The Coronapocalypse Part 26: The Devouring Mother

All human control comes to an end when the individual is caught in a mass movement. Then, the archetypes begin to function, as happens, also, in the lives of individuals when they are confronted with situations that cannot be dealt with in any of the familiar ways.

Carl Jung, Essay on Wotan.

Way back in the very first essay in this series, I stated that my position on corona was that it was a mass hysteria facilitated by the internet. The cornerstone of my analysis was that we invoked what I call The Plague Story even though corona is clearly not in the magnitude of a plague (pandemic). This raised the question of why that happened and throughout the other posts in the series I have been working through a number of different answers to that question some of them cultural, some political and some psychological. But I have always had the nagging feeling that I was missing something fundamental. Then recently I finally got around to reading Carl Jung’s essay on Wotan, which was his explanation for the Nazi phenomena, and suddenly it clicked. It was the above quote which really struck home not least because Jung uses the phrase “mass movement” which is almost the same as my “mass hysteria”. It’s in a mass movement that the archetypes begin to function according to Jung. For WW1 and the Nazi movement he identified Wotan as the driving archetype. So, I started to think about what archetype has been driving corona and now I think I may have the answer or at least the beginnings of an answer.

Jung believed the archetypes to have an autonomous existence. They existed independently of humans but were the driver of much human behaviour. When Jung asserts that Wotan was driving the events in Nazi Germany he means that literally. In less secular ages, one would have said that Hitler was possessed (by the devil) and that’s kind of what Jung meant too. Because we cannot say that Hitler was possessed by the devil, we have simply turned Hitler into the devil. What earlier societies would have called “evil” we call “Nazi” or “fascist”. The meaning is identical but our words have a quasi-secular ring to them. Jung’s way of thinking is at odds with the extremist materialist philosophy that dominates current Western thought. The archetypes are not testable and not amenable to the scientific reductionism that is our default criterion for truthfulness. Of course, corona has revealed the deep flaws that exist in applying scientific reductionism to the living and breathing biological and psychological world that we all live in. What better time to expand our criteria for truthfulness.

I got my first inkling that corona was touching on something deep and dark down in the depths of the psyche from a couple of direct encounters with some people I know. Obviously, there have been all kinds of crazy things to be seen on television and the internet throughout corona, but it was two face-to-face conversations that really struck me as odd early on. The first one took place at the end of the first lockdown here in Melbourne. During a conversation with a person I have known for quite a while the subject of corona came up. I said something that contradicted the dominant narrative. I didn’t say it in a confrontational manner or to make any kind of broader point. It was just an offhand comment delivered in a very casual and non-threatening way. Nevertheless, the person I was talking to raised their right arm over their chest in an involuntary protective gesture as if I was about to punch them. What was especially weird about it was that they seemingly did not realise they had done it. It was a purely unconscious reaction and something I had never seen from this person or any other person that I can recall in my life. It struck me as deeply weird at the time but I didn’t really think much more about it.

A second example was another person I know who was, up until 2020, a logical and rational person; arguably too logical and too rational. The subject of corona came up in a conversation and with this person I was more forthcoming in my views as he was somebody I thought I might be able to have a rational conversation with. I was wrong. But what was notable was not that we disagreed but that his argumentation was completely illogical. This is a person who makes his living from logic and would in any other circumstances be fully aware that he was speaking basic logical fallacies. As the conversation proceeded, nothing he said made sense. It’s one thing to disagree with somebody, it’s quite another when their entire argument is clearly illogical. It was like talking to a different person or, rather, like talking to a zombie. In both of these cases, I got a very strong sense that something had ‘possessed’ these two people. I simply wasn’t dealing with the same person I had once known. It is only in the last few weeks that I have started to think more about Jungian psychology and have taken seriously the idea that these people and millions more like them really have been possessed by something. In and through them, a force has been at work. An archetype has taken over our lives in the same way that an archetype took over at the beginning of WW1 and continued right on through the Nazi regime until the end of WW2. Unlike Jung, I am not familiar enough with mythology to come up with a Wotan equivalent, so I’ll just use one of Jung’s own archetypes to explain it: The Devouring Mother.

We all know The Devouring Mother at some level as it is an extension of the natural relationship between child and mother which needs to exist in the early stages of life when the infant is completely reliant on the mother for its existence. In the normal course of development, the child learns to become successively more independent of its mother but along the way there will be times when the mother is too over-protective. Mostly, the child will try to assert independence and the mother hopefully will yield it as appropriate. It’s when the mother does not yield that things can start to go wrong and if the mother is not yielding due to her own insecurities leading to her not wanting to let go at all, she can become a Devouring Mother. The Devouring Mother archetype occurs when both mother and child are in a dysfunctional relationship of co-dependence in which the mother is just as trapped as the child. The guilt, however, lies with the mother as it is the parent’s duty to ensure the child’s proper development. Of course, the process of letting go is not easy. Many mothers cry, for example, on the first day the child goes to school for this occasion represents the growing independence of the child. Similarly, in tribal societies, when the male child (for it was almost always the male) was taken away for initiation the mother would wail and cry as the boy was now becoming a man and the mother’s role in his life was about to be changed forever.

It is precisely this autonomy that The Devouring Mother prevents her child from attaining. She wants it to remain perpetually dependent and she does this out of her own insecurity and selfishness. The key reason why The Devouring Mother is relevant to our context, however, is because one of the main ways The Devouring Mother attempts to hide her intentions is on the pretext of protecting the child. This protection is necessary when the child is an infant. The problem occurs when that protection turns into over-protection and hampers the child’s development but that is something that will happen slowly and almost invisibly until one day you wake up and you’ve got a 30 year old grown man living in his parents’ basement playing computer games all day. Just last week, the Prime Minister of Australia, whose Treasurer had just delivered a “woman’s budget” (perhaps we should call it a “Devouring Mother’s budget”), said that his primary mission was to “keep Australians safe”. But that is exactly the excuse that devouring mothers use. Is that just a coincidence? Not according to Jung. According to Jung it would be a synchronicity and evidence that an archetype is at work.

A feature of The Devouring Mother is that she gaslights her children. This happens in two seemingly contradictory ways. On the one hand, she won’t allow any criticism of them at all even when it is necessary and justified. Rather, she suffocates them with false praise. The author D H Lawrence, who wrote a lot about the devouring mother phenomenon as he believed his mother to have been a prime example, once wrote in a letter “I feel I am all the time rescuing my niece and nephew from their mothers, my two sisters; who have jaguars of wrath in their souls, however they purr to their offspring.” One sees this purring in the modern world in corporate marketing. One of the weirdest examples I ever saw was a tweet saying how much Corporation X really loved “you” from the bottom of its heart. You may write this off as marketing bullshit, but it’s bullshit that sounds exactly like a Devouring Mother.

While dishing out false praise and empty promises of eternal love on the one hand, The Devouring Mother will be extremely critical, even violent, with her children if ever they should say or do something that threatens the co-dependence relationship that the mother seeks. This gaslighting has the effect of preventing the child becoming intellectually and emotionally independent, a key part of its overall development. Remember when you were told that if you didn’t support the lockdowns it meant you wanted old people to die? That kind of emotional manipulation is par for the course with The Devouring Mother. There are a thousand and one other ways to keep the elderly safe that don’t involve locking healthy people in their house, but those are never discussed. The Victorian Premier, Dan Andrews, showing that The Devouring Mother can take male form, gave what I think might be one of the most succinct expressions of this kind of gaslighting last year. He was asked by a reporter whether he was concerned that his measures, which included curfews and five kilometre travel restrictions, were a violation of human rights. He replied “would you prefer to be on a ventilator?” This was a complete non sequitur. Only the tiniest fraction of the population had any chance of ending up on a ventilator but one hundred percent of the population had had their humans rights removed. The Premier could have answered in a logical, rational way. Instead, he chose to gaslight. That’s how The Devouring Mother operates. None of the governments in Australia has ever, as far as I know, released the “science” they have supposedly been using to justify their decisions. In the adult working world, we communicate to each other based on facts and models. A democracy is supposed to involve public debate about those facts and models. But in the sickly sweet world of The Devouring Mother, we are kept in the dark and given only one option: to acquiesce.

