On Treating Each Other Respectfully

Saturday night I had an interesting experience. I was invited by a good friend to see Herbie Hancock (who I’ve been a fan of since I first heard Head Hunters over 35 years ago). I had wanted to get tickets previously but didn’t for some reason, and forgot about it, so I jumped at the chance and drove the hour plus to Napa in order to attend.  I meant to ask my friend about vax rules, but was busy running my daughter around, and the ticket download said nothing, so it wasn’t until we walked to the gate that I realized that, even though it was an outdoor venue, they were demanding vaccine passports, and of course I didn’t have one.

I wandered around the grounds thinking about trying to sneak in somehow, but it was fairly secure and I am too old for that shit. I hung around the wall with some other fans, as you could view from a sidelong wine bar just outside. When Herbie came out he spoke his piece about how happy he was be there and how we’re all in this together, which sort of stung me as my science based refusal to submit to genetic experimentation prevented me from being with my friends and enjoying the music inside the venue. Instead, I was left standing on the other side of a stone wall in view of a masked security guard. I love Herbie, but this is the state of rhetoric, platitudes for the division of our society that has been driven to vaccination, primarily (imho) by overblown media generated fear or repercussions such as joblessness, and to a lesser degree false narratives of its risk benefit profile, and flag waving ads positing heroic, sacrificial, good citizenship by protecting others, rather than any strong scientific analysis.

So, after listening to the first song, and knowing that I had an hour’s drive home, I decided that hitting wine bars was probably not in my best interest, and rather to indulge the classic American method to overcome mild depression, an ice cream parlor. Inside I lined up behind a couple, and noticed that the guy was wearing a hoodie from a favorite radio station, where he sometimes spun. We walked out with our ice cream, engaged in conversation, and he, Jerry, turned out to work at another institution local to me as well. His wife Linda entered into the conversation with the fact that she was an herbalist, which I found quite interesting.

We discussed herbal medicines and Chinese medicine and allopathic medicine and of course this spun around to covid, and I admitted that the reason that I was not allowed into the show was because I am not vaccinated, which they found somewhat striking. Linda fiddled with her mask for a bit then, but continued to chat with me, umasked for the most part. Despite what seemed to be a relatively hippie orientation, herbal inclination, and general distrust of the pharmaceutical industry, they had opted to be vaccinated, so I wanted to explore their reasoning.

So began a very lengthy discussion in which we were incredibly civil, calm, and forthright in our concerns. I presented both the acceptable basics, such as the importance of Vitamin D, the research of which they had (of course) never heard, despite their knowledge of its tremendous benefits, and the facts that they found impossible to believe, such as the staggering volume of research proving negative outcomes and minimal protection from wearing masks.

Thanks to cell phone technology, I was quickly able to validate my research and challenge their suppositions, and it wound into a fabulous conversation which delved deeper and deeper into the whole affair. After 2 hours there on the sidewalk they stated that they did not support a vaccine mandate, but that indeed, their employment as public servants required them to submit to it, and their belief that vaccines are good and scientifically proven, and that it was necessary to protect themselves and others, made it a no-brainer.

This pushed the discussion further into that implied conceit, and while I argued that the vaccine was technically not a vaccine, and that covid was not anywhere near as dangerous as it is made out to be, they countered, having had friends become seriously ill and even die young, which of course is tragic. I had to point out, thought, the complete failure of the system to provide any kind of early treatment, which Linda knew, as an herbalist, makes all the difference.

Apparently, I didn’t seem like someone who wanted to blithely kill their own grandmother, or anyone else’s, but weren’t my actions creating exactly that possibility? It was hardly the place to push into the detailed research on misplaced classification of covid cases, deaths, and hospitalizations, and even at the mention they were somewhat appalled by my strain of thinking, but we did all have to laugh at our agreement that the baby boom has gone bust, and that overpopulation and global disaster have been looming for some time, so covid might be less of a righting than we are really headed for. It was a good dark laugh.

They made it clear that they did not trust the pharmaceutical companies, the CDC, or the FDA to present a right-minded health policy, but they did not want to believe that their decision to be vaccinated was forced upon them by the relentless fear campaign, the politicization, and the suppression of evidence that has created these vaccinate-or-get-fired mandates. As we surpassed two hours of friendly and dynamic exchange of ideas, I somehow reminded Linda of one of her old friends, whom she asked me if I knew. This stunned me, as I did, and he is a rather rare personage. It turned out we had a dozen friends in common, had attended the same weddings and parties, without ever having really met. So not only were we strangers, who could be framed as opposing forces in this new social construct of vaccinated versus unvaccinated that we are being demanded to denigrate each other with, we were all thoughtful, caring humans who were very closely related, and group hugging on the street.

As our conversation neared its conclusion at 11.30, our return to herbology and individualized medicine got to a very telling point. Linda demanded that I accept the fact that allopathic medicine has incredible benefits to which I said “Yes, for setting broken bones.” Jerry held up his pinky, which was twisted in an odd way from having been broken and mis-set. Then I did the exact same thing, although mine was less misshapen because when I went to the hand clinic a week after breaking my pinky, the senior specialist smashed my finger with a hammer and broke the break apart in order to reset it properly. This is one of many allopathic experiences that have created my personal bias, as almost all of my run-ins with doctors have generated similar insights into their failings.

Linda averred, saying that Western medicine had completely saved her life, and that a sepsis infection had nearly killed her. When I asked how she got sepsis, she admitted that her dentist was rushing through her procedure in order to leave on vacation. He accidentally sewed gauze into her gum, which then became infected. I found it rather ironic the great advancement of medical science saved her from the toxic sloppiness of medical science, and that left open the closing question, “How did you respond to the vaccine?” “I had no problems with it,” Jerry said, looking over at Linda. She thought for a minute and then admitted that she had been severely injured, was very sick for a few days, and suffered from pain and inflammation for three months.

“I’m so sorry,” I told her, and hugged her again. We left with newfound friendship and consideration of the situation as a whole, but I can’t help but see the incredible power of the government propaganda. This unrelenting fear campaign has been so drilled into people’s minds that even the most naturalistic herbalists have accepted the proposition that a vaccine inflicted injury with unknown long-term consequences is somehow safer than getting covid. I certainly liked them though, and hope they follow up with herbal treatments when the breakthroughs come along.

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