3rd March 2021

Welcome back to another day of Lockdown? What Lockdown?

Hopefully, many of you will have seen the wonderful news coming out of USA of both Texas and Mississippi lifting the mask mandates and all restrictions — long may the cards continue to fall!

You may have also seen the discouraging news that “our” Government has stated that there will be no quickening of the roadmap. I remain unconvinced by this. If the house of cards continues to tumble and the rest of the Western World ends up out of Lockdown having only vaccinated one-tenth the proportion of the population we have, they will have no choice.

So, stay hopeful.

As for those of us who are already ignoring the Lockdowns as best as possible, we have only two stories for you today. Our first notes a hopeful sign coming out of the butcher’s.

Disappointing to read that the stories are running out – they are a great antidote to the doom and gloom, and the “it’ll be months before things go back to normal” narrative.  Two anecdotes to prime the pump:

1.      on Saturday, the butcher told me he had been swamped with orders for party-packs of barbecue food – surely a welcome sign.
2.      on Sunday (which just beat Saturday as the nicest day of the year so far), we went for a 10-mile walk in Cranborne Chase, stopping half-way for a rest (and a sandwich, which I guess is a picnic, although would it have been if we had been standing up?).  We saw all of 5 other people to say hello to (at a distance, and outside…)  In what parallel universe is that adding to any risk?

I do think that last thought is worth some focus – wherever one stands on the fear spectrum, it simply cannot be the case that, however far you drive, however far you walk, and however long you sit in the sunshine eating, you are risking your or anyone else’s health.

Get out.  Enjoy the sunshine.  Feel alive.

Our second story takes a different route and talks about the vaccines. We weren’t sure about publishing this one at first; however, given that getting the vaccine has an appearance of being a restriction (or at the least, becoming one…) we decided we would publish it.

I have now had three comments thrown my way in response to my stating that I have no desire to get the SARS-CoV-2 jab: one just outright accusing me of being “antivaxx”; one which went something like, “see, now you’re stepping into antivaxx territory”; and one which went something like, “so, I assume you’re antivaxx, then?”

The problem with discussing anything with these kinds of people is that they make their assumptions early, and then one is forced to battle their preconceived notions, rather than inform, educate, and persuade on anything resembling a level-playing field for debate.

It is the same with discussing lockdowns from a position of being anti-lockdown; first you have to convince your esteemed interlocuter that you are not insane before they will pay any attention to your “ideas and opinions”. Pointing out that I am not putting forward “ideas and opinions”, but rather conclusions that it seems inconceivable anyone would be able to disagree with were they to investigate for themselves and have access to all the same information appears to carry no weight either.

And so, it seems, every debate regarding the vaccine has to start with the phrase, “I’m not antivaxx, but…”

I thought I would outline my “buts” here.

First up is one that I never thought would need to be specified, but, unfortunately, appears is necessary: not wanting one vaccine does not an antivaxxer make.

As a gay man, I am more susceptible to the HPV virus; however, there is only one place in the country a man can get the HPV vaccine (or, at least, there was when I decided to get it): the MSM clinic in Brighton. It is also a three-shot vaccine and each trip down took a total of four hours, but I was happy to give up twelve hours of my life to significantly reduce my risk of contracting this nasty virus.

This neatly leads onto my second point. Every medical procedure an individual goes through should be based on a personal risk assessment. In the case of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, having already contracted it and recovered in a matter of days, I see my risk of not having the vaccine as being as close to nil as is scientifically possible. Based on everything I am seeing regarding the vaccine, on balance, I see my risk of taking the vaccine as tiny; most likely, I have a sore arm and possibly a bit of a headache for a day or two. However, a tiny risk is still greater than an infinitesimal one; and so, based on my personal risk assessment, not getting the vaccine wins out against getting the vaccine.

This leads into my third argument, which is more principled: I will not get any medical procedure on the basis that “my” Government wants me to have it.

Indeed, the very fact that the Government is attempting to coerce individuals into abandoning their right to make their own personal risk assessments regarding a medical intervention encourages me to stand against this on principle, effectively abandoning my own personal risk assessment and simply saying “no”. This is anti-big-state, not antivaxx.

In the raging hypothetical where the data were clear, where the risk of the vaccine was minimal, where the virus posed a greater risk to my age group (under 30s) than it does, and where the risk of re-infection was greater than it appears to be, but where the Government was still attempting to coerce individuals into taking the vaccine, then I would still be opposed to taking it.

The final argument I have is more forward looking, and less personal. While it appears to still be up for debate what the Government is attempting to do regarding the Lockdowns, if one were to extrapolate from the idea that they were trying to get away with a monstrous crime against humanity, then a reasonable conclusion to draw would be that they are seeking a way of ensuring that the only explanation for escaping this “pandemic” is the vaccines that they so expertly sourced, secured, and rolled out in a bid to vindicate their actions over the last twelve months.

If this is the case, then the greater the number of individuals who refuse the vaccine, the harder claiming that narrative becomes, and the harder it is for the Government to claim this narrative, the less likely it is that they will be able to escape justice for all the harms they’ve caused over the last twelve months.

I am not antivaxx, but I am pro-debate, I am pro-individual choice based on risk assessments regarding medical procedures, I am anti-big-state, I am anti-fraud, and I am pro-justice, and it is on these grounds that I will refuse the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

That is all we have for today, and so, from us here at Lockdown? What Lockdown?, remember to find what joy you can as you go about your day, and, if you can…

Get out. See a friend. Share a hug.

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