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OVERWHELMED with all the chat going on here. It makes me feel sane, happy and informed. Thanks for sharing all your stories. The Webworm community is cool. Thank you!

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My partner and I got the vax and had a significant improvement in household income. I thought it was maybe a coincidence but have since heard from others this has happened to them too. I've also had loads of energy lately and my skin and hair are great. I'm just asking questions but surely all of this can't just happen and it all came after the vax.

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Sep 27, 2021Liked by David Farrier

I remain somewhat fascinated by the fact that so so many people in the "vaccine hesitant" community seem to "know" multiple people who have had negative effects, but so far as I have been able to tell, none of the people in my own circle have had any negative side effects, or event seem to know anyone who has.

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Sep 27, 2021Liked by David Farrier

At risk of committing the sin of being serious - while anti-vaxxers may like to call themselves "vaccine hesitant" erroneously, "vaccine hesitant" is a term we use in public health to alienating people who haven't gone full batshit, and who might be gently coaxed out of their hesitancy. People who want to get the vaccine in theory, but keep putting it off because they don't like needles. People who've heard so much stuff going round that they're a bit unsure, but encouragement from someone they like/respect might get them there.

If you want to have a good and helpful conversation with someone you know who's looking down the rabbit hole, or already fallen down, or even just talking about a talking rabbit they saw and how they were thinking about seeing where it went, there are some great guides on what kinds of approaches work, and what kinds generally don't. Seguing to "I hear you're a bit unsure about getting the vaccine, can we talk about that?", after genuine conversation about their life and wellbeing is going to get you further than "Why are you anti-vax, are you some kind of idiot?"

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Sep 27, 2021Liked by David Farrier

I got the vaccine, and 11 days later I got hiccups.

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The worst are the people masking their anti-vax rhetoric by claiming the other way to “fix” this pandemic is through “peace, love, and acceptance of all people no matter their vaccination status” 🙄🙄🙄 however I personally feel reassured every day when I see the vaccination status updates for New Zealand. Seeing that almost 80% of people believe in the vaccine reminds me that those bumbling idiots are a tiny portion (albeit, the loudest) of our society.

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Sep 27, 2021Liked by David Farrier

I made a comment on Jacinda Ardern's post yesterday morning and was bullied and harrassed all day - it's still going this morning in a 200 long comment reply thread. I managed to have the nastiest comments removed (apparently I'm a 'disgusting person' and a 'jabtard') for harrassment but I couldn't get any work done all day!

Many people started off being all sweet and saccharine and encouraging me to be more empathetic, but when I made it known I wasn't believing their bullshit they turned vitriolic.

They're so organised, and there are so many of them, and they're so obsessed.

Some people are wondering if the post is a honeypot. Surely JA's media team knew what they were doing.

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Sep 27, 2021Liked by David Farrier

See, so much of this crap could be avoided if people had paid attention in 7th grade science class, where you first learn the basic scientific principle that CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUAL CAUSATION. Maybe we should all start wearing T shirts declaring such.

I honestly did have quite frightening, severe side effects from my Pfizer dose 1, but for damn sure I'll still get my booster when they tell me it's time.

As for the stories of insanity, I used to work in healthcare so I'm very sensitive to the stories by doctors and nurses who say that they have patients fighting them and denying covid is real even as they're about to be intubated. The abuse that healthcare workers are experiencing is infuriating. And it's also going to have long-term effects on health systems: many will burn out to the point that they leave their careers entirely, and others will become permanently jaded and callous. We'll be feeling the effects for many years, I'm certain.

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Sep 28, 2021Liked by David Farrier

Kia ora David :)

Loving this update as I’ve recently fallen into an anti-vax rabbit hole.

I live in South Aucks and am in locky d, as you know. So, I'm out walking with the kids (who are just loving me making them walk every day) and we see these stickers on power poles, fences etc. And they are some anti-vax, anti-mask, anti-Jacinda, QANON type bullshit. And suddenly, I have a new fave hobby of hunting the stickers and taking them off (and collecting them, is that weird?). 1 kid is even enjoying the walks!!

