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Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
10 months ago

“The surest way to work up a crusade in favor of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of maltreating someone. To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior ‘righteous indignation’ — this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats.”
― Aldous Huxley, Crome Yellow

Tom Jennings
Tom Jennings
10 months ago

Suggest you mix in two teaspoons of schadenfreude.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
10 months ago

Great quote.

Roger Sandilands
Roger Sandilands
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

A related great quote (often attributed to Adam Smith, but no-one can supply the original source), is this: “Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.

Ian Gribbin
Ian Gribbin
10 months ago

A virtue gone too far becomes a vice – Aristotle

Adriana L
Adriana L
10 months ago

If we are doing quotes, this Terry Pratchett one seems equally relevant: “There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.”

Saul D
Saul D
10 months ago

One of the major issues is the inability of educated people to see a different point of view or to recognise how their own view is too narrow. In December, commentators in the Guardian were demanding unvaccinated relatives be banned from family Christmas gatherings, 100% certain they were being logical and not hysterical. But showing zero comprehension of risk. A Pavlovian-style reaction to the word ‘unvaccinated’ – so unvaccinated equals Covid equals death.A knee jerk reaction as bad as getting scared because a Black person is walking down your street.

Last edited 10 months ago by Saul D
Michael K
Michael K
10 months ago
Reply to  Saul D

I honestly think that if somebody is willing to mock people who died, that’s a clear sign that they are on the wrong side of the coin. I really don’t mean “vaxxers” or “anti-vaxxers”, just those members of both groups that make fun of some unvaxxed person dying from COVID, or some vaxxed person suffering side effects. They may personally see it as “just desserts”, but laughing about it or even promoting hilarity is on another level entirely.
Plus if those Guardian people were so sure that their vaccines are effective, why are they scared of those who didn’t take it? No vaccine in the history of medicine has ever worked that way.

Ian Morison
Ian Morison
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

Two answers to Michael’s question: One, no vaccines are wholly effective – a 95% success rate sounds great but actually means that in any random group of 20 you might expect one to be vulnerable. Two, don’t forget the immuno-suppressed who cannot be vaccinated and are at risk of infection from those who can but choose not to,

Anita Sorkin
Anita Sorkin
10 months ago
Reply to  Ian Morison

Given that it is established that the vaxxed do carry (same viral load regardless of vax status), transmit and become ill from the virus, I do not understand your meaning when you said “are at risk of infection from those who can but choose not to.”
I am genuinely curious.

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  Ian Morison

That would be true if covid vaccines really stopped transmissions but they don’t.
I have a friend who had cancer and is immuno-suppressed.
She took care well before covid happened.

Warren T
Warren T
10 months ago
Reply to  Saul D

Interesting point you make. It is disheartening when you realize that no amount of clear evidence will cause another to stop and ponder their position. Perhaps it means that we have reached an apex of “unreason”.
In addition, it is very tiring to be constantly pigeon-holed by narratives. I’m vaccinated, and I’m convinced it has benefits for someone my age, but I certainly don’t believe anyone should be forced to take the jab. Why does that make me a dreaded “anti-vaxxer”?
In the same vein, I certainly believe in climate change, as it’s pretty damned obvious. However, I don’t believe there is a bloody thing we can do about it, based on historical climate facts. And I certainly don’t think we should turn the world upside down as soon as possible in response. Why does that make me a dreaded “climate denier”?

Saul D
Saul D
10 months ago
Reply to  Warren T

For me, they are logical within their frame. And they’ve been coached to believe that if it’s logical it’s true. They just don’t see how selective their frame is and what they are missing.
And what’s worse many refuse to look outside of their bubble – often because they have been told it is ‘dangerous’ or ‘wrong’ to seek out counter-opinions (a form of cultish brainwashing – hey, you’re intelligent, reading a different opinion isn’t going to turn you into a frog).
So you get the same people turning to the Guardian or the NYT to tell them what a particular group thinks, instead of them actually going and finding out themselves directly from the group itself. Self-enforced omission of data.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
10 months ago
Reply to  Warren T

We might have reached an apex of unreason in that we increasingly see opinions as both facts and moral issues.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
10 months ago
Reply to  Saul D

The more formally educated, the more “liberal”, the more Guardian-reading, Labour (or in certain parts, Lib Dem or Green) voting one is, the more likely one is to have entrapped oneself in a self-deluding downward spiral into a moral, spiritual and. Intellectual dead-end that constitutes a belief in, as Paul Kingsnorth puts it, the “plague story” in which the vaccine is the drugs ex machina “way out”.

The more aware of the left liberal intelligentsia and political class will have had nagging doubts since at least 2008 about the sustainability of the post-Cold War liberal-technocratic political economic model they and their like spent most of the 1990s and 2000s building. Particularly in the context of a warming climate, a resurgent and militant autocracy in China, digital technology which tends towards centralisation and homogenisation of goods, services, people, and stories they have long feared that the dream is over; and even if the alarming events of 2016 didn’t fully awaken them from their slumber, many are sleeping increasingly lightly. The “way out” that many of the talk about isn’t just a way out of a virus that, again, the more aware of them will know now is endemic and cannot be eradicated; it’s a signifier of a chimerical exit from the soulless, dissociated, and meaningless muddle of a world they created with their PPI contracts, working families tax credits, and empty rhetoric about ethical foreign policies which rained fire on innocent civilians.

True, plenty of them remain deep in the delusion that with just one more heave it’s possible to build a future fair for all without upsetting any Apple carts or destroying the Amazon. But just as the “zero-Covid” fanatics amongst them have quietly climbed down off their soapboxes and gone home covering their faces in shame as it has become blindingly obvious that their position was untenable, so will the broader, grizzly twenty first century reality soon make itself manifestly clear to all of them that this time there can be no New Deal, no co-ordinated global stimulus, and absolutely no second referendum. All the money has been spent, and there is no way out – it’s either the WEF / CCP Great Reset or its back to church, back to self-reliance, back to the Britain of Burke and Mill, back to proper educational standards, back to basics.

But even acknowledging that John Major might have had a point will mean consuming one huge helping of humble pie and washed down a great big glass of wake up juice. It will mean changing worldview, relearning and reinterpreting stories long forgotten or dismissed as irrelevant, and (for those in Labour’s centrist wing) openly admitting that Tony Blair might possibly be just a bit dodge.

They needn’t, though, put aside their genuine and heartfelt passion for social justice, for better living standards and health outcomes for less fortunate, and for making the world a better place. Far from it: by jettisoning the political paradigm that they grew up with and helped to create and all of the wasteful nonsense that comes with it, they could actually achieve what they initially set out to achieve – and discover the better people within their selves while they are it.

Here’s to hoping.

Last edited 10 months ago by Andrew Horsman
Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
10 months ago

My husband and I moved from New England to Florida one year ago today (champagne awaits in the fridge). The town we left is so obsessed with C-19 they’re planning a “get boosted festival”, I guess because the vast majority of its residents took the shot as soon as it was available, and, as Mary says, they’re still chasing that high. As for us, we go to the beach and body surf, hang with the neighbors at the pool, dance at the clubhouse, eat in restaurants, shop – and smile at everyone we pass. They smile back, and we all know why.

Peta Seel
Peta Seel
10 months ago

Well done and be happy!

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
10 months ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

Thanks! Hard not to be!

Mary Bruels
Mary Bruels
10 months ago

Welcome to the Free State of Florida! Where the Covid #s do not exceed those of the lockdown states likeCalifornia.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
10 months ago
Reply to  Mary Bruels

Indeed. Our kids live in LA. It’s like another planet.

Johanna Barry
Johanna Barry
10 months ago

‘Get boosted festival’ my Lord! For a society of apparently well-educated intelligent people, that is shocking. It reminds me of an ITV 70s series. ‘Children of the Stones’.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
10 months ago
Reply to  Johanna Barry

Right? The small town had been previously known for a world-famous pumpkin festival, but they dumped that when it got too big and expensive to run. Then they tried a “diversity” festival, which is hilarious, since its racial diversity is made up of a few families who own ethnic food restaurants. I guess this latest effort is just another way for the puffed-up and very silly town council members to feel like they’re not living in what the State Police commonly refer to “banjo land”.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
10 months ago

“Banjo Land”? Had not heard that intra-American slur. (Though it is true that the traditional music of Appalachia could probably be called the Land of the Flatted Seventh.) As the banjo is an African origin instrument, does that make Democrat run cities “banjo cities”?

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
10 months ago

I left the Netherlands and now live in the US South. So happy I did now that I’m hearing stories of how dictatorial the Dutch regime is becoming.

Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
10 months ago

“Get boosted festival” oh my goodness.

Warren T
Warren T
10 months ago

Well done! I would be there today if it were not for the extraordinary increase in real estate prices in many of the fine locales in FL.

