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Antivaxxers aren’t just antivaccine. They’re anti-public health.

Why have antivaxxers allied themselves with COVID-19 deniers? Simple. Both share an unrelenting hostility to public health interventions.

Let’s go back to a time, say, just a year ago. At that time, the current COVID-19 pandemic that’s killed over 270K (and counting) and resulted in over 100K Americans currently hospitalized with the disease and nearly 14 million having been infected (and that’s just in the US alone, not counting the rest of the world) was only just making itself known in China. The first cases were noted in either November or early December, depending upon the account, and the disease wasn’t identified as having been caused by a new virus until later in December 2019. Of course, one reason why I emphasize the US (other than the fact that I’m an American and live here) is that we as a nation have been hit harder than any other nation in terms of sheer numbers of deaths. As of this writing, we make up only 4% of the world’s population but account for nearly 20% of COVID-19 deaths and over 20% of COVID-19 cases. Basically, what we are witnessing is a public health catastrophe not witnessed in a century, going back to the influenza pandemic of 1918-19. Never have public health measures been so critical while at the same time huge swaths of the public reject them and deny how severe the pandemic is. Early on in the pandemic, antivaccine activists decisively allied themselves with COVID-19 deniers/minimizers, quacks, and conspiracy theorists to spread misinformation, disinformation, pseudoscience, and, yes, conspiracy theories, while launching an early preemptive disinformation war against any COVID-19 vaccines in the pipeline, even to the point of, in essence, fusing with the COVID-19 cranks and even QAnon conspiracy theorists. Indeed, antivaxxers are now a major presence at “anti-lockdown/antimask” demonstrations, often as headliners on the speakers’ schedule. At every turn, this unholy alliance has fought public health measures to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, including masks, social distancing, COVID-19 vaccines on the verge of becoming available, and anything resembling a “lockdown,” all using misinformation, bad science, pseudoscience, and conspiracy mongering.

Which brings me to this Tweet, forwarded by a reader, which led me to take what I’ve discussed above, add this development, and remind my readers that antivaxxers aren’t just against vaccines, but rather have always opposed public health science and interventions:

As I will discuss, being antivaccine goes so far beyond just fear mongering about vaccines, but rather encompasses a worldview that fears and resists science-based public health interventions in general. Indeed, I’d argue that we should call them “anti-public health activists” rather than “antivaccine activists” or “antivaxxers,” except that I can’t think of a short, pithy term to express that idea as well as “antivaxxer” describes antivaccine activists. Be that as it may the above Tweet links to this story in Ohio Capital Journal. Let’s dig in:

When it comes to pandemic politics, Ohio’s anti-vaccine activists are everywhere.

They’ve crowded legislative hearings on bills to strip the health department of its authority to issue public health orders to stave off infectious disease.

Members have protested various coronavirus restrictions at the Capitol steps as well as the personal homes of both Gov. Mike DeWine and former Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton.

In September, several citizens filed a federal lawsuit, rich in conspiracy theory and misinformation, seeking to overturn all COVID-19-related public health orders and award $75,000 in damages to each of eight plaintiffs. An Ohio Capital Journal investigation has revealed several ties between the lawsuit and Health Freedom Ohio, one of two prominent anti-vaccine political groups in the state.

U.S. District Judge James G. Carr is overseeing the lawsuit, which ODH attorneys referred to in court documents as attacks that are “simply partisan, personal opposition to the steps the State of Ohio has taken to protect its citizens from the onslaught of COVID-19 pandemic.”

Of course, I’ve pointed out how Ohio has a particularly nasty problem when it comes to the influence of antivaccine activists and groups in its state legislature. Indeed, it was only a little more than a year ago, in November 2019, when I expressed alarm at how many Ohio legislators were either antivaccine or, as I like to call the ones who don’t deny that vaccines are safe and effective (although they all too frequently give more credence to antivaccine claims than they should) but value “freedom” and “parental rights” over public health, the “antivaccine-sympathetic” or “antivax adjacent.” Worse, as I’ve pointed out time and time again, it is the Republican Party that seems to have become the most hospitable to antivaccine conspiracy theories and most resistant to public health measures. In Ohio a year ago, I discussed how there were 29 Republicans and 6 Democrats who were lining up on the side of antivaxxers and opposing measures to tighten school vaccine mandates.

It’s not just Ohio, either. For example, right before the 2016 election, I described how Del Bigtree and antivaxsers associated with his (and Andrew Wakefield’s) antivaccine propaganda film disguised as a documentary, VAXXED, were making the rounds at the Michigan statehouse and unfortunately finding some all-too-receptive ears there.Then there was the time before the 2018 midterm primaries that I attended an antivaccine “roundtable” discussion hosted at the local Republican Party headquarters for my Congressional district by a candidate for the GOP nomination for Representative for my district. It was also attended by my then state senator (who was running for governor because term limits didn’t let him run again) and my then state representative (who, thankfully ultimately lost reelection.) They were the same not-so-dynamic-duo who co-sponsored a bill to make measles great again in Michigan by eliminating a reform by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that made it more difficult for parents to obtain personal belief exemptions to school vaccine mandates. And don’t even get me started how my former state senator, Patrick Colbeck, went from pandering to antivaxers to full-on antivax and 5G conspiracy crank. Add to that other examples, such the incident last year when Oregon Republicans walked out of the legislature to deny a quorum, all in order to prevent the passage of a bill eliminating nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates, and you’ll see what I mean..

This ideological alignment, in which the antivaccine movement has increasingly drifted to the right to the point where, right here, right now, in 2020 the loudest antivax voices are nearly all right wing (OK, I’ll give conservatives Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Jill Stein), goes counter to the long prevailing (and false) narrative that it is hippy-dippy crunchy lefties who make up the bulk of the antivaccine movement. This narrative has never been true, and evidence has consistently shown that the prevalence of antivaccine views is roughly equal on the left and the right, while long ago I noted how antivaccine views have found a particular home among libertarians. Don’t get me wrong. Most rank-and-file Republicans are not antivaccine; some are even admirably pro-vaccine. However, given how much the Trumpian Republican base has embraced antivaccine conspiracy theories, it’s getting harder and harder for science-based Republican candidates to ignore the antivaccine nonsense bubbling up from below.

Which brings me back to how antivaxxers are in reality anti-public health.

Does anyone remember the “old days,” say a decade ago, when some antivaxxers would claim that their unvaccinated children pose no threat to other children because health authorities can always quarantine them in the event of outbreaks, the implication being that the parents would cooperate with public health measures other than vaccine mandates? Indeed, no less an antivaccine figure than Dr. Bob Sears himself blithely dismissed the measles as not severe, saying that nearly every child with measles will be fine and will just have to quarantine for three weeks, a line he repeated during the Disneyland measles outbreak. Of course, long ago some of these antivaxxers would also advocate quarantining every outbreak of vaccine-preventable disease overseas (mostly in Third World nations), even claiming that vaccine-preventable diseases could be eliminated by mass quarantines and improvements in sanitation alone.