So the stickers have a QR code on them. So I follow it, and unfortunately, I have to download Telegram which gives me shits, but so be it. AND NOW I CAN'T STOP LOOKING!!! I have made it my new joy to check who they want to target next (schools who are vaxxing, the buses, supermarkets, Jacinda's live from the other night) and forewarn them that they are about to be protested (outside schools) or comment bombed (the live stream). And yeah, I know, it's some real do-gooder shit, but it makes me kinda happy and I honestly am AMAZED by all the things they write. Like, it's next level insane. And it's all open to the public.

If you haven't checked the Telegram page out - it's THE WHITE ROSE NEW ZEALAND. It's got some whack content, and I am both intrigued and terrified. I'm sure there are many other pages just like it... but this one is the one I've seen, and it has enough nutters talking about HOW THEY STILL HAVE GUNS, HOW CHRIS HIPKINS' SKIN LOOKS REALLY GOOD THESE DAYS, SO HE MUST HAVE BEEN REPLACED BY AN ACTOR :) :) I'm dying at that one. HOW JACINDA POSTED THAT VAX POST ON DAYLIGHT SAVING NIGHT KNOWING WE WOULD ALL BE TOO TIRED TO ENGAGE!

It's a serious trip and I reckon worth a look.

All the very best and thank you!

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Sep 27, 2021Liked by David Farrier

Last week I spent about 20 mins chatting with the (lovely) woman who cleans our home. Her company has said they must all be vaccinated, and she was genuinely frightened, like, really worried. Her daughter is very anti-vax. People like her are just some of the many victims of anti-vaxxers.

As for the anti-vaxxers themselves who spread misinformation on purpose, time's run out on my patience and empathy. I want them all to get Covid, & I want them to have it really badly actually. In this total fantasy scenario, they don't spread it around and they don't die, but they have a shitful time and something twigs in their brains, enough to make them shut up next time. Just shut UP.

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Sep 29, 2021Liked by David Farrier

Something that I think is very important, and something I actively try to do, is to react to anti-vaxxers with empathy. I try as hard as I can to remember that they are victims in this. Victims of an incredibly powerful propaganda and disinformation machine.

And the truly crazy thing about all this propaganda is that it seems no one is really at the helm of the machine. In the past it has always been governments, or think tanks, behind propaganda, but with Covid, I really feel like it's this self perpetuating, decentralized, propaganda machine that fuels itself on it's own product, in some cyclical downward spiral of insanity. Yes, it's furthered by the likes of Fox News etc, but it's genesis is all the anonymous user boards etc. and that's where most of it still comes from.

I know a guy who has been thoroughly "red-pilled". At some point he was a full blown QAnon believer. I'm not sure if that's still the case (he's a FB acquaintance, more than a friend), but he is neck deep in Covid conspiracy. He's very much anti lockdown, anti vaccine, pro conspiracy.

It's maddening and frustrating seeing him post so much complete nonsense. So, one day, I tried to talk to him about it on FB. This was before the latest outbreak in NZ. He was complaining about lockdowns and how they're ineffectual and harmful. Of course, I recognize that lockdowns have some very severe negative effects (economic, mental health, etc), but I was shocked that someone in NZ could be so anti-lockdown, despite it VERY CLEARLY working over here. So I tried to question him on this.

Turns out that he believes natural immunity is the answer. He says that natural immunity is better than a vaccine and it's the reason we beat the virus. This is obviously absurd. There is zero reason why NZ should have some magical immunity that is better than the rest of the world. It's also absurd to see the case numbers climb here, we go in to lockdown, the case numbers fall, and not put 2+2 together.

He's not going to get the vaccine because again, "natural immunity". And of course, he's full of all sorts of articles and scientific papers that he links in his posts to back up his arguments. I'm assuming most people get intimidated by his "research" and back off. But I read it. None of it proved what he asserted. It showed, at best, that natural immunity is comparable to the vaccine, which he used as proof... conveniently forgetting that the difference is that in order to get natural immunity, you need to first, y'know, GET FUCKING COVID AND RISK DYING, unlike the vaccine which is relatively risk free.