J Bryant
J Bryant
10 months ago

The new puritanism and moral righteousness of the left has been written about many times before but, as usual, Mary H provides a particularly incisive analysis.
I suspect the left’s behavior also has a lot to do with previously powerless people suddenly finding a tool to exert power over others. Like Brando’s character, the failed boxer Terry Malloy, in On the Waterfront, the most they could say about their lives pre-covid was “I coulda been somebody.” But now, hey, they’re part of a movement, their collective tweets shift governments and institutions–they really are somebody! (In a sad, ephemeral and ultimately destructive way).

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
10 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The lazy use of invoking religion for any political behavior is a cheap shot.

“making the lives of the unvaccinated a “total misery” might challenge the idea that the ‘authoritarian personality’ can only flourish on the Right.”

Authoritarianism is LEFT. National Socialism was Socialism with Corporatism.

Mao and Stalin, the other two greatest mass murderers in history were hard Left. The woke violence in social media, the intolerance in all the world is LEFT. The dreaded hard right, White Supremacists, which Biden says are the world’s greatest problem – do not even exist. The hard left Antifa and their ilk, and the Democrat haters of anything decent exist everywhere.

Warren T
Warren T
10 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Correct. And the only ones who actually are threatening democracy is the Left. They despise democracy.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
10 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

They exist. I suggest you – for once -get out of your echo chamber and read a chapter of Matthew Syed’s book Rebel Ideas about a young man, Derek Black, who changed his white supremacist ideas. Does the Ku Klux Klan exist?

It is beyond bizarre that you call the Nazis Left wing. That’s why obviously so many big capitalist corporations such as Siemens did so well under them!. But, hey, labels shmebels.

But you come across as a fanatical crank and will continue to do so until you occasionally see some faults on your own side and some valid arguments on the other.

Last edited 10 months ago by Andrew Fisher
Peter LR
Peter LR
10 months ago

If we extricate the politics out of the science of Covid I think we could find more common purpose rather than paranoia. In terms of vaccination, I was struck by the views of Sunetra Gupta, the Great Barrington initiator. She would agree with making measles vaccination compulsory for instance as it has a proven record of efficacy and safety and gives lifelong immunity. But she has a different approach to Covid as it is a different pathogen and vaccination immunity is transitory. She seems directed by genuine scientific conclusions.
Dispassionate and politics-free analysis of the epidemiology is NOT what has characterised the last two years. Surely it is politics which is the new religion with its ideological beliefs taking over from the vocation to serve one’s country and make a difference: politics which provides personal prestige and power rather than serves the common good?

rodney foy
rodney foy
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter LR

Yes, how did covid end up being political? If you are left or right then you must have these views on measures against a public health issue. My first reading of the article has reinforced my opinion that it is much more complicated and nuanced than that.

By the way, I tried to follow some links from the article, but they all lead to an unrelated story about meth in California

marian may
marian may
10 months ago
Reply to  rodney foy

it became political by people demanding a political response instead of taking personal responsibility. Public health is a known danger point but people who speak about those dangers generally fall on deaf ears when fear is rampant. On most aspects of health, politics is nowhere near the field. Vaccinations, however, seem to have garnered themselves a privileged position as a tool of public health, where aspirin has not.

Edward De Beukelaer
Edward De Beukelaer
10 months ago
Reply to  marian may

This is because vaccines carry an aura of a solution for all infectious issues: the magic pill. Whereas public Health (in the sense of how to become healthy and why some fall ill and others not in the presence of the same infectious agents) is a much less spectacular subject. It does not function in narrow silos which most people prefer because it is easier: hence the shape the covid reaction took by the politicians. It also does not bring the same financial benefits for the industry of illness that oversees our health policies. (Yes they do: information privately offered to me (not asked for) on three unrelated accidental occasions by people who work in health ministries of Germany, Italy and the EU…)

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
10 months ago
Reply to  rodney foy

My guess is that politicians and hitherto obscure officials suddenly found themselves with more power than they ever imagined. Power attracts, and attracts the partisan types most of all.
Meanwhile, ordinary taxpayers suddenly found themselves subjected to a bewildering raft of bans on freedoms they had taken for granted, and heavy-handed enforcement. Remember the police helicopters harassing hill walkers?
The unmistakeable glee that so many took in lockdowns, new restrictions, enforcements, closure of businesses etc made the rest of us look again at our neighbours and wonder what strange animus had inhabited them.

rodney foy
rodney foy
10 months ago

Some in the police seemed to take the absurd view that if you were outside relaxing or enjoying yourself then you must be spreading the virus, even if you were at a considerable distance from anyone else. People were fined for looking after their mental health !

stephen archer
stephen archer
10 months ago
Reply to  rodney foy

Another reason is the total failure of public health authorities in the UK to give informed, science/evidence based and consistent advice and directives to the government. By that I mean SAGE, Ferguson/Imperial College, self-appointed spokespersons from SAGE and other freestanding academic figures. Compare to Sweden who had an incompetent and evasive PM but where the government were given evidence based advice and directives in a sensible and consistent manner by the public health agency, thanks to experienced epidemiologists Tegnell and Giesecke.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
10 months ago
Reply to  rodney foy

“Yes, how did covid end up being political?”

Haha, only a sheep could ask that question…..

Because it is a Plandemic – it is NOT about health, it is all about Political and economic oppression and New World Order of the Elites to take all the money and political power and creating a New Feudalism, and this means breaking the working people and democracy.

Warren T
Warren T
10 months ago
Reply to  rodney foy

It is due mainly to social media algorithms. Each side only gets presented with half the information required to keep them clicking on the bait. Watch “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix.

Antony Hirst
Antony Hirst
10 months ago

I think there is a gross misconception regarding vaccines. Vaccines are not science. The development of vaccines and drugs is actually engineering. Engineering reflects current scientific understanding in the form of applications. Engineered products and never perfect, full of compromises, faults and other abnormalities. Successful engineered products that have stood the test of time were blessed with only minor faults.
COVID vaccines have not stood the test of time. There are plenty of papers highlighting the potential risks of full-length spike proteins and issues with DNA recombination, potentially affecting long-term health. Only the test of time will tell who is right. That is why, anybody not at risk of COVID, is foolish to willingly become vaccinated.

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
10 months ago
Reply to  Antony Hirst

Engineering is science in that it follows a rules based order.
Point taken though, in the sense that the vaccines are not medicine but engineering,

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
10 months ago
Reply to  Antony Hirst

I do have some misgivings about the untested long term effects of these vaccines. However at my age they appear to be efficacious enough in reducing severe disease to be worth the risk.
If I were under 40, thus at much lower risk of disease and much higher risk of long term effects (which would only become evident after my time in all likelihood) I may not have taken the vaccine, and would certainly have given it a lot more thought.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Antony Hirst

I took the vaccine because I wanted to travel and I want to travel soon. My decision had nothing to do with Covid, but the response to Covid. I have already spent my 2 years post retirement locked up. I haven’t got time on my side to wait this madness out. Will I take the booster? I surely hope I don’t have to and yet in the face of Omicron (the incredibly mild version of the disease), we see the tyrants doubling down and putting foot to floor on mandates. Do they fear the retribution from their people?

Antony Hirst
Antony Hirst
10 months ago

Indeed. I don’t think taking the vaccine to maintain your freedom would come under the heading of “willingly.” Unfortunately, I am vaccinated. But not through choice. As my job requires constant travel, it is tacitly contractual that I maintain all required vaccines for the countries I am likely to have to operate into. Despite being in my mid 50’s, I hold absolutely no fear of COVID and am at much greater risk just commuting to work.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Antony Hirst

Exactly. It is reprehensible that people are being menaced into this

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  Antony Hirst

Travel to Cyprus.
My friend told me that you can buy covid certificate there without getting jabbed.
I know two other countries where you can do the same.
Surely, there must be many more.
Is there any way of knowing whether someone was really vaccinated?

Art C
Art C
10 months ago
Reply to  Antony Hirst

Well, I travel around mainland Europe and one way I have observed is to just purchase a certificate. No doubt some of you heard about the ones generated in France at the end of October last year. ( https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/eu-investigating-leak-of-private-key-used-to-forge-covid-passes/ ) Even Adolf got one 🙂 They were valid in the sense that they were generated with valid (stolen) encryption keys which had also been used to generate thousands of valid certificates. Another ruse I heard of in some health departments in France was for a small fee you went in for the vaccine, it was squirted into the bin & you were then processed as a “valid” vaccinated individual. Makes you wonder about the reliability of those high vaccination numbers Macron likes to tout!
The weakness of the whole system is that the government is relying on the businesses to do their dirty “commissar’s” work of checking vaccination status. There is no carrot for a business, only a stick (fine) if they don’t scan. In so far as an incentive does exist it is to realise a green check mark as quickly as possible so that a customer can enter an establishment; correlation with ID documents never occurs. Finally, whether using a fake, borrowed or valid certificate always print it out. There is no law which says you have to have a smartphone. With a printed certificate cross checks are less likely & less comprehensive. Also, if you take a long time extracting your printout from a deep pocket and unfolding it you are frequently waved through by impatient scanners who have more important things to do.