Even before the pandemic, though, it was clear that this was just a line of BS designed to convince the unwary that antivaxxers were not against public health measures other than mass vaccination. For example, antivaxxers not infrequently turned the “quarantine” gambit against vaccination by claiming that all children recently vaccinated with MMR should be quarantined for three weeks because they “shed” virus. (Disease from virus shed from those recently vaccinated with attenuated live virus vaccines is so vanishingly rare that pediatric cancer centers no longer recommend that children with cancer undergoing immunosuppressive cancer treatments need to stay away from recently vaccinated children.) Meanwhile, antivaccine grifters like Mike Adams portrayed the threat of quarantine of the unvaccinated as a weapon to impose “forced vaccinations,” while other antivaxxers railed against quarantine laws.

Since the pandemic hit the US, though, antivaxxers have gone all in with “resistance” to public health measures, as reported in Ohio Capital Journal:

Anti-vaccine groups have spent years attacking school and workplace immunization requirements, counting some of the more conservative statehouse Republicans as political allies. As the pandemic emerged, the groups redirected their focus toward curtailing a state law that gives ODH broad public health power.

The target is different, but the tactics of misrepresentation and distortion of health information is the same.

“They very quickly have pivoted from an anti-vaccine message to an anti-mask, anti-lockdown message of disinformation around COVID-19,” said Rep. Allison Russo, D-Columbus.

Their efforts, arguably, have proven successful. Lawmakers recently passed legislation that would defang ODH’s public health authority after several anti-vaccine leaders testified in support of the bill and other, similar legislation. Acton resigned in June and has kept a low profile since then.

Meanwhile, nearly 6,400 Ohioans have died from COVID-19 since March. More than 26,500 have been hospitalized, and 415,000 have contracted the disease.

The bill, Senate Bill 311, would eliminate the Ohio Department of Health’s (ODH) power to issue statewide and regional quarantine or isolation orders to people who haven’t been infected or exposed to disease and allow lawmakers to pass a resolution to rescind ODH orders like the statewide mask mandate. Worse, even though Governor Mike DeWine opposed the bill and threatened to veto it, the bill passed the Ohio Senate with a veto-proof majority, and its margin of passage in the Ohio House might be veto-proof because several Republicans were missing from the passage vote and could potentially give the House Republican caucus a veto-proof majority there too.

Meanwhile:

When it came time for House State and Local Government Committee Chairman Scott Wiggam to summon citizens to speak in favor of House Bill 618, which would require legislative approval before public health orders can take effect, the first three names he called were all executives of Ohio’s anti-vaccine groups: HFO and Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom.

It was far from unusual. The anti-vaccine crowd has offered testimony in support of a string of legislative attempts to curtail ODH’s power to fight infectious disease. Wiggam did not respond to inquiries by phone or email.

In an interview, HFO President Michelle Cotterman, a registered nurse who does not wear a mask at the Statehouse, objected to the term “anti-vaccine.”

She said she and members support “medical freedom.” Her objection, she said, is not with vaccines but with entities like employers or schools using “force” to compel students or workers to take them.

“I have friends who have been fired for [declining to take a vaccine], and I also have friends who have walked away from the [nursing] profession entirely for that reason,” she said.

Yes, sadly, Ms. Cotterman is a nurse. Let me just say to her and her friends who left nursing because they refused to take the flu vaccine and the Tdap (the two most commonly required vaccines among healthcare workers), good riddance! You don’t belong in healthcare.

That aside, regular readers will recognize Ms. Cotter’s statement as the favorite gambit of the antivaccine movement, the “I’m not ‘antivaccine’; I’m pro-‘something good'” gambit”

  • I’m not “antivaccine.” I’m pro-freedom.
  • I’m not “antivaccine.” I’m pro-parental rights.
  • I’m not “antivaccine.” I’m pro-vaccine safety.

You get the idea.

It’s very easy to call BS on Cotterman’s claim of not being antivaccine, though. All one has to do is to peruse Health Freedom Ohio’s website, which features on its front page an ad for an “HPV and COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Symposium” on January 10, whose keynote speakers include several prominent antivaccine activists, including Andrew Wakefield himself, along with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., James Lyons-Weiler, Judy Mikovits (she of the “plandemic” conspiracy theory), and two mothers who are rising stars in the antivaccine movement because they blame the severe injury or even death of their children on Gardasil. The site also lists a number of upcoming events, including a screening of Andrew Wakefield’s latest antivaccine conspiracy theory movie disguised as a documentary. Amusingly, the location of this “vaccine safety symposium” will not be revealed to registrants until 24 hours before it starts, although it will be in Columbus, OH. Oh, no, it is entirely accurate and appropriate to refer to HFO as an antivaccine organization and to Ms. Cotterman as an antivaccine activist.

Unsurprisingly, HFO is spreading COVID-19 disinformation as well (plus other ideology-driven pseudoscience and pseudomedicine):

Nadera Lopez-Garrity, vice president of HFO, spoke as well. She incorrectly claimed COVID-19 has been in Ohio since Nov. 12, 2019 — despite ODH data tracing the first case back to Jan. 2, 2020. Garrity cited this faulty timeline as evidence showing how Ohioans lived with the disease for months without problems before the March and April lockdowns.

While the Pike County Health Department posted on Facebook that antibody testing detected a November 2019 case, the health commissioner later walked back the finding, saying it was likely either an asymptomatic case that occurred later on or a false positive.

She also expressed support for the “herd immunity” theory, in which officials remove all guardrails and let the disease run its course while protecting the vulnerable until enough people have been infected that COVID-19 runs out of viable hosts.

An epidemiologist told Nature the idea would lead to massive loss of human life and “unacceptable and unnecessary untold human death and suffering.”

It’s no surprise that HFO leaders are fans of the “Great Barrington Declaration,” which basically advocates letting COVID-19 rip through the population until “natural herd immunity” is achieved, while “protecting the vulnerable.” Never mind that, as I discussed, protecting the vulnerable is not possible when COVID-19 is spreading unchecked, while achieving “natural herd immunity” is impossible when we don’t even know how long immunity after COVID-19 infection lasts in those who recover. Even if it were possible, achieving “herd immunity” to COVID-19 in this way would result in many hundreds of thousands more deaths, and that doesn’t even count the long term sequelae of COVID-19 infection in many that leave them with chronic health problems. Whenever I see defenders of the Great Barrington Declaration, I like to point out that “natural herd immunity” is a trope that antivaxxers have been invoking for many years. Heck, Andrew Wakefield has advocated it for measles, even going so far as to claim that the measles vaccine is causing evolution of the measles virus in such a way that could result in mass extinction of the human race. Meanwhile, antivaccine “thought leader” Del Bigtree, who with Andrew Wakefield made the other antivaccine propaganda movie disguised as a documentary, VAXXED, has explicitly urged his viewers to “catch this cold” to achieve “natural herd immunity,” all while blaming those with chronic conditions that make them much more susceptible to severe disease and death from COVID-19 for having brought it on themselves through their lifestyles of drinking, overeating, and smoking to produce their chronic diseases.

