Fear & Vaccines
A warning about the changing narrative around vaccines, aimed primarily at those vaccinated
We live in interesting times. The Covid vaccine narrative, entirely positive in mainstream circles since their arrival over two years ago has suddenly turned remarkably sour. While trying to be ever conscious of social media’s tendency to echo one’s own thoughts back at you, it does feel like this is a real shift, perceptible to the wider public.
For instance, in recent weeks, we have had:
A British Member of Parliament call for the “complete suspension” of the vaccines on safety grounds in the House of Commons.
Cardiologist, Dr. Aseem Malhotra, appearing on BBC News openly linking excess deaths to the vaccines.
Conservative commentator and Trump supporter, Rochelle Hardaway, speaking at a memorial service for her sister and co-commentator, Lynnette Hardaway, who died suddenly this month at the age of 51. In front of President Trump, who took the stage just after her, she pleaded with America “to wake up” and to get “answers as to why our people are falling dead suddenly.” If anyone thought she would stop short of directly linking the vaccines to her plea out of respect for President Trump who, of course, considers himself the Father of the Vaccine and continues to strongly defend them, she disavowed them of that notion quickly by adding: “Instead of asking if Americans are vaxxed or unvaxxed, the real question is - are they being poisoned.”
Dilbert cartoonist, Scott Adams, an early supporter of vaccines and of vaccine mandates, declares that “the anti-vaxxers are clearly the winners.” Adams, in a lengthy YouTube video, seems to acknowledge that much of the initial vaccine-supporting data is flawed and that unvaccinated people with natural immunity are in a stronger position than those vaccinated.
All of this appears to be having real-world impact as the Sunday Times recently reported that “barely anyone aged 18-49 in Ireland takes second Covid booster.” This is in a country which has hitherto been incredibly compliant with Covid restrictions and vaccine drives.
The cat, as they say, appears to be out of the bag.
So, what specifically is fuelling this change in attitude?
Some of it is not new but, allied to more recent concerns, it has perhaps begun to tip the scales. For example, we have, for some time now, been aware of the complete failure of the vaccines to stop transmission of the virus. In fact, it increasingly looks like the vaccine may make its recipients more likely to contract the latest strains. This has had a huge impact on public confidence in Government and Public Health authorities who used the idea of sterilising immunity to convince (and, in many cases, force) many fit and healthy people to take the shots “to protect others”.
We have also known about the elevated risk of myocarditis associated with the vaccines (particularly for younger men and particularly for the Moderna vaccine) for quite some time too (See Section 6 of my previous essay). While Public Health has attempted to minimise the issue (Kids are having heart issues? Big whoop-do, they’re fine now aren’t they?) there are only so many parents who can be told the vaccines caused their children’s hearts to inflame before even the best and most expensive PR in the world will struggle to keep a lid on the problem.
And now, in addition to those established issues, we have new ones that finally seem to be overcoming Public Health’s ability to silence and diminish them. On the one hand, we have studies that appear to show an unexpected and potentially harmful impact of the vaccines on the quality of our antibody response to Covid and, thus, our ability to successfully fight the virus. And, on the other hand, we appear to have a runaway narrative linking the persistent, elevated levels of excess death in heavily vaccinated countries to the vaccines themselves, as seen in Malhotra’s appearance on the BBC. This theory is bolstered by the apparent increase in news stories about public figures, many relatively young and seemingly healthy, dying suddenly - of which, Lynnette Hardaway is just one example.
This latter type of evidence is particularly difficult for Public Health to counter - it’s very lack of robustness (it is, after all, speculation) makes it awkward to tackle directly and, by its very nature, it engenders emotional reactions that are impossible to control. As a result, this nascent narrative can grow exponentially all by itself with each new celebrity death and each month of continued excess death adding fuel regardless of how nebulous the link to the vaccines.
This, then, becomes the real heart of the issue - it doesn’t actually matter whether any of these theories are true or significant. While there are clearly undeniable signals of concern, all these fears might be false but they would still drive a narrative. And, once that narrative starts gathering momentum, it will be difficult to stop.
Of course, we already know this. We saw it very clearly with Covid where a narrative of fear was happily tolerated and even welcomed by Public Health as it motivated the population to take the virus seriously and acquiesce to restrictions and mandates and various other ridiculous charades such as masking and following directional floor stickers. And that fear, too, was fuelled by making tenuous links to deaths. Consider how Ireland’s Taoiseach admitted in the summer of 2020 that the number of recorded Covid deaths were certainly overcounted and not at all representative of the true toll.
As for engendering emotional responses, Government and Public Health were practically reliant on it to drive their agenda. Advice was often focused on limiting one’s impact on other people and it was bolstered by news stories of the tragic demise of young, healthy people to the virus - like the sad death of 21 year old Chloe Middleton in March 2020. Sky News reported her to be, at the time, the “youngest person with no apparent pre-existing health conditions to have died after contracting coronavirus in the UK.” This story, reported alongside pictures of the beautiful young woman, was more powerful than any Government press conference or cleverly worded slogan. The problem, of course, was there was little to actually connect her death to Covid.
As the BBC later reported, Middleton was never tested for Covid and there was no inquest or autopsy. But such clarification, arriving after the wave of fear caused by the initial reporting, was meaningless at that point. Fear does not lend itself to being retracted and Covid hysteria continued to grow and was soon completely out of control, spreading faster and more efficiently than any virus. Ultimately, it infected nearly everything with which it came into contact and its biggest casualties were the basic human rights and civil liberties which, it turns out, we had been taking for granted all these years. They simply fell away like flakes of old paint from a forgotten house. Barely anyone even noticed it happening.