Richard Doehring
Richard Doehring
10 months ago

A bit like you, I am “double vaxxed”, not from conviction, but to prevent myself from alienation from family and friends, inability to enter a coffee shop. New Zealand has just amended its vaccine mandate for healthcare workers to require a booster. How long before this evidence-deficient requirement is extended to the vaccine pass essential for even a semblance of normal life?

Art C
Art C
10 months ago

You should never have complied in the first place!They’ve got your number now. You’re hooked. The definition of fully vaccinated will just continue to be updated to only applying to the latest booster.

stephen archer
stephen archer
10 months ago

Same here. I thought the vaccine would be enough until they moved the goalposts and I’m incensed at being coerced into taking the booster, which I’m holding out on until I have to travel. If it stopped spreading I could understand it but it’s just a nonsensical and evil abuse of power.

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago

I am in the same position.
I retired earlier to travel.
So i decided to get jabs to do it.
Otherwise cost of testing and quarantine is too much for average person.
That is why government introduced covid restrictions to force people to take vaccines.
I was born in communist country and I am afraid we are heading down the same road towards China model of totalitarian capitalism.

Art C
Art C
10 months ago

They do. Some of the rats have begun breaking ranks the last week or 2.

Anita Sorkin
Anita Sorkin
10 months ago
Reply to  Antony Hirst

I concur with your comments. To your points although lengthy the 7 Jan video on Rumble with Dr. Michael Yeadon and others is a gem of a discussion on the V and so much more.

Peta Seel
Peta Seel
10 months ago

Trying to nail vax-mania to the left or right only serves to obfuscate the underlying issue. The authoritarian mind will attach itself to whichever political ideology is in the ascendancy and use it as a Trojan horse. It doesn’t alter the basic evil of the authoritarian mentality though.

Michael K
Michael K
10 months ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

Exactly. Extremism is the problem. Science does not point in one direction exclusively, but can only be unraveled with conscientious discussion, and even then only in part. Extremism kills discussion. Thus, anybody who tries to force you to do something “in the name of science” doesn’t actually know what they’re talking about.
Edit: Though I would like to add that the authoritarian spirit is currently to be found vastly on the aisle of what was once called the liberal left. That today, left doesn’t mean what it used to mean, and that it’s certainly not liberal any longer, should of course be quite clear.

Last edited 10 months ago by Michael K
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
10 months ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

The Liberal/Left are the useful Idiots of the Global Elites. They use the postmodernism, Neo-Marxism, of the ‘Frankfurt School’ to destroy the West. As this all is a created incident, a plandemic. (the workers have had their savings destroyed by inflation caused by printing money enough that it doubled the wealth of the ultra wealthy, and all people divided into antagonistic camps).

The vax mandates they were totally for political purposes – nothing to do with health. It is a global conspiracy as horrific as 1932 and the rise of Fas *ism.

Michael K
Michael K
10 months ago

As so often, context is important. It’s not that pro-vax people are good, and anti-vax people are bad (or the other way around), it’s actually much more confusing than that due to the multiple layers of intellectual dishonesty that have been built throughout the last two years.
Assuming that the vaccine was actually working as intended, as is regularly claimed by news outlets, the part of society that wanted this vaccine would have just taken it and never mentioned it again. In fact, we wouldn’t have discussed COVID at all for the last year. Technically speaking, a run on intensive care units during winter season is nothing special, as it has happened many times in the past few years. I’m not saying it should be ignored or it wasn’t an emergency, I’m just saying that under other circumstances, this would have barely made the news for a week or two.
So why are we still being gripped by the COVID narrative, even though we have a supposedly miraculous vaccine and relatively reliable tests that we can even use at home? Again, it’s because of intellectual dishonesty.
Every outlet will have told you, in varying order, that the vaccines may or may not:

  • prevent infection and transmission
  • be better than natural immunity
  • reliably prevent hospitalization and death
  • reduce viral load
  • need a booster
  • be effective against Omicron
  • provide lasting protection after two, three or four shots
  • be free of serious side effects

Sometimes the same outlet will post two articles only days or even hours apart, often even from the same author, of which one tells you that x is correct, while the other tells you x is incorrect. It has been like this from the very beginning. Thus,
“The vaccines are completely safe”
is followed by
“Two young women suddenly die from AZ-related blood clots”
back to
“The benefits still outweigh the risk”
and we end up at
“The vaccines are completely safe”

It’s the same game with the effectiveness. It’s miraculously effective -> it’s somewhat effective -> it’s ineffective without a booster -> it’s more effective than ever after the booster -> you may need yet another booster three months in.
Look, I have a degree in pharmaceutical biology, I read the studies, I followed the science (the actual one, not the headlines). Our knowledge base did not change that fast. Most things were obvious months, even a year before they ended up in the news. They didn’t do this because the situation changed and they adapted. Like I said, sometimes the views changed within hours. It was, and is, intentional. People are intentionally being confused and deceived, so the whole thing can be turned into a cult. It’s called cognitive dissonance. The people who take the vaccine know that it isn’t actually that effective, and not all that safe, but now they’ve taken it, they want to be right. Now they want others to take it as well, to prove to everybody that their decision was correct. And – how convenient – the news and politicians say that everybody needs to take it, otherwise it’s not going to be effective. Meanwhile, the anti-vaxxers say that this thing is going to kill you or something like that, because otherwise, the politicians wouldn’t be so dead set on pumping mRNA into everybody and their dog’s bloodstream. And they have a point. But again, the point is to confuse people out of their minds, so that nobody is able to think clearly anymore. And it is working!

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

I’m afraid I’ve lost patience with the pro-vax crowd – unless those are the ones who preach tolerance and individual choice. Don’t see too many of those around.

Michael K
Michael K
10 months ago

Agreed. My point is, without the constant cognitive dissonance, there would not be as many extremistic pro vaxxers, and as a result, the other side would also be less radicalized.
If media coverage were honest, people could say “I took the vaccine because I want an extra layer of protection against COVID, but I fully understand if other people refuse it. After all, there are concerns about effectiveness and possible side effects.”
Instead, what people now say is “Taking this miracle of a vaccine is necessary to protect society. If it doesn’t work, that’s only because some people have not taken it.”
The latter is not only wrong, but it’s a dangerous standing point that near nobody would take if all the facts were actually discussed.

Orlando Skeete
Orlando Skeete
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

I agree completely. I did a lot of research up front when deciding whether or not I would choose to be vaccinated. However, that is nothing compared to the sheer volume of information I have consumed after the vaccines have been mandated.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

I don’t normally read such a long comment, especially if it uses styled text, but for some reason I made an exception. Glad I did. Very good, thanks.

Warren T
Warren T
10 months ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

Me too!

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

The number of people who sincerely believed that a scientist would never lie to you, because they are scientists turned out to be a whole lot larger than I ever suspected. I wonder how that one is going to hold up.

Warren T
Warren T
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

I agree with your conclusion. Confusion creates demand for news and information. Never ending confusion creates demand for never ending information (content, in today’s parlance)

JUDE MERITUS
JUDE MERITUS
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

“People are intentionally being confused and deceived, so the whole thing can be turned into a cult.”
As in my post below it completely and utterly fits the profile of a cult. It’s a classic case of Gaslighting – confusing even rational people and persuading us that we are going mad! The term was from the film Gaslight around 1938. Was it coincidence that Hitler and Goebbels were using the technique to Gaslight all their people so effectively?
See the description of Covidanity/Covidism in my earlier post below!

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

Brilliant post.
However, I am not sure I had the same experience of covid propaganda, you had.
I stopped watching bbc in summer 2020 because of constant pro lockdown news, whereas quick check of ONS data made clear who dies with covid.
I don’t recall many instances of flipping in coverage, just one way traffic.

Art C
Art C
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

As far as I am concerned the vaccine is medically worthless. A placebo indeed. But for purely practical reasons it may it easier to function under the covid authoritarianism which has evolved these past 2 years. You will also undoubtedly make some little self-appointed health commissar happy too.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
10 months ago

The left could not win an honest debate in a kindergarten. They’re all about two things: emotion and force. Where the first doesn’t work, the second is deployed. There are no exceptions to this rule. For the past fifty years, the left have been the establishment in the west. They’ve never been victorious politically, but that doesn’t matter. Every organ of the state and civil society, the professions, the Church, the media, education, the police, the civil service and all administrative bodies and pseudo-legal organizations like employment and medical tribunals and, to an extent, even the military, have been quietly subsumed into the left. Unthinkingly, the foundational assumptions we all formulate our day-to-day policies on have been drawn quietly leftward, so much so that the point where, say, a Clement Attlee or a Nye Bevan would have placed the political centre in their own time is firmly within territory which would be considered outright Falangist today.
The amazing thing is that the left have done all this while still retaining their image as outsiders, virtuous rebels desperately battling an overwhelmingly powerful and repressively evil old guard of right-wingers and reactionaries bent on keeping “the people” (in whose name all evils are justified) in serfdom. It’s the biggest gaslight in history, and they pulled it off with more insouciance than Count Victor Lustig sold the Eiffel Tower to a scrap merchant. It was beautiful.
But then, as usual, they went too far. With the reaction to covid, the mask fell away (forgive the pun) and they were seen for what they were, like the picture of Dorian Gray. They were exposed as the establishment that they actually are. They lost the Che Guevara image (or, more accurately, people began to see that Guevara was a just a murderous little guttersnipe) and they don’t like showing their true colours, because those colours are ugly and repulsive. So with covid, we go to phase two, the use of force. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here.
I’m Irish, and as such, I offer this thought. It’s not usually spoken of, even in Ireland, but one of the major — if not actually the major — factors which inspired the Easter rebellion of 1916 was the complete and profound sense of utter disgust the rebels felt towards their parents generation. They simply despised them for their totally materialist outlook. I suspect there’s a reckoning coming for the aging, grey-haired ponytails of this world, and it will come from their own children. We can but hope.