In other words, antivaxxers don’t just resist reasonable, science-based public health interventions to slow the progress of a pandemic so that hospitals aren’t overwhelmed and fewer people die. They actively try to undermine them by urging each other to spread the disease, all in a futile attempt to achieve “herd immunity” (or just personal immunity). Does any of this sound familar? Does anyone remember “pox parties“? Del Bigtree’s idea is nothing more than pox parties repackaged for the COVID-19 era. (Fortunately, COVID parties still appear to be nothing more than an urban legend. For now.)

Those who were surprised at how quickly the antivaccine movement pivoted to go all in with antimaskers, anti-“lockdown” protesters, and COVID-19 conspiracy theorists and cranks need only realize one thing. This was entirely expected. Antivaxxers share one other thing with these COVID-19 cranks than a tendency towards conspiratorial thinking and conspiracy theories. Both groups share an unrelenting hostility towards public health. This hostility among antivaxxers towards public health interventions manifests itself with a refusal to take responsibility to do anything that decreases the risk of COVID-19 transmission and predates the pandemic. In recent years antivaxxers have manifested their hostility towards public health interventions not just in the form of resistance to school vaccine mandates, but in proposing laws and regulations that intended to make it more difficult for local health authorities to prevent and respond to outbreaks even leaving aside the issue of vaccines. For instance, in my own state, antivaccine-sympathetic legislators proposed a law that would have made it much more difficult to remove vulnerable unvaccinated students from school in the middle of an outbreak and removed a lot of flexibility to respond to outbreaks. More recently, a chickenpox outbreak at a high school in my state led antivaxxers there to protest the order to keep their unvaccinated children at home. Since the pandemic, in addition to examples mentioned above, antivaxxers have also joined COVID-19 conspiracy theorists in portraying contact tracing and quarantine as “subjugation.”

Here you can see why in 2020 resistance to public health interventions to slow the spread of COVID-19 and antivaccine beliefs tends to reside far more on the political right than the left. Certainly, it didn’t help that President Trump politicized masks, portraying wearing them as a sign of “weakness,” and “lockdowns,” which were characterized as tyranny. However, the affinity between COVID-19 “resisters” and antivaxxers goes deeper than that and likely would have manifested itself even without Trump in the White House. Quite simply, the affinity is an ideological resistance to public health interventions based on a false appeal to “personal responsibility” and a belief that personal freedom should always trump collective action in the service of public health. True, some of the resistance is also rooted in a belief that “natural” is always better than anything human-made or imposed; hence the belief in “natural herd immunity” as better than herd immunity due to vaccines, which would result in far fewer deaths, but most of it is rooted in a belief that the individual has little or no responsibility for collective health. It is a belief that antivaxxers long stated when they would derisively claim that their unvaccinated child shouldn’t be a concern to parents of vaccinated children, as though vaccines are 100% effective in all cases and herd immunity due to a vaccine isn’t real. (Of course, at the same time they seem to think we should all risk death by “catching this cold” to achieve illusory “natural herd immunity.”)

It was never just about vaccines, and antivaxxers were never just antivaccine. It was about public health and collective action, and antivaxxers were always anti-public health.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

107 replies on “Antivaxxers aren’t just antivaccine. They’re anti-public health.”

How about pro-viral rights?

Joking aside, it’s extremely troubling to see lawmakers swayed by, as you correctly describe them, opponents of public health and supporters of measures that will increase diseases. I suspect they do not represent a large majority even in a Ohio, but they’re well-organized enough, and single-issued, so have more clout than their weight, to the detriment of Ohio’s citizens who will, literally, die or be harmed from their efforts.

Can we call them science denialists?

Because they are, despite their protestations to the contrary,
Prof Hotez describes disinformation campaigns due to foreign interference, rightwing, libertarian, health freedom**, alt med and anti-vax advocates ( most recent TWIV podcast).
Although there are the big names of course: Mercola, RFK jr, Wakefield, Null, Adams, Fisher, Bigtree, Coleman, Cook, we shouldn’t neglect small time players like AoA, TMR, Freedom Angels and myriad facebook groups as well as contrarians posting on SB sites like this. who work hard to mislead people about public health measures including vaccines.

Their collective endeavors may drag out the pandemic for years.
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**Research about anti-vaxxers shows that they tend to value “purity”/ “Nature” and “freedom” as well as disregarding the concept of expertise. .

Good article, Orac.
I also remember the anti-vaccinationist’s assurances that they’d be willing to quarantine in the event of an outbreak.
That was quickly shown to be an obvious lie with the Brooklyn/Rockland Co. measles outbreak and the cries of “oppression” from the anti-vaccinationists at the mere mention of quarantine and other public health measures… carry forward to today’s COVID pandemic and their refusal to even wear a mask let alone quarantine.
It is just one more example of how everything the anti-vaxxers state to sound ‘reasonable’ is a lie.
As you point out – They are not ‘health freedumb advocates’, they are fanatical anti-science, anti-vaccine lunatics.
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One of the latest arguments in the COVID pandemic is that the ‘aren’t afraid of a disease that is 99.7% survivable’, which should give everyone an idea of how stupid and moronic and self-centered these ghouls are.
Polio only caused ~3200 deaths in the worst outbreak year of 1952 compared to 160,000+ deaths caused by COVID so far this year.
By the anti-vax logic we should never have vaccinated for polio as it was only a minor problem.
In like manner if polio isn’t worth vaccinating against then measles, at ~500 deaths per year, is completely off the table for public health measures.
This is their idiotic and dangerous logic and Weltanschauung.
Back to the Dark Ages!
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Anti-vaxxers are insane.

It’s not too shocking. So much of their argument boils down to “How dare I be expected to consider anyone else!”

Pretty much. The entire attitude seems to boil down to “You can’t tell ME what to do!”

As I have said elsewhere, many of them are entitled people who are completely self centred.

You can see it in the ones who comment here. Despite claiming it’s about their children, their focus is disproportionately on how their child’s supposed “vaccine injury” makes the parent’s life oh so hard.

. . . Indeed, I’d argue that we should call them “anti-public health activists” rather than “antivaccine activists” or “antivaxxers,” except that I can’t think of a short, pithy term to express that idea as well as “antivaxxer” describes antivaccine activists. . . .

Might I suggest “disease deniers” or “disease mongers?” You could also use my late paternal grandmother’s preferred name of promulgators of BS, “filth flingers,” since filth was her preferred term for fecal matter.

Typhoid Mary Liberation Front. Mary Mallon after all is very much a fitting mascot for these fools.

Last week, or a week or so before, Typhoid Mary was the subject in a question on a Dutch quiz-show. I remembered the story, having read it on this blog, so I though I knew the disease. Alas Typhus was not the complete answer.