For those who don’t acquiesce, The Devouring Mother is also perfectly capable of violence as our police forces have shown us. What was particularly interesting about the police response, certainly here in Australia, was that it was unnecessarily brutal and heavy-handed to the point where it seemed counter-productive. The police seemed to be going out of their way to generate resentment. Their behaviour, like the behaviour of my two conversation partners, seemed out of character as if having a source somewhere other than reason. Were the police also playing the role of The Devouring Mother and lashing out against minor indiscretions out of a sense of insecurity? The most heavy-handed policing has been employed against otherwise law abiding citizens who happened to disobey a corona commandment. One Australian example which went viral was a pregnant woman being handcuffed in front of her children in her own home but there were countless others. Meanwhile, mass protests such as BLM were seemingly given a free pass. At a time when politicians were calling for unity, they engaged in favouritism. It doesn’t make any logical sense but it does make sense within The Devouring Mother archetype. The Devouring Mother is happy to play her children off against each other. Such emotional manipulations help her maintain the co-dependence relationship.

To my mind, one of the defining features of corona is the seemingly complete disregard for the effect of our response on children. This is even more puzzling as it’s a simple statistical fact that corona is less dangerous to children than the average flu. This should have been a matter for rejoicing. Instead, in many places children have been kept out of school and, even when allowed to go to school, forced to wear masks and undergo other unnecessary interventions. In Germany, children are now forced to test themselves for corona at the start of the school day. Just this week, a video went viral of a ten year old boy explaining what he has had to go through at school in the US. What he describes is Devouring Mother behaviour coming from his teachers. This is yet another synchronicity and evidence that the archetype is at work. The Devouring Mother only pretends to be acting to protect her child but with corona there was essentially nothing to protect them from. That would have made a difference if logic was at play. But logic was not at play.

In a similar vein is the mask. The mask is perhaps the ultimate symbol of The Devouring Mother. It purports to keep the wearer safe even though there is no scientific evidence for this claim and plenty of randomised control trials that show masks are useless. Worse than useless in fact, as we are only now starting to see some evidence of the effects of long term mask wearing which causes the wearer to inhale more carbon dioxide than is considered safe among other problems. In any case, you didn’t need scientific studies to see that the authorities were making it up as they went. We were initially told that masks were counterproductive and could actually cause more spread of disease as they would be used improperly. Then they became recommended. Then mandatory. Then the recommendation was to wear two. Arbitrary dictates given without rhyme or reason are a feature of The Devouring Mother. What she desires is simple subservience and that’s what the mask represents: a very public display of obedience. With mouths covered, the children of The Devouring Mother will not answer back, will not demand their rights, will not ask awkward questions. Silent obedience is what The Devouring Mother wants and, at least symbolically, the mask gives her that.  Once again, I must quote the State Premier of Victoria who gave us another perfect example of The Devouring Mother at play on the subject of masks. After four months of lockdown and with cases finally back at zero, restrictions had eased in Melbourne. We were heading into summer but masks were still mandatory in enclosed spaces. Some people, perhaps looking to other Australian states where nobody had to wear a mask, started relaxing their behaviour and wearing their masks below the nose. Andrews tweeted on a Sunday morning something like “Good morning to everybody, except those wearing their masks below the nose.” Why was the Premier engaging in unnecessarily divisive behaviour? The risk was over and, even if it wasn’t, his tweet was not going to convince a single person to cover their nose. It was inexplicable as a political tactic unless the point was not achieve an outcome but simply to reward the ‘good children’, to make them feel good and to separate them from the ‘bad children’.

The Devouring Mother has been ascendant in the West for several decades. We see her in the metastatic bloat of the modern medical industry especially in the United States where The Devouring Mother will happily bankrupt you for a simple trip to the hospital. We see her in the relentless gaslighting of the modern media, the ideological drivel that comes out of the universities and our hallucinatory political debate which somehow manages to avoid all contact with reality and all genuine issues of politics. We also see her in a less obvious place, which is the rise of Jordan Peterson from being an obscure Canadian professor of psychology to being a worldwide phenomenon. His rise to fame touches on the other half of The Devouring Mother relationship: the children. If Dan Andrews was appealing to the ‘good’ children with his tweet, he was also singling out the ‘bad’ children. In fact, these are the only two pathways available to the child of The Devouring Mother: to rebel or to acquiesce. Jordan Peterson has offered an entire generation, in particular the young men of that generation, raised by The Devouring Mother a way to rebel primarily by the simple act of striving for autonomy and independence. That Peterson would be considered a revolutionary figure speaks to how far The Devouring Mother has become dominant. Most of Peterson’s teachings are what would once have been considered plain common sense but in the world of gaslighting and emotional manipulation that we now find ourselves in, common sense threatens the entire order. Whatever one thinks of Peterson and his ideas, there can be no doubt whatsoever that he tapped into a deep emotional vein. His book “10 Rules for Life” could just as well be called “10 Rules for Breaking Free of The Devouring Mother”. Rule 1: clean your bedroom. Do something for yourself. Show some initiative. In an older time, you cleaned your bedroom or you’d get your backside smacked. But now cleaning your bedroom becomes a political act. It shows the first inklings of individual will, the development of autonomy that so terrifies The Devouring Mother. Peterson’s infamous interview with Cathy Newman was a direct symbolic confrontation between The Devouring Mother and a strict disciplinarian father. It had a surreal feel to it. It barely existed on the logical and rational plane but seemed like a battle between archetypes in the unconscious itself. Much more could be said about this because if The Devouring Mother is dominant, where exactly is the father and what sort of father is he? But that would lead us too far astray for now.

If Peterson offered a way out to the children who wanted to rebel, what of the other children; the ones who have acquiesced? Such children have been given false praise while being protected from any and all criticism about themselves and their work. On the other hand, they have become exquisitely sensitive to the veiled barbs and emotional warfare that goes on in the household of The Devouring Mother. For them, objective reality is of no concern. They are apt to see a psychological and political agenda behind every utterance because that is exactly what has been behind their relationship with their mother (where ‘mother’ can be both literal and symbolic for the state). When they are eventually forced to confront the real world with all its messiness, it is no surprise that they demand ‘safe spaces’. It’s also no surprise that their politics does not seek any actual outcomes but rather is all based entirely around establishing the ‘good people’ and the ‘bad people’ where there are no shades of grey but only absolutes, including an absolute assurance in one’s own self-righteousness.

Children who acquiesce and become part of the co-dependent relationship with the mother can be expected to have not developed into fully autonomous adults. One would expect them to have problems with exercising their will and finding motivation from within rather than without. As it happens, a random social media post I saw during corona provides the perfect example of that. It was during the Melbourne lockdown that happened right in the middle the Australian Open tennis earlier this year. On the Saturday morning on which the lockdown began, a young woman posted how nice it was to wake up during lockdown because it meant she had nothing to do and could happily lie in bed. Such a statement reveals a complete lack of willpower and autonomy. It takes almost no willpower to organise to do nothing on a Saturday but even that simple task must be beyond this person. When the government did it on her behalf, she apparently breathed a sigh of relief. Some have called this attitude Stockholm Syndrome but it is just another aspect of The Devouring Mother archetype. More specifically, the child who has acquiesced and almost doesn’t exist as a separate, adult person separate from the mother. Praising the government for allowing you to sleep in on a Saturday morning is surely one of the most surreal expressions of that mentality. When given in this form it reveals, I think, very clearly the psychological aspect of what is going on deep down: the attachment to the “mother” in the form of the state.

The phrase Nanny State was coined about fifty years ago in Britain to describe the prevailing form of government which took hold post WW2. Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada all share this kind of interventionist government, far more than the USA and so it can be no surprise that The Devouring Mother found the most fertile soil in those countries and perhaps nowhere more than here in Australia. We have let The Devouring Mother run rampant. I’m not aware of any other country which is preventing their citizens from leaving the country. Even New Zealand, with nanny-in-chief, Jacinda Ardern, at the helm, allows that. In Australia, we have had internal state borders closed and even the ‘borders’ around Melbourne shut for four months in one of the longest lockdowns in the world. State Premiers have left residents stranded and unable to return to their houses with snap border closures. Australian citizens languish overseas unable to get home and recently we went an extra step and even made it illegal for our own citizens to return if they have been in India recently. Once again, none of this has a basis in logic or reason. It is the vindictiveness of The Devouring Mother on display. The ‘bad’ children who left the state or the country apparently don’t deserve our ‘love’.

Right from the start of corona, our tinpot dictator State Premiers acted like all their Christmases had come at once. In a tweet quickly deleted, Dan Andrews expressed his delight at a photo of an empty freeway that would normally have been full during peak hour. He later felt the need to assure us that he wasn’t “enjoying this” as he gave his daily press briefing where, like a good Devouring Mother, he was most anxious to let us know just who was responsible for keeping us safe. He was also not averse to blaming us when things went wrong, including when the wrongdoing was clearly the fault of the government. No surprise then that while much of the US is returning to normal, Australia is in limbo and Canada has decided that now is the time for strict lockdowns to try and control a virus that is endemic. Americans have been up in arms about the liberties they have forgone but they look on with horror at what has happened here or in Canada. On this front, the cultural differences between us and the US are very pronounced. Of course, the US once went to war against its “mother” and it celebrates “Independence Day” as a result. One can see why The Devouring Mother would not get as much hold there.