Last edited 10 months ago by Francis MacGabhann
Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
10 months ago

“There has been nothing more terrible in Ireland than the failure of the last generation. Other generations have failed in Ireland, but they have failed nobly…but the failure of the last generation has been mean and shameful… The whole episode is squalid”

P.H. Pearse, Ghosts, 1915

We will see a younger generation coming forward again now, disgusted by the weak, pathetic, obese, middleaged muppets, whose only meaning in life is derived from how many likes they get when they posted their 18th booster vaccination certs on social media.

Last edited 10 months ago by Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago

I wish you were right, but I am worried that you are wrong.
I like craft beer, so mixing a lot with younger crowd but not from The City.
Lets assume it is not just for show.
1) 90% plus far left. Main news source Novarra Media (some commie outfit, i think)
2) lack of housing and/or it being unaffordable has nothing to do with mass immigration (open borders are great and all that)
3) jobs they work in pay little but it has nothing to do having 6 million Europeans working here plus many others non EU.
4) global warming is all fault of evil capitalist system and has nothing to do with overpopulation in Africa and Asia.
5) problems in some communities have nothing to do with their IQ level and cultures. Again, it is fault of capitalist system.
6) Communism is great idea but it was never implemented properly.
7) Global warming has nothing to do with coal fired power stations build in huge numbers by China and India.
8) That there is no single functioning African country is all fault of colonial oppression.

stephen archer
stephen archer
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

I think you’ve summarised the situation pretty well. I haven’t been mixing a lot with younger people over the last few years and before that I tried to avoid engaging in discussions over such topics. When they’re a bit further along they will be inheriting the chaos and mess that we and themselves have created, but I probably won’t be around to see it.

Tony Lee
Tony Lee
10 months ago

The average age of death whether by Covid or other causes, remains around 82 years of age. It really does beggar belief that young, fit and healthy individuals should be forced to become vaccinated. Our politicians and such as the BBC (in particular, of media outlets) have created an atmosphere of fear and recrimination as far as the vaccination programme is concerned. And it does no one any good.

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  Tony Lee

What I find so hilarious with all pro vaccine crowd, many with degrees, is how little knowledge they have.
Ask them even basic questions like:
why do you think that basic masks work?
What is the effect of vaccines on covid transmissions?
Why do you think Djokovic should be banned from Australia this year but he played last year when they were no vaccines?
They just foam in the mouth and call you fascist, especially when you tell them you are vaccinated but don’t agree with compulsory vaccinations.

Anita Sorkin
Anita Sorkin
10 months ago
Reply to  Tony Lee

I hear your frustration as nothing makes sense, unless you look beyond the trojan horse. See above comments for excellent summaries of the real agenda.

Art C
Art C
10 months ago
Reply to  Tony Lee

Agree 100%. The reaction has been utterly insane.It is quite clear that the lockdowns and restrictions have not worked. “The numbers” keep going up and the same strategy is simply re-deployed. Einstein’s definition of insanity was correct of course. I just keep asking myself how much longer ordinary decent folk who do real work are going to put up with it!

JUDE MERITUS
JUDE MERITUS
10 months ago

I received this remarkably prescient blog a month ago from a Christian prophetic site, Globalwatch. I copied this excerpt. A good job I did – it’s now disappeared from the web:
“We have witnessed the birth of a new, worldwide religion this year. This is a religion – like all others – based entirely on faith. But, unlike the previous religions of Hinduism and Judaism, which each took a thousand years to develop; Christianity, which took around two hundred years to develop; and Islam, which took around twenty to thirty years to develop, this new religion was founded, became entrenched around the world and has claimed billions of parishioners in just a matter of months. This latest addition to the ménage of world religions is called Covidanity.
THE FASTEST GROWING RELIGION IN THE WORLD
Covidism is the biggest and the fastest growing religion in the world. In less than 2 years this cult has overtaken the established religious orders in terms of followers/growth. The mainstream media is like the bible to the hardcore, Bill Gates and Tony Fauci are like their prophets/saints. The vaccine is like the holy water, and we, the independent, freedom loving skeptics are the demons. No matter which facts you present to the followers it’s demonized as conspiracy theory.
A key to understanding our current predicament is the extent to which Covid has come to resemble a religion. Covidanity, has all the rituals, superstitions, sacraments and shrines of traditional religion, and for many people, Covidanity has given their lives a new source of meaning and purpose. Once you realise this, it is much easier to understand why Covidanity has taken such a global hold. Many people simply do not want to give up their new religion, and their faith is unlikely to be shaken by ordinary rational arguments which I am sure you will have already noticed.”
Vaccination Salvation is the name of the game…while most reject the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection! Humanity definitely at a Crossroads!

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
10 months ago
Reply to  JUDE MERITUS

Great – this new fantasy is fantasy, reject it and pick the older fantasy, not the last one, but the last but one, because that fantasy is not a fantasy but real. Because I say so.

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
10 months ago

I think Mary may be reaching a bit too far here.

The progressive liberal left was in an obvious minority ’till fairly recently, and so we (counting myself as one) felt we were battling against an oppressive majority which was holding on to all kinds of pointless and discriminatory ways of doing things. We liked that catchphrase of the 70s: “Do your own thing” because we wanted to be liberated from what the majority wanted us to do.

But so many of the battles we were fighting have been won – we are free to do what we want – and with such a larger part of the population now university educated, the children of we baby-boomers are now the governing/ cultural elite and are on our side. Now we can use our power to try and force the rest of society to do what we want. It isn’t religious, it’s that we see the anti-vaxxers, or remainers, as stupid. Stupidity is the cardinal sin – the most shameful thing you could be. Uneducated and stupid. Our beliefs are informed, evidence-based and right. Yours are stupid, you have no right to express/spread your harmfully ignorant views. We would prefer that you disappeared, so you will be cancelled. We’re on the smart team, you’re on the dumb team – you deserve to lose. You deserve to be locked up, down, and out.

Last edited 10 months ago by Russell Hamilton
Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
10 months ago

Your comment illustrates both the arrogance and willful ignorance of the elites. If the vaccines were sterilizing, prevented infection and therefore prevented onward transmission it would be one thing. But they don’t. i.e. they don’t prevent infection, they don’t prevent transmission, and it is very uncertain whether they even prevent severe hospitalization and death (although the authorities are claiming such).
For sure back when Pfizer and Moderna had just completed their trials, the 95% relative efficacy that they were reporting looked super-encouraging. But they, public health officials and Government jumped the gun, as the efficacy of the vaccines waned rapidly to almost nothing after 6 months. And the boosters, introduced by seat of the pants action rather than any thorough clinical studies, is even worse as they appear to be good for all of 6 weeks. Yet Governments and Public Health Officials are so invested in the Covid vaccines to provide deliverance that they just can’t bring themselves to admit they were a touch over-optimistic, and unfortunately things haven’t panned out as they expected them to. So what are we left with right now for the unvaccinated? A disease from the Omicron variant that is more akin to the common cold than some fatal respiratory illness such as SARS-CoV1. At the same time we have an adverse reaction rate from the current crop of vaccines that is over an order of magnitude higher than from all regular vaccines combined. So why bother taking the risk and get vaccinated right now, and certainly why bother getting a booster (especially since adverse reactions only increase in frequency with the number of shots). On top of that you have the fact that natural immunity from past infection is over an order of magnitude more effective than the vaccine and far longer lasting.
So perhaps, my friend, just perhaps, it is the vaccinated such as yourself who are the stupid ones. After all, you have taken a minimally tested vaccine whose long term effects are unknown, and whose safety profile is very poor. Had it not been COVID, these vaccines would have been pulled off the market back in January/February 2020 as the data was already in, as indeed noted by Pfizer in their post-release surveillance.
And just for the record I was doubly vaccinated back in Feb 2020, but I’m sure not going to get a booster as that would serve absolutely no purpose at the current time against the dominant Omicron variant which can bypass antibodies generated by the vaccines – no surprise there given the number of mutations in the Omicron spike protein relative to the original strain for which the mRNA and DNA vaccines were designed (i.e. they produce the original spike protein).

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
10 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

“So perhaps, my friend, just perhaps, it is the vaccinated such as yourself who are the stupid ones.”

