Anti-vaxx Chronicles: Friends don’t let friends die of COVID, unless you’re anti-vaxx

Anti-vaxx Chronicles: Friends don’t let friends die of COVID, unless you’re anti-vaxx

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 serieswill document some of those stories, so we are aware of what the other side is doing to our country.

Today’s cautionary tale features the stupid leading the stupid.

Let’s call today’s headliner “Magenta.”

“Hi, I don’t understand science, and I can’t be bothered to actually learn something new, so instead I will pretend that it’s all so dumb.” 

I hit the Google machine to find out more about this delta plus variant. Weirdly enough, it had answers!

Earlier in the pandemic, different worrisome variants popped up, like Alpha in the U.K., Beta in South Africa, Gamma in Brazil, and Delta in India (or at least, those were the countries where the strains were first noticed). Those variants shared some of the same mutations, but they all emerged independently.

Now, with Delta so dominant globally, experts anticipate that future variants that raise alarms will almost certainly be descendants of the original Delta strain — just like AY.4.2.

Well, now we know why it’s a “plus” and not a brand new greek-lettered variant. But I guess posting a stupid meme is easier than actually learning.

Magenta is breaking type. Usually, these people say “I heard.” It’s rare to see any of them claim to read. Still, no citations, of course. 

I looked up Gibraltar, the tiny rock-sized British protectorate on the tip of Spain. It is 2.3 square miles large, with 34,000 inhabitants. With 98 COVID-related deaths, it has the 8th largest per-capita official death rate in the world. (Stress on the “official,” since we know many countries have lied about their death rates, and many more don’t have the infrastructure to keep a proper count.) It also has an over-100% vaccination rate, which is possible because thousands of Spaniards cross the border to work in the high-cost territory, and they got their shots in Gibraltar. 

Covid rates are going up in the territory. But the more important measure is deaths, and on that front: 

Despite daily new cases in the 70s, people aren’t dying. “Rise in deaths” she says. I see one since August 26. And note, Gibraltar is fully reopened, with zero restrictions. 

Vaccines aren’t 100% effective, but they’re doing what health authorities have always said they’d do—mitigate symptoms, limit the number of people in hospitals, and keep hospital beds open for the most serious cases. 

The reality is that even with full vaccination, this virus will continue wreaking havoc if people refuse to continue social distancing, masking, and other mitigating strategies. We’re not out of the woods yet. But the unvaccinated are proven to be at far higher risk of serious illness and death. It’s that simple. 

“I read early on in this mess, that it’s not good science to vaccinate in the midst of a pandemic…” Good god. Yellow’s vaccinated friends are supposedly all getting COVID, unlike her unvaxxed friends. Black will point you to crackpot YouTube videos with “creditable” sources. Oh boy. 

The vaccines are not proven “gentherapie” so they probably will kill you, says Blue. Red thinks COVID tests get confused by the flue, and wants you to look up the definition of vaccine. 

Oxford Dictionary: “a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or several diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease.”

Good point, nothing there about microchips, Anthony Fauci, mark of the beast, or big profits for big Pharma. 

Yellow just can’t figure out what the “powers” want out of all this “divide and conquer” of the sheeple! What could it possibly be????? Red agrees. They’ve figured out the entire conspiracy, except what the conspiracy is. “Why does the government want to control us and kill us with a deadly injection. It doesn’t make any sense!” I mean, they could stop right there and think, “oh yeah, it doesn’t make sense!” But apparently that’s too easy. It’s better to believe that the world they are living in is appalling. 

This is a new Yellow, this one trying to talk sense into this thorny thicket of ignorance. It was a valiant effort, but doomed to failure.

Magenta thinks she’s funny with the “what happened to epsilon” crack. She was proud of it the first time she used it, and was likely thrilled to bust it out again. “Masks and vaccines don’t seem to be helping, actually,” she laments, despite the fact that masks and vaccines absolutely help, actually. 

For the record, there was an Epsilon. It came out in San Francisco, and was the dominant variant in my little corner of the world, but Alpha outcompeted it everywhere else, and was wiped out when Delta finally made it out here from India.

Purple thinks people are “starting to wake up,” despite the fact that 80% of adults are now vaccinated. Apparently, the “powers” need to keep people “divided” in order to get them to vaccinate in order to … yeah, we still don’t know why.  

No cult here, people. Well, except for those occasional Facebook warnings. That’s the real cult we found along the way. 

The party of Big Daddy Trump and Jesus claim that they don’t “question authority.” 

1) Avoid crowds to stem the spread of the pandemic, 2) unless you’re vaccinated, because that confers additional protections to yourself and those around you. Still, we know you won’t listen, so 3) if you’re not vaccinated, we’ll have vaccination tents on site, and 4) you can buy all the deep fried Snickers bars and Twinkies you can stuff down your gullet with the sweet, sweet cash we’ll give you to save yourself and those around your from suffering this horrible scourge of a disease.  

Seriously, I totally get it. But if getting a shot at a state fair or Walmart is so inexplicably weird, any Walgreens pharmacy or hospital will be happy to jab. 

Couple doesn’t want to sit with another unvaccinated couple. 

The other couple, unvaccinated, respected those wishes, and didn’t sit at that table. 

Seems to me like everyone behaved well in this situation. 

But Magenta had to be an asshole, and pretend to cough when the vaccinated couple stood in line to pay. Because a deadly plague is hilarious. 

And then she bragged about it on Facebook, because she’s a class act.

Of course, there’s a good chance the story is a copy-paste. Are there really any “tourist areas” in Iowa? Either way, she’s still an asshole.

If we elected more progressive Democrats, this would absolutely happen. 

These might be the weirdest meme genre in the anti-vaxx community. “Why don’t they give you other life-saving medicine for free? HA BUSTED!”

1) Cancer isn’t transmissible, except for HPV, and we’re happy to give people free vaccinations for that (and wouldn’t you know it, conservatives don’t like that one either). 2) With universal health care, yeah, you wouldn’t have to worry about medical bankruptcy to deal with medical procedures. 

That said, universal health care isn’t free, we’d pay for it through taxes. But a progressive taxation regiment would shift much of that burden to the wealthy, so yes—for most of the people posting these memes, life-saving cancer medications would end up being highly subsidized, if not free.  

IT’S NOT COVID IT’S THE FLU TESTS ARE RIGGED.

What a difference one week makes. Apparently, it was COVID. And worse than that, had she gotten tested and come up positive, she would’ve been eligible for monoclonal antibodies. Instead, because she thought the tests were rigged, she can’t take one of the few treatments proven to dramatically improve survival rates. 

Meanwhile, she infects her husband, who thankfully qualifies for the Regeneron. 

She had horses! And the Ivermectin didn’t work? 

Of all these Chronicles, this might be the first time that someone has lost their life because they didn’t trust the COVID test. The vaccine “only lessens your severe symptoms” she wrote. Well, that sure as heck would’ve come in handy, given her, uh, ultimate symptom. 

I wonder if her friend who told her not to bother getting tested, because “the tests are rigged anyway” will feel bad about it. 

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