It is a final and telling synchronicity that with corona we were locked in our houses. The household has always been the domain of the female and especially the mother. As a boy, I briefly shared a house with my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother as well as their respective husbands. It was the women who ruled the household. Woe betide the man who dared step foot in the kitchen. The men were usually elsewhere, at work or at the club. If they were home, they were in the shed. The household was very clearly the domain of the woman and children. The development of the individual takes place as they successively remove themselves from the household, firstly with schooling, then a social life and finally as they move out and become autonomous adults. With corona we were all returned back to the household, back to childhood, back to our mothers. Defenceless as we were supposed to be against the virus, we once again needed the care and protection of our surrogate mother: the State. “I’m sick of being treated like a child” is a refrain I’ve heard many times over the past year but that opinion is apparently in the minority.

What does all this portend for the future? The strange thing about The Devouring Mother is how powerless she really is. All her gaslighting is just sound and fury, signifying nothing. If it were to end tomorrow, we would remember it as nothing more than a delirious fever dream. Her power depends entirely on the willingness of the child to put up with it. Once the child is big enough to decide to go its own way, there is nothing much the mother can do about it. Right now in western society, the actions of The Devouring Mother are on full and open display. But, almost by definition, that implies the strain in the relationship. When things are good, The Devouring Mother relies on false flattery and feigned niceness. Right now, we are in full on vindictive mode. 24/7 media gaslighting, censorship of even the most tame dissenting opinion and de-platforming are now daily occurrences. There is an element of desperation in the whole thing and there should be because the pathway we have taken has no endpoint. That is not a problem for The Devouring Mother. She does not want an endpoint. She wants the co-dependence to continue indefinitely. That’s why the case of Australia is so fascinating because our Devouring Mother did her job and kept us safe. But now there’s no way out of the house. We are permanently grounded. It will eventually have to be acknowledged that we must open the borders and expose ourselves to danger once again. How that can be done while keeping up the illusion of safety is a massive political challenge that our current Prime Minister clearly has no idea how to solve because it is not solvable. It is not solvable until the children demand their independence. That can happen at any time. It is what has happened in Texas and Florida and other states in the US. As soon as the public demands that this be over, it will be over. There may be vindictiveness and even violence, but it will be short lived. Each country will now have its own dynamic about how this plays out. The USA is already on the way. Canada, Australia and New Zealand not so much. If Australia has provided the most fertile ground for The Devouring Mother archetype to take hold in the last year, it’s also true she will not so easily relinquish her grip here. But eventually reality will have to be reckoned with. In the process, we could see some serious psychological-political meltdowns. Then there is the larger question of where The Devouring Mother goes from here. If she has been ascendant in the last decades and if corona represents a brief takeover, does she relinquish the newfound power or try to hold onto it? If she does relinquish it, do we go back to where we were or does she lose hold altogether? Again, this is not really going to be determined by the mother. We know what she wants: never ending co-dependence. The question is what do the children want. Is their spirit broken or will they find the will and the energy to demand their autonomy? I fear the former is more true than the latter but only time will tell.

All posts in this series:-

The Coronapocalypse Part 0: Why you shouldn’t listen to a word I say (maybe)

The Coronapocalypse Part 1: The Madness of Crowds in the Age of the Internet

The Coronapocalypse Part 2: An Epidemic of Testing

The Coronapocalypse Part 3: The Panic Principle

The Coronapocalypse Part 4: The Denial of Death

The Coronapocalypse Part 5: Cargo Cult Science

The Coronapocalypse Part 6: The Economics of Pandemic

The Coronapocalypse Part 7: There’s Nothing Novel under the Sun

The Coronapocalypse Part 8: Germ Theory and Its Discontents

The Coronapocalypse Part 9: Heroism in the Time of Corona

The Coronapocalypse Part 10: The Story of Pandemic

The Coronapocalypse Part 11: Beyond Heroic Materialism

The Coronapocalypse Part 12: The End of the Story (or is it?)

The Coronapocalypse Part 13: The Book

The Coronapocalypse Part 14: Automation Ideology

The Coronapocalypse Part 15: The True Believers

The Coronapocalypse Part 16: Dude, where’s my economy?

The Coronapocalypse Part 17: Dropping the c-word (conspiracy)

The Coronapocalypse Part 18: Effects and Side Effects

The Coronapocalypse Part 19: Government and Mass Hysteria

The Coronapocalypse Part 20: The Neverending Story

The Coronapocalypse Part 21: Kafkaesque Much?

The Coronapocalypse Part 22: The Trauma of Bullshit Jobs

The Coronapocalypse Part 23: Acts of Nature

The Coronapocalypse Part 24: The Dangers of Prediction

The Coronapocalypse Part 25: It’s just semantics, mate

The Coronapocalypse Part 26: The Devouring Mother

The Coronapocalypse Part 27: Munchausen by Proxy

The Coronapocalypse Part 28: The Archetypal Mask

The Coronapocalypse Part 29: A Philosophical Interlude

The Coronapocalypse Part 30: The Rebellious Children

The Coronapocalypse Part 31: How Dare You!

The Coronapocalypse Part 32: Book Announcement

The Coronapocalypse Part 33: Everything free except freedom

The Coronapocalypse Part 34: Into the Twilight Zone

The Coronapocalypse Part 35: The Land of the Unfree and the Home of the Safe

The Coronapocalypse Part 36: The Devouring Mother Book Now Available

The Coronapocalypse Part 37: Finale

64 thoughts on “The Coronapocalypse Part 26: The Devouring Mother”

  1. Hey mate,
    Just starting to get into Jung a bit, so don’t really have much knowledge of archetypes, but this makes sense to me.
    It certainly explains the last decades and especially the last year.
    How do you explain that some people are immune to it?

  2. Hey Roland, good question. I’m not sure. I’m also just a beginner with Jung, although I’ve been using some of the archetypes to help with character development in my fiction writing. Are some people are immune to all archetypes or is our immunity based on individual characteristics? On the individual level, would people who had good relationships with their parents be more immune? That seems plausible and would explain why there was not a similar response in 1957 or 1968 for the Asian and Hong Kong flu. There’s been a lot of divorce and broken homes since then so fair to say a lot more people are carrying parental baggage these days.

  3. Hi Simon,

    Ah, a classic piece of understatement: “I was wrong.” Oh yeah, I’ve been there too! It’s a humbling experience.

    I’ve had people say the strangest things to me about this health subject.

    Archetype makes a whole lot of sense.

    Well there is another pathway – to walk away and keep things at a distance, but the distance you can achieve is not all that great. It takes a surprising amount of energy for the centralised control of the ‘devouring mother’ and any reduction in that energy, could lead to more restrictions, but it could also just as easily lead to lessened control.

    Between you and I, I’m guessing that we’re being prepped for a longer session: COVID is surging in Seychelles, the world’s most vaccinated country. Why?

    Cheers

    Chris

  4. So, what exactly happened with Texas and Florida? Did they lift restrictions, or did they never have that much in the way of restrictions to begin with?

    The problem with the Devouring Mother is that it’s kind of difficult to extricate yourself from her without throwing a concomitant temper tantrum that ends up hurting you in other ways. (Example: BLM riots.) So, did Texas and Florida manage to escape mommy-devouring-dearest in a exceptionally mature way, or was their mommy never devouring to begin with?

    One thing that gives me hope is the fact that the lab leak story is going mainstream. The reason this gives me hope is because it may just result in some key figures (::cough:: Fauci ::cough::) getting the sack, and then maybe, just *maybe* we can get a little more reasonable about the COVID response. Maybe.

  5. I believe the Devouring Mother was with us for a while. The typical educated professional does not seem capable or willing to be self reliant. All meals come from service providers. The car and laptop were supplied by the corporation they work for (notice how the moment you either quit or terminated you have to give those back? They were not a form of pay). Replacing a lightbulb? A job either for dad when he comes visit, or for the handyman.

    To be honest, I have a degree in Physics, but I am starting to think I can make quite a bit of money by becoming a handyman. My dad actually showed me how to install lightbulbs, as well as how to work with power tools. But I may feel bad taking a lawyer’s hard earned money just to screw something into his ceiling, or using an electric drill to make a few holes.