Well, pestilence parade/brigade isn’t that long. Sickophants?

Trips to the beer store have only become more and more frustrating since Trump’s loss but today was singularly horrid — maybe it was the ‘Barr betrayal’, or something. It has become a thing around here that people are putting on a show, marching up to the door to then stop and stand there as if encountering the ‘masks required’ sign for the first time only to whip one out and put it on with their face practically planted on the glass. This more often than not leads to awkward fumbling close encounters of the dumb kind as the traffic jam negotiates who should hold the door for who {an unfortunate renovation has put one of the registers right by the door}.

I was particularly irked by this one gruffy-looking, mouth-breathing bigfoot that went inside and let the doors close to just stand there before putting one on. I waited for him to exit the lot before going in. In fact, at the time I was there, most today just did not wear one at all.

https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2020/12/01/evangelist-christians-must-be-loyal-to-god-and-reject-the-election-results/ <– unhelpful

Testing here is mostly through the doctor’s office and by appointment. As far as I know, there is still drive-in testing but it is by appointment and only at the one ‘large’ city geographically central in the state. Logistically, it can be quite the bugbear for many off main interstates to make the trip. Essentially, only symptomatic people are getting tested.

It took the gov’s own county hospitals to exceed 100% capacity before mask mandates were issued — Before, her edicts were that municipalities and buisnesses could not mandate mask use for “consistency”, or something.

The hospitals do not currently seem to be smoldering ruins but that may begin to show next week as ‘turkey day’ finishes working through the Bowels of City Hall.

Not so sure its an anti-public health stance exactly. Its just possible that some of these folks believe in order to protect the public health you must first and foremost protect the individual first. Its Cranks like Orac that think the key to public health is a maintained through a ritual of sacrificing some of the weak with unavoidably unsafe vaccines 🙂

They believe that “in order to protect the public health you must first and foremost protect the individual first”? Really? Why, then, leaving vaccines aside, are they so opposed to protecting the individual through wearing facemasks and social distancing, both of which protect the individual as well as the group?🙄🤦‍♂️

Well, if you weren’t such a Crank you might also be able to admit the science on masks as a 100% effective disease preventative is not as crystal clear as you try to pretend it is. As well you pretend there are zero potential for serious side effects from covering ones face with a foreign object, obstructing airways and limiting oxygen. You pretend as if we have long term research on covering ones face, etc is somehow known as 100% safe and only a net benefit to health.

Then these folks also probably have a different worldview on what is ethical healthcare. Cranks like Orac think it can force procedures on individuals because they ‘claim’ authority to protect the majority with their dangerous snake oils and if some individuals loose their lives in the process, thats acceptable to these self proclaimed experts…….the other knows forcing medical procedures is not legal and forcing ones that are also ineffective with potential for serious side effect is as well immoral. Cranks will crank and thats why we have blogs such as this. There will always be cranks like Orac to contend with in society. Not all of us can be brilliant, some will be forced to cheat people. Some of us with open eyes see it for what it is and it is much easier to navigate……Others prefer to go through life with eyes closed and are ripe for becoming victims. And boy do cranks hate to have a light shine down on their con. Con on Orac. We see you behind those coke bottles.

Well, if you weren’t such a Crank you might also be able to admit the science on masks as a 100% effective disease preventative is not as crystal clear as you try to pretend it is.

This is a perfect example of the concrete, all-or-nothing thinking of cranks. No one ever said that masks are a 100% effective disease preventative. They are effective, but definitely not 100%. Real doctors and scientists acknowledge that there is no such thing as 100% effectiveness for any medical intervention. That doesn’t mean that interventions that aren’t 100% effective are not worthwhile. Funny how this thinking that antivaxxers exhibit about vaccines has found its way to masks, namely the attitude that if it’s not 100% effective and absolutely 100% safe it’s utterly worthless and not worth doing. Antivaxxers used to say that about vaccines, particularly the flu vaccine because, although effective, it’s one of our less effective vaccines. Now they say it about COVID-19 interventions like masks.

It is a wonderous thing that some superhuman surgeon attempting to correct your tuberous breast deformity went 8 hours in a mask without dropping out and faceplanting into your gaping, open chest, soutijufatty.

“you pretend there are zero potential for serious side effects from covering ones face with a foreign object, obstructing airways and limiting oxygen.”

You got me there; studded 2x4s do seem to be contraindicated for fixing ugly.

You really need to lay off of the margaritas with tequila. Then you would not fall into the Nirvana Fallacy. Nothing in reality is “100%” certain. That is just a fairy tale.

Point me to the crank blog where you discuss side effects of blocking ones airway? I didn’t see that one.

As well you pretend there are zero potential for serious side effects from covering ones face with a foreign object, obstructing airways and limiting oxygen.

There are a few videos of people wearing a mask and then going onto some strenuous physical exercise, like running.
In some cases, they clamped in an oxymeter, to measure their blood oxygen.

Oddly enough, these people didn’t collapse and their oxygen level stayed unchanged.

I was going to say the same thing. An NHS doctor ran 22 miles wearing a mask without experiencing any drop in blood oxygen. I see that this was reported in the US too. I figure that most peoples trip to the shops doesn’t put quite as much strain on the lungs.

Heck, some people with exercise-induced asthma treat it by wearing a mask when they exercise!

” This is a perfect example of the concrete, all-or-nothing thinking of cranks” Orac

We’ve seen that anti-vaxxers display this quality and often apply it to other issues AND they frequently exhibit crank magnetism, following several CTs/ bad ideas ( studies show that if you believe in one you’re more likely to believe in others as well).
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So as someone who used to study this sort of material, I ask:
Is this illustrative of their over-all style of thought? Or does it only show up for topics that provoke an emotional response ( such as vaccines “destroying” their child”, masks inhibiting their freedom, lockdowns “ruining” their lives)?

Developmental psychologists ( Piagetian; social cognition- divide this into levels ) know that young kids start out being able to consider one thing at a time concretely, sounding like biased black-and-white thinkers but eventually, they learn to see shades of meaning and integrate more than one concept, more abstractly. When an adult shows this tendency to see everything cut-and-dry, black-and-white, I wonder about how they conduct the rest of their lives**: after all, they live in a community, perhaps work, run a household, drive a car, have to pay bills.. how do they manage to navigate daily life and social interactions?
Or are their pet theories/ crankery just sore points? And they do know that you have to put oil in cars, pay your energy bills, clean dishes, go grocery shopping etc.

How does someone with an earlier education in life sciences manage to reconcile woo and SBM? If they respond with the common , ” We were lied to” how can you then call yourself an expert, if what you were taught by corrupt science were lies?***

** many of the anti-vax mothers/ celebrity level have had careers, marriages, own property or businesses
I also question how political extremists function
*** god-like insight into Truth? Secret papers?

As well you pretend there are zero potential for serious side effects from covering ones face with a foreign object, obstructing airways and limiting oxygen.