Not possible, we have Dr Fauci and all the top people on our side. The other side has Marjorie Taylor Greene et al. Aren’t you listening to the science?

(Johann, I’m having a little fun here)

Last edited 10 months ago by Russell Hamilton
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Somebody clearly missed the point Russell was trying to make

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Which shows I didn’t make it very well. I’ll try again – on so many issues we seem to divide into two teams, and each team wants to win: impose its preferences on the others.

In this case we have the added contempt the progressive left feel for the other side, because the progressive left’s home is the universities, where there has always been an air of superiority – “we are smarter therefore right”. That’s their justification for imposing their views on the anti-vaxxers, they have the imprimatur of qualifications.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
10 months ago

2nd time round is a charm. Totally agree with you.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
10 months ago

It would do wonders if the intelligent discovered that intelligence is the ‘loser prize’, coming in a very distant second to wisdom in the ‘what’s needed to live a good life’ contest. Then we might start on unburdening ourselves of the class of people who think they are too intelligent to need any wisdom at all.

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
10 months ago

That realisation comes to most of us …. eventually.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
10 months ago

Eventually … but later and later now that most people don’t start full-time work until in their early mid-twenties and don’t have kids, if at all, until their thirties.
It’s no exaggeration to say they really do not comprehend people who started trades or unskilled full-time work in their teens and who have been working full-time for five years or more before the elite have even got their basic degree.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
10 months ago

See I think you tread a fine line. For me it worked, but just barely. Which is why it worked so well.

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
10 months ago

I disagree. I have no desire to impose my preferences on anybody, I just wish that the left would behave in the same way.

Deborah H
Deborah H
10 months ago

Smarter? The age of specialization may make someone smarter – in one area. No common sense when they dismiss natural immunity. I have liberal friends (um.,. I thought I was one… but maybe I prefer anarchy now) and even though they’ve had Covid (like my family – pre vaccine) they are still vaccinating themselves and their elementary school children who all had Covid. Is this really smarter? My circle of chiropractors, naturopaths, herbalists, acupuncturists, homeopaths… all went to university and I think they’re pretty smart. But many, many of them are not taking the vaccine. It’s not just this myopic liberal vs conservative narrative. The holistic healers are collateral damage.

Warren T
Warren T
10 months ago
Reply to  Deborah H

Very insightful indeed. We have extremely “smart” people walking around who cannot even change a lightbulb or unclog a toilet.

stephen archer
stephen archer
10 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

If what you say is true then we’re talking about a booster every 2nd month. Which European country will be first out of the blocks this spring with a fourth dose? My money’s on Austria or maybe Italy. Even the 3rd dose is totally unnecessary and unmotivated for combatting Omicron and hopefully if it is not superceded by something more virulent then governments will come to their senses but it maybe is too much to hope for.

Michael Miles
Michael Miles
10 months ago
Reply to  stephen archer

The Canadian government is purchasing enough “vaccine” to supply the population into 2024. Buy Pfizer stock!

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
10 months ago
Reply to  stephen archer

Will be interesting, especially as the WHO has just come out against a 4th booster.

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Great post clearly presenting case for not getting jabbed.
I am triple jabbed for travel reasons.
However, I feel that Mr Hamilton just described views of so called elites, not that he supports these views.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

I did indeed miss Russel’s point at first reading but he explained it a second time, and I agree with him.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

“..and it is very uncertain whether they even prevent severe hospitalization and death (although the authorities are claiming such).”
They have effectively lied to us about everything else why should we suppose the claim about preventing hospitalization is true?

stephen archer
stephen archer
10 months ago

If Delta or another similar variant had still been around it might have been possible to judge the efficacy of the vaccine in relation to the hospitalised unvaccinated. The fact that Omicron is milder just muddies the waters, as does the status of the vaccinated (2 or 3 doses? how long since the last dose?) How it’s possible to categorically insist that the vaccine is effective in preventing serious illness for Omicron is beyond me. They must be using statistical modelling of different variables. How dependable could that be?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago

Covid days have increasingly flipped everything on its head. What has happened is that most of the team that thinks they are smart have turned out to be the dumb team. They have blindly bought into the carefully crafted and managed narrative created by the ‘Directors’ and cannot see even the most obvious illogic. They cannot follow the large dots that illustrate corruption. They cannot see the smoking guns. They believe in ‘the one science’ that is fed them. They feel smug in the knowledge that they are moral, because they lack the perspective to realize they have killed more people by protecting a few.
I do wonder why Hiltzik doesn’t mention the fact that there is no regulation of what people eat – this must be the biggest cause of hospitalization and death as it is a driver of heart disease, cancers and the like.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago

When I told a woman serving me in a cafe that I did not believe that masks were effective, she called me a flat Earther and said that she followed the science.
I should have responded that if the right people had told her the earth was flat she would have called me a round Earther.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago

Go directly back to that cafe and tell her that 🙂

Art C
Art C
10 months ago

Tell her only a real flat earther would claim dogmatically that masks were effective

Margaret D
Margaret D
10 months ago

In addition to every other way to stay healthy all year long. Why didn’t Fauci, et al, ever talk about taking Vit D, Vit C, Zinc and getting regular exercise? We know why, and that’s why this is all the more amoral and illogical.

Warren T
Warren T
10 months ago

I’m waiting for those food restrictions to take place. Just imagine the looks some people will get when they enter a McDonalds or an ice cream shoppe.
Then it will be those of us who still drive a gas powered automobile. We will have eggs thrown at us as we drive down the lane.

Art C
Art C
10 months ago

You missed the most important point about the “smart ones”. Insofar as they ever had a sense of humour they have entirely lost it!

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
10 months ago

The progressive left is always fundamentally authoritarian in nature. This comes from the belief of it’s followers that they are morally superior to the rest of us.
We may believe that they are mistaken but they believe that we are evil.
Almost all aspects of the policies of the left have a (supposed) moral dimension to them,

Michael K
Michael K
10 months ago

The problem with such satire is that today, there are in fact people who will say the same thing in all seriousness, torch in one hand, pitchfork in the other.

Steven Campbell
Steven Campbell
10 months ago

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”
H.L. Mencken
I am 75 and triple vaxxed. For my protection, whatever that is. I can’t remember ever taking a shot for your protection or anyone other than me. When did that science change?

Sue Sims
Sue Sims
10 months ago

Golly, yes. Partygate is clearly the Most Important Thing Ever, and we’re all just longing for Unherd to weigh in on it, aren’t we, folks?
Sarcasm off.

Milos Bingles
Milos Bingles
10 months ago
Reply to  Sue Sims

Tough crowd Julie. haha.

Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
10 months ago

Vaccine as baptism – very true. It also demonstrates fealty to the powers that be and The Experts in the administrative state. I would add to that the obligatory wearing of the face diaper, which The Experts have finally had to admit has performance value only unless it is N95 or better. Both sacraments can separate those saved from those clearly still in need of salvation and/or damnation.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago

The issue is quite simple as we learned with Brexit. Despite the liberal caring pretences, these people cannot tolerate anyone challenging their authority or control

Geoffrey Wilson
Geoffrey Wilson
10 months ago

To respond to the last sentence of this interesting article, no we don’t once again live in a religious world. We live in the same world as before. The points made about the nasty attitude of many people to the unvaccinated are good ones, the answer to me is that I (and hopefully others) will challenge those I hear being nasty. Our history shows that we do gradually get less nasty (the better angels of our nature) particularly when the nastiness is noticed for what it is. Many unvaccinated people have decent reasons for their position, can’t we respect that please? And of course vice versa.

Jerry Smith
Jerry Smith
10 months ago

As a Remainer who is anti-lockdown, with a Leaver brother who is pro-lockdown I’m not sure to what extent I concur with the idea that Remainers are statists and Leavers libertarians. But I guess if there has been top quality research into the matter then my brother and I are simply exceptions. What I really don’t get is why this should be. I’m a Remainer not because I think the EU is inherently good but primarily because I believe that the UK’s membership of it is (was) important in adding weight to a bloc that can stand against the frankly scary threats from China, Russia and, increasingly, the US. And I accept this is a contested position. But my point is that this has absolutely zero to do with the extent to one espouses libertarian or statist politics, no?

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Smith

Good. Unfortunately de nos jours it’s all about groups not individuals, types not persons.

Warren T
Warren T
10 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Smith

Scary threats from the U.S.? Would love to understand that one. The U.S. administration is busy fighting the existential threat of the rampant “white supremacy” that supposedly exists on every street corner. What fear do you have of the U.S.?

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Smith

Well, I am pro Leave and against lockdowns.
My close friend is Guardian reader, pro Remain and against lockdowns.
We are both triple jabbed because it is difficult to travel abroad otherwise.
However, I lost quite a few friends due to Brexit and now covid policies.
So statistically split between Remain, pro lockdown, pro compulsory vaccinations cohort and Leave, against lockdown and against vaccines compulsion cohort is quite strong.
At least in London, where i live.

