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Byron Shire
May 26, 2024

The cure: education

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Jenny Coman, Bangalow

Thank you, David Lovejoy, for such a clear and sensible analysis of the antivax sentiment as we are currently experiencing it (‘Doctor, my brain hurts’, Echo 23/2).

It’s almost impossible to change the antivax mindset, and one wonders whether its adherents would have been equally opposed to the polio vaccine? There’s little point in arguing as they tend to have their justifications always at the ready, rarely including any validity.

It’s not great to have the reputation of being the antivax capital of the country and it’s reassuring that antivaxxers are in fact a small minority. The only remedy lies in education, and one hopes our schools, i.e. teachers, will rise to the challenge.


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20 COMMENTS

  1. It’s OK, even I’m over trying to help you.
    Take another booster and watch a war you wouldn’t have cared about if you weren’t instructed to do so.
    As people around suddenly die of rare conditions around you, call it climate change and get another booster.
    Ignore everything coming out of Pfizer, all the law suits, and everyone bailing from these companies.
    You’ve got your two minutes of hate at Emanuel Goldstein to attend too.

      • It can be. But since nullifidian has informed me I’m part of some elite group, I’m definitely going to keep you on as a pet after “We” take over the planet. At least you make me think sometimes.

        • No no, big difference – he said you CLAIM you are part of an elite group.

          You don’t need a pet, you get enough amusement baiting people on this forum I’m sure. I can’t quite believe you’re serious – that’s just too scary.

      • You keep using the term “elitist group-think” like it’s a magic incantation.
        What group do you think I’m a part of?
        If you don’t try to rebut my interpretation of source material, if you don’t engage with a rational counter argument, if you simply type emotional screeds and propagandistic catch phrases, don’t expect to be taken seriously.
        Pro-vaxers give the same reactions as the flat earthers, moon hoaxers, and Q-Anon devotees. And for the same reasons.
        I’m open to counter arguments, otherwise I wouldn’t bother talking to people who disagree with me. I like having my conclusions challenged.
        In this case I’m also not keen on you guys dropping dead nor voting for greater state control. I’m fine with flat earthers falling off the edge of the planet though.

  2. Many anti-vaxxers are trapped in a cultish belief system, but sadly lack the awareness to realise it.
    Warning signs include an excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to fringe theories as truth. Critical thinking and hard facts are contemptuously dismissed and victimhood promoted. Group thinking is elitist, claiming exalted status because they alone have superior intellect and knowledge. Some even claim their exclusive wisdom and persecution justify sedition.

    “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” ― Mark Twain

    • “It is time to reform (or reflect) whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority.” ― Mark Twain

      “I have never let my education interfere with my life. There is no such thing as a sudden massacre in soap operas or education, but they are more deadly over time. We learn from what we have unlearned most of the time in education.” ― Mark Twain

      “The newspaper is a great way to learn about the world. If you don’t read it, you are uninformed. You are not informed if you read the newspaper.” ― Mark Twain

      He was also an Anti-vaxer. Look it up.

      • So what Chris, some quotes to make you sound reasonable but mark Twain wasn’t a doctor so your point is? I do know your exaggerations of vaccinate issues versus those unvaccinated issues shows your level of understanding of statistics like your understanding of weather versus climate.

        • nullifidian made ad hominem attacks and then stuck a Twain quote on the end. I don’t bother addressing such ignorant stereotyping, so I just chucked some twain back.

      • Aah, the classic conspiracy evasion of “look it up”. Where’s your evidence?
        And how about dealing with the issues raised, or are they too close to home?
        “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” – Mark Twain

        • You didn’t raise any issues you just repeated a stereotype at me. I keep providing links to peer reviewed studies and medical conferences on the Echo and randoms such as you drop in and all say the same slogans and talking points. Yet Steve_O and I point at different material because we have come to the same conclusions through different evidence and means. Yet you all repeat the same tropes. I’ll skip the coolaid thanks, it smells like almonds.

      • Mostly misquotations out of context. What he did say was “I said there was nothing so convincing to an Indian as a general massacre. If he could not approve of the massacre, I said the next surest thing for an Indian was soap and education. Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run; because a half-massacred Indian may recover, but if you educate him and wash him, it is bound to finish him some time or other.” Soap operas were not a thing of the 19th century, but racism was, as with today.

  3. Mark Twain was a truly great writer, ethicist and wit. Argument by quotation though has its limitations and I won’t base my medical decisions thus. Despite Twain’s status as a writer and humorist I very much doubt he would nominate himself an expert in 21st century vaccinology.

    You may be right about Sam Clemens being an anti-vaxxer – though I’m sure he would be insulted by this and insist he was not anti-vax just pro-choice. However, just for fact checking, a letter to his wife is purported to exist that advises: “Get vaccinated –– right away –– no matter if you were vaccinated 6 month ago –– the theory is, keep doing it –– for if it takes it shows you needed it –– and if it don’t take it is proof that you did not need it ­ –– but the only safety is to apply the test, once a year. Smallpox is everywhere –– doctors think it will become an epidemic. Here it is $25 fine if you are not vaccinated within the next 10 days. Mine takes splendidly –– arm right sore. Attend to this, my child 2. –– With a whole world of love and kisses. Sam” Dec 25 1871

    • I’m sure he would be insulted, but given his opinions of the medical establishment later in his life, he would be labeled not just anti-vax, but anti-science, despite being best buds with Nikola. Cause that’s just the time we live in.

      • Fine – I just won’t be basing my decisions on Samual Clemens’ 19th century views on the medical fraternity nor his many witticisms that, like many pithy observations, can be assumed by both sides to support their case.

        Personally I like best his observations about dogs.

        • Given the guy would try anything, and was sure everything was placebo effect, I have to agree.
          I’m more of a Henry David Thoreau guy, shockingly enough.

          • Of course, but his advocacy of civil disobedience had a little more foundation than that of the “freedom” fighters fuelled by a Mandela complex delusion.

  4. Stop wasting words, Chris. You are yacking away at yourself
    because you need attention. Quit taking up space, hey. Baying
    at the moon in any shape is helpful in self importance. Try it.

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