Discovering my Family are Conspiracy Theorists

Especially if it’s stuck crosswise in the Suez Canal. ; - )

Exactly. I was born just a few years after the mumps vaccine became widely available, and I still remember watching TV shows where the characters had mumps (Eight is Enough?). My late grandmother had a serious case of measles that nearly killed her, and I remember visiting a relative her age who still suffered from partial paralysis from polio.

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Thanks for the responses!

It’s confusing for a good reason. That CDC MYTH discussion conflates three issues: 1) whether NI is better than VI (the actual question), 2) the dangers of the disease, and 3) whether the vax still helps people who have had it. The MYTH title engages only the first issue, but then argues the second and third. Their discussion is not “wrong” here, but simply does not engage the first question. Read it again and see what you think about that.

@jpm, thanks. Good arguments. But I don’t think it’s “complicated.” The statement would be, “If you’ve already had covid, let’s get that vaccine to someone who needs it more.”

Hi @chris_falter good to hear from you! I think CDC wrote that in a VERY lawyerly fashion! Not wrong, but avoiding the actual question. I don’t understand why.

I just found this most excellent summary where I think they have been very careful to critique fairly. Note that I wrote my critique above before I found this, and they make the same points:

The question for me is why the Official US Narrative on this narrow point disagrees with the science! And again the problem is that it has unfair/irrational consequences in the lives of real people. And as that link closes, “This is one example of why some people don’t listen to the authorities anymore.”

You apparently did not watch the Yahoo News Video linked, sorrytoconfuseyou.

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@Dale did you intend your comment to sound snarky?

Like the CDC you are conflating things:

  1. Natural immunity alone is better than vaccine immunity alone
  2. The vax helps someone with natural immunity.

Not the same issue. I’m not disagreeing with #2.

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Sorrytoconfuseyou was the link you posted. What makes you think natural immunity is better than vaccination for a first infection?

Being willing to risk an infection without vaccination is not what anyone should do. Like polio.

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We have discarded millions of unused vaccines; the supply chain is very difficult to manage, and demand is sometimes hard to predict.

These days, no one in North America or Europe is being denied a vaccine due to lack of supply.
Tests, OTOH, are quite different…,

Grace and peace,
Chris

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Hi Marty,
I was brief because I didn’t want to write and essay – and @Randy already responded with an excellent essay above. But if you want more…

First, on the science. When it comes specifically to the risk of symptomatic infection (not severe disease), I think the following are probably but not certainly true. Someone who was doubly vaxxed with mRNA a month ago probably has more protection than someone who had an asymptomatic infection a year ago; someone who was quite sick a year ago probably has substantially better protection than someone who was doubly vaxxed a year ago; someone who was boosted a month ago has better protection than any of the above. Other comparisons are less clear, as is the situation with severe disease. Anyone who makes with confidence a blanket statement that one is better than the other is not engaging seriously with the evidence.

Second, on the CDC’s ‘myth’ statement. It seems clear to me that the statement was directed at the substantial number of people who think that if you’ve been infected, there’s no point in being vaccinated. That belief is clearly a myth, and it is 100% correct and on-mission for the CDC to try to correct it; failing to try would be dereliction of their duty.

Now, if you had argued that the CDC’s statement could have been more accurate, and that it should have adopted a more nuanced approach that better reflected the beliefs of those they were addressing, I would have tentatively agreed. Starting with the uncertainty and complexity of the NI vs VI issue, acknowledging the value of NI, and working from there to address the concerns of those hesitant about vaccination might well have been better messaging as well as more accurate. As I said previously, the CDC’s messaging has often been clumsy and has not always been accurate, and this is hardly the worst example. My agreement would have only been tentative because I don’t know that better wording would have mattered – I suspect the bulk of those skeptical about vaccinating the previously infected aren’t skeptical because of the precise wording of the CDC statement (which they are unlikely to have read) but because someone they trust told them that the CDC was in cahoots with Pfizer.

That’s not the argument I was dealing with, however. Your claim was that the CDC was lying as part of a propaganda effort. That is a very different argument. It’s one I find highly implausible on its face, given the actual character, motivations, and incentives of the many people I’ve worked with in public health, including those at the CDC. (Remember, you’re not accusing some amorphous entity of lying – you’re accusing actual human beings.) It’s also, to me, an extremely serious charge to bring against people whose careers are devoted to improving public health, one that comes with a moral obligation on the one making it to provide a high degree of supporting evidence. It’s that specific charge – not that the CDC issued an imperfect statement, but that they were lying – that I don’t think you have provided any evidence for.

