Antivaxxers are really out here hollering “PeOpLe ShOuLd bE aBLe tO dEcIdE tO nOt GeT vAcCiNaTeD!!!”
They can? Nobody’s hunting you down with a tranquilizer gun and shooting the COVID-19 vaccine into you. You getting fired from your job or not being allowed into shops or onto airplanes because you’re not vaccinated is not you being forced to get vaccinated.
It’s you facing the consequences of your actions.
Nobody is required to deal with your plague rat ass. If you don’t want to get vaccinated, stay home.
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Florida’s per capita COVID death rate is 50 times Australia’s. In just one week, Florida surpassed Australia’s 18 month death toll.
Roughly the same populations, but radically different outcomes from preventable coronavirus deaths. (source)
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I feel like when I was younger and arguing online all the time with antivaxxers I fell into the trap of just kind of blindly hating “alternative medicine” conspiracy theorists for being ignorant and stupid, and I regret it now.
the fact is, the average person is pretty ignorant about how illness and medicine work. Most people don’t get vaccines because they have an understanding of the science that makes them work. Most people haven’t really questioned it. I’m a little bit fatigued of hearing “believe in SCIENCE, idiot!” Science isn’t dogma. It’s about asking questions.
It’s not all about hating autistic people. For a lot of them it isn’t about that at all. Honestly what I’ve observed is that once they get really really deep into the rabbit hole, they just project whatever existing bigotry onto their flavor of the conspiracy. For some vaccines are making people gay. Or trans. Or whatever.
But they don’t start there. I swear I saw someone say once, no idea who, that an antivaxxer is a “scientist gone wrong;” they’re asking questions, a lot of the right questions, but they get entangled in existing bigotry, snapped up by a cult-like online community, or both.
Also, the American medical system treats people like shit. I can definitely see how “my doctor told me I was making it up when I was in excruciating pain” or “my doctor told me I just needed to lose weight when I had an illness that could have killed me” or just the pervasive casual dismissal of patient concerns and informed consent might lead a person to think “maybe my doctor isn’t right when they say this vaccine won’t harm my kid?”
And a lot of antivaxxers do talk about how they felt coerced and pressured into vaccinating their kids, and they had their questions dismissed and brushed aside. And for so long the opposition has been all “Believe in science! Your doctor has a degree and they know better than you! Science doesn’t care about your feelings! Just ~believe in science~!”
And honestly I’m starting to think this is how people fall down the rabbit hole. There’s an intense level of community and camaraderie among antivaxxers, almost like a cult. (I would argue that it is a cult, but that would take a while to go over.) There is so much resistance everywhere else, to the willingness to ask questions and be unsure until you have seen evidence. And of course these people end up taking the anecdotes of a bunch of people in a Facebook group as evidence, but let’s be real, no one is immune to the power of having a large group of people say “yeah, me too.”
There’s so much going on. The ableism. The cult-like dynamic. The influence of celebrity figures like Gwyneth Paltrow selling snake oil to people. But we fucked up, okay? We fucked up when we decided to beat “Believe in science!” over people’s heads when it’s not like that. It’s not like believing in Jesus.
Idk, there is absolutely nothing wrong with ASKING, “What is this made of? Is it safe to put in my body? How does it affect the body? How does it work?” Those are good questions, scientific questions. And it also is true that doctors are sometimes wrong. Just like scientists are sometimes wrong. You can’t just get a degree and never be wrong again. Some people who hold degrees could stand to realize that.
Like at some point we’ve got to realize that the antivaxx movement didn’t happen because a bunch of people just have something wrong with them because they “don’t believe in science.” And it didn’t happen just because of ableism either—there are loads of horrendously ableist people who are not antivaxxers.
Like I think a real contributor is just that medicine in the u.s. especially sucks ass with respect to informed consent, and the medical system is an Authority and asks for compliance, and people often have good reasons for mistrust. And people really do get belittled for asking questions about...just about anything that’s an established part of life.
And we get this sense of superiority over people that seem to know less than we do, even though we all started out asking questions. And most of the people countering the “anti-science/alternative facts” movements have started to talk about “science” much like evangelicals treat the Bible, instead of a way of seeking knowledge. It’s just not going to help.
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Autistic people spoke about antivaxxers for decades and nobody listened…
Now look where we are with COVID-19.
Division about the vaccine is destroying families.
Unvaccinated people are walking around, infecting others.
The ableism is right in all our faces.
Antivaxxers are a public health menace.
Will you fucking listen now?
This rant does not apply to people who can’t be vaccinated due to health or age.