    What I always find hypocritical, is that those corporate types sometimes see themselves as people who do not rely on the government but rather on the market, which makes them independent. But in reality, they are getting fed currency from a corporation which quite often gets this money out of either free loans or stock bubbles. Then, said professionals are using their higher earnings compared to the general, non corporate population to outsource pretty much anything that used to be expected from an adult. Isn’t that just the privatized arm of the devouring mother?

  6. Chris – Well, yes, the vaccine story could completely fall apart so the number one political imperative now is to ensure that the vaccines be seen to have worked. Again, this is what makes Australia so problematic cos the government must decide to open the borders. But ScoMo knows that cases are going to go through the roof when he does. He’ll do anything he can to ensure the blame does not get pinned on him. We’re not out of crazy town yet by any stretch.

    Irena – I’ve never actually been to the US so can’t speak from direct experience but my impression from people I’ve spoken with is that Texans and other southerners in particular, but the US culture in general, has a deep distrust of the state and a desire for ‘freedom’. Translated in Devouring Mother terminology, they were already independent and autonomous before and have quickly reverted to that state once it’s become clear that the world is not about to end over corona. Yes, I’m enjoying the lab leak story and would love nothing more than for old two-masks Fauci to get shown the door. Preferably the door to a jail cell but that’s probably expecting too much.

    Bakbook – good point. And note that it’s the professionals and salary class who have most bought into the corona hysteria. Another synchronicity. Not sure if you’ve read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance but there’s a nice thread in that about the real anxiety it causes people when they are unable to fix things for themselves. Almost by definition, getting somebody else to do it for you makes you dependent on them and therefore co-dependent. It’s hard to believe that once upon a time humans couldn’t rely on each other so much and had to be able to survive all by themselves. By the way, handymen make good money where I am and the bar is very low in terms of competition. If you show up on time and do the work to a reasonable standard you’re already ahead of 80% of your competitors.

  7. Simon: “Preferably the door to a jail cell but that’s probably expecting too much.”

    Ha! That thought had crossed my mind, too, but yeah, that’s probably too optimistic.

    As for the US: me, I actually spent a little over a decade over there (though I’ve never been to any of the southern states). It’s a strange country. There is a deep seated mistrust in the government, but private corporations have more power than probably anywhere else in the Western world (and perhaps anywhere else in the world, period). So, quite a few American universities (both private and – surprisingly – public) have already declared that COVID vaccination will be mandatory for the fall semester. That may happen in other countries as well, but so far, it hasn’t (unless I’ve missed something). Now, I do remember that the governor of Florida made some noises about making vaccine mandates illegal, but I don’t know if that’s gone anywhere.

    Australia and other “highly successful” countries are going to be in a special bind. Vaccines or no vaccines, the number of COVID cases will skyrocket once borders are opened, and a certain number of people will wind up dead as a result. So, what to do? Keep the borders closed forever? Heh. Mind you, it’s perfectly possible that within a few months, the current crop of vaccines will be useless, due to new variants, some of which don’t yet exist. Then what? Who knows. Me, I’m just trying to drag my feet for as long as possible with vaccination. If not much changes, I’ll probably just get the vaccine in early 2022 (so that I can travel abroad in the summer of 2022). But quite a few things may change by the end of this year.

  8. Irena – I did see news recently that there was some court case in the US where institutions that make the vaccine mandatory open themselves to legal liability for any side effects. That could get interesting. What’s the status of travel within the EU? Are you allowed to other EU states without vaccination? I guess they can’t really stop that without border checks?

  9. Simon: “I did see news recently that there was some court case in the US where institutions that make the vaccine mandatory open themselves to legal liability for any side effects.”

    Well, that sounds like good news. Fingers crossed! (You don’t happen to have a link, do you?)

    Over here in Europe, Schengen’s effectively been suspended. I’m not sure about the legal technicalities, but over the past year, no, you couldn’t just travel from one Schengen country to another. Me, I’ve made no attempts to leave CZ since the coronaevent began. I don’t plan to budge for at least another 12 months (unless something forces me to). I’m quite concerned that I might leave CZ and then have trouble returning.

  10. Irena – I couldn’t find that article but I did find this – https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/resources-federal-law-prohibits-mandates-emergency-use-covid-vaccines-tests-masks/

    Apparently it is against the law to require vaccination as the vaccine is still not officially approved and that won’t happen until 2023. Will they go all in and rush through the official approval? Can’t see why not. They’re all in on everything now.

    I didn’t know the borders within Europe were closed. How on earth can they police that? Have they got the army manning every crossing point?

  11. Simon, I’m not entirely sure how/whether the borders (within Schengen) were policed. There must have been controls for air and rail traffic. If you tried to cross in your own car without notifying anyone? I really don’t know, but it would have been against the rules. Actually, over here in CZ, we had a ban on traveling between different cities (within CZ, that is) for a while. (Yes, there were exceptions, but you couldn’t travel just because you wanted to travel.) I don’t believe it was extensively controlled (but then again, I didn’t attempt to travel), but in theory at least, it wasn’t allowed.

    Anyway, thanks for that article. Yes, it is entirely possible that they’ll rush to fully approve those vaccines. Change the rules, if need be.

    BTW, do you remember the outcry in the Western media about the Sputnik vaccine (rushed, inadequate testing, etc. etc.)? They were quite right, of course. But then when Pfizer, Moderna, etc. did the exact same thing, all such concerns went poof. Suddenly it was perfectly fine. Because it’s not about what was done. It’s about who did it. Obviously.

  12. Irena – Russia also recently released the ‘first’ vaccine for animals so now you can get your cat and dog vaccinated against corona. I can’t tell if they are trolling or serious.

  13. @Simon

    Re: cats & dogs

    When the coronaevent began, I was positively terrified they’d find a case of COVID jumping from a cat to a human. (There were cases going the other way: human to cat.) Why was I terrified? Because I figured they’d “preventatively” massacre the entire cat population in whatever country it happened in, and perhaps beyond. The world certainly seemed to have gone mad enough to do it.

  14. Oh, and I had to share this:

    https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2021-05-17/eric-clapton-astrazeneca-vaccine

    Summary: Eric Clapton suffered some rather scary vaccine side effects (“my hands and feet were either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks, I feared I would never play again”). The article then informs us that back in the 1970s, Eric Clapton made some racist remarks. Which is relevant because…? I guess we’re supposed to conclude that he deserved the bad reaction that he suffered, so it doesn’t count. Because vaccines only hurt bad people (TM)!

    (Roland, are you reading this? It’s quite in line with the media tactics that we discussed last time.)

  15. Irena – Clapton obviously didn’t get the memo. Celebrities are supposed to take the vaccine and smile for the camera not tell the truth about what happens afterwards.

  16. @irena I’m always here, lurking in the shadows. And that article is a classic. As they say “you couldn’t make shit up”. I wonder if these “journalists” are fully aware of what they are doing.

  17. @Simon
    @Roland

    I think that article may be a veiled threat: “If you suffer a bad reaction to one of these vaccines, then shut your muzzle, ‘coz otherwise, we’ll dig up some dirt on you (from half a century ago if necessary) to make you regret you said anything.”

    But as Roland suggests, I’m not convinced they’re fully conscious of what they’re doing.

  18. had an interesting email exchange with an old mate from Germany. He was never the sharpest tool in the shed, but certainly not an idiot.
    he is totally on the mainstream narrative and when mentioned that I am not, he totally lost the plot. Something like a 5 page rant, free of facts and arguments and plainly unhinged. Totally out of character for him. It gave me an idea about what goes on in the minds of a covidian. Have never experienced it like this in person.
    Fits nicely with the archetype explanation since i really did not have the impression of communicating with him, but with something i could not identify.
    And what i also can see, is how it would be very hard to retreat from that position, even if the archetype releases its grip. You’d feel bloody stupid once the influence wears off.
    This is scary, since it closes every path out of this mess.
    I have thought for a while now, that this will take some time, but it looks more and more that there is no way back from here. There is no incentive for the covidians to leave the devouring mother. Whatever comes next will not be what went before.
    How does it work with archetypes? If one goes does the next one move in?

    cheers

    roland

  19. Roland – interesting. all of sudden, I’m starting to see what the whole point of religion was. I suppose once upon a time a priest would have got up and told the people that God was no longer angry or whatever and that would have done the trick. and, of course, the priest might have dealt with the smaller spiritual issues that cropped up thus ensuring the public was more ‘spiritually healthy’. we don’t have priests any more. but we do have politicians who are fulfilling a similar role these days and we do have the religion of science. that’s why the vaccine was the way out. interestingly, that’s exactly what DeSantis and the other republican governors have said in the US: it’s over because we got the vaccine and if you don’t believe that you don’t believe in science. I’d say Trump also knew that was the way out. so, at least the leaders in the US are using religion (the religion of science) as a means to an end. I suspect, though, that in Europe and Australia the people in power are actually true believers themselves. at least, the people in the bureaucracy and the media are. i doubt ScoMo or other leaders really believe this stuff, they just can’t find a way out because they know they can’t keep ‘case’ numbers down when the borders open and the True Believers are gonna lose their minds.