Last edited 10 months ago by Andrew F
Richard William Pitt
Richard William Pitt
10 months ago

It is simply part of the plan. For those that don’t comply, they need to be demonized. its always the 1st phase on the totalitarian game plan. Create the internal enemy and crush them until they comply. Vaccines and pandemics are a very good way to implement mandates of all sorts. Luckily in Britain until now, we didn’t have any vaccine mandates. Lets see where we go. A great book from a US perspective on the whole vaccine question is Vaccine Epidemic: How Corporate Greed, Biased Science and Coercive Government Threaten our Human Rights, our Health and our Children. By Louise Kuo Habakus and Mary Holland. The USA has been introducing draconian mandates for some years now, mostly backed by Democratic States like California (Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom being Governors). Many other states have followed. It is very ominous and Covid-19 is simply the next phase of operations here. Bill Gates said in 2010 “this will be the decade of vaccines” and drug companies have been planning adult vaccines, ideally mandated, for some time. Well, here we are!.

Andrew D
Andrew D
10 months ago

Yes, to be vaccinated is to be baptised and redeemed. And please remember when entering church (or shop etc) to apply holy water (hand sanitiser).

Last edited 10 months ago by Andrew D
Martin Smith
Martin Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Of course in Christianity ALL are sinners, not just the heathen. Even St Paul described himself as the greatest sinner of all.

Andrew D
Andrew D
10 months ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

That’s where modern orthodoxy parts company with Christianity

anna moore
anna moore
10 months ago

It’s the extremist ‘all or nothing’ with no nuance/ shades of grey that really depresses me. My parents had the vaccines – aged 90 and 86 – they had every reason to. My husband and I did too – although at 52 and 54, both healthy and active, there seemed less need. Our oldest children aged 20 and 22 chose to get themselves done – in my mind, although I didn’t say anything, the risk of a new vaccine was surely outweighing the risk of covid to them, which they’d experienced as no more than a one day cold. When it came to our 15 year old, I read the statement by the JCVI which said that risk of Covid to this age group was tiny (mortality rate under 18 of 2 deaths per million, mainly involving children with severe underlying health conditions). There seemed no sense in my daughter having it – we surely vaccinate our kids to protect them not to protect ourselves, especially when the vaccine is so new? (and does it reduce transmission anyway with out constant boosters?). Mentioning this to anyone seems to trigger a wide eyed response like I’m a Trump supporting conspiracy theorist – and I now see that to go to Spain in summer, anyone over 12 will have had to have had two jabs anyway. Try having a sensible discussion with anyone about risk factors, likelihood, not to mention individual freedom. Can’t be done. And that blanket approach just absolutely fuels the conspiracy theorist/ anti vac movement because it’s so full of holes.

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
10 months ago

‘… should “pay with their freedoms, not ours.”’

Not exactly the shrill kind of denunciation, the above quote from the piece, that you might imagine had been heard during the Spanish Flu pandemic and lockdowns from 1918 to 1921. “Don’t spit!” or “Get away home!” might have been the more egalitarian shrieks. People a hundred years ago, I imagine, had cherished what little crumbs of comfort that they had had, and did not harp on about their freedoms or the confiscation of them. With so much death in public (coffins left out in the streets in Boston, Ma, I heard a lady whose mother lived through it describe to me), there must have been a strong sense then of having to be patient, of summoning up courage and stoicism, and of working together. Did people back then not cherish or appreciate health and liberty as much as we do now? I doubt it. Perhaps funerals were much more inclusive, in 1919, because there were mass burials. Perhaps more Bibles were read in the home then than at any time since. (A great-uncle of mine always kept his own with him: but he was at sea a lot). Even those grim or solemn activities were a kind of freedom. I suppose people back then had to use the mangle and wash their own clothes by hand and were too exhausted by day’s end to contemplate whose freedoms were less warranted than one’s own. But ignorance really is bliss. Bliss! Now there’s a word you never hear these days! Why’s that?
I’ll add that perhaps many European civilian populations, whose sons had fought and died in the trenches, felt guilty, … felt guilty for not having been by their sons’ side in the muck and the stench of battle, and therefore were prepared to hunker down, steel themselves, against the Spanish Flu, to not complain, in order to assuage their personal feelings of guilt and sense of powerlessness during the war years. It was the time to do their bit, as it were.

Stress is the big danger to many. I think that I read that one of the pieces of advice outlined on a public health notice that applied to the Spanish Flu, back in ‘19, that is 1919, was to take time to rest and relax. It seems a tad unscientific, such advice, or rather an admission that the authorities don’t know what else reassuring they can say (like Keep Calm And Carry On).

I think the American mother mentioned above was on to something when she removed her son’s X-box. GPs I believe would rather their patients, when sending them home to recuperate, do not hover over their laptops all day. “That, my young man, is no rest.” At least the youth of today can mimic their heroes in Downton Abbey and ring the bell for the servant (the mom, like) to bring them goodies and refreshments. Said bell is now a text message.
I don’t know the particular circumstances of said American mom, or her boy, but maybe her boy had bragged at one time or other of his friends being sick and gaming all day, into the bargain. Play Without Limits is the slightly malign and extremely unhelpful (to parents) slogan of one big gaming company. The mom in question has enacted her own executive unlimited powers to fight back against the prison of screens. Kids may be glad to talk to their friends – and that’s been fortunate – but the gaming companies don’t care whether the home or flat itself becomes a prison or not! Freedoms: we’re so snowed under them that, like all the gazillion channels on TV, we don’t know what to do with them. Some freedom, eh?

I think a sense of genuine freedom will only prevail when folk can put the covid menace out of their minds. The vaccinated may be envious of the unvaccinated in that regard: the unvaccinated have managed to hang onto the old days pre-covid, mentally-speaking. So to punish them for their sunnier outlook, all things covid-related are thrown at them. In exactly the same way as the stuff that keeps the main protagonist in The Truman Show movie on the straight and narrow. Never forget! is the covid menace’s message. Never, Mr Truman, forget your little happy place.

Everybody cares much more about each other than is put out by the media. A rush to freedoms, however, is no real appreciation of them. What’s undermining the pleasantness of society, what’s leaving a very sour taste, is that both too many vaccinated and unvaccinated want to do the divil and all. Bet you no Bibles were read.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
10 months ago

Ask a counter question before even declining to answer theirs. Besides the obvious, “Have you ever had an STD?” I’ve found that exhibiting evangelical zeal and demand to know whether an an interrogator has “been Saved and taken JC as your lord and savior?”… Religion seems to be more embarrassing than sex, these days.

john zac
john zac
10 months ago

Hiltzik is just reiterating the belief system of his tribe, thus validating and legitimizing their power. I do want to direct some attention to how numbers are interpreted. For instance, since we’re producing so much data, let’s make a study of Starbucks coffee drinkers correlated to Covid deaths. Since their customers are of younger age I am certain Starbuck coffee drinkers will have lower death rates. Hence Mr Hiltzik, if he were a part of that tribe, can then issue admonishments on how irresponsible people are for not drinking Starbucks

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  john zac

Not sure: the calorie content of some of their ‘drinks’ are such that an uncommon level of obesity might also come in to play.

Last edited 10 months ago by Martin Smith
Jesse Porter
Jesse Porter
10 months ago

“Mocking anti-vaxxers’ deaths is ghoulish, yes — but may be necessary,” declared Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Hiltzik earlier this week. Those who have “deliberately flouted sober medical advice” by refusing vaccination should, in Hiltzik’s view, “be viewed as receiving their just deserts” if they then die after contracting Covid-19.”
If we were getting sober medical advice, Hiltzik would be right in ghoulishly mocking us. On the other hand they haven’t yet killed me.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Jesse Porter

Would you apply the ‘just deserts’ tag to the obese, the addicted and so on? Certainly the dangers thereof and the medical advice to such people is clear and unequivocal; clearer by far than the variable benefits of leaky vaccination to the young and fit.

Last edited 10 months ago by Martin Smith
kenneth.barker
kenneth.barker
10 months ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

‘Just deserts’ can be applied to those groups morally if you believe that they are freeloaders on the rest of society (they are). We have seen the result of allowing freeloaders complete license by the massive cost to our health services of obesity and drug abuse (and also other social services and police in the latter case). If we don’t have a risk-based insurance approach to health care, there should be moral pressure put on individuals to have due concern for the effects of their actions on society as a whole. Ditto for vaccination.

Art C
Art C
10 months ago

Like most of us, I am not a scientist. But I have made some efforts to find out about the virus from reputable sources while not abandoning common sense. In a nutshell the only plausible arguments for getting vaccinated which I could buy are:

  1. “Very considerable” ICU capacity is taken up by “the unvaccinated”.
  2. Although you can contract covid at the same rate as unvaccinated people, you’ll get it “less severely”.