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Just a quick note to say thanks for clarifying. I’ll get back on this with a fuller response soon.

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I will note (because it’s on my mind at the moment, what with the recent study showing that Epstein Barr virus is a causal factor in MS) that we’ve been comparing vaccine-acquired and infection-acquired immunity strictly in terms of protection against covid. Given the rate of Long Covid after infection and the character of the neurological damage that it includes, I think it’s entirely possible that we’re going to find that infection-induced immunity actually causes long-term neurological damage, some of which may not show up for years. If that turns out to be the case, than infection-acquired immunity will turn out to be much worse than VI.

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Interesting paper on EBV. The propensity for that and other herpes viruses to infect and lay latent in nerve cells is a bit scary, since most of us have had and still have those viruses in us (if not medically oriented, think mono for EBV, cold sores and worse for herpes simplex, shingles for herpes zoster, after chickenpox). It does seem like the story is still out on whether the neurological symptoms of Covid are due to auto-immune problems, vascular problems, or whatever else it may do, so the mechanism may well be different. Worrisome no matter what, and the recovery from this will take generations, not months or years, I fear.

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The mechanism may well be different. My thought in this case was triggered by the combination of the MS paper and this one on an apparent role for inflammation and microglial activation in long covid: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.01.07.475453v1

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Wow. That is scary. It would help explain some of the CNS manifestations we are observing in my region. Thanks. I am going to ask one of my neurologist colleagues who has been treating long Covid about her thoughts on this article. Thanks!

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All very preliminary, of course.

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This seems about equally relevant here as in (sadly) many other threads:

Let Correction Be a Clue (thegospelcoalition.org)

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Excellent article. Wish I could say I am there, but inspired to strive for the wisdom described.

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When I began to comment on this thread, it’s because I wanted people to be able to talk with covid vax hesitant. That was the OP’s frustration. We cannot have conversations with people who may disagree with us if we don’t listen and understand what’s going on. It’s always a bigger picture than we can get from first blush, and most people will put something out there and see if it is safe for them to continue. These days, usually it’s not. I like to talk to people who disagree with me because I always learn something, but if I don’t make it safe for them to talk, it won’t happen. Of course, many people don’t want to converse, they want to tell you how it is and you must believe the same or you’re evil. Nothing can be done to connect with them.

@glipsnort you have argued the CDC MYTH claim around natural immunity so that if I squint just right and tilt my head, I can see it. I shouldn’t have to do that. It would have been so easy to say what you claim they meant: “MYTH: If I had the disease the vaccine won’t help me.”

In any case, I’ve said before on this thread that the core issue is larger than covid. Here’s a recent report by a company that consults to companies on the current environment: Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Distrust | Edelman “Now, around two-thirds of respondents believe traditional authority figures—journalists, government leaders and business executives—flat-out lie.” The one exception: “Among upper-income people, the pandemic actually increased trust in public institutions.”

If you talk to people, you’re going to hear “lie” and “propaganda.” I’m hoping people can get my point here so when they hear it out there they don’t knee-jerk react and shut down the discussion before it starts.

The general government handling of this pandemic has been ham handed at best, and the stupid politics around it, shameful. All this plays into the distrust of the CDC. In this climate, invoking authority arguments will shut the door.

My advice, do a little searching to find what’s true in what’s being said. Somebody has to listen first or we’re doomed.

As has been often said, you can’t reason someone out of a position that they didn’t reason themselves into. From what I have seen, many people formed anti-vax beliefs before seeing any evidence, and only refer to whatever arguments they can find to justify those preformed beliefs. The actual evidence isn’t important to them. What is important is adherence to the beliefs of the groups they have chosen to be a part of.

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Great points. An insider to such a criticized group might respond … “well, I believe what my chosen tribe says because I think they are the trustworthy ones who promote truth - unlike the other tribe who is largely taken over by lies.”

And that particular net catches a lot of us because - there are many areas where I have not examined the evidence first hand for myself, but take the word of other respected voices here on this site because I trust them more than I trust voices on, say, the AIG web site - and maybe for pretty good reasons. But in stating what I just did above, I haven’t said anything that an AIG proponent wouldn’t also have said substituting in their own tribe instead.

To press the distinction, though, I would appeal to matters that I have investigated and found that those here who are attentive to science (true and honest weights and measures) have proven the more trustworthy ones. So I feel freer in other areas to make that appeal to authority. I’m just careful about who I consider an authority.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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