  20. Unfortunately religion cuts both ways. Covidianism is a religion. So you could say it is religious thinking that got us into this mess. And could keep us in it for a very long time.

  21. Yes. I suppose it’s the same as it ever was. Although, arguably the stakes are higher now given that the modern religion has far more power through its propaganda machine than the church could ever have dreamed of.

  22. Irena/Roland: it’s always fun to read propaganda from a different culture. I find the Indian and Chinese English-language media lots of fun for that reason. Here’s a classic from Indian media trying to discredit Luc Montagnier who had the nerve to come out against the vaccines this week. He’s only a Nobel prize winning virologist, so clearly needs to keep his mouth shut and listen to the experts. Towards the bottom of the article, where they are openly defaming him, they bring up a ‘disturbing’ theory he made back in April 2020. What was this disturbing theory? That the virus was leaked from the lab in Wuhan! Of course, that theory was always a possibility and there was nothing disturbing about it at all but recent events have shown it’s the most likely theory now. Anyway, fun bit of character assassination Indian-style https://science.thewire.in/the-sciences/luc-montagniers-views-on-covid-vaccines-are-latest-of-his-wrong-vexing-ideas/

  23. Nice one. I thought the first sentence was interesting. Makes it sound like he claimed that everyone who had the vaccine will die in two years without actually saying that.

  24. “On the individual level, would people who had good relationships with their parents be more immune? That seems plausible and would explain why there was not a similar response in 1957 or 1968 for the Asian and Hong Kong flu. There’s been a lot of divorce and broken homes since then so fair to say a lot more people are carrying parental baggage these days.”

    Another interesting element to me is that people I’ve known who’ve dealt with (at least some) of their baggage from their parent enacting the Devouring Mother all saw the BS for what it was right from the beginning, which also seems to suggest a link….

  25. I simply wished to thank you for this post.

    (Not actually for the purpose meant!—as the child of negligent parents, the Devouring Mother archetype is somewhat alien to me, though I think your analysis is the one I’ve seen with the most explanatory power—but your lucid argument laid out a very fruitful meditation pathway on the nature of archetypes and how they relate to the individual for me.)

  26. “Another interesting element to me is that people I’ve known who’ve dealt with (at least some) of their baggage from their parent enacting the Devouring Mother all saw the BS for what it was right from the beginning, which also seems to suggest a link….”

    Well, you can add me as a data point.

    I was raised by a mother with Narcissistic Personalty Disorder (NPD), and the description of the Devouring Mother archetype maps quite closely on the mother with NPD. And I saw through my NPD mother by the time I was a teenager, and couldn’t wait to leave home and never move back.

    From the get-go, this whole covid thing has felt like reliving my childhood on a grand scale – the irrationality presented as rationality, the gaslighting, the excuse of safety used to further control, the the lies, the rewriting of history, the pitting of enablers against dissenters (and the scapegoating and vilification of the latter), the literal being grounded at home and forbidden to go out and see friends, subject to constant mental abuse and social isolation – this is Narcissistic Family Abuse Tactics 101.

    I do believe that covid is real, and that the virus does pose a danger to the vulnerable; I just think the reaction was excessive. And that is the same as the way that narcissists will often take actual legitimate issues, but instead of addressing them in a rational fashion, use them as excuses for draconian control and manipulation.

  27. > Because we cannot say that Hitler was possessed by the devil, we have simply turned Hitler into the devil.

    That statement to me is particularly astute, and a very nice summation of our cultures insistence on mistaking an effect for a cause.

    As another example, applying the same logic to Trump Derangement Syndrome explains an awful lot about why so many people cannot see past the man to see the whole show was an effect (manifestation of an Archetype if you will) rather than a cause. Which is why even if one explains the readily demonstrable causes for Trump’s rise it is quite impossible for a hater to comprehend it as Trump (or Hitler, or anyone actually) being an effect is not within their perceptive model (aka worldview). Fascinating.

  28. Mollari – thanks for that. That’s another interesting synchronicity. Of course, if you got up the willpower to face your problems with your parents head on, you would also have some level of general psychic protection from the various forces coming at you from society.

    SDI – my pleasure. I think some of Jung’s concepts have finally clicked for me too. I expect to be spending a long time working through the new perspectives this has opened up.

    El – thanks for sharing that. The synchronicities are piling up 🙂

    Daniel – agree. I think part of the job of politicians is to embody archetypes (arguably this is our ‘job’ as humans in general). I remember, for example, very early in corona (Jan-Feb 2020) when Daniel Andrews, Premier here in Victoria, was trying to calm the public and avoid unnecessary interventions but he very quickly changed into the paradigm embodiement of The Devouring Mother. Just like each of us, politicians should embody an archetype without being overwhelmed by it. Andrews failed on that score. He got well and truly possessed.

  29. Mollari et al’s comments ring a bell. For my part, I can tell you that both temperamentally and by upbringing (“if you don’t do as I say, the sky will fall”), I’m somewhat prone to catastrophizing. And yet, I could see immediately that the COVID response was one gigantic overreaction. (The government response did, however, scare the bejeezus out of me.) It’s interesting, isn’t? It may be because I’ve spent so much time pondering a variety of converging catastrophes (climate change, resource depletion, etc. etc.), and this so very obviously wasn’t one of them. Not by a long shot. It *could* have been. Imagine if an enhanced Ebola virus had escaped that lab. But it didn’t. We were quite lucky in that regard.

  30. Irena – as my grandmother used to say: “worrying about it won’t do you any good” (note that worrying about it and preparing for it are two very different things).

  31. The behaviors you describe could equally well be ascribed to the Perpetually Patriarchal Papa (tPPP) who allows his Son (rioting protests, maskless military, open-face police) to be honored as a Warrior, taking every risk, meanwhile keeping his Virgin Daughter ‘safe’ at home from every chance of being impregnated by an Alien Germ.

    Or to the Pimp whose controlling behavior is directly profitable to himself at the expense of his ho’s and ho-boys. Loss of liberty, betrayal of truth, double-binding, gaslighting, and self-serving illogic are not exclusively a property of one gender or another, as the relations of Jung with his wife Emma and Sabina Spielrein demonstrate.

    All us ‘consumers’ (not ‘citizens’, please note) are Daughters, or sheep or cows, kept ‘safe’ like livestock to be milked for money, or slaughtered on the chopping block at His whim as the hands-on small businesses run by millions of people of color have been sacrificed to the Man.

    The PPP is everywhere in Western civilization. We see him in the metastatic militarization and commodification of the medical industry, formerly the province of unpaid women at home. He rules over every industry, particularly the money-factory of Wall St. and its tame stable of bankers and insurance companies, signifying His cattle-wealth. We see him in the Triumvirate God-Forms of Bezos, Gates, and Zuckerberg, whose relentless corralling of all forms of social exchange to serve His interests is enough to make Alexander burst with envy.

    Indeed, tPPP is the benevolent Guardian of the whole world through Empire and the Big Finger crushing out of Banana Republics that refuse to kowtow to His self-appointed world sovereignty. He is Big Oil, Big Texas, and Big Crime all rolled into one. He shows up in the Russian Mafia, the Mexican drug cartels, the porno industry, the massive proportion of budgets dedicated to ‘Defense’ and ‘Weapons’ (hence stinted from ‘Education’ and ‘Clean Water’).

    He shouts out statistics about some thousands of chiefly old white folks in largely comfortable circumstances who die in one year and somehow fails to mention figures related to the 40,000 children (mostly colored) who die EVERY DAY due to lack of food and want of clean water.

    Say, where is Mommy when you really need her? Papa has made sure she keeps her girly mouth shut. If she mouths off, she gets raped and trafficked to another country to provide sexual comfort to the soldiers and clean up the filth of the clueless rich.

    And he aims to do the same thing to the rest of us. Because he is TopApe and intends to remain so. If the only way he can succeed at holding onto his power is to play off each Controllee against all the others with specters of deathly disease, so be it. The same ploy has always worked before in his hand.