It’s generally futile to start a “numbers” discussion about covid: so much “misinformation” (government & otherwise); ‘adjusted’, ‘corrected’ statistics, censorship etc. etc.! But my own determination, from speaking to people in my community and on the ground in the health service, is that there is a lot of nonsense attached to the first argument and a little less to the second, at least for the initial months post-vaccination. And yes, it appears that some people do experience very unpleasant side-effects to the vaccines: not as many as reported by over-zealous unvaccinated folks; but more than is reported by the slavishly covid-supporting majority portion of the media.
Beyond the above, the most important fact which stands out for me is that an unvaccinated person poses zero threat to someone who is vaccinated. Why, then, the thoroughly nasty and often vicious campaign against “the unvaccinated”? I think Harrington is correct. The visceral hatred towards unvaccinated people by certain public figures can only be described as the product of a mindset similar to that found in religious fundamentalists. When you’ve bought into something so intensely and people confront you with unpleasant facts about your new religion you either enter into civilised debate or double down. Our vaccine aristocracy has clearly chosen the latter course: flagrant lies are routinely paraded from the pulpits of the vaccinated clerisy: you cannot contract covid when vaccinated; unvaccinated people are “superspreaders” and therefore “selfish” and “a danger” to the purified etc etc. It’s utter nonsense. And generally proclaimed in alternately sneering, supercilious and arrogant tones. As Harrington points out, the mania is veering towards outright hate-mongering now. I suspect most of these people would not be out of place in the front row of a crowd at an Inquistion burning at the stake; or an Isis beheading.
Do we really want people like this running the most important institutions in our country?

Last edited 10 months ago by Art C
Lena Bloch
Lena Bloch
10 months ago
Reply to  Art C

There is a website where one can check the hospitals’ beds capacity and the ICU beds capacity and see how many percent is occupied now and how many out of this percentage are covid patients, in the US. The maximum number of covid-patients-occupied hospital beds is 25%. In any state. All media articles about “overfilled hospitals” and “unvaccinated in the ICU” is a lie. https://protect-public.hhs.gov/pages/hospital-utilization?fbclid=IwAR2XyJmqsJQ3Em_FajavYUFDpB2LB0gnttyW0mzhR4KQ-urc_i6YaOIuKmM

Miriam Uí
Miriam Uí
10 months ago

Excellent article, well argued, Mary. Just one quibble – the links all seem to lead to the article on meth users in California. Can they be fixed, please? I like to read the source material.

Warren T
Warren T
10 months ago

or if they have AIDS!

agfraser6
agfraser6
10 months ago

Lib Dems voted against vaccine passports?

David Robertson
David Robertson
10 months ago

Interesting article.
However, you wrote: “in 2020 fentanyl killed more Californians than Covid.” That is incorrect – the article you cited was for San Francisco, not California as a whole.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
10 months ago

“…If you don’t already pray, you might as well start…”

Um, no thanks!

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
10 months ago

Though I hope we will not need a booster shot as often as pro tennis players receive new bolls during a game. It’s an expensive sport, having to put out new bolls after every six games within a set played. No tech sports company can design a ball that can be used throughout a complete pro match. Will the scientists (or engineers as another commenter may have described the vaccine designers) soon be able to design a vaccine booster that will last as long as a pro-player’s tennis racket frame?

Crikey

Last edited 10 months ago by Dustshoe Richinrut
Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago

But why Big Farma would be interested in finding permanent solution to covid?
It is in their financial interest to find maintenance solution to covid, so boosters and/or tablets are required to meet requirements of vaccine passports.
Btw, I am not sure why you think that pro tennis player frame lasts a long time?
Tour level players go through dozens of frames per year.

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

I think I got rattled by this bolls business when I was completing my piece. Thought it would be alright.

Cristina Bodor
Cristina Bodor
10 months ago

Thank you for this beautiful piece, Mary!

Ian Gribbin
Ian Gribbin
10 months ago

The argument stumbles on the fallacy that covid vaccines are necessary to protect others.
Wrong. Nobody dies from covid beyond the national life expectancy unless they are obese and seriously unfit. Thus there is no need to take a vaccine to protect others.
The vulnerable – the fat – are more than capable of taking care of themselves if they eat better diets and exercise. Nobody should take vaccines to protect those that can and should take care of themselves.

We should have let covid rip as a warning to the indolent and gluttonous.

Dan Gleeballs
Dan Gleeballs
10 months ago

Edited

Last edited 10 months ago by Dan Gleeballs
michael stanwick
michael stanwick
10 months ago

I am more inclined to also consider authoritarian, punishment/control behaviours as a result of disgust mechanisms. As an example; the behavioral immune system operates by changing cognition, affect, and behavior in ways that promote pathogen avoidance (Ackerman et al., 2018). The initial detection of threat-relevant cues in the environment triggers affective reactions, leading to adaptive behavior. From
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.647881/full

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
10 months ago

Rome gave way to Christianity leading to the Dark Ages. Islam is dated from that time. Under no circumstances start praying. The sooner religion is wiped off the face of the Earth the better.

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
10 months ago
Will Cummings
Will Cummings
6 months ago

Here in Washington state the governor is still ruling with self-decreed “emergency powers” which he justifies by citing the need to keep federal COVID relief funds flowing into his coffers. It has devolved into a one party, authoritarian state. As a result, resistance is manifested through passive contempt. People simply ignore the rules when they can or sullenly comply in such a desultory manner that compliance becomes a humorless joke. Lord help us when an actual emergency arises.

Neil MacInnes
Neil MacInnes
10 months ago

If we want to stop stigmatising the unvaccinated then we also have stop stigmatising covid.
If you remain unvaccinated and get infected the virus multiplies unrestrained and you carry a vastly greater virus load.
The greater the viral load you carry the more virus you shed and therefore the greater the chance that you will infect others.
If we are going to allow people the freedom to remain unvaccinated without stigma then we also have to treat covid with the same casual attitude that we reserve for the common cold or influenza.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Neil MacInnes

Here in South Africa only 27% of eligible people have had more than one dose, with 40% having one or more. The results are broadly the same as in the UK with much higher rates of vaccination. Besides omicron is being regarded by many specialists as similar to the common cold. And of course a severe cold can and routinely does kill immune-compromised people. So we are there already, if we want or are allowed to be by the power grabbers, technocrats and pharmacists.

Last edited 10 months ago by Martin Smith
kenneth.barker
kenneth.barker
10 months ago

It’s far simpler than this essay suggests. At the community level, COVID as a dangerous disease is now voluntary. Get vaccinated and you are extremely unlikely to end up needing major surgical interventions. However, with socialised medicine, I am obliged to pay for those who take an unnecessary risk. I am also obliged to put up with the inconvenience of COVID restrictions which are designed to protect the health service. Those who do not vaccinate (unless they are the tiny minority who can’t) are freeloaders. That’s not a moral position. Omicron doesn’t really change this analysis because the next variant may be more dangerous. It’s not a quasi-religous view, just simple practicality.

Lena Bloch
Lena Bloch
10 months ago
Reply to  kenneth.barker

Do you know why people cannot vaccinate?

Lena Bloch
Lena Bloch
10 months ago
Reply to  kenneth.barker

There is a website where one can check the hospitals’ beds capacity and the ICU beds capacity and see how many percent is occupied now and how many out of this percentage are covid patients, in the US. The maximum number of covid-patients-occupied hospital beds is 25%. In any state. All media articles about “overfilled hospitals” and “unvaccinated in the ICU” is a lie. https://protect-public.hhs.gov/pages/hospital-utilization?fbclid=IwAR2XyJmqsJQ3Em_FajavYUFDpB2LB0gnttyW0mzhR4KQ-urc_i6YaOIuKmM

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
10 months ago

Exactly who is being self righteous here? The religious metaphor is absurd. Djockovic is clearly a prat but that aside, this view bristles with complacent hindsight. Without vaccines lean capacity health systems would have collapsed, never mind the laptoperati discovering their bins would have overflowed. There was no hindsight at the time, just projections which varied- then again that’s how science works.It’s infuriating that the minority have relied on the majority to be socially responsible whilst attacking them for being so. Spare me the comparisons with Sweden please- a population of 10m in widely separated urban centres with a largely socially responsible population and today from Forbes news: ‘The Swedish prime minister Magdalena Andersson has announced a new series of coronavirus-related national measures as Sweden grapples with an increased burden on its healthcare system.’ Hands up those who are now smugly and self righteously saying ‘ well I knew there’d be a variant like Omicron’?

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
10 months ago
Reply to  Terence Fitch

Yes, the religious metaphor is ridiculous. It’s akin to say a proposal for a Bundesliga-style winter break for English football being lambasted as “a puritanical enterprise to fall in with the religious holidays and get footballers back to thinking about God and going to church”.

All the puritanical talk in the media is doing is giving religion a bad name.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
10 months ago

I don’t agree. I think there is a religious dimension to what is going on. You see it everywhere, once you start to look: In America they have these little signs on their front lawns “I believe: ” and a statement of faith follows (in BLM, ‘water is life’, women’s rights are human rights’, science is real) It’s exactly like a modern-day Nicene Creed.

