The Virus, the Vaccine, and the Vitriol
Since the news bled out of Wuhan in December of 2019, I have swung from disbelieving doubter of doom to a panic creature cowering indoors as the world was gripped by tales of nations being decimated by Covid-19. Slowly that morphed to a quietly hopeful believer of science being able to cure our ills, then to a hesitant good citizen prepared for the jab if it helps, to a stunned witness of governmental doctrine usually reserved for countries listed as dictatorships, and finally to an unwilling ‘bad’ citizen not prepared to roll up my sleeve for the cause. More so, a sceptical cynic alarmed by the coercion of unwary citizens into compliance.
At each new change in belief there was an accompanying unease with the course corrections required to discover better information, and a sense of shame at the incomplete picture formerly misunderstood, followed by satisfaction with the new interpretation. I have wavered between consumer of mass media and interested internet-er, all the while growing increasingly uneasy with the product of my searches, and the effects of sharing what I was finding with peeps around me. Early in the game it was okay, any disputed view was ticked up as new information, or even as difference of opinion, no real harm accrued. But once the vaccination drive began to take hold, the stakes were raised as governmental nudges transformed into policy pressure, and then pushed into areas where it had said it would not. Suddenly the game was ‘part of the team, or outsider’. The rhetoric of the USA/big pharma overlords began to sneak onto the Kiwi stage, and encouragement was subsumed by tacit compulsion.
At about that stage I was beginning to look at what all the protests were all about, and look a little deeper into how the entire calamity was being managed. The more I dived into the alternate views, the more obvious it became that things were not adding up. I am still not at all clear where my overall belief lies, however, I do want to make note of where I see things at this point in time.
I am still no clearer on a few things—the origin of the virus, the lab leak hypothesis, the true kill power that the virus possesses (rather than the numbers of deaths that would have occurred in the natural course of things, or with the common flu), and whether the vaccines will do more harm than good long term. What will probably never become clear is the degree of collaboration and cooperation between the primary players in this pandemic (governments, pharmaceutical companies, media) and whether this could have been averted, or at least minimised.
In the strong suspicion category, some of the nagging queries that have been traded heavily on social media and crushed by mainstream. That the virus and its evolution track a lab development process over time. Institutions across the world have been studying the virus, and modifying it, perhaps in order to develop defences against such an outbreak or, less likely, as a bioweapon. There are alternative treatments for patients who have contracted the virus, and many off-the-shelf remedies that are being used successfully by doctors around the world. This includes a programme that kicks in from day one when a patient tests positive, giving them a care package to ward off symptoms, rather than being sent home to await symptoms developing as problematic, or severe. Of late, the rise of vaccine-related injuries, and the suppression of information through mainstream and social media seems wholly despotic. What looks like the endless rollout of boosters, especially in light of the decreasing symptoms attributed to Omicron, is beginning to sound hollow, desperate, and no longer seems convincing enough as the sledgehammer approach formerly required.
What I am certain of, is that the government is going to extreme measures to push a vaccine programme that has significant side effects associated with it, whilst using language ‘confirming’ it as safe. It’s becoming more and more obvious that the push to vaccinate entire populations is following on from wealthier nations in what appears to be a profit-based push from big pharma to mandate their products, whilst shutting down conventional medicines and the doctors who attempt to treat the virus with anything other than the exalted vaccines. This is where my certainty kicks in. The attention given to distort and discredit dissenting voices is unified, within the halls of power, as it is within the representative health entities such as the WHO, CDC and NIH. Yet, the information they are publishing is becoming increasingly flimsy, as the voices of reason leak out of the net. The monotone drone of the governmental message tolls with the rigidity of stone, “We will continue to be your single source for truth.” It is mandate plastered over science, completely denuded from the spirit of investigation. Big brother says he is right, no further questioning required. (Hmmm, can I still use that term? I expect a gender-specific term like big brother is due for reassignment by the wokers?)
