in due course of time ….
If we can accept that this is true, then the only question is whether vaccination will result in more people living longer and better than not having the vaccine. Or, translated into a personal question, what are the odds of my having either a shorter life or an otherwise constricted life in some way if I don’t have a vaccine compared with the odds of these if I do have a vaccine?
Looked at in this way, the issues which arise are connected with how I can make that assessment: what information is relevant and useful, how can I understand what I am told, and do I trust the sources of that information? And therein lies the whole can of worms and how what appears a simple question gets dragged down the rabbit hole of conspiracies and anti-vaxxer movements.
There’s a whole battlefield out there between what I think and what someone else feels. For very good reasons, fear, distrust and anger get caught up in our personal decision-making process. And when I say a battlefield, let me give a personal illustration of that:
Many years ago, I studied Microbiology at University and went on to a postgraduate degree in Applied Cell Science and Virology. So at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic I brushed up on some basics and launched myself into the literature with enthusiasm.
I read an excellent article explaining the virus for lay people written by a German doctor, but wanted to respond with some updated information. After my addendum was published, I received a comment on this blog site from f**kyouthatswhy@****.com who shared his suggestion to me to ‘have 10 vaccine shots up your ass… and wear a binbag over your head instead of a mask’ signing off with, ‘Why don’t you just f**k the f**k off!’
Oh, the joys of blogging…
I am happy to share this tale for several reasons. It is clear that what I took to be a scientific exploration of aspects of the coronavirus pandemic evoked a very powerful emotional reaction in some. At a personal level, I found the visceral nature of this reaction disturbing, and as clear an illustration of the issues I explore in my ‘What I think v What you feel’ blog post as you could wish for. But one with very real consequences.
I will be exploring some objections to vaccination and the ones currently developed to combat Covid-19 in the next few posts, but those posts will address rational objections. The deep-seated and long-term emotional reactions to feelings of fear, powerlessness and not-knowing are likely to be a little understood consequence of a year of global pandemic well into the future, with the probability of violent expression.
Another reason I share the tale of trolling is that I felt uncomfortable not responding to my troll. The comment was posted on this blog site even though the article wasn’t. And as comments here are moderated, I chose not to publish his, largely because it wasn’t relevant to any posting at that time. It now is, so I am publishing it in part, even though I suspect that the commentator may not have read my piece on the Right to Write!