He believes this is all planned and part of a plan to take away our freedoms, institute a one world goverment, blah, blah, blah...

Anyway, this is all to illustrate that he's completely lost grip on reality and logic... and this is why I feel sorry for him. Yes, it's infuriating (it legitimately occupies an unhealthy amount of my daily brain energy thinking about it), but ultimately, he is still a victim. Yes, he's actively spreading disinformation, much like the people in the comments of the Jacinda post (he was in there too, of course)... but it's because he GENUINELY believes it.

They have been failed by our society. They're obviously incapable of sound reasoning, which is a failure of our education system. Even when these people post stuff that's false, or completely unsubstantiated rumours, they're doing it because it falls in line with what they "know" to be true. And again, they don't have the reasoning ability to see just how harmful it all is (which it unquestionably is). They're just one person, trying to "educate". They seem incapable of seeing the tidal wave of bullshit they're helping to create... And yet, at the same time, they're emboldened by everyone else who thinks the same. I mean, they can't ALL be wrong... right?

They've fallen down a rabbit hole, through no fault of their own, which has presented them with false information that they now believe. And as as your friend Paul has written before, even if they realise the mistake they've made, it's entirely likely that the shame will cause them to double down on their beliefs.

I don't know what the point of typing all this is... I think I'm just venting haha. But I guess I'm trying to remind everyone here that while it's very, very easy to become angry and hateful towards these people, that unfortunately won't change anything. Yes, they're being harmful. They're being stupid... but can you actually blame someone for being dumb? It feels like blaming someone for being short. It's just, unfortunately, the way some people are.

I think it's important to remember that none of us are really in control of what we think. It's just a big mess of our lived experiences and influences, all coming together in this complex web that we are unable to really escape from. For better or worse.

I feel very lucky that my life guided me to a place where I have critical reasoning skills, allowing me to escape the clutches of this dangerous, leaderless, propaganda machine running rampant through our societies right now.

I have no idea what the solution is. Because all of this, whether we get angry and blame people for it or not, is undoubtedly damaging to our societies and causing huge rifts as we start to live in literally different worlds to each other.

It's all so maddening and confusing that I want to just say fuck it and even delete this post because it all feels so pointless... but I've written it now, so I'll just leave this semi novel here for anyone who cares to read it.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.

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Sep 27, 2021Liked by David Farrier

I know someone who, upon finding out I am vaccinated, refuses to come near me because she firmly believes that the vaccine "amplifies" covid from a vaccinated person to a non-vaccinated person. She believes that the vaccine was developed by the US government to get rid of anyone who won't comply, which is why more unvaccinated people are dying. 🤨

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Sep 27, 2021Liked by David Farrier

I appreciate everyone’s point of view in this thread. Thoughtful, intelligent and well researched. As an independent contractor I recently advised one company I occasionally work for that I was no longer available due to their rabid anti vax position. A position they have been posting on every social media platform possible for months now. Consequences sweetheart, consequences.

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Sep 27, 2021Liked by David Farrier

Any kind of correlation vs causation conversation always brings me back to one of my favourite internet pages from back in the day: https://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

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Sep 28, 2021Liked by David Farrier

I think it would be very interesting to do some background checking into the founders behind some of these anti vax groups and links to overseas lobbyists, that Freedom one with those friendly looking photogenic mums springs to mind.

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Sep 27, 2021Liked by David Farrier

I have a couple of friends of the anti-vax/vaccine hesitant variety. One I had to gently ask to stop sending me videos if she wanted to remain friends. My sense is they fall into two categories: 1) all about free will, couldn't give 2 shits about covid or the vaccine but just don't want to be told what to do, and 2) genuinely terrified and terribly misinformed. The friend sending me videos is horrified that her sister (who is a nurse) didn't listen to her and got the vaccine, she's convinced that her sister will now be infertile and die of a heart attack. It must be really scary to believe all of this stuff - and so hard to convince people otherwise when they are finding information that confirms their biases. Sigh.

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