The gym I go to finally reopened after the case load in my city had fallen, but the general masking orders in public places still remain, so you still have to wear masks at the gym. I tried doing the elliptical trainer and treadmill while masked and while in the beginning it was a bit difficult, that was probably more due to the fact that I hadn’t had that kind of workout in many months than that I had to wear a mask. After about a week or so of getting re-acclimated, it doesn’t feel any harder than it used to be, except for the fact that my face gets even more unpleasantly sweaty under the mask. It’s not a big deal, just takes some getting used to. I have a pulse oximeter that I bought just in case, and SpO2 had never gone below 97% even after an hour of strenuous treadmill/elliptical trainer workout. I’m not such a physically fit person: still overweight and with hypertension and high cholesterol, but I can manage.

@ Anonymous Coward:

I just asked my SO who goes to the gym 3 times a week since restrictions lifted:
he only does weights and machines there because they limit time ( by appointment only- 1 hour total to check in, exercise, clean up equipment,) and does cardio out of doors. He says it’s not a problem to wear a mask although he has mild asthma. He also walks, rides a bike and plays ( at least) intermediate tennis in the park.

@NorCal:
“As well you pretend there are zero potential for serious side effects from covering ones face with a foreign object, obstructing airways and limiting oxygen. You pretend as if we have long term research on covering ones face, etc is somehow known as 100% safe and only a net benefit to health.”

1) I ran a half marathon wearing a mask. Still alive.
2) Surgical teams wear masks for 8+ hour long surgeries. Still alive at the end.
3) Painters and builders wear respirators (not masks, much more intense) and are still alive at the end of their shifts.
4) There are whole parts of the world where people traditionally cover their faces with cloth every single time they leave their homes. Still haven’t suffocated.

You seem very short on evidence.

@Denice Walter: Yeah, my gym operates under just about the same rules but the time limit is two hours, so I have time to go on the treadmill/elliptical for an hour and maybe fifteen more minutes to do weights and stuff, then fifteen minutes or so for a shower before leaving. Cardio is better at the gym since the weather out here has been rather inclement of late… Too bad the gym is closed again at the moment because they’re moving into to a larger space in the building, so I have to either hope for no rain to get some brisk walking in the neighbourhood or if it does rain, the same at a shopping mall while avoiding crowds. I’m really sick of trying to do brisk walks in my garage, which was all I could do during the most stringent lockdown they imposed in my city.

“a ritual of sacrificing some of the weak”

That’s a philosophy I’ve heard expressed by antivaxers. Infectious disease, they say, is Nature’s way of weeding out the weak and vulnerable, while vaccination perpetuates inferior genes.

A corollary to this belief is that pandemics which kill millions of people are inconsequential, because the human race will survive.

Granted this sounds insane, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone, given how callous antivaxers are about the suffering caused by vaccine-preventable diseases.

IKR? “Sacrificing the weak”? That’s exactly what COVID-19 cranks and antivaxxers are, in effect, advocating when they advocate letting “natural herd immunity” take care of the pandemic.

Can’t talk long because we’re on full, hard divert with patients sitting everywhere in the ED and nowhere to put them. On the floor we have COVID (+) people stacked three to a room. The ICU looks like a sci-fi war zone. Thanks to all the a**holes here and in other threads saying dumb sht like: “masks don’t 100 percent work because I saw an avocado once,” or “muh freedumbs,” or whatever-the-fck else. You’ve done your work well. We should walk you through this place like the Allies did with the German citizens who said they knew nothing about death camps and were forced to go see

Thats too bad, confirmed cases here is still less than 5% of those tested and the survival rate is 99.9%.

the survival rate is 99.9%.

That’s wonderful, dear.
Now, if you can go to MedicalYeti’s place and point to them which ones of their Covid patients will go through it without harm and can be send home, so they can focus on the 10% (1) who will need medical help, I’m sure that would be mightily appreciated.

(1) as these patients are hospitalized, this percentage may be higher, actually.

In 10 US states (when you correct for undercounting of deaths it could easily be 20) over 0.1% of whole population have already died of COVID-19. The survival rate (1 – IFR) might be 99.9% in Africa or Arabia, but that’s not a plausible number for most of the world.

I see that the cumulative test positivity rate for California is around 5%, but the current (last 7 days) rate is 7.3%, and the cumulative case fatality rate about 1.5%.

You seem to have forgotten another consequence of covid, norcal. Hospitals jam-packed with covid patients cant effectively treat non-covid issues. Why don’t you look up the total number of hospital beds in the US and the usual occupation percentage. See if you can extrapolate the effect of an unrestrained pandemic on those remaining beds. What’s the hospitalization rate for covid infection? What is the loss of efficiency due to maintaining separation between covid-free and covid wards? How much extra cost is there involved in changing protective gear between patients? How many vulnerable people end up pissing on the floor because the nurses can’t get to them until they have thoroughly disinfected themselves?

Yet more evidence of one dimensional thinking in the anti-vaxosphere.

@norcalskinny

From one troll to another, WTF??.. for God’s sake, cut your thumbs off. NOW. I’ll try to fix them after this all blows over but FK!!! You make me sad. You know you’ve made me sad and yet you continue. I sometimes feel we went too far. #trustintrumpsplan #thegreatreset #diaperdon

Ms Cotterman illustrates very nicely a set of problems within nursing which have annoyed me since I started my training back in the ’80s: lack of scientific rigour, coupled with an inability to assess and evaluate evidence, allied to a lack of critical thinking skills and a lack of understanding of what research actually is and how it should be conducted (for the sake of argument I shall assume that Merkinania is just as bad as UK-ia in this regard). Experience has also shown me that all other clinical disciplines are no better.

This has become increasingly problematic as all areas of healthcare have become more complex and becomes even more so when people play on their role or former role and make spurious use of the authority which many perceive that to provide or else become useful idiots. Not to mention the hiding behind the popular views of the role (“I’m a nurse/doctor/whatever, so I must be a good person, so you can’t question me!”) to avoid proper scrutiny of what is being said.

I’m currently arguing with some covid deniers and anti-vaxxers on a forum I frequent and I sometimes feel like crying in frustration. FUD runs rampant, masks are stupid, unpleasant, cause lung mycosis and do not work, lockdowns destroy the economy and cause depression, vaccines are untested and will certainly cause something really scary in the future (and sciencey-sounding reasons that they give are about as possible as the Earth being hit by a comet tomorrow). So what’s their answer to the pandemics? Simple – Big Pharma should find some miracle drug for those who are sick and anyway it’s not serious and most people already had it.
It got so bad I finally blacklisted two of the worst antivaxxers because my mental health was under threat.
And I know I won’t convince them, I just don’t want to let them have the last word, because of the fence-sitters.

Seeing that a Covid-19 vaccine has just been approved in the U.K., we should anticipate a massive increase in good nutrition and sanitation over there to explain any marked drop in new Covid infections.*

*or else the government is just making up the figures to benefit vaccine manufacturers.