The good news is that doctors and scientists from around the world are finding ways to share information, treatments, and to be heard, outside of the parochial mainstream media channels. These are the conversations of caring, engaged professionals, working in unison to help each other learn about the virus and the best medicines and methods to treat their patients. They are relaxed and considered, earnest and well-meaning, and hoping to prevent suffering. Sharing information on what works, or does not, in a collaborative way is the flip side to the dictatorial approach, which closes out discussion and mandates one solution only.
As mentioned in the previous post, I hope the views I’m sharing here are incorrect, in as many ways as possible… I hope there are no major downsides to the vaccination programme. I hope those who have been vaccinated prevent the spread of the virus, and can still go on to develop a natural immunity, hopefully diminishing the virus to controllable levels. I certainly hope there is never a connection made between the pushers of the pandemic and the profits gained through the vaccination programme, which the withholding of vaccine safety information seems to point toward. And I hope big pharma is able to defend its actions as motivated in care and expedience, rather than profit seeking. However, I’m strongly suspicious on all counts.
All of that said, there is no running from the position I now find myself in—marginalised, and earning a glimpse into how it feels as an oppressed minority. As the doors slid quietly shut in my face, the sense of being sidelined by political machinery opened a new portal into the way I understood my relationships with the friends and loved ones around me. When push came to shove, a decision to not be a part of the team meant more than just being relegated to the bench; there was no longer a place in the team, at all. It was shocking to say the least, and the alienation was greatest from the most familiar, rather than the lesser-known associates. That the consequence of a decision on well‑being could build a wall between friends and families in mere months, and lead to the severing of bonds as a function of government decree, indicates how divisive the issue is. It should serve as a manifestation of which should be a glaring warning of the nature of structural breakdown of alliances.
And then there’s the newly ascribed title of ‘antivaxxer’, assigned automatically and assumed without confirmation or conversation of any kind. I had little choice with the series of vaccines I received as a child so all good there, and cautious about the choices of vaccine/s my own child received. However, those shots were long-term-use cases with a well-known history of risk and efficacy, so the decisions were easy enough. This latest programme appears to be rushed at best, of mixed efficacy, and carrying a significant risk of adverse effects when compared to former vaccines. There is a significant difference between the historically used vaccines (live attenuated) and this latest round of mRNA vaccine, which is experimental in both its action as a spike protein forced into the cellular structure of the body, and its delivery method using nanoparticles. For mine, the risks are higher, and the benefits less obvious, so I’m less inclined to take it.
This is how I understand things in this moment, it is my perception, my ‘truth’. It may be completely wrong, and that’s okay for me—the adjustment to the gaps in my understanding will be welcomed gratefully, time will tell. People have said they are concerned for me at this time, but what does that mean? Are they concerned that I have turned to the dark side and become some sort of right-wing zealot, possibly thinking I have become mentally unstable, perhaps in need of professional help? Are they concerned in a way that means they care for me personally, for my well-being, as a friend or relative? Or that I have become some sort of leftie liberal, pushing back against governmental control? My guess is that they are concerned that I’m not behaving the way in which they are, and this is causing concern for them internally. What is not okay for me right now is to sit in this mire, pretending it doesn’t stink, whilst paying lip service to their tightly clenched conformity. Hopefully I haven’t fundamentally changed in any way, I think I’m still the same person. The difference is that I am choosing to not move with the crowd, so am being buffeted by the motion as I wander hazardously among the lock-steppers.
The divisive nature of the vaccination debate pales in the shadows of most global issues, yet has torn a rift greater than all the many others. It has sidelined the climate-change debate, which is nice in some ways but of the two, the latter surely has magnitudes of importance greater than the former. The debate, or lack of it, has left pro and anti without a dialogue, and worse, generated an unreconcilable suspicion of each for the other. And that’s a civil summary… there are wider extremes at the fringes where people are attacking each other without discussion, just carte blanche distrust. We have witnessed an evolution of armchair scientists and trans disciplinal medical experts, and left to wonder whether to trust the science, or trust those controlling the science. If another such issue arises tomorrow, needing to be resolved in the interests of global well-being, will there be any social civility left over to steer us to calmer waters?