LIKE many people, I went along with the first lockdown. I wasn’t very keen, and I was somewhat critical of it, but I believed the lie that it would be a temporary one-off measure. From the time of the second lockdown, I have been vehemently opposed to the policy. While I have never denied that Covid can be a nasty life-threatening illness for some people, I am critical of the way that governments have manipulated data to exaggerate the extent of the threat.
When Covid 19 vaccines were first rolled out in the UK and around the world in late 2020, we were promised by Western governments and their teams of scientific ‘experts’ who wield enormous, unaccountable power, the media and Big Pharma that the vaccines were a game-changer and that mass vaccination would lead us back to some kind of normality. I was initially very resistant to take the vaccine because it is a new drug with no long-term data regarding side effects and risks. I also have two autoimmune conditions, and while they are easily treated, I am genetically predisposed to a third one that can be quite serious.
However, in the end, and with much hesitation due to the already known side effects and autoimmune risks, I took the Pfizer vaccine. I did so for several reasons. Firstly, I am around my elderly parents a lot, and I thought I would be protecting them as I believed the ‘experts’ that the vaccines would significantly reduce transmission.
This has turned out to be false.
Secondly, I was convinced by the data that seems to show that getting vaccinated almost entirely eradicates the chances of someone my age ending up in hospital with a severe case of Covid. Due to fitness and age, my risk of serious illness was already low, but as a neurotic who is sometimes prone to viewing the glass half empty, I admit to having moments when I worried that I might be one of those outliers for my age group cut down prematurely by Covid and so this was an added factor, but not the main one, in my capitulation. The final reason was because I currently reside in the Republic of Ireland where the government have been very keen to enforce some of the harshest lockdowns globally with draconian rules on both inward and outward travel as well as compulsory vaccine certificates for access to various sectors. Therefore, one of my main reasons for getting jabbed, while I still defended vehemently the rights of others not to do so, was that I thought I would be doing my bit to put an end to these hideous lockdowns and other excessive restrictions once and for all. Looking at what has happened in Austria and Holland and the refusal of both the UK and Irish governments to rule out more lockdowns, it is now clear how very wrong I was. Another way of putting it is that I’ve realised how easily I have been duped.
In recent weeks, I have become even more sceptical of everything that the UK and Irish governments and their appointed health experts tell me with regard to Covid-19. For a start, if they were wrong about the effectiveness of the vaccines with regards to transmission, why would I trust them with regards to how rarely serious side effects occur? There would be far more political and career capital at stake to motivate suppression of this data. I’m not accusing governments, scientific ‘experts’ or Big Pharma of doing so, merely noting that there is a much bigger price for them to pay if they didn’t.
With regards to coercive measures and the removal of rights from the unvaccinated, governments don’t even have recourse to the dubious argument that it’s for the greater good as we now know that the vaccinated can also transmit the virus. I keep making the argument to vaccine zealots that people can exercise their right to abstain from taking any medications due to the risks of side effects, but that many governments now believe this right should be removed solely with regard to Covid vaccines. There is no compelling moral argument for why Covid vaccines fall into an exceptional category that warrants the state using coercion whether it be direct (vaccine mandates) or indirect (segregation and removal of rights) to force its citizens to reluctantly take a medicine they would otherwise refuse.
The enthusiasm for vaccines and excessive restrictions are now articles of faith for their proponents. It has become an ideological stance that no amount of reasoned scrutiny can alter. Rational analysis of the extent of the threat from Covid and strategies to deal with it have been abandoned for the simplistic dogma of ‘vaccines good’ and ‘lockdowns and restrictions good’. The truth is much more nuanced than the doom-mongering analysis which permeates the mainstream media. Lockdown enthusiasts and vaccine zealots, like all ideologues, have opponents whom they despise and whom they seek to demonise. This is why only ‘far Right conspiracy theorists’ and ‘anti-vaxxers’ would have an issue with mandatory vaccines which can have serious side effects being given to children to protect them from a virus that rarely makes children very ill.
How have we reached a stage in Western liberal democracies when those of us questioning and disagreeing with extreme public health policies that strip individual citizens of their inalienable rights under false pretences are the ones deemed to be the extremists? Asking questions and being critical of government policy is now viewed by the obedient media class and the political elites and partisan scientific ‘experts’ they serve as being synonymous with the far Right. In truth, it is your democratic duty to question all government policies and especially more so those that would remove your fundamental freedoms. For any government to wish to suspend the rights of its citizenry on a temporary basis, it must first seek consent from the people after explaining the exceptional circumstances in which they seek to do so. There has been no public debate and little media scrutiny across the English-speaking world about whether the threat posed by Covid-19 meets the very high threshold that could justify temporary lockdowns and other extreme restrictions imposed on the citizenry.
If the UK or Irish government or any of the devolved administrations try to impose another lockdown, I predict there will be mass non-compliance. It is very likely that much of the population of these islands will conclude that if several lockdowns, mask mandates and ‘game changing’ vaccines have not eradicated transmission, why comply with another lockdown, possible financial ruin and separation from loved ones? What would be the purpose? As someone once said (it wasn’t actually Einstein): ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.’