    Fear the Other! Hate the Other! Kill the Other!

    People have murdered one another en masse for the sake of minute variations in religious belief. That is Pappy’s demand. He finds it perfectly logical and necessary to lock up people who have a German name, who LOOK Japanese just in case they might think like an enemy.

    Skin color, sexual bent, any kind of uppityness that does not conform to His notions of Respectful Righteousness must be eradicated till the whole world is remade in His own infinitely glorious image. And since His image demands that Perfect Health is His native property, it is imperative to stigmatize and anathematize the Other as the One Who is Diseased.

    Set all against all and He shall reign supreme forever! War!

    Papa has not had a nice BIG war for a very long time. He wants one so much that he will create it out of nothing. Divide families, bust up friendships, part lovers, destroy prosperity, all to gratify Papa’s bloodlust and plump up his purse. Poor Papa! His beard has gone white, his oil is running dry, and his shiny red sports car won’t go anymore! WAR!

    Yeah, that’s the answer. Right.
    ………………………….
    So it is possible to frame the issue in more than one way.
    Perhaps more than one Archetype is active at the present moment.
    Perhaps one generally sees the Archetype that one is looking for.
    Considering that the Australian colony was founded by an act of mass rape, it is small wonder that you perceive an over-controlling feminine threat. Maybe a formal apology to the great grannies of the nation might be in order? To appease their spirits might be wise.

    The young woman who woke up one morning with nothing to do but lie in bed may have been one of the millions of underpaid women who normally work double shifts, 24-7: 10 hours in the wage-world while also stuck in to domestic duty, chauffeur and child care. That may have been the only liberty from constant work she has known for twelve years. Unless you know what her normal duty roster was, it is premature for you to judge her as as a will-less robot.

    Yet, the unnumbered will-less robots who acquiesce to having their every expressed thought monitored by Big Brother’s domestic commercial surveillance and rely implicitly on Big Daddy’s mysterious Federal Reserve are more deserving of your contempt.

    As far as I understand it, the Nanny is not the Mother but the servant of the Mother. It is her job to keep the kids quiet, obedient, and conformist. It is possible that the Mother is Money and the Father is Fuel. And that pair is too big to fit into the borders of one isolated island nation.

  32. gkb – as I stated in the post, the archetypes are not testable or amenable to scientific reductionism. Therefore, there is the risk that they are nothing more than Just So stories. There are other disciplines where this problem exists, among them is the one I was trained in – linguistics. So, yes, in the absence of a community or institution that discusses and enforces the rules to keep the whole thing on track, archetypcal analysis can quickly turn into fiction.

  33. Hi Simon,

    I found your writings via John Michael Greer. I have to say that it is perhaps the best assessment of the covid situation that I have yet come across. In particular, the Plague Story archetype was new to me, and helps elements of the story fall into place – especially the sudden acceptance of authoritarian measures which is a standard part of the Plague Story and suddenly becomes a real possibility once the Plague Story is adopted as the official narrative. (Admittedly I’ve read about 1/3 of your series, skimmed another 1/3, and made guesses as to the remaining posts based on the titles and your summary of the book.)

    Living in Oregon, one of the US states that has been most willing to enact regulations, I have still been shocked by the situation in Australia, Canada, and parts of Europe. Notably, in the US the police have by and large been unwilling to enforce government regulations, so there has been a constant undercurrent of civil disobedience even in places with more rules and regulations. I used to admire these “nanny state” parts of the world for their universal health care, stronger sense of a social contract, and overall higher standard of living, but now I see how that has morphed into an authoritarian covid response and I am grateful to live in a “freedom-loving” country. I do have a much greater respect for Texas and Florida, and for parts of conservative political ideology, than I had pre-pandemic.

    I like the Devouring Mother analysis, but for me the trouble with identity archetypes – as opposed to story archetypes like the Plague Story – is that they are not causally informative. It’s easy to understand how the Plague Story came into existence – through thousands of years of devastating plagues infecting human populations – and thereby see how the unjustified invocation of that story can lead to a disproportionate response to a flu-like illness. It’s also somewhat possible to see how that story got invoked early in 2020, when due to only testing hospitalized patients we initially had a plague-like estimate of the fatality rate.

    For the Devouring Mother though, the question becomes: why? Why is the Devouring Mother an archetype, and why is it being invoked on a massive scale right now? One could posit metaphysical explanations, such as that humankind is causing massive harm to our Mother Earth, and so the Devouring Mother has been unleashed among us. But that entails spiritual, magical, or karmic dimensions, to some extent. JM Greer would be comfortable with that, and I might be to some extent as well, but it becomes more difficult to establish a logical argument for causation.

    For me, there are two explanations for our covid overreaction that make sense. The first is a desire, among ruling classes globally, to justify an increased level of authoritarianism and austerity. This fits in with the “Great Reset” agenda, and ultimately seems to derive from a tacit recognition that we are reaching the limits of economic growth on a finite planet. Thereby in order for the elites to maintain and increase their wealth, they must convince the masses to accept less wealth and less freedom “for their safety.” I wrote about that here: http://www.luterra.com/blog/?p=1267

    The second is that one of the central tenets of the religion of Progress is that serious infectious disease has been banished to the evil, primitive, pre-technological past. You get at this idea as well in the way that the Plague Story has evolved over time from ending with natural immunity and jubilation to ending with technological achievement through vaccination. Therefore once the idea that covid is a serious infectious disease becomes established in the collective narrative of a nation that believes in Progress, an irrational overreaction with religious overtones ending with the celebrated arrival of a sanctified vaccine is the expected outcome. I wrote about that here: http://www.luterra.com/blog/?p=1286

    My current focus is on understanding the mass psychoses of our present moment through the lens of grieving the end of Progress, which I hope to turn into a book. I don’t think that’s a complete explanation either, but it seems to be a piece of the puzzle.

    Mark

  34. It looks to me like it will take multiple perspectives to approach a widely acceptable ‘nugget’ of truth. Hence several archetypal ‘slices’ are necessary to obtain a cross-section of the events. Each reveals another aspect of the dysfunctional behaviors, hence valuable information for building up the whole picture. Even fiction contributes if its roots are deep enough.

  35. Mark – thanks for the links. I’ll have a read when I get a chance. My background is in science and technology and so I am also more comfortable where causality can be established (in fact, the thing that got me onto this whole thread was when I realised that it has never been causally proven that the supposed new virus causes any illness or what sort of illness it causes. All that has been established is correlation and fairly doubtful correlation at that.) My training is in linguistics and I see a lot of correspondences between that and psychology. Specifically, the object of study is invisible, constantly changing and also has a personal and social element. Despite this, we have no problem identifying the English language. It’s also true that the ‘rules’ of the English language do constrain speakers though any speaker is free to break them and follow different rules. We also know that the rules change over time although these changes are not arbitrary. Finally, we still don’t understand what the language faculty is metaphysically although we assume one must exist. I have a post on my to-do list to draw out these correspondences in more detail. I’m also just starting out with Jung but, because of my linguistics background, I’m comfortable with metaphysical ambiguity as long as the pattern seems to fit.

    kgb – agree. I think the Greeks would have said that just because one of the gods was causing the most trouble right now that didn’t mean the other gods weren’t up to mischief as well.

  36. As someone with a background in molecular biology, and who has both extracted RNA to examine levels of gene expression and done plenty of PCR tests to confirm that a particular RNA/DNA sequence is present, I don’t doubt that the new virus is responsible for illness. Even though the PCR test is being used inappropriately (run to 35-40 cycles), and even though PCR positivity should not be used to diagnose someone without symptoms as sick, the correlations are certainly convincing. This speaking from a part of the world where hospitals did at times reach capacity with covid patients. A lot of people would show up in the hospital with bilateral pneumonia. Nearly all of these people would test positive for covid. Meanwhile the vast majority of healthy people would not test positive. Moreover, the overall percentage of positive tests rose and fell in lockstep with hospitalization and death numbers. @Hold2 on Twitter has excellent graphs of these trends for the United States.

    It also appears that the spike protein itself can cause disease, even when not part of an infectious virus. (https://www.salk.edu/news-release/the-novel-coronavirus-spike-protein-plays-additional-key-role-in-illness/) This has implications for the vaccines, but it also helps to confirm to me that this virus, with this spike protein, is responsible for illness.

