who were, I say it wasn’t so much me, but others in the group were the ones who were actually finding all the numbers and the data and putting it all together to crunch it. Other than just trusting these reports that you say.

Brittany: Really? We’re doing that.

Ronni: Well, no, I was not the person pulling together the data, I was just better at finding the people who were doing that and helping share that along. But there were people in our group who were much more of what I’m going to call unsung heroes. Do you know the term unsung heroes?

Brittany: I do know that term, yes. It’s like a hero who doesn’t really get the credit that they should.

Ronni: Yeah. So this conference that I went to, I would say it was a conference of a lot of the COVID unsung heroes that many of the world will never know any of their names, but that they actually played a really big part in just helping get true information out when most media did not want the true information to be getting out. Actually, I’ll tell you a little bit more about that, only because I happen to be very interested in all things and COVID responses. That was kind of my big wake-up call. So anyways, in the beginning and early spring of 2020, there wasn’t a whole lot of accurate data out there because the only information that was being presented at the time was this idea that oh, two in a hundred people are going to die. But do you remember that was the big thing? 2% are going to die, but no one broke down What that meant? Does it mean 2% of every single person on this earth is that 2% of the people who catch it is that 2% of the people who go to the hospital?

Brittany: So, that’s interesting. So, the statistic was there, but nobody really knew what that even meant.

Ronni: Oh, it gets so much worse than that. Yes. So, this is because most people do not understand how to break down numbers or statistics. So when you first hear this idea of 2% dying, most people, they immediately react and fear, and there’s not a whole lot of people that are doing the critical thinking necessary to say, wait, wait, wait, what does that mean? Let’s look at these actual numbers. Let’s break these numbers now, let’s figure it out. There’s also really important questions that were not being asked by the regular news media. Even the government, the only people who were asking these questions were some doctors who were mostly being censored, but were asking questions about what’s the age stratification? That means how is the age breakdown as far as risk? And if they had asked us early on, they would’ve found out that COVID is something that only really affects older people or people with several comorbidities, which means several other health factors as well. But for most people, the fatality rate after you catch it, this is only after you’ve caught it, is 99.98%. And especially children, children have hardly any risk at all. But because people weren’t asking these questions and they didn’t understand how to break down the data in ways in which would actually help protect the right people, everyone was just flipping out. Anyways, It was a lot of people who were the ones who were putting it all together, who were consolidating all the data.

Brittany: Did you know some of these people personally?

Ronni: I feel like over Twitter I came to have a little bit of a family, especially in the early days.

Brittany: That’s cool. Yeah.

Ronni: Well, at the beginning to ask questions, I don’t know if you had this experience, but to ask questions online during COVID, it really risked a lot of your social relationships. And so for a lot of people who were speaking out at the beginning, it was very hard because you were being shunned. I mean, I felt a little bit of that, but a lot of people who were in much more professional capacities, there were several professors who were at Stanford and a lot of the professors there wrote these horrible letters about them and tried to get them kicked out of their teaching positions. So, they had a lot to lose by this. And so the fact that they had the courage to be able to stand up for what they believed in is really big. So, did you have any experience with that, with speaking up?

Brittany: So, it’s interesting. So, I have a lot of friends in the music world and I have a lot of friends in the comedy world. So, on Facebook, I actually segregate my audience so that they can’t see it. So when I post something I post it to just people I know are going to be okay with it, mostly just because I am to the point now where I believe what I’m going to believe. I know so many other people are not, and I didn’t want to start fights over something where I knew I wasn’t going to change other people’s opinions. So, I actually stayed more quiet during COVID than other things that I used to in 2012 when the economy crashed or just things like that. So yeah, I was actually pretty quiet and I don’t really use Twitter that much. It just seems like such a scary place. So, I didn’t speak up as much. I probably should have, but I didn’t want to deal with having to argue with people all the time. So I’m glad we had people like you who were willing to do it.

Ronni: I was going to say there was a few of us out there out in the world who were brave, and I mean it was hard, but that actually brings up a good point because we’re talking about the idea of what it means to be an unsung hero. And the unsung hero is someone who steps up to do what is right even if no one else is ever going to know about it. So sort of along the lines of COVID still, for example, in the early days, there wasn’t clear data being reported like any central data organization. So, a bunch of volunteers all got together. These are all volunteers who have data analysis backgrounds, and they’re able to understand this a little more. They started pulling together data and they ended up forming the COVID Tracker project. Now, the COVID Tracker project ended up becoming this huge central source of information that governments and media would use, although they sometimes still twisted the numbers, but for people who wanted to dive down deep and actually get the data for themselves, they finally had a place to do this. But that was all run by volunteers. And these volunteers, their names are never going to be known, but they’re some of the true unsung heroes of the past two and a half years for all of the work that they did. I also think I also talked about doctors, but there have been some lawyers who’ve come out in the past couple of years, but people who’ve risked their jobs, and if they did not speak up because so many people were afraid to, you mentioned it was easier to keep that separate and not talk about it so you didn’t alienate people. But because so many people did not want to alienate their friends or family for those people who did speak up, it was a very difficult thing. So, I feel like the people I was with this weekend saved the world the past two and a half years, even though nobody will ever know them.

Brittany: That’s really cool though. I didn’t realize you did all that. That’s really, really fun. Awesome.

Ronni: But the whole reason why I think it’s important to talk about the idea of an unsung hero because even though we might feel as though where we are now with COVID is different than it was maybe two and a half years ago, I think it was a good indication that we don’t know what the future will bring, but there’s a pretty good chance that at some point in the next few years, something else crazy will come up, something else that the government is trying to restrict our rights on and how are we going to handle that? And I think it’s very important for us to all think about how are we going to handle that. Are we going to remain quiet? Are we going to use our voices and speak up? Even if it’s not the most popular thing, but to do so, even if it comes at your own little bit of a social cost to you, how important it is, if we don’t speak up, then nothing will change. And that’s how you can become an unsung hero. Not everyone has to know what you did and attach your name to the importance of a moment, but that importance can change everything if only you have the bravery to do it.

Brittany: I really love that, Ronni. That’s a really good lesson. And I like it because I’m somebody that, I mean a performer, so I like attention. I really like that what you said is that not everybody has to know you did it. Do what is right. People say do what’s right when nobody’s looking. It’s a little bit different here, but still just do what needs to be done, even if you’re not getting the credit for it, and do what needs to be done, even if you know are going to take some heat for it. So I love that. Great topic.

Ronni: I say before we go really fast, a lot of the people who were involved in so much of us who were the ones speaking out online, a lot of them did so under anonymous handles because they knew that if they spoke up that they would have ramifications that their jobs and lives would suffer. So, a lot of these unsung heroes really, you will never know their names because they’ve never shared their full names. So, when I got to meet a bunch of these people, it was really nice to be able to see them as a person, but they might never actually come forth publicly. So, you can still be a hero even if you have to do so without your name on it, there’s still ways.

Brittany: Yep, totally understand that sometimes there’s a lot of risks in saying your real name. So, I think that makes perfect sense. Alright, guys, well this is a great episode. Please like and subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already and share with your friends. And until next time, Ronni, we will talk to you soon.

Ronni: All right, see you later.