I even wrote jokingly to some of the people there that if they see that the British are not dropping dead in droves, they might perhaps believe that the vaccine is not as dangerous as they think… and got a lot of answers along the lines “and what if those side effects appear in many years’ time?”
And one of those people (she works in a care setting and has nothing against vaccinating the elderly there, but she will never ever allow people to force HER to vaccinate, eugenics much?) even proposed there should be a monitoring system to watch for an increase in cancers, autoimmune diseases, neurological diseases and mental disorders following the vaccine.

@ Alia:

Although you can’t probably influence her, most of the new vaccines are based on mRNA that is very unstable, breaking down quickly which is why it needs to be kept cold. Also vaccines are monitored after they are released in order to pick up any rare side effects which might show up when millions of people get them.

As a side note, I never though that seeing PM Boris describing something ( the new vaccine) would inspire confidence but it did. Shocking.

@Denice
I’ve already shared several articles that point this out but she knows better. Even though she claims she has no knowledge of genetics. Her recent idea was that if the vaccine targets such a small part of Spike protein, it’s possible that there is a similar protein somewhere in our body, possibly in the brain, so if we get the vaccine, our immune system will start destroying our brains, causing autoimmune disease. As I wrote before, something about as probable as a comet hitting Earth tomorrow.

Well, by that “logic” just letting people get the disease would do the same thing, so we’re all doomed and might as well get the vaccine and skip the possible ICU stay on a ventilator.

@ Terrie:

But the spikes/ proteins from the virus are all natural– a gift from Gaia herself not made in a LAB from chemicals like a vaccine.

ALTHOUGH.. some people say that the virus itself was manufactured ….
sarcasm

@Denice, clearly Big Diamond is behind it, since they want us to believe that lab created is inferior.

Tangentially on topic:

Obama, Bush And Clinton Will Get On-Camera Covid-19 Vaccine To Boost Public Confidence As Trump Remains Silent
https://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthart/2020/12/03/obama-bush-and-clinton-will-get-on-camera-covid-19-vaccine-to-boost-public-confidence-as-trump-remains-silent/?sh=1dc1ae93425c

Not surprised at Trump’s absence as he would have to 1) abandon his usual anti-vaxx stance and 2) share the stage with other people. Especially former President Obama.

Even healthcare professionals are hesitant about the Covid vaccine. Are they anti-vax? Are they anti-public health?

“Notably, 47.3% of respondents reported unwillingness to participate in a coronavirus vaccine trial, and most (66.5%) intend to delay vaccination. The odds of reporting intent to delay coronavirus vaccine uptake were 4.15 times higher among nurses, 2.45 times higher among other personnel with patient contact roles, and 2.15 times higher among those without patient contact compared to doctors.”

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.11.18.20234468v1

You left something out. From the referred abstract:

We averaged a 9-statement Likert scale matrix scored from 1 (“strongly disagree”) to 5 (“strongly agree”) and found respondents overwhelmingly confident about vaccine safety (4.47); effectiveness (4.44); importance, self-protection, and community health (4.67).

Natalie White left something out?

When have we seen that before?

Every time Natalie posts.

According to a new Harris poll, 42% of Americans would feel better about getting a Covid vaccine if Fauci got it first.

I suspect he’ll be happy to oblige.

Saline shot photo op.

Still better than the stunts where they use an insulin syringe or a needless 3cc, lol

Dr. Fauci and Presidents Obama, Bush 43, and Clinton all stated that they will take the Covid-19 vaccines on television. I think that would help.

Anti-vaccine activists are, of course, already claiming they won’t get the real vaccines – forgetting that most people don’t share their unfounded prejudice against vaccines, and most people do see protection against disease as a good thing.

Most anti-vaxxers forget that for most people the default position is not lying about everything.

@ Dorit,

“Dr. Fauci and Presidents Obama, Bush 43, and Clinton all stated that they will take the Covid-19 vaccines on television.”

That’s what senators are for. No former president is going to be the next José Peralta

Jose Peralta, for those wondering, died from leukemia. His death was blamed by antivaccine activists on the flu shot – even after the autopsy results came out, as you can see.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/update-cause-of-death-of-state-sen-jose-peralta-due-to-leukemia/67787/%3famp

Again, antivaccine activists simply cannot fathom that not everyone shares their worldview that preventing diseases – and vaccines used to do that – are bad.

DB- I suspect that there would be a much further increase in confidence in the new vaccines if a wide spectrum of celebrity personnel from TV, movies, sports and such like could be recruited and seen to be first in line to be vaccinated. Like Elvis and the polio vaccine back in the day.

“It was never just about vaccines, and antivaxxers were never just antivaccine. It was about public health and collective action, and antivaxxers were always anti-public health.”

Well now, I was masking in public before any of you here were & I took my kids outta school BEFORE they closed because I didn’t think government/public health authorities were acting quickly enough & while I know for a FACT that some of YOU can’t say this; I have not been on an airplane or even an indoor restaurant since January 2020 AND I have zero issues with quarantine if & when that becomes necessary.

But you can take that “collective” bullshit & shove it up your collective asses, because I don’t do it for YOU; I do it for me & my loved ones. I was doing it all before you were, because I knew Fauci’s little “Simon Says” games were going to cause a lot of people to die. And die they have.

And I already know what can happen when you do right by the herd. I already know that you you will laugh in the face of the person who dutifully rolls up their sleeve for this covid vax & has a serious adverse reaction, because you allowed people here to laugh in my face about my disabled child; all the while hiding behind your “science” that can’t count autistic children, unless the ICD code is handed to them on a silver platter (despite that your CDC has stated that leads to undercounting).

I already know that you will hide behind the “science” that disqualifies all but a small percentage of children dead from SIDS after vaccines, to count “SIDS after vaccines”. I already know that you consider my child an acceptable loss for the herd but unlike you; I understand that it could be you the next time. You don’t. You think that the Scientists That Can’t Count Kids; are RIGHT.

You think vaccines are safe. And that’s your prerogative but just like I took precautions against covid while you waited for someone to tell you what to do? I am going to take precautions against the vaccine, while you wait to be told what the ramifications are. Because I know that you are just as expendable as my children were. Your science peers will only care about you for as long as you are useful. Be the next vaccinated statistic & you will find yourself shunned from the “collective”.

IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT THE VACCINES; for me, thank you. I know it’s not the same with other antivaxxers. I’m frustrated with the antimaskers & the “covid-is-a-hoax’ers” too. But can you really blame them? Why would they TRUST people who Can’t COUNT Kids?

There are certainly exceptions to the point that anti-vaccine activists are also anti-public health, but that’s the message from your leaders.

It’s painful to lose a child. Blaming vaccines wrongly helps no one. The question of whether vaccines cause SIDS was studied, because it’s important to know, and the goal is to minimize harm to children. Those studies show that vaccines do not cause SIDS. I understand that the finding is not what you would like to believe, and that you painfully want to blame your child’s death on vaccines. But the evidence goes the other way.