    Now, I agree with you that just because a virus is always present in sick people, that doesn’t mean that everyone with that virus inside them is sick. As you note, the human virome is incredibly complex. It could even turn out that the people who are getting sick are co-infected with another virus, or are lacking a protective co-infection. Rather than treating asymptomatic people as unfortunate biohazards, perhaps it would be better to try to understand why some people can coexist with this virus without becoming ill, and thereby to focus on supporting bodies in staying healthy rather than fighting an impossible battle to eradicate the virus through authoritarian social engineering and rushed, inadequately-tested vaccines.

  37. Simon: “Irena – as my grandmother used to say: “worrying about it won’t do you any good” (note that worrying about it and preparing for it are two very different things).”

    Maybe… But then again, if hadn’t spent so much time “worrying” about all those things, I’d probably be scared out of my wits by COVID. But I guess I got that sort of thing out of my system a decade or so ago.

    As for preparing: once upon a time, I read quite a lot of doomer/prepper blogs. Well, the problem was that so much of their advice applied to people with a rural (or at least suburban) property, generally quite a bit older and financially more secure than I was. Little of it applied to a young person, especially one on a temporary visa (and then another one, and then another one…) tied to either a particular school or a particular job. So, I haven’t really done much of anything to “prepare,” unless you count refraining from procreating. So, there’s that.

  38. Mark – you might be able to answer a question I’ve had about the PCR test. My understanding is that a coronavirus has 30,000 bases but the PCR test focuses in on one or more segments that are only a few hundred bases long. So, the job of the virologist is to figure out which of those segments uniquely identifies just that virus. Given the virus has never been purified and there is no gold standard test, I fail to understand how they can do that or, rather, how they can test that they got it right. Also, given genetic drift, would the test become less reliable over time or do the segments chosen in the test not change as the virus mutates?

    Irena – I think the best prepper advice is to figure out how to make yourself useful to the local warlord. Making alcohol is a solid choice. Or learn how to knit. Even warlords need socks!

  39. Simon: “Irena – I think the best prepper advice is to figure out how to make yourself useful to the local warlord. Making alcohol is a solid choice. Or learn how to knit. Even warlords need socks!”

    That might be solid advice for 2100, but it’ll be quite some time before the local warlords need locals to make alcohol or knit socks for them.

    I grew up in Serbia in the 1990s. That was the lost decade. Who did well? Let’s see. Many people emigrated, with varying levels of success and satisfaction. Then you had “businessmen” (and women who tried to make themselves as attractive as possible to them). Some of those people wound up very rich, and some wound up dead. I happen to have known someone (the husband of a friend of my mother’s) who was running some sort of Ponzi scheme and ended up killing himself when this resulted in unpayable debt to the Mafia, accompanied by threats to his family.

    Sure, knowing how to cook from scratch and such was useful, but not because the warlord needed it. And in any case, basic ingredients were often rationed.

  40. When people say the virus “hasn’t been purified,” my understanding is that this means it hasn’t been isolated from a sick person and then used to infect another person or animal model. I think most virologists and molecular biologists would argue that such a difficult procedure is unnecessary, though it would add a layer of certainty to proof of causation if it were done. The virus has been purified from lab cultures (e.g. to make inactivated-virus vaccines like Sinovac), imaged with electron microscopy, and genome-sequenced thousands of times.

    PCR works by amplifying a region between two synthetic DNA “primers” that are usually around 22 bases long, with the amplified region being several hundred bases. The probability that a given stretch of 22 bases will match the primer exactly is one in 4^22 or 17.5 trillion. That said, primers can still bind if the sequence is an imperfect match, and nontarget amplification often occurs when designing new primers. The way primers are tested – and I have done this many times – is to run a positive control (reverse-transcribed RNA extracted from lab-grown virus) and a number of wide-ranging negative controls (e.g. total human DNA from a number of healthy people, reverse-transcribed human RNA, human microbiome samples, etc.). If only the positive control is amplified and turns up positive, then the primers are good. If negative controls also turn up positive, and contamination can be ruled out, then design new primers.

    Of course it is impossible to include every possible sequence in the negative controls, so it could turn out that people with a particular soil bacterium in their nose, or people who raise pigs, or people who have recently been swimming in the ocean, etc. happen to have a DNA/RNA sequence that generates a false positive on the test. In most cases this will also be detected eventually, e.g. if the baseline level of positive tests is too high, or if certain healthy people repeatedly test positive. Based on overall testing data, these sorts of false positives do not appear to be occurring on a large scale. The “false positives” that are occurring are more likely to be caused by single SARS-CoV-2 particles becoming widely dispersed in the environment, and PCR tests being run to 40 cycles at which point even a single viral particle is enough to cause a positive result. That is frankly stupid and seems designed to generate fear rather than effectively diagnose infection.

    So far the viral variants are still 99.7% similar to the original, i.e. with 3 bases changed out of 1000. Changes only affect the PCR test if they occur in one of the 22-base primer binding regions. This can happen but it is rare, and not all PCR tests use the same primers so some will be unaffected. If I remember correctly, the British variant was originally identified because it included a primer-binding-region mutation and so showed up as negative in some PCR tests but positive in others.

  41. I’m sorry to say that the media in the US (NPR) has started saying that employer vaccine mandates are legal so long as there are religious and medical exemptions. So they’ll let you go if you have permission from a doctor or priest, and give up any claim to be making the decision based on your own judgement.

  42. Irena – it sounds like you might already have had some training for the future that lies ahead. How did the majority of people respond in Serbia? Did people take up vegetable growing and other homesteading activities to get by?

    Mark – thanks for the info. As you allude to, the chances for false positives are high and there was seemingly a great deal of prima facie evidence for that including cans of coke testing positive, farm animals and fruit (made famous by the President of Tanzania who was a chemist by training). There’s also the problem that the paper justifying the test (authored by Drosten) made it through ‘peer review’ in about 36 hours. That makes me wonder whether anybody even tried to reproduce his work or find error. Apparently a number of scientists have now reviewed that paper and found a number of faults. Didn’t matter, though. We rushed that test straight into production and started testing every man and his dog with it. You note that healthy people test negative but a lot of healthy people also test positive as seen by the high asymptomatic rate. All in all, the system of testing (sampling, transport of sample, different labs etc) is very complicated and would itself need rigorous testing to prove its accuracy. Have governments been doing that testing? Not as far as I know. Instead they dropped the usual QA requirements for the test kits so we would expect higher than normal error there too. You may be right that there was something going on, but with an unknown error rate the whole thing looks like noise to me. Especially when tied to a disease which has, as far as I know, no symptoms that differentiate it from a cold or flu.

    Alex – sounds like a good time to find religion. I haven’t checked, but I’m pretty sure the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster would be pro vaccine choice.

  43. @irena
    What are you prepping for?
    I think the warlord stage is still several generations in the future.
    What is your current situation and what do you expect to happen in your neck of the woods in the foreseeable future?
    Additionally i think prepping should involve skills and community.

  44. @Simon

    People who had some sort of property in the countryside might grow some produce. Others didn’t. Overall, by all accounts, people in major cities fared better than people who actually lived in the countryside: services were simply better in cities (there are many gradations of “terrible,” and some are more terrible than others). Also, being able to give private lessons (ideally math) was more useful than knowing how to knit and such, since it lead to (however meager) cash.

    Incidentally, wasn’t it Greer who came up with “collapse now and avoid the rush”? (Certainly, he preached it.) So, he moved from the Pacific Northwest to Appalachia. And then… His wife’s health deteriorated, and so they moved to Rhode Island because she could get better services there. A perfectly reasonable move: collapsing now (in order to avoid the rush or for any other reason) may just mean that you live a shorter and sicker life than you would have otherwise. So, in that sense, the best “prepping” advice may be “if possible, move somewhere where the institutions are still functional.”

    @Roland

    That’s the thing: I’m not really “prepping” for anything. (And I agree with you about the warlord stage.) I don’t think there is any real way to be “ready” for collapse, no matter what preppers tell you. There is some sound advice, such as staying out of debt (though that’s tricky, too, because unless you’re quite well off, it means renting for the rest of your life, which has its own set of problems), and then knowing how to do some basic things (such as cook from scratch) so that you can avoid certain types of expenses. Otherwise? You don’t get to escape history. For instance, what could a person have done to “prepare” for this lockdown? The only thing I can come up with is “make sure you have a job that can be done remotely, and it also helps if you have a spacious house with a large garden.” Gee. Thanks.

  45. @irena
    “You don’t get to escape history”
    That is a great line and something every prepper should meditate on.
    “collapse now to avoid the rush” does not make a whole lot of sense to me either.
    Prepping can however be useful to mitigate the problems to an extent. Like I said it depends on your situation and on what you expect to happen.
    You probably are better prepared than most, simply by virtue of having lived through seriously bad times.
    I for one have never seen hard times. Not the way you probably have. So i simply don’t know how I will react.
    There is one thing I remember from my martial arts training many moons ago. If you get punched in the face the first time, most people falter. After a while you get used to it and just shake it off.
    Can make the difference between winning and losing.