All of this is to say that the Government and Public Health authorities, along with the media, set the template for what we are beginning to see now with the vaccines. They taught people to be afraid and used that fear to cow the population into compliance. It’s hard, therefore, to have sympathy when their template now threatens to backfire against them and their billion-dollar miracle drugs. However, on the other hand, it is not hard to have sympathy for the victims of that fear - people who were manipulated into fearing a virus for three years and who now face fearing the effects of the very thing that was meant to save them and which, in many cases, was forced upon them. The common theme and the common enemy here is fear. And that, in this writer’s opinion, is the true danger - far more so than an exaggerated virus or a potentially dangerous vaccine.
It was fear that was used by weak governments to lockdown their countries, to shutter their health systems and condemn millions of people around the world to lonely deaths in “care” homes. It was fear that pushed a calamitous overuse of ventilators that almost certainly hastened the demise of, rather than prolonged, many lives. It was fear that delayed cancer screenings and diagnoses - the price for which is likely being paid as we speak and was paid directly by two of my own uncles, suddenly and quickly, this last year. It was fear that shut schools and masked children. It was fear that allowed segregated society and legalised discrimination to be introduced to our countries. And it was fear that hobbled our economy and ruined so many lives and businesses. That is the legacy of fear, loosed onto the world in a vain effort to stop a middling virus.
But even all this is only one side of what fear does. Because, on the individual level, fear is also incredibly destructive. We know this from the power of the placebo effect - something all proper scientific studies must take into account in order to produce genuine results. People who believe they are receiving a restorative medicine often get better even when they are, in fact, receiving a placebo. Equally, there is the nocebo effect whereby people who believe they have taken a dangerous substance exhibit the presumed negative effects of that substance even though they have, in fact, taken something benign. This is a real, observed phenomenon and the consequences of it in a world where billions of people begin to think that they have allowed poison to be injected into their bodies are potentially disastrous.
As Scott Adams says in his video, mentioned above:
The thing they (the unvaccinated) are not worrying about is what I have to worry about, which is: “I wonder if that vaccine five years from now…”
He leaves it unsaid but the implication is clear. As bad news after bad news comes out about the vaccines and it begins to worm its way into the mainstream media and eventually into the ears of all those people who took these shots, they may begin to worry that this substance inside their bodies will kill them - that they’ll just drop dead one day as suddenly and as unexpectedly as those they hear about on the news. They may spend the rest of their lives worrying and what poor lives those will be. And, as more and more stories emerge and more and more news attention is given to it, the kind of hysteria we saw with Covid may well take over again. Fear, in other words, will take over. And fear is not a recipe for good health and good life. Fear kills. If you believe you are sick, the nocebo effect tells us you might as well be sick. Often, the body will follow where the mind leads. As such, it barely matters what is actually inside these vaccines - they could be saline or empty syringes but so long as there’s fear in them, they can be hugely harmful nonetheless.
So, what am I saying? Am I saying the vaccines are really harmless and any damage is and will be purely psychological? No. I don’t know the true harms of the vaccines. I suspect they are harmful but not, hopefully, in the apocalyptic way that some commentators depict them. I suspect they are harmful in the way many other pharmaceutical products, devised by companies primarily focused on profits rather than safety, are harmful. That is, they are harmful in a way that can, in most cases, be overcome - either through discontinuing their use or by the sheer strength and resilience of your own body (and mind). Our bodies are extraordinary things - they can and do overcome a lot. More than anything, what I suspect is that fear will make whatever harms they do contain much worse. Fear will take a manageable problem and turn it into an insurmountable one.
Ultimately, what I am saying is: Do not be afraid. Three years ago, an horrendous wave of fear was deliberatley unleashed onto the world and it drowned many, many people. All of us, vaccinated and unvaccinated, have spent enough time living in fear. Enough of us have been damaged by it already. Whatever this fresh wave of fear that seems to be building both in the establishment media and the anti-establishment media (Twitter, Substack, etc.) brings, it is the fear itself, rather than the subject of the fear, that may pose us the greatest threat.
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933
This is so wise and incredibly well stated. I wrestle with this daily as my clueless husband, who has now left me, has driven me into a frenzy by jabbing our super healthy teenage boy 16 months ago against my begging and pleading. I am NOT about to let him off the hook by allowing him to say NOW, be not afraid. The fact that he would saddle me with such angst and fear over our child's health is beneath contempt, in my view. And he was never afraid of the virus....just not fitting in. Just not letting our son attend a certain school. So utterly STUPID!! Sure, I can PRAY that our son was given a placebo, or that his body has cleared it with the supplements that I gave him, or that my prayers have been answered. But I do not see HOW I can live, first, with the knowledge that my husband dismissed my concerns and deeply held beliefs, and second, with NO FEAR that this horrendous blunder should go unnoticed and can basically, now just be over looked. NO. He can not be let off the hook like this. But then again, that keeps ME on the hook. FOREVER. And I FEAR that is my fate. I will forever worry for my child and be wounded by the thought that my life partner turned against me after almost 30 years together in a time of such anguish. Such a trauma will be hard to forget.
Another great article Damian.