I was watching Chernobyl for like the 4th time (it is such a great show) and it occurred to me how similar the original reaction to the disaster was to COVID.
"It's just a cold."
= "It's just like a chest xray."
"It's only dangerous to old people and people with pre-existing conditions."
= "Everything is under control. There's no reason to evict people living around nuclear reactor."
"I became fully informed about how vaccines work from watching non-scientists explaining science in youtube videos. That's how I know more than doctors and nurses."
= "Can you explain exactly how I blew up the reactor? Then it doesn't matter that all of the evidence points to the reactor having exploded. If you can't explain my incompetence in detail then your opinion doesn't matter."
"The steps taken to contain the virus killed more people than the virus."
= "A panic will kill more people than the radiation."
"Anyone believes this is not a normal flu is a fool and a traitor."
= "Anyone believes that this is a good time to panic is a fool and a traitor."
"The number of deaths is exaggerated."
= "The number of deaths is exaggerated."
"This is why everyone hates scientists."
= "This is why everyone hates scientists."
I recently posted a video in the reddit sub WayOfTheBern that debunked Jimmy Dore's take on COVID and the COVID vaccine. WOTB is rabidly anti-COVID vaccine. Far more rabid than C99P.
So I expected the widespread backlash that I got. What surprised even me was how fundamentally weak it was.
One person watched just the first minute of the video. Hardly any detractor even clicked on the video. Yet every single person confidently proclaimed that the video was only "attacking jimmy, not debunking" and "pushing Big Pharma propaganda" and made "apologies for lies", that Status Coup was a "dimestore MSNBC knockoff" and was "gladly regurgitating establishment narratives" and "sold out the 99%", that the scientist being interviewed was a "lightweight" who was "playing on fear" and was in some undefined way working for Big Pharma, that I was a "corporate shill" and "fascist nutjob" and "establishment troll".
Almost no one wanted to debate the actual points in the video. Absolutely no one conceded a single fact the video brought up, even when Dore obviously contradicted himself, nor when he clearly misunderstood the article he was presenting.
When I called out most of these blatantly false claims almost no one tried to back them up, with the few exceptions of people that doubled-down on the personal insults.
Several people openly said that they knew everything necessary about vaccines and that everyone who disagreed was spreading lies.
The thing is that this was not an outlier on this subject in my experience (I'm not talking about C99P, which is almost always unusually civil).
No one had the slightest interest in learning facts that contradicted their opinions, nor did they want to verify if anything they believed to be true had been later disproven.
The consistent assumption is that if I didn't buy their take on the subject then I must also believe X, Y, and Z. For instance, if I didn't believe that the vaccine killed more people than COVID then I must be a shill for Big Pharma.
What seems clear is the most important thing is "the team", and this is reflected by a serious lack of independent, critical thinking.
The best example I can give is how so many of people on this "team" who have justifiable doubts about the safety of the Pfizer COVID vaccine because of the insufficient testing, have absolutely no problem believing that ivermectin was a COVID cure-all despite there being absolutely ZERO testing of it against the COVID vaccine until very recently (and most of those tests don't show any effectiveness against COVID).
That is clearly and unquestionably a hypocritical double-standard. It's as undeniable as 1 + 1 = 2.
Yet every single time I pointed this out, it was universally denied by the "team". Some people denied it out of dishonesty. But even more disturbing, some people honestly didn't have enough critical thinking skills to see and understand the obvious logical contradictions of their opinions, and that bothers me a lot more.
If you are unable to use logic and common sense to critically examine your opinions and the opinions that you hear, then it's only a matter of time before someone scams you out of all your money or you get talked into doing something you will later regret.
With that in mind, the biggest group out there who believes that untested COVID vaccines are dangerous, but ivermectin does work because of second-hand anecdotes also believes that Trump won the 2020 election despite all the evidence disproving it. This group, that even Fox News hosts called "fucking insane" in private texts (according to court documents in Fox News v. Dominion Voting), have little regard for facts, evidence, and book learnin'.
No, I'm not saying anyone here is like that. But if I happened to find myself agreeing with a bunch of people that don't care what the truth actually is, I would have to re-examine my opinions.
Also suspicious is how many people on the Left that have bought into this team are increasingly convinced that their real enemies aren't Republicans who despise them and oppose everything they value, nor the corporate Dems who sell them out for a nickle every chance they get, but are instead progressives, who lack the spine to fight for them.
It's like getting beaten up by the high school bully every day, but focusing all of your anger at the kid in the crowd who yells "Leave him alone", while telling the bully "I could never hate you because you are just doing what you do," as he knocks your teeth out. Then trying to convince the bully of how much you two have in common.
On a more personal note, one of my oldest and best friends jumped into the whole anti-vaxx thing with both feet. One day he was normal. We would have deep-dive conversations about politics and economics.
Then he cut himself off from friends and refused to visit without explaining why. Then he started sending out angry anti-vaxx emails to everyone that eventually evolved into non-nonsensical, curse-word filled rants about how the whole world was against him because he refused to be needle-raped.
So that's colored my view on the subject. The anti-vaxx movement cost me a good friend.