  46. Roland – as the great philosopher, Mike Tyson, once said: everybody’s got a plan til they get punched in the face.

  47. exactly.
    the tricky bit is to hold on to your plan after getting punched in the face.

  48. I think this metaphor also applies to the Devouring Mother archetype. Why has the US gotten through this quicker than elsewhere? Because in the US millions of people were explicitly thrown under the bus two or three decades ago and have had to take some punches in that time which should make them less susceptible to hysteria. Meanwhile, here in Australia we haven’t taken a punch for about three decades. First sign of trouble and we run to the government. Speaking of which, my prediction of political meltdowns came true almost instantly. We are seeing thermo-nuclear levels of bullshit here in Melbourne this week.

  49. “I think this metaphor also applies to the Devouring Mother archetype”
    not what i had in mind, but it works.
    and explains why australia was probably the worst nanny state on the planet even before corona hit.
    I really wonder how we are going to get out of this. In the 20s/30s it took 15 years and about 100 million people dead before the archetype lost its grip.
    How long is it going to take us to move out of Bates Motel? And what damage will mommy do?
    Sorry to hear about Melbourne. I’d consider leaving. Sell up while prices are still insane and move to the country…

  50. Simon: “Why has the US gotten through this quicker than elsewhere?”

    It has? I’m not so sure. What about all those vaccine mandates? I know it’s not required by law, but employers and schools can require it.

    Roland: “I really wonder how we are going to get out of this.”

    Yeah, me too. It’s part mass hysteria, but I’ve been toying with the idea that the best way to think about this is as a crisis of legitimacy. The other day, Bret Weinstein did an interview with Pierre Kory (the ivermectin doctor). (Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tn_b4NRTB6k) Ivermectin is an old drug, with an excellent safety record, and there’s quite a lot of evidence that it’s highly effective against COVID (both as prevention and as treatment), and yet, there’s this weird campaign against it. Why? Partly it’s money (it’s massively cheaper than gene therapy). But I’m not convinced that’s the whole story. It seems to me that the establishment is desperate to preserve its legitimacy, and so anyone coming up with alternatives must be silenced. “You must accept OUR solutions, and otherwise, you’re a witch!”

    There’s *some* hope, though. For starters, both YouTube and Twitter have allowed the video and the link to stand (apparently, promoting ivermectin is against Twitter rules). But, *maybe* big tech is about to jump ship. What happened with the lab leak story is enormously embarrassing (and Fauci should be behind bars, but never mind that now). Will big tech continue siding with WHO et al, in the face of gross (and increasingly obvious, even to people who aren’t paying much attention) incompetence? Maybe. But maybe they’ll cut their losses and let more reasonable people speak. And then *maybe* we can come of this.

  51. “It was like talking to a different person or, rather, like talking to a zombie. In both of these cases, I got a very strong sense that something had ‘possessed’ these two people. I simply wasn’t dealing with the same person I had once known….”

    I’ve had the same feeling around the corona narrative, but I also feel like it started earlier in the US, with the elections of Trump, when a lot of liberals seemed equally possessed.

    For what it’s worth, I never liked Donald Trump, and I never wasted breath defending him to people. But what I did do back in 2016, however, was commit liberal heresy by suggesting that, among other things, there were good reasons why he won the election that had nothing to do with racism, and equally good reasons why people hated the corrupt status-quo candidate (HRC), and, worst of all, suggesting that Trump was a symptom rather than a cause of problems. I stopped doing that, however, when I realized that it made liberals….snap, somehow. They’d start calling me a “Trump apologist”, telling me to “check my privilege”, imply that I was being racist and sexist, etc. – simply for suggesting that the Bad Orange Man had gotten elected for reasons other than “they’re all just racist white supremacists.” Despite the fact that I never even actually said anything positive about Trump himself, deviating from the official narrative caused them to go into enraged zombie MSNBC-talking-point-repetition mode. So I just stopped trying. But it was still like talking to possessed people back then, too. I wonder if that’s connected to the DM archetype, another archetype, or due to something else? The behavior is so similar.

    And now that Trump is out of office, these same people switched seamlessly to corona-panic and virtue-signalling, and have now moved on to obsessing over forcing the vaccine on everyone. COVID vaccines are their new religious work and virtue signal -not just getting it, but making sure that everyone is required or pressured into it, and that any remaining dissenters are shunned – and, ideally, kept literally muzzled – as much as possible. In fact, I think the corona cult has sucked up more people even than the anti-Trump cult ever had.

    The new liberal zealotry claims to be about science, but it’s completely unscientific, so it’s actually a religion, of the cult variety – and there does seem to be this element of possession by something. And I can’t break through it. When you have a literal NPD mother like I had, the solution is simple – turn 18 and leave. It’s not so easy when it’s happening on a society wide scale.

    My social circle has shrunk massively over the course of the last year, when all but a few of my friends were unwilling to leave the house or see me. (Some were shocked that I went out to eat in restaurants when they re-opened – how dangerous!) Now many of these former friends are willing to reconnect “now that everyone is vaccinated” – they just assume I’ve had the vaccine, see, because of course I must have, I’m not a deplorable, right? – but I don’t think I even want to reconnect. I don’t hate them or hold any ill will against them, but I feel like we’re living in different realities. I questioned the COVID narrative; they think that anyone who questions it is a dangerous heretic, and that means me. I can’t argue with these people; one of the reasons they don’t realize what a heretic I am is because I avoided the topic, and until recently they were all hiding at home anyway. I could lie about getting the vaccine, but what’s the point? They would still hate people like who I really am (those dangerous “anti-vaxxer” morons, you know, they should be banned….). I feel like a hated deplorable “passing” for a good little cult member, and who wants to do that with any regularity?

    These aren’t the same people. They’re possessed crazy people. And there is nothing I can do, I guess, but wait for this to play out, however long it takes.

    Sorry for the long rambley comment….I’m just so alienated and frustrated.

  52. El – I know what you mean. There are several people I will no longer be associating with because of this business. Not because of ill will, just because I have lost all respect for them. And I need to keep my mouth shut particularly in a work context where the true believers feel free to speak with absurd self assurance about matters they clearly have no clue about. On the positive side, I’ve had some very encouraging encounters with complete strangers who are also unbelievers and this gives me some hope. I remember that Jean Paul Sartre wrote about how the Nazi occupation of France had a positive effect of reminding the French about their real values and I kind of feel the same way now. I realise that I value freedom very highly. Sadly, it seems most of my fellow countrymen do not.

    Out of curiosity, where in the US are you located? I’ve heard contrasting reports of what is happening there. Seems that country USA is back to normal but things are still a bit crazy in the big cities in particular LA and New York.

  53. Here’s another synchronicity – a lot of the news opinion pieces here in Israeli media written by doctors urging you to get vaccinated in the safe, well tested (according to them) and effective vaccine, turns out were written by doctors who are not immunologists as you would expect, but rather pediatrics.

    The connection is rather obvious – if you are trying to talk a bunch of overgrown children into taking a vaccine, a doctor dealing with children is obviously already familiar with the relevant rhetoric.

    I also read elsewhere in the world adults are being promised candy and ice cream if they get a shot without acting up. I thought I lost this privilege after my Bar Mitzvah at 13.

  54. Bakbook – I see your synchronicity and raise you a synchronicity, albeit one that is not corona-related. Where I work they were giving out free lollipops a few weeks ago. I don’t recall the exact reason but if you came to the office wearing a particular colour you’d get a free lollipop. I can’t remember the last time I ate a lollipop but I was probably aged in single digits at the time. In The Simpsons, it’s a recurring motif for Doctor Hibbert to condescend to one of the child characters who asks a valid question (usually Lisa) by offering them a lollipop.

  55. I’m in New Jersey, and things are a mixture here. We’re the state next to New York City, and our governor largely followed Cuomo’s lead, but got more pushback, I think. The state has been locked down relatively long and hard, but so far (knock wood) there has been no equivalent of New York’s empire pass vaccine passport being pushed.

    I live in a working-class community, and in my immediate area it seems that, with some exceptions, people are largely moving on from corona-panic despite the government’s best scare tactics. Throughout the whole thing I’ve been able to see a few of my local friends and all of my extended family, who also are mostly more working class and/or just less elite-liberal, who were on the whole a bit more skeptical of the official narratives. