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On friendship with self-righteous cowards
Three years in, the bell has rung. No, I don't expect Covidians and vaccine fanatics to apologize. But the ones so deluded as to think THEY still should be judging US - I'm done with them. Forever.
We all lost friends. Most of us lost relatives too.
Not to Covid, of course. With some sad exceptions, almost no one lost anyone who wasn’t already over 75 or extremely overweight or ill to Covid.
We lost friends to the government and media-fed lockdown panic, and then to the rancor over the mRNAs.
(YOU LOST FRIENDS, BUT YOU GAINED UNREPORTED TRUTHS - AND THIS COMMUNITY. WHICH IS SOMETHING.)
They told us that we were selfish and stupid. That we didn’t understand science. Or vaccines. That we were risking our lives and theirs out of pure spite, or maybe fear of needles. That the government was right to make us choose between our jobs and an experimental biotechnology. That we shouldn’t be allowed in movie theaters or stores or restaurants or planes.
Then they stopped talking to us at all. They disinvited us from family gatherings and parties. They said our children couldn’t play with theirs. They looked away when they saw us on the street.
You may have reached out to some of them. I did. Not to convince them, that was impossible, but simply to say, Hey, I’m still the same person, I don’t want to fight about this, we don’t have to talk about it.
Except they wanted to talk about it. To vent. To let us know how immoral and wrong we were.
“Everyone in medicine thinks you’re a fool,” a person I considered a friend said to me, after he found out that I had suggested children should not get the jabs.
(“Revise” is doing a lot of work there:)
He said some other things, too.
By the way, did I mention I was a guest at his house when he told me off? I would have walked out, but we were with our kids, and I didn’t want to embarrass them.
I probably should have walked out.
The anger at us peaked in the second half of 2021.
Some people were still scared of Covid in the second half of 2021. And a lot of people still thought the mRNAs worked. Why? I don’t know. It was obvious they had failed - not just to me, but to the vaccine companies and the government, which were pushing more and more shots, twisting the word “vaccine” beyond recognition.
But it’s not the second half of 2021 anymore.
It’s May 2023. In the two years since we mRNA skeptics faced frantic abuse, the mRNA countries have had multiple Covid waves despite near complete vaccination of adults over 65. Countries like Canada and South Korea and Australia - where 99 percent of people over 70 were vaccinated by the beginning of 2022 - had more Covid deaths in 2022 than ever before.
(If this is vaccine success, I’d hate to see failure:)
The bigger philosophical issue is that trying to destroy people and undo basic civil liberties protections over a respiratory virus was a titanic mistake - and would have been even if Covid had been significantly more dangerous than it was.
But let’s put that fact aside and just focus on nuts and bolts three years in.
At this point - how do I put this politely? - we can all agree that maybe the mRNAs were not the panacea that we were told.
And that maybe the hysteria around Covid was a little overdone.
But here’s the part that stuns me, the truly jaw-dropping aspect of where we are now: A lot of those people who got on their high horses two or three years ago, they won’t get off.
Forget apologizing and asking for our forgiveness. They’re still shunning us. They cannot possibly still believe they were right, so they must just be too afraid to admit the truth.
Which makes sense.
They were cowards from the beginning, hiding in their apartments and houses, behind their masks and face shields, following useless rules and rituals.
And when the miracle shot arrived, they were desperate for it to save them.
(VOGUE, Dec. 5, 2020: Self-described hypocondriac and Covid hysteric Molly Jong-Fast waits for a tiny little prick.)
So. They were cowards.
Cowardice is forgivable.
And they were wrong.
Being wrong is forgivable.
But at this point their inability to admit the truth - if not to us, to themselves - that’s not forgivable.
Where I stand, as of May 1, 2023.
I no longer expect apologies from anyone. If my friends want to pretend the last three years didn’t happen, I am okay pretending. I will never really trust them again, unless they admit the truth or at least show some understanding of how wrong they were. But when you have long histories with people, and you know their flaws, and they know yours, you have to make allowances, just as they do for you.
What I am NOT willing to do any longer is suffer their disapproval.
I have quietly extended olive branches over the last few months to a number of folks. But what I’ve realized recently is my willingness to turn the other cheek has a sell-by date, and it is here. Three years in, anyone who still presumes to judge those of us who were proven right has shown himself to be not just a coward but a fool.
As my dad used to say, forever is a mighty long time. And I don’t have enough friends to lose them lightly.
But I am done with these people.