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Friday, September 10, 2021 | Science commentary


Both sides of the vaccine war are following the strategy of Monty Python's Kamikaze Scotsmen

A s the efficacy of the COVID vaccines continues to decline thanks to those new variants, we're being told it is more important than ever that everyone get vaccinated as soon as possible. Once they lose all effectiveness, we'll have to be vaccinated even more to compensate. It's as if when your computer gets slow, you could just plug it into a 208 volt outlet to make it faster.

I anticipated our university's vaccination mandate and got vaxxed. It gave me such a bad reaction through the week ending in Labor Day that the only thing I could do was to watch a Harry Potter marathon on TV. I realized that it's not just a cute children's story. It's a hidden tale of how to deal with a pandemic. In the story, all the villains wear masks. No one ever gets vaccinated. And only once does any character ever say, as my local grocery store still babbles chirpily to us, “We're all in this together!” Immediately thereafter, that character almost gets murdered by a teacher.

I've been vaccinated for influenza, tetanus, smallpox, hepatitis C, and many other diseases that I've forgotten about, all with no harmful effects. This COVID vaccine was totally different.

The vaccines are now being promoted as dogmatically as their opponents once promoted hydroxy­chloroquine. But some of what the anti-vaxxers were saying was true: they have serious side effects, and scientists would be making a serious mistake to deny their existence. At the moment, scientific journals are downplaying the risks in the belief that they're doing a public service. Soon enough they'll go back to hectoring us about racism and global warming and they'll suddenly ‘discover’ that mRNA vaccines have a poor safety record. By then it will be too late: we will all be in it together.

Suicide Squad scene from Life of Brian
Suicide Squad scene from Monty Python's Life of Brian preparing to vaccinate themselves

According to one study[1], 88.1% of German healthcare workers reported at least one side effect of the COVID-19 vaccination, including injection site pain, fever, headache, fatigue, malaise, chills, skin rash, urticaria, lymphadenopathy, myalgia, and joint pain. Most (84.9%) of those side effects resolved within three days. The mRNA-type vaccines had more local side effects, while the viral vector-based vaccines induced more systemic effects. Less common side effects included oral side effects (12.4%) including mouth vesicles, ulcers, bleeding gums, and taste disturbance. Females and younger patients were more strongly affected. Persons identifying as Non-binary and Not Sure were least affected.

In another study[2] 29.2% of vaccinated patients and 21.6% of ‘controls’ had headache and myalgia, with “occasional” cases of Bell's palsy, myelitis, and cerebral venous thrombosis. The authors write:

Therefore, NMAEs [nervous and muscular adverse events] after vaccination must be summarized and analyzed to reduce panic and expand the acceptance and coverage of vaccines, especially since the threatening delta mutations of the virus have been observed in some countries.

These statements have become common in the scientific literature. They're a positive development: if your goal is not to discover the truth but to manipulate the public to do what you personally think is good for them, the reader needs to know that so they can ignore your results. As the guy with the Welsh accent in HP says, minutes before he too comes down with a fatal case of Covidomort, these are dark times, there's no denying.

The strategy on both sides seems to be modeled after Monty Python's McKamikaze Highlanders, who (according to the comedy skit) must work themselves into a state of Itsubishi Kyoko McSayonara before jumping to their deaths from the top of Edinburgh castle. (They later re-used that idea in Life of Brian).

In this war, each side competes to see who can devise the most outrageous way of discrediting their credibility. On one side was the universities, schools, and the Federal government, who misrepresented the vaccine as being effective and permanent, insulted and threatened the hesitant, tried to cover up the virus's origins, lied about masks, censored debate, and promised they would not make vaccination mandatory right before making it mandatory. On the other side, people tried to turn resistance into a statement of defiance, overstated the risks, misinterpreted the scientific literature, misunderstood how messenger RNA works, and warned about graphene oxide, magnets, and VAERS statistics. The claims that the vaccine can cause sterility were credible enough and scientists began studying them. So it became necessary to invent an even more outrageous claim: that it was all a plot of the elites to reduce the population, or maybe part of a bigger plot to use, as one person wrote, “massive artificial Intelligence (AI) and robot-driven transformation from humans to 'transhumans', through electromagnetic brain manipulation.” The only response was to say: a pox, or maybe a Rona, on both their houses.

In the Year of Living Idiotically, each side arrayed its arguments to destroy its own credibility as efficiently as possible. It's a perfect kamikaze solution: you get to be the victim and still live to complain about your opponent.

1. Klugar M, Riad A, Mekhemar M, Conrad J, Buchbender M, Howaldt HP, Attia S (2021). Side Effects of mRNA-Based and Viral Vector-Based COVID-19 Vaccines among German Healthcare Workers. Biology 2021, 10, 752. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10080752

2. Chen J, Cai Y, Chen Y, Williams AP, Gao Y, Zeng J. (2021). Nervous and Muscular Adverse Events after COVID-19 Vaccination: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials. Vaccines 2021, 9, 939. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9080939

sep 10 2021, 5:55 am

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