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When Believing the Health Authorities Requires Denying Obvious Realities


This weekend The Daily Sceptic published two articles reviewing some studies purported to show Covid-19 vaccines are useful for countering so-called long-covid, lingering symptoms after Covid infection. The conclusion of the author, who is an ex-senior scientist with the UK government, is that the vaccinations do not in fact prevent those symptoms.

In addition one of the studies he quotes shows a great increase in health-related problems resulting from vaccination, which the authors seem to have tried to bury.

The interesting thing here is how we have, over the course of 18 months, moved from eagerly awaiting vaccines that would eradicate Covid-19 by providing herd immunity, towards failed attempts at showing that at least those vaccines prevent long-term health issues among those who catch the disease and fall ill with it, the disease they wouldn’t have caught, let alone fallen ill with, had the vaccines worked as promised. 

At the same time, more and more data from all over the world show how the vaccine rollout is in fact correlated with a large spike in excess mortality. The only hope seems to be the adenovirus vaccines, the use of which was discontinued in most countries in favour of the mRNA vaccines. That may have been a premature decision, as contrary to the mRNA vaccines, they seem to lower excess mortality. 

To sum it up, no protection against infection, the vaccinated seem to fall ill just as easily as the unvaccinated, even more easily, and despite some short-lived protection against death, the net effect is an increase, not a decrease in excess mortality. The last straw is trying to show that at least the vaccines prevent the rather dubious long-covid. Even this attempt fails according to The Daily Sceptic. Still, I expect we will see a wealth of studies purportedly showing some minor positive effects on all sorts of unrelated conditions; once a believer, there is always one more last straw to cling on to.

This brings us back to the other goalposts, the three-week flattening of the curve, how lockdowns were supposed to stop the virus in its tracks, how masks were supposed to do the same, and how those goalposts have moved and how there is always another excuse. If the three-week flattening of the curve didn’t work it was because the lockdowns weren’t strict enough or not put in place at the correct point in time.

If the masks didn’t work in a real-life setting this was of no consequence; the excuse was they weren’t used correctly.

If a study showed mask wearing, combined with personal hygiene measures reduced transmission by a mere 10% at best, this was a huge feat and justified blanket mandates.

If the lockdowns plunged hundreds of millions into acute poverty it wasn’t because of the lockdowns; in some mysterious way the virus itself had forbidden those people to work. 

Moving goalposts and after-the-fact justifications are not a new problem. We see this everywhere. Every project manager has experience of targets being changed, of weak excuses, unrealistic plans and budgets. And of course there is always the tendency to try to cover up what happened. But even so, the stakeholders not directly responsible for the execution usually realize failure when it happens. 

But this is not happening now. We, the public, are the most important stakeholder and it is not us who make the decisions or are responsible for the execution. What is new is how we unquestioningly accept every new goal, every justification, how ready we are to forget today what we were convinced of yesterday, how willingly we go for the next booster believing, truly believing the reason the last one failed to protect us was just bad luck.

We have collectively accepted a parallel world, a parallel set of truths, and however far it is from actual reality does not matter in the least. Our goal is not to eradicate the disease, not to live with it and minimize the harm it causes, our goal is to sustain our belief in the cult leaders, no matter how often they mislead us; with every lie, every shifted target, every excuse, our faith only grows stronger.

With every excuse we accept, with every denial we echo, every misguided action we support, we entangle ourselves more and more deeply; by each step, we take a higher stake in the narrative, and the higher it gets, the more fiercely we defend our parallel set of truths; the harder it becomes to break away and accept reality.

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  • Thorsteinn Siglaugsson

    Thorsteinn Siglaugsson is an Icelandic consultant, entrepreneur and writer and contributes regularly to The Daily Sceptic as well as various Icelandic publications. He holds a BA degree in philosophy and an MBA from INSEAD. Thorsteinn is a certified expert in the Theory of Constraints and author of From Symptoms to Causes – Applying the Logical Thinking Process to an Everyday Problem.

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