Last time I wrote about people’s need for certainty during the pandemic, and how this need for certainty was driving people to try to control others. As I was writing it, I thought about my neighbour who has very serious contamination OCD which causes her pronounced mental and physical ill-health. I realised how much of my neighbour’s private behaviour is currently being publicly replicated by people’s corona-fuelled madness.
I live in a flat in a house which has been split into 4 flats, which means that each resident shares a communal hallway. This is, of course, normal for the billions of people who live in flats around the world. What is not normal is that my neighbour’s need to control her environment causes her to lie about her neighbours, because our use of the communal hallway (i.e. accessing and leaving our homes) leaks into her plastic coated world. So she lies about us to try to control us by way of sanctions from the landlord. Her reason for doing so is to try to bring us into line with her needs and desires for the space she is forced to share on the rare occasions she leaves her flat. The problem is, her needs are not normal needs, they are the needs of a profoundly unwell person.
The enormous irony is that modern research is showing that OCD is likely caused by a streptococcus infection. So no matter how much my neighbour washes and sanitises and scrubs, she will never be clean because the pathogen is inside her. In fact, the research is showing that it is precisely the pathogen which causes her to obsessively clean, since it is impervious to washing, unlike other microbes. Therefore, her most likely route to physical and mental health is, perversely from her perspective, for her to encourage more bacteria into her life so that the beneficial ones can thrive at the expense of the pathogenic ones. (As an aside, Sea Moss / Irish Moss has been shown to do just this in respect of streptococcus.)
It seems to me that people suffering from acute COVID-fear are suffering from a type of OCD in one way or another. Terrible lies are told about unvaccinated people to try to get us to conform to the needs of their neuroses, just as my neighbour lies about others in the house. And also like her, given that COVID has a recovery rate of over 99%, the real pathogen is already inside you: your fear. Let’s not forget that the risk from COVID is disproportionately borne by the elderly and those already in poor health. You can’t do anything about age, but you can do something about your own poor or ill-health. So why won’t you empower yourself?
According to Oxford’s QCovid risk tool, my risk for COVID is negligible: 0.0017% risk of death. (And that’s not even accounting for my natural immunity, so it will be lower than that.) That is no risk at all from my perspective. I wonder what the risk score for being a cyclist in London is? For surfing? For scuba diving? For riding a quad bike through the Egyptian desert? For backpacking through Ghana alone? For wandering down miles of beaches in Jamaica by myself? For going out drinking? For enjoying walks through city nights? For lifting the heaviest weights I can? In short, what are the risks for doing just about anything that I enjoy? Answer: fuck knows, and I don’t care. Life’s too short to make it boring by removing every experience worth having because I am too afraid of what might happen if things go wrong.
The only body that any dose of vaccine has an effect on, is the body it was injected into. So why do you care if my virtually non-existent risk for COVID means I don’t want to take the vaccine? Moreover, even if my risk was higher, is that not my risk to take? I cannot understand why so many people are so concerned with other people’s bodies. What happened to do you?
You can all cocoon yourselves into your middle-class safety bubbles, just as my poor neighbour cocoons herself into her plastic coated house. Like my neighbour, you can scrub and you can mask and you can sanitise and you can lockdown and do all of the things you need to make yourself feel “safe”. But do the rest of us a favour and leave our bodies and lives out of it. Although, perhaps I should not be so surprised by “the lefts” willingness to oppress others, for as Arthur Koestler observed, the middle-class left-wing intelligentsia always betrays the working class they claim to stand with.
Now you have your new variant to panic about, a variant which looks like it might make your vaccines even less useful than they already are. I wonder when you will realise that everything you have done so far has done nothing to protect the genuinely at risk, and everything to harm the rest of us? When will you admit that, given that the vast majority of COVID cases are mild, at worst a medium case of the flu, that #teamnaturalimmunity is likely the only thing that will get us back to normal?
When I first started writing this, I felt very afraid. Afraid that so many people are happy for other people to lose their livelihoods or their bodily autonomy for no good reason. Afraid that what is happening in Austria, Australia, America, and Germany may happen here. This morning I feel less afraid as good people are speaking up. Please understand the real enemy here: it isn’t a virus, it isn’t the unvaccinated, it’s the mechanisms of disaster capitalism at play.