Why Are We Still Alive?
We're lucky to have immunotechnology on our side but some don’t see it that way.
Posted October 7, 2021 | Reviewed by Jessica Schrader
- When conspiracy theorist doctors write that COVID-19 is an anthrax bioweapon, truth is a target.
- Political partisanship divides our nation into believers in science and denialists.
- In this COVID era, why are some Americans becoming ruder and nastier in defending a belief?
What? COVID-19 is an anthrax bioweapon? Is it true that the U.S. government is in a conspiracy to kill off all of its citizens by vaccinating the entire country? If so, why are we—the vaccinated—still alive? From one conspiracy theory to another, confusion reigns as presented by those who believe in the dogma of divide and rule. Or is it rule by fear? Or is it self-defense shielding self-doubt?
Fear and trepidation generally come when a person does not have a fixed sense of a danger’s end. Durations give one the mental power to stay tuned for an ending. Those who have been tortured as POWs confirm that an anticipated end gave them the saving hope for survival. In the case of SARS-CoV-2, we find ourselves in the awkward position of not having a duration end.
Is there a horizon in a forest?
It seems that we are climbing the spikes of COVID-19 cases with the hope for a future end. This virus is not likely to end, but there will come a time when it will at least have a significantly diminished threat to civilization. Luck is on our side. We have enough immune technology knowledge to conquer the virus horror. All we as a people have to do is follow the truth by accepting the gift of vaccinations.
That said, other existential threats such as climate change and nuclear weapon expansions are intensifying while governments worldwide continue to ignore their responsibilities for imminent existential threats. Though COVID-19 was an alarming wake-up call reminding us to prepare for the next pandemic, governments and social media outlets—Facebook in particular—have permitted false and misleading information to misrepresent the seriousness of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Even public health authorities have delivered confusing statements that inadvertently undermine the understanding of the COVID-19 vaccine’s efficacy.
There is misinformation that vaccinated people are as likely as unvaccinated to spread the virus. From where does that come? For the truth, all one has to do is look at the numbers on state health dashboards where one can see plainly that the unvaccinated overwhelmingly contribute to the spread. One hears stories that breakthrough morbidity cases are as many as COVID-19 hospitalizations among the unvaccinated. It is a convenient oversight that neglects a statistical balance: The more people vaccinated, the fewer people there are who are unvaccinated.
In the U.S., we now face a politicized health issue that kills. Political partisanship divides our nation into believers in science and denialists. Government has one principal responsibility: to protect its people and property from harm. It was why Sumerians signed the social contract to install the first government in the known history of the world 6,500 years ago in southern Mesopotamia.
Search the internet information on COVID. You will hit the writings of media pundits and political figures disregarding science. They tout anti-vaccine promotions, false cures, disinformation about mask protection, and other conspiratorial nonsense. Why? The creed of divide and rule? One wonders. But partisan conspiracy theorists have created a mass-market cult of followers who have so vastly lost their way that they have become attack dogs biting anyone who disagrees with their wily nonsense.
Why are some Americans becoming ruder and some nastier?
Why is it that whenever I write something that follows the science of vaccines, there are a few people—they know who they are if they are reading this—who will abuse their email access to my accounts with vile, threatening words. I don’t get that from any posts other than those about SARS-Cov-2 and vaccinations against COVID-19. There is a loss of decency in dialog in the U.S. brought on, I’m afraid, by a science denialism coterie that has found a way of turning vulnerable minds away from believing in the greater social good and safer world to follow sellers who profit from misleading information. That is what America has come to.
The problem is that misinformation kills. I recognize that we are complex competitive vertebrates that have evolved from fighting for tribal interests. But as a species, we have stopped swinging from trees of the jungle 4 million years ago. Yet, some of us need reminding that we have advanced far enough to come down to walk on solid ground.
I try not to generalize personality groupings by party affiliation. But I am tempted to question why opinions on the two biggest existential threats—COVID-19, and climate change—do not cross the blue/red political division lines? And there is also the temptation to ask why so many anti-vax readers write nasty messages pointing to peer-reviewed journals touting false vaccine information such as Dr. J. Bart Classen’s well-debunked paper claiming that U.S. COVID-19 vaccines cause severe morbidity. One has to wonder why medical doctors are willing to throw their careers away by ludicrously writing that “COVID is actually a bioweapon attack and may be linked to the U.S. anthrax attack of 2001,” as if the U.S. government is conspiring to kill off its own citizens by vaccinating the entire country it governs. Really?
I’m happy to read anything that gives an alternative to mainstream vaccination beliefs, even those wild messages believing that the government is putting chips in vaccines (batteries included). But why are their messages always written in an offensive mode? It suggests to me that the messenger’s anger is more of self-defense for the doubt within. If you seriously believe in what you say, why not say it in a civilized, convincing tone?
So I leave you, dear readers of a psychology magazine, with this musing: Can an angry reaction to another person’s opinion reflect insecurity of one’s belief? Perhaps this anger ties to political trends that have become a part of the libertarian dialog where politicians use anger tactics to win over others who need self-defense to counter their doubt within.
© 2021 Joseph Mazur.
Joseph Mazur, The Clock Mirage: Our Myth of Measured Time (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2020) 153.