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While I'm talking about my opinions, I'm VERY worried about the CDC guidelines saying vaccinated people don't have to wear a mask. Where I grew up, they threw out thousands of doses of vaccine because so many antivaxxers live there. They're going to stop wearing masks and just claim they're vaccinated while people who actually have been vaccinated will keep wearing masks, once again placing the entire burden of protecting these ignorant, selfish people on the people who actually care about protecting others.
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Your inability to see the ableist subtext behind vaccine hesitancy doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
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LMAO. I’m not a doctor or anything, but I gotta admit, “You are not a horse. You are not a cow.” seems like pretty solid medical observations.
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Anti vaxxer/masker: LOL I’m not gonna live in fear of a virus that has a 99% survival rate. SHEEP!
Also anti vaxxer/masker: The vaccine only has an efficacy rate of 99%??? Not good enough.
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Trapped in my little box
In my little skull
In my little body
In the big machine
In the grand scheme
And I want to fucking scream
Existence is entrapment
When no one knows what a scream is
We've never heard it ourselves
So it must not exist
We scream, squinting into life
They assign meanings
And we never stop
Stick tubes in our ears
And feed us
And cause strife
Invisible unless it hurts
Tell someone we have tubes
Don't want to know
The fear that kept us aware
Only ever on a base level
But we need more
We need to see the tubes
Must rip them out
From our core
And feed ourselves
For the first time
In our little existence
(Artwork by myself ft. Fry from Futurama)
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Rating blatant misinformation from the weird antivaxxer side of Pinterest
Because if I had to see this shit, so do you!
First we have this charming infographic from the anti-GMO hysteria lobe of Alternative Medicine Pinterest. This has a lot going for it; I like the sheer ballsiness of throwing “dairy,” “eggs,” “meat” and “fish” in here because we totally have genetically modified domestic cattle and chickens. But what really elevates this to top-tier altmed bullshit is the baffling implication that putting something in a package makes it GMO. To truly avoid GMO’s, we must seek out foods that have never been in a box. 7/10 highly entertaining
Ah yes, the universal villain of alternative medicine: toxicity! Do you have anxiety? Are you tired sometimes? Do you want to eat sweets? Do you have a headache sometimes? If yes, then you probably are suffering from a build-up of Toxicity(tm)! 6/10 for not defining Toxicity anywhere and for the list of symptoms being broad and vague enough to encompass basically everyone
Pink salt hasn’t been proven to have any health benefits outside of having a fun color, but that won’t stop people on Pinterest from lying about it. 4/10 try harder
Do not do this. 0/10 this is just upsetting
This post is brief, but rich: there’s absolutely blatant lies, a grasp of the body that appears to be based around the four humors, and a list of Bad foods so broad that you would probably die if you actually successfully avoided them all. 6/10 you tried
Do you have A Symptom? It might be a parasite! I love this graphic. It’s so broad and vague it’s practically unfalsifiable. Can you prove that you aren’t bipolar because of a parasite? Can you prove that your peanut allergy isn’t because of a parasite? Hungry? Parasite. Not hungry? Also parasite. 8/10 the fun font for “parasite” really sells it
New thing that causes autism just dropped! 2/10 leaky brain
It was only a matter of time before the essential oil cultists threw their hat in the ring, and this one is truly stunning. You should totally eat these essential oils, which can burn your skin and which you cannot put in a plastic or styrofoam cup, in your ears or eyes, or allow near your keyboard. (DO NOT DO THAT.) Other strong points: The very disturbing use of “orifice,” and the implication that exposure to electronic devices will “interfere” with your oils. 9/10 telling people to literally poison themselves is a striking and bold move
This is pretty conventional Pseudoscience Infographic stuff, from the list of Symptoms that is so broad it probably applies to basically anyone, to the overly generic set of Good and Bad foods that cause the Symptoms. The “Your Body Is Acidic” side of altmed isnt putting their best foot forward. (In case this is unclear: You cannot change your body’s pH by eating a special diet and it’s not conclusively been shown that the ‘alkaline diet’ has benefits. That’s not how that works.) 1/10 yawn
Holy shit, this graphic has EVERYTHING. Antivaxx bullshit? Check. Chemtrails? Check. Advising people (again) to literally eat essential oils? Check. “Detox?” Check. Claiming that eating “chemicals” is unhealthy? Check. It almost detracts from the effect of the claim that water is fluoridated using radioactive waste. (It is not technically untrue that fluoride additives in water can contain small amounts of heavy metal contaminants, but they are well, well below the amount considered to pose a health risk.) It’s completely unclear how the essential oils “detox” your body of heavy metals, and the disclaimer at the end that they aren’t Really making a health claim really enhances the experience. But the choice to depict “heavy metals” using a photo of a woman with aluminum foil stuck to her face? Truly beyond compare. 11/10 I wish I couldn’t read
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