Anti-vaxx Chronicles: COVID is socialism! But is that redemption in the end?

Anti-vaxx Chronicles: COVID is socialism! But is that redemption in the end?

Facebook is a menace. COVID-19 is a menace. Conservatism is a cesspool. Together, those three ingredients have created a toxic stew of malevolent death and devastation. We can talk about all those things in the abstract, look at the numbers and statistics, and catch the occasional whiff of seditionist right-wing rhetoric. But I hadn’t really fully understood just how horrifying that combination of right-wing extremism, Facebook, and a killer virus was until I became a regular at the Herman Cain Awards subreddit. This series will document some of those stories, so we are aware of what the other side is doing to our country.

Let’s call today’s cautionary tale “Blue.”

Someone help me out: How can the people that celebrate Donald Trump for being a billionaire (regardless whether he actually is or not) now be populists opposed to anything that makes money? 

And … does he really think that we lack a cancer cure because cancer is too profitable to cure? Is the common cold really that profitable? (Turns out that no, it’s not profitable at all, costing the economy $25 billion each year in lost productivity.) No wonder these people are such nihilists! There are demons behind every corner. 

Communism believes that the state should control the methods of production, which is just like COVID, because, uh, garble garble. 

COVID has killed 760,000 and counting. This is advanced math, I get it, but I think that’s significantly higher than 34,000. 

Now to be fair, this meme was posted April 17 of last year. But the COVID death toll was already at 30,000, just two to three months into the pandemic. The flu wasn’t killing 2,000 a day, as was the case at this point. In fact, on that day, New York State alone reported 540 deaths. 

Meanwhile, the media did kinda urge people to get their flu shots, precisely because catching it could prove deadly. These aren’t mutually exclusive concepts. The flu can be deadly, and COVID can be deadly. Crazy, huh?

When someone gets COVID, not real. They die of COVID? Not real. But someone is getting rich at their expense? No need to prove if it’s real or not. Welfare queens and free Obama phones, and sweet, sweet $1,000-per week payouts to all those lazy people—yeah, no need for evidence that those exist. Grievance politics never require verification. 

But even then, how does this logic make sense? “I will put myself at risk by refusing to wear a mask because other people are sitting at home collecting unemployment.” How … does that follow?

“They all think you’re stupid.” 

We do, but not for the reasons they think. 

Sure, the anti-vaxxers are as oppressed as Malcolm X and Black America. Same exact thing. 

Hmm, what else did Malcolm X warn about? 

“I have no mercy or compassion in me for a society that will crush people, and then penalize them for not being able to stand up under the weight.”

Interesting. Are these anti-vaxxers going to suddenly rethink their reflexive hate toward Colin Kaepernick, Black Lives Matter, the #MeToo movement, and other marginalized people fighting for equality and dignity? 

“All of us—who might have probed space, or cured cancer, or built industries—were, instead, black victims of the white man’s American social system.”

Will these anti-vaxxers acknowledge the pernicious effects of institutionalized racism and begin serious consideration of reparations for Black America? 

“You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it”

Uh oh, are these anti-vaxxers going to suddenly rethink their slavish devotion to Donald Trump and other conservative figures that lie to them on the daily? 

Yeah, of course not. None of that. So they really need to get Malcolm X the fuck off their timelines. 

Turns out, COVID is no joke. 

“Get the vaccine.” Hallelujah! Redemption! 

I get extra excited about these because Blue will be a better advocate for vaccination than any of us ever could. He’s got cred with this crew of anti-vaxxers. And he’s not being coy about his conversion. He’s as explicit as can be. 

Don’t believe the ego, get the vaccine! I don’t wish this for anyone!

Not being able to breathe, eat, sleep, burning up, freezing, dizzy, nauseous, disoriented, exhausted, not being able to smell or taste, diarrhea and being dehydrated all wrapped up in one mess.

Seriously, it sounds awful. And the reason so many are refusing to vaccinate is that they remain protected from the full truth of a COVID illness. The media might cover the devastating effects of someone’s death, but rarely do they delve into the personal toll it takes on a patient. Just how horrific it really is. Blue here isn’t sugarcoating it. It’s awful, he’s communicating how awful it is, and he’s letting people know there is a way to prevent others from experiencing that same suffering. 

I can’t imagine the loneliness. 

He’s happy he’s home, but it does seem as if he was pushed out as quickly as possible, before he was fully healed. Hospitals need those beds for someone who is in even worse shape. That sort of care rationing doesn’t help survival rates. 

I appreciate dark humor to get through a tough situation. 

His first day in three weeks feeling better. And not great, but merely “decent.”

More vaccine advocacy! Yes!

“I survived Covid once and it wasn’t a big deal” was my favorite line to use. I never meant any disrespect to those that tried to convince me to get vaccinated, I just refused to believe what the truth is. Covid is real. It’s not the flu. People are dying … Every single person I’ve had contact with that’s vaccinated, never joined me in the hospital.

This is remarkable precisely because it’s so rare. So many cling to their anti-vaxx beliefs to the bitter end, even as their lives circle the drain. The need to cling to their beliefs, however wrong they might be, is oftentimes stronger than the will to survive. It’s akin to tearing a limb off. 

And yet here is Blue, so raw and honest about his refusal to believe the truth, and so clear and forceful in his advocacy for others to get the jab. it’s beautiful . 

And it works! People listen! 

This is a COVID success story. Blue survived, and he’s advocating for others to vaccinate so they can avoid his fate. And yet this “success” still means months of recovery and physical therapy, and who knows how much lasting damage to his lungs and other organs. 

You can see that he won’t stop advocating. 

Get this guy in a PSA, STAT. 

Interesting that for him, it was “pride” that kept him from vaccinating. I wonder, was he too proud to admit that liberals and scientists might be right? Too proud to evaluate his knee-jerk “it’s my body!” reaction to vaccination? Too proud to listen to his friends and loved ones that advocated for vaccination? All of the above, or something else? 

And what was it about Blue that allowed him to work past that pride, when so many others fail? How can we replicate and amplify more of these individuals and their stories? 

And he’s getting positive reinforcement ❤️❤️❤️. I love it! 

I’m still recovering from Monday’s story, so it’s no surprise I’m currently drawn to redemption stories. I need to think there is hope. Blue just gave me a heaping dose of it. 

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