@ Dorit,

I don’t know what you mean by my “leaders”. I don’t have any. I didn’t even know who Wakefield was until I became a regular reader HERE. I’ve only been plugged in to social media for a little over a year & that’s just on FB. I’ve only had an Instagram account for a few months & that’s just for my hiking pictures. I think I have a Twitter but I never use it.

I have left two large antivax groups since covid started, only partially because of covid misinformation. I was constantly finding myself at odds with people there. Parents are so afraid of allopathic medicine now because no one is listening to them about vaccines. I was having to beg parents to allow doctors to give their children antibiotics & IV fluids. It’s so hard for them to understand that doctors really believe vaccines are safe & that just because the doctors are WRONG about vaccines; they are most definitely RIGHT about when a sick child needs an antibiotic or an IV. It’s really tragic how they are (no pun intended) throwing the baby out with the bath water.

And Rhogam. Omg Rh negative mothers are refusing Rhogam & nothing I can say counteracts the next 200 posters who disagree with me & say not to get Rhogam. I am Rh negative. I have had eleven children. Do you ever hear me say it was all the Rhogam I had, that killed my daughter or disabled my son? Nope & you won’t, because I know that’s not what happened, no matter what any “leader” says.

I have just as many family members with my great grandma’s Ashkenazi surname who were born & died the same day as I do on the Holocaust victims census. Because the Rh factors mixed in Germany (1850’s) & the babies were dying of hemolytic disease. I couldn’t be a part of groups like that, so I am gone.

I was the first member on those sites to post any Gregory Poland studies about Immunogenomics & nobody understood what I was getting at. I was the first member to post the Aaby studies (& those did actually get some attention). How can I have a “leader” who never talks about Interleukins & cytokine response to vaccination? Nobody understands the role of microglia in ASD … do you really think I say what I do here, because of anything anyone from there has said?

I don’t have a leader. The studies that say vaccines are not causing SIDS & ASD were done by people who don’t understand SIDS & ASD. They are not counting the cases correctly. They are flawed. They are wrong.

I don’t have a leader.

One might help in terms of composing coherent replies rather than rambling aimlessly.

“I have had eleven children.”

So. You incubated some children while at an advanced age?? Oof. Christine, 2 outta 11 ain’t to shabby. In any country.

@Chrisiine Kincaid Have you said to antivaxxers that a tuna salad have more mercury that a multidose Rhogam ? And yes, mercury would be absorbed from intestine at quite high rate.
You do not know anything about cytokine storms or microglia. That is why nobody notices.
Do you know who is Aaby’s boss? Same as Hviid’s. Yet they still somehow manipulated autism data. Aaby of course wrote about high mortality developing country. Every time someone starts to speak about an industrialized country, you stop to listen.

I will simply point out that you discount a good chunk of people counted as autistic, labeling the as “broad autistic phenotype” or “autistic like” and not “really” autistic, a term that you seem to reserve for autistic people with challenging behaviors. But now you’re claiming they’re undercounting? Make up your mind.

@Christine Kincaid. There is a paper about vaccines and SIDS:
M.M.T. Vennemann, M. Höffgen, T. Bajanowski, H.-W. Hense, E.A. Mitchell,
Do immunisations reduce the risk for SIDS? A meta-analysis,
Vaccine, Volume 25, Issue 26, 2007,Pages 4875-4879,
ISSN 0264-410X,
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2007.02.077.
(http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X07002800)
Vennemann works for Institute of Legal Medicine, so he knows about counting SIDS babies.
We know that your children died after external oxygen supply was cut.
If COVID vaccine had serious side effects, it would be removed from the market.of course.

I was just catching up on This Podcast Will Kill You, listening to the episode about Guinea Worm and you know what I realized? All these American anti-vax, anti-public health people? They’re soft. They’re coddled by the huge public health steps that protect them every single day from waterborne diseases.

Would they be so very “go my own way” after their water source gives them a guinea worm? At best it’s two weeks of intense pain as the worm is gently wound around a stick as it is gently, ever so slowly pulled from a wound in their leg.

People like NorCalSkinny and CK and NW have no idea the misery and suffering and death they just plain don’t have to worry about because smart and wise people a century ago decided that clean water was essential. They take it for granted. We all take it for granted.
I never had to be chided to wear shoes outside as a child to prevent hookworm, because hookworm was eradicated in the US through a massive campaign of outhouses and sanitary sewers. All these anti-public health people have no idea the sheer scale of the work that was done, that is done every single day, to keep them safe from the vast menagerie of human pathogens. And when they are asked to do the tiniest thing, a thing that protects themselves, like wear a mask, they scream and cry like a toddler denied a 5th cookie.

Whimps. That’s what they are. Whimps.

JustaTech writes, “…..NW have no idea the misery and suffering and death they just plain don’t have to worry about because smart and wise people a century ago decided that clean water was essential. They take it for granted. We all take it for granted.”

You may take it for granted. They may take it for granted. I don’t. I understand the importance of clean water. You have no idea. Ask the folks in the developing world which they would rather have: Clean water or vaccines?

Good day.

NW- both clean water AND vaccines please. It need not be a binary choice. And Christine Kincaid- you may not have a ‘leader’ in the sense of following them Guru -like but they are the dominant, most publicized spokespersons for the anti-vax, anti-science, pseudoscience, misinformation mumbo-jumbo of which you participate on occasions.

Both. And they prove it on a daily basis.

Here’s the thing: vaccines are, by and large, one and done. Clean water is a fight every single day. A fight that people lose because they don’t have the resources.

@ Justatech,

I believe clean drinking water was THE most important development for health of the 20th century.

And I actually spent a few years having to carry water from a natural spring as a child; thanks. Not to mention that you wouldn’t last for an hour doing what I do everyday, because … VACCINES.

Not to get personal, or anything; Was your mate over the age of 38 when you got knocked up?? Turns out, it may not be just the female’s withered eggs that gets environmentally compromised over time.

Clean water would not stop diseases of respitatory system. It would help if disease spreads by fecal-oral route. But rotavirus vaccine is still needed, even though hygiene is quite good in US.

KC- is there anyone who thinks about these issues who doesn’t know that clean and safe drinking water is the most vital component for a healthy life? This doesn’t negate other aspects , say of nutrition, in promoting a healthy life; nor of medical interventions and other advances in science and technology. You carried spring water for a time: me, I had to make my own cheese sandwiches throughout my schooldays and even do to this day although with wholemeal bread rather than white sliced. And all that while in my retirement I am compelled to go swimming and to the gym, spend hours at my computer with different interests and finally and not least I have to play cards among other activities with my 10 year old beloved granddaughter when she visits. Now could you keep up with ALL that?

At best it’s two weeks of intense pain as the worm is gently wound around a stick as it is gently, ever so slowly pulled from a wound in their leg.

