As regular readers of this blog will know during the lockdown I became fascinated by the spread of misinformation during and since the pandemic. In fact, I would say that my interest in this parallel universe has increased since the end of restrictions as I’m intrigued by how various conspiracy theories will play out.
I’m hugely aware of the social media algorithms that encourage me to stay within my echo chamber so I consciously have other dormant accounts that live in other echo chambers, just to hear the other side. I don’t actively use those accounts other than to study the timelines of certain stories, but I have to say it’s hugely enlightening. With each mini-influencer living in their own Truman Show, you can sense their palpable need for approval, just as you can see the people that truly believe in what they are saying. They’re not cranks – they are people who believe that they’re in an elite enlightened group, and who, on the whole, are desperate that the rest of us won’t take their concerns seriously.
As somebody that has spent the last decade shouting into the void as I’ve tried to warn people about the Mental Health crisis in our industry, or more recently the threat to vocational training in the UK I really get it. It’s like living in a “Don’t Look Up” world and just not understanding why nobody else can see it.
Even more recently with the Trinity debacle, I’ve seen an organisation publicly attempt to paint me as a distraught individual just not thinking clearly in a bid to discredit the evidence that I can produce. So maybe that explains my fascination with these people – they are trying to do the right thing but getting frustrated that people aren’t listening.
Anyway – this week saw the publication of a much-lauded, allegedly peer-reviewed paper by Dr Aseem Malhotra, in it Dr Malhotra produces the “evidence” to support his theory that the vaccine injury rates are higher than we are being led to believe. Then right off the back of that comes a new documentary called “Safe and Effective: A Second Opinion“, fundamentally saying the same but with better graphics. People already sceptical about the vax felt that they had finally produced the proof that was needed to move this discussion into the mainstream. . . but it’s once again failed to break through.
Of course nip into the echo chamber of esteemed immunologists and virologists, and all of these claims are being rebuked at a great rate of knots. The information and research just don’t add up, meanwhile, the anti-vax groups are seeing the mainstream silence as part of the “cover-up” as opposed to reading the counter-argument.
What makes this even more confusing of course is that the government did dictate to an extent what could and couldn’t be discussed during the start of the pandemic. Whilst the mainstream media were quick to show us videos of the virus taking hold in places like Italy when in the UK we found ourselves in the same predicament, we were shown nightly videos of Major Tom pacing around his garden. It’s alleged that they simply wanted to keep morale high, but in reality, by keeping the cameras and reporters out of the wards they minimised the virus and fed the sceptics.
Speak to any medic that was on the front line in March 2020 and it sounds truly horrific, they were working in a war zone for months with no respite, and of course also at the beginning, with no idea how long it would go on for, but again there is a counter-narrative alive and well that there wasn’t a frontline at all, it was just “flu season”.
There can be no doubt that some people suffered adverse reactions from the vaccine, just like there can be no doubt that some people will have suffered side effects from taking Penicillin. There can be no doubt that some people have died taking the vaccine, just like the 4.25 per million people that died last year with a peanut allergy. However, like all these things we have to choose what we magnify and focus on.
As of today, 151,000,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered, and according to government statistics as of Feb this year just 15 deaths have been attributed to the vaccine.
The fact of the matter is that the vaccine has saved more lives than it has destroyed, and whilst of course, even one death is one death too many, the harsh reality is that whilst the individual loss is huge, the global loss is minuscule and in the world of medicine there is always a cost.
Importantly you can’t really campaign against the 0.000whatever percentage of deaths that the vaccine is culpable for without comparing it to the 207,000 people that have died of the virus itself – you have to work out for yourselves which is the greater evil here. What I’ve found fascinating is that so many of the covid deniers dismissed the virus as something that was only killing people from a certain demographic. So what that it was killing the elderly, it was their own fault when it killed somebody that was obese, unfortunate but ‘that’s life’ when it killed somebody in the high-risk category – seemingly all of those deaths didn’t matter. . .yet the tiny numbers of vaccine deaths. . . that’s worth halting a worldwide vaccination programme for?
To everybody that has lost someone in the pandemic it’s a life too many – be that from covid or from the vaccine, and yes, I agree to an extent that the mainstream media should acknowledge those unfortunate few that have been injured or killed by the vaccine, as that openness has the potential to actually stop the counter-narrative, instead of keeping it to an evergrowing fringe group. However what is also becoming more and more evident, is how many people are slowly losing their minds as they shout into that void, which counter-productively stops people from listening.