Alex Stonor
Alex Stonor
10 months ago
Reply to  Terence Fitch

What about countries that couldn’t afford/access adequate numbers of vaccines and were forced to use anti-virals and other cheaper medicines. By all accounts (sorry no links), they didn’t suffer any worse excess deaths than we did.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Terence Fitch

Actually plenty on this site have commented on variants becoming more transmissible, but less deadly.

Milos Bingles
Milos Bingles
10 months ago

YouTube is major conduit of fake news, factcheckers sayPlatform is not doing enough to tackle the spread of falsehoods, claims letter signed by 80 groups.
This all boils down to deliberate misinformation. There seems to be a group of people, that fall along “leaver’ lines that are more readily susceptible to antivaxx information. When actual reality, truth and scientific fact is up for debate we genuinely have issues. How many flat earthers have been swayed by YouTube videos? Qanon has grown to a cult-like status
You also compare people who have had the vaccination as being like people that used to demand baptism. There is a massive difference, a lack of baptism isn’t fatal, COVID can be. Our hospitals are clogged with people that have refused to get jabbed taking valuable beds away from cancer patients. That’s why people are annoyed. It’s the perceived stupidity and selfishness.
Sadly we are now in a culture war where people take sides regardless of empirical evidence. They believe in populists and conspiracy theorists. As Micheal Give said, we are sick of experts. Which is a very dangerous place to get to.
I’m sure I will be shot down for this as it seems that in certain circles if you believe in science you are evil.

Last edited 10 months ago by Milos Bingles
Milos Bingles
Milos Bingles
10 months ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

. Knew it.

rodney foy
rodney foy
10 months ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

You have been shot down without any explanation of why they disagree with you, at least so far. I would like to know

Edit: Great! Comments are rolling in 🙂

Last edited 10 months ago by rodney foy
Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
10 months ago
Reply to  rodney foy

I do not know where Milos Bingles lives, but many places are finding that cancers are up this year and last. It is driving a lot of the speculation as to why all case mortality is up in so many countries with a high level of vaccination this year. Some of these can be placed at the door of lockdown policies, cancelled doctors appointments (by the doctor) and that people frightened of catching covid themselves cancelled appointments where their cancers could have been detected.
However, it has been shown that in up to half of all vaccine takers, covid vaccines can induce a temporary immune suppression or immune dysregulation (lymphocytopenia) that may last about a week or possibly longer.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2639-4/figures/5
This immune supression has caused certain cancers which were in remission to start producing tumours again — for instance, as documented here: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmed.2021.798095/full
It will be some time before the numbers are in and we can find out how rare this result is. If it is significant then Milos Bingles may have the problem exactly wrong, as a significant number of people will only have needed hospital treatment for their cancers because they were vaccinated. And deciding whether you would rather risk getting severe covid versus risk having the cancers come back is precisely the sort of decision you want to let everybody make for themselves, and not allow some Utilitarian third party (at risk for neither) decide for you on the basis of where they, and not you think the ‘common good’ lies.

Last edited 10 months ago by Laura Creighton
andrewlukecolquhoun
andrewlukecolquhoun
10 months ago

Also, don’t forget the heightened risk of myocarditis for boys and men under the age of 40 post vaccination, a group for whom Covid 19 itself is not particularly dangerous. (https://brownstone.org/articles/myocarditis-under-age-40-an-update/) It’s not as simple as ‘safe and effective’ for all. There are gradients of risk, and individuals should be free to decide for themselves.

rodney foy
rodney foy
10 months ago

Interesting observations. I sort of go along with letting people make up their own minds, but they need to be fully informed. The UK government is poor at that. (The Scottish government is better at informing.) But many people are poor at balancing risks, including our governments

stephen archer
stephen archer
10 months ago
Reply to  rodney foy

You can’t be serious! The Scottish government and their pandemic/Covid advisors (Sridhar, etc.) have no solid grounding in epidemiology. They have an obsessed dictator style FM who postures with her political Covid management strategy regularly on prime-time TV. The Scottish public, my countrymen and women, at least a large proportion of them, have been misled, brainwashed and cowed into irrational fear by a figure who should be made to stand accountable for the criminal damage she has inflicted on the country, and that’s not to mention the damage caused by deviation from what should be a national (UK) public health framework, irrespective of the idiocy in Westminster. Sorry for the long sentence, I got carried away. If she wants to degrade the Scottish NHS into a worse state than the UK one that’s up to her and her voters, but public health in the scenario of the SARS Cov 2 pandemic is a completely different matter.

Last edited 10 months ago by stephen archer
rodney foy
rodney foy
10 months ago
Reply to  stephen archer

I didn’t say they make the right decisions, but they do explain them at length

Michael K
Michael K
10 months ago

Can you elaborate how an immune suppression achieved by a vaccine is different than that achieved by a disease, say, the common cold?
I am relatively sure that the COVID vaccine is actually worse in this regard, as we have seen an increase in cases of Herpes zoster too, as far as I know. But I wonder how the possible difference to common colds may come about.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

One theory is that the whole premise of mRNA vaccines — it is fine to manipulate your cells into manufacturing proteins — is mistaken. Far too many of them are doing this, leaving not enough of them doing other things like suppressing your Herpes and cancer. Another is that the spike proteins were themselves terrible targets for the cells to make. But nobody knows for sure, we’re still working on determining how large an effect there is at all.

Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

Do you have a link to the evidence of this please?

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
10 months ago

Evidence that it happens? You can start here:
Can SARS-CoV-2 vaccine increase the risk of reactivation of Varicella zoster? A systematic review https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34719084/
but there is lots of it.

Last edited 10 months ago by Laura Creighton
Milos Bingles
Milos Bingles
10 months ago

This is exactly my point. Correlation isn’t causation. The vaccines don’t cause cancer. Claiming they do is pure pie in the sky. Like might I add the belief in Christianity. Again someone getting better as a result of your prayers is correlation NOT causation.
You sent two papers there. One sites the case of a guy with three pre-existing conditions including diabetes. Hardly the healthiest.
Anyway my point is that antivaxx types are not scientists yet misinterpret scientific papers and think they are experts. They simply arent equipped to interpret data that takes years to understand comprehensively. I’m not a scientist and I have the good sense and humility to trust experts rather than populists and YouTubers.
Again I’m sure I will be shot down as this comments section seems to be full of antivaxx types looking for an article to confirm their bias.
The reason the university-educated left get annoyed is the brazen stupidity of those that refuse to accept facts. It’s the same as the Climate debate. You’ll always be able to find a scientist willing to claim this and that. You’ll always find a doctor of traffic history or egyptology or dr of whatever passing himself off as a medical doctor talking utter bollocks and people will want to trust him. There are still scientists that claim smoking doesn’t cause cancer or that Astrology is actually real.
Now off you go and get those thumb-down buttons pressed. haha. Let’s see if this can surpass -100

Last edited 10 months ago by Milos Bingles
Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
10 months ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

Yet it is the Americans with PHDs who are the most vaccine hesitant, even more so than those who have not been to university, while it is those with Masters degrees that are least reluctant. I think that ugov found the same thing when polling the UK.
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/americans-with-phds-are-most-reluctant-to-get-vaccinated-against-covid/ar-AANjRHh

stephen archer
stephen archer
10 months ago

If I was to draw my own spontaneous and partly uninformed conclusions, I’d guess that PhDs and those in professions are maybe more questioning, inquisitive and analytical by way of their research and career challenges.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
10 months ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

A jury has to deliver an ‘uptick’ or a ‘downtick’ and are forbidden to give any explanation of their choice: all that is known is that they have sat through all the evidence. I, and probably most of the other ‘downtickers’ have been sifting the evidence and have given you a verdict.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
10 months ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

What branch of science do you work in Milos?

Warren T
Warren T
10 months ago

CNN

Michael K
Michael K
10 months ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

By saying or implying that “the empirical evidence” clearly states that COVID is a tremendously deadly danger and the vaccine is the only way to protect yourself from it, and everybody else is wrong, you have clearly disqualified yourself. COVID is not as deadly as it is made out to be (the actual mortality rate has been documented to be close to the flu a good while ago), the vaccines are not as effective as is constantly claimed (no vaccine worth it’s salt needs “boosters” every few months), and also not as safe as many would like (the German government recently admitted a 1:5000 chance of severe, that is life-threatening or deadly, side-effects). Being one-sided is literally the problem. The empirical evidence in this case does not (and in fact, it almost never does) point in one direction exclusively, there are always multiple sides to discuss.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

Corporate media is the main disseminator of fake news. Just look at who owns, funds and sponsors corporate media.
”if you believe in science you are evil” – thanks for this amusing snippet.
Milos, it sounds like you are very scared. Drop the fear, stop sitting slack jawed in front of main stream media, take a deep breath and start embracing some truth that isn’t manipulated. If you can’t do that, I suggest some meditation and a calculation of risk from dying of Covid – even look at the inflated figures from corporate media and you should feel better (the figures are low, just couched in alarmist rhetoric). A last ditch attempt at giving you some hope – when all else fails, just know you are going to die from something and stats confirm that there is more chance of you dying from a host of other things rather than Covid.