Urk.
But it could be worse. I had a few lessons on parasitic worms and other flukes. That left a mark on my brain.
To stay with the “slowly extract the worm” topic, a wound in their leg? That’s still easy. Some other worms exit through tear ducts. I think I will just go crazy. Crazier.
And the reason why the worm should be gently extracted? If you break its body, its carcass will calcify where it is, inside your body.

When I was in 4th grade my homeroom teacher’s daughter was in Ghana with the Peace Corps doing work on guinea worm. My teacher would read us excerpts of her letters home, so the whole class was deeply invested in learning about Ghana and guinea worm. A few years later when the daughter returned from the Peace Corps she came to the school and did a presentation about her work there.

One of the visual aids she brought was a whole guinea worm. In a quart sized jar. It filled the jar. It was so much more disgusting than even our 9-year-old minds had envisioned.

A male friend of the family and his partner has had twins, both normal, at the age of 74. But he was stringently advised against the attempt because of the high likelyhood of genetic damage. Hell, I was under the assumption that 36 was an unacceptable risk particularly because of my environment then. Fortunately, I lacked the fortitude to employ a functional dick-mask {allergic to latex and the sheepgut slipped off} TMI Friday or whatever today is.

@ Tim,

I think the age component is linked to actual chromosomal disorders (such as Down’s).

Autism is multifactorial genetic. It’s not even a single-GENE disorder, let alone a chromosomal disorder. There are over 300 “variants” “associated” with autism (can lead to the broad autistic phenotype). Unfortunately; those variants are located on genes that control immune-mediation. You could be born with many of those variants but if not encountering the immune mediating exposure (vaccines); you wouldn’t regress into autism.

I believe the broad autistic phenotype is actually correlated to higher intelligence & a better ability to function independently (versus socially) but the vaccines cause the disabling autistic regression & steals that potential.

Yes, the lambskins are prone to sliding off. My youngest son’s “old dad” had actually had a vasectomy (lol) so we didn’t use anything but I don’t regret having him one bit; he’s the light of my life, autism & all. The world is going to be a better place because of this kiddo.

@ Leonard Sugarman,

"is there anyone who thinks about these issues who doesn’t know that clean and safe drinking water is the most vital component for a healthy life?"

Probably true, it’s just that the militant provaccine rank vaccines ABOVE clean drinking water & I disagree with that.

"This doesn’t negate other aspects , say of nutrition, in promoting a healthy life; nor of medical interventions and other advances in science and technology."

Absolutely true. Nutrition is vital & the benefits of IV fluids, antibiotics, supplemental oxygen, antihistamines, insulin, dialysis, albuterol, imaging diagnostics, hematology diagnostics & so many other medical advances cannot be surpassed. Even by & especially by; vaccines. The vaccines are not beneficial, they are detrimental, because they cause too many nonspecific negative effects. Suppression of T cell response. Atypical immune-mediation leading to cytokine dysregulation & for a certain percentage of the population; multifactorial, genetic, immune mediated serious adverse events. I don’t understand trading an 18% chance of immunity to seasonal influenza, for a statistically significant blunting of CD4 T cell response during covid. Increased susceptibility to bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi? No thanks.

"I had to make my own cheese sandwiches throughout my schooldays and even do to this day although with wholemeal bread rather than white sliced."

Okay …

"And all that while in my retirement I am compelled to go swimming and to the gym, spend hours at my computer with different interests and finally and not least I have to play cards
among other activities with my 10 year old beloved granddaughter when she visits. Now could you keep up with ALL that?"

I love that you are involved with your granddaughter & it sounds like you are living an admirable & active life. But nobody called YOU a wimp, they insinuated that I am. When I said that Terrie couldn’t do for an hour what I do every day, I wasn’t referring to my daily 2-4 mile hikes at 8,000 ft + elevation. (Although I do doubt she could keep up) I was referring to the physical aspect of caregiving for a 6 foot 5 inches tall, 257 lb vaccine injured teenage boy & all the toileting, bathing, elopement prevention & daily limbic rage seizures that are involved with that.

Vaccine injury is not for wimps.

And I’m not Terrie, though I do respect Terrie and their comments.

And I’ve lost a lot of sympathy for CK after, in one of our early interactions, I offered to connect her with an organization that specializes in schooling and day care for older teens with autism and she wasn’t interested. I offered real help, but if she wants to be a martyr then that’s her choice and does not make me impressed with how hard her life is.

@JustaTech, the respect is mutual.

Like you, I have sympathy for Christine over the loss of her child — the death of a child is always a tragedy — and, though she doesn’t believe it, I do recognize that caring for a child with a high level of needs is difficult, especially you lack outside resources. She burned through the majority of that sympathy when she rejected attempts by commenters here to help her access those outside resources, putting her desire to be right ahead of her child and family’s quality of life. After all, if she admitted she had assistance, she couldn’t whine about how all the burden falls on her as the mother and go on and on about how extra super special hard autism parenting is.

@Christine Kincaid How many antiviral therapies you know ? (Multidrug therapy for HIV prevents AIDS, it does not cure the disease). There is no cure to smallpox, it was eradicated with vaccines-
No all vaccines suppress T cell activity ? If this were true, how they can confer immunity ? It is, in the case of viral infections, main basis of immunity.
Self delusion is for self delusional people.

It’s almost like CK doesn’t know that you can show T cell activation in response to immunization experimentally. This is super basic stuff. Heck, I was a volunteer for a study looking at T-cell activation in response to a vaccinia immunization.

I did it to hundreds of mice. It isn’t hard. Immunize, wait two weeks, take the spleen, look for T cells with T-cell receptors specific to your epitopes of interest. In CD4 T cells, no less.

This is basic immunology, basic flow cytometry.

“it’s just that the militant provaccine rank vaccines ABOVE clean drinking water & I disagree with that.”

No. Supporters of vaccination value clean water and good nutrition highly. However (unlike antivaxers) we do not make a demented fetish of pretending that all infectious diseases can be prevented by addressing these factors alone. We also recognize how enormously difficult it is to assure adequate water supplies and food for everyone. Vast numbers of lives are saved through vaccination even in the poorest of countries.

Supporters of vaccination value clean water and good nutrition highly.

Yup.
One humanitarian project (from the Unicef?) I gladly read about was about sending masons in third-world countries, who know how to build a well, to demonstrate and teach the locals. It’s a bit more complicated that digging a hole in the ground
(or to put it another way, ask yourself if you would know how to build one. One which will not collapse at the first tremor. I know I don’t. I can try by myself, and I may succeed. Or I may only succeed at entombing myself)

The point? A properly-built well, with a coping (is it the right word?), will protect the water from nearby pollutions. The above ground-level edge will prevent dust and worse things to simply fall down the water source.
Well, most of it. Still an improvement.

Also, not all places have easily-accessible aquifers. People make do with the water they can find. Making it clean may not be possible with the locally-available resources.

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