When society is faced with an imminent threat of annihilation, ancient means of defence are invoked.
Five essential elements are especially evident in history—a leader, a pack, a talisman, a scapegoat, and a sacrifice. Thus a medieval foot soldier had a baron, his army, armour, an enemy, and a battle. To ward off plague some might have been happy to follow a priest, his religion, the sacrament, to abhor witches, and burn them at the stake to ward off the evil eye. A bit dramatic you might say. We have moved on from these primitive instincts haven’t we?
The pandemic has evoked a somewhat similar response. Our leader is ‘science’, our pack is the vaccinated, our talisman the vaccine, our scapegoats the unvaccinated, and the requirement for a sacrifice is appeased by confining the unvaccinated to their homes. For some it has been a comforting response to a much hyped pandemic. Vaccination does have a mythic history of success dating back to the nineteenth century and should qualify as a talisman with special powers to ward off disease. Similarly science is a fundamental of modern civilisation. The existence of luddite unclean elements of society, who have primitive fears of vaccination and almost certainly of science and technology too, is to be deplored. They should be excluded from the company of the great and the good. This sort of response has been associated with a certain kind of smug self-righteous nobility throughout history.
All well and good, but a problem appears when our response is rooted deeply in belief rather than rational thought. Thus the first world war had its hereditary generals, its armies, its trenches, its enemy and its bloody battles. The generals soldiered on with trench warfare far beyond any rational realisation that as a strategy it was not working. Millions of young men were sacrificed to an almost medieval ideal of a noble cause. Schizophrenia comes in when the facts no longer fit the narrative.
Here are the talismen of vaccination mandates put next to the contradictions:
- Europe has high rates of vaccination, but is experiencing a fourth surge.
- Vaccination confers immunity, but it allows transmission
- Vaccination protects against symptoms, but it wanes rapidly and disappears.
- Israel mandated booster shots, but covid deaths doubled last week.
- Vaccination is safe, but causes 50 times more adverse reactions than normal.
- Vaccination will protect society, but there is unprecedented excess mortality.
- Young people are at great risk from covid, but their risk is miniscule.
- Covid is a killer, but it is just 1.5 times more deadly than regular flu.
- Covid will overwhelm health services, but they are functioning overseas.
- Vaccination will develop herd immunity, but it doesn’t
A couple of days ago I sent out a press release to our NZ media about a paper in the journal Circulation reporting that vaccination elevated the five year risk of a cardiac event from 11% to 25%. Did our mainstream media report it? No. In the UK it caused a stir. The lack of any reaction to this and other contradictory findings is increasingly looking like a conspiracy of silence. How long will we have to wait until the penny drops?
Thomas Kuhn described the psychology of this very aptly when he discussed the warfare associated with competing paradigms of scientific thought. He referred to the anomalous card experiment. A deck of cards is sprinkled with false cards amongst the real, such as a black nine of diamonds or a red jack of spades. Cards are rapidly presented to a subject and he is asked to identify them. At first, all cards whether real or false are identified as real, this is known as a dominance reaction—we wish to impose our own truth on our experience. As the rate of presentation is slowed, moments of confusion set in when false cards come up. At some point, the subject realises that anomalous cards can exist in his universe. He has an aha moment. Interestingly, a few people never make the transition, they are trapped in their tendency to dominate their perception of the world around them and impose their own views even if they are inconsistent with fact.
It is time to review mandates and reconsider how much dominance, hope, and fear are contaminating our perception of covid facts
Guy Hatchard PhD was previously a senior manager at Genetic ID, a global testing and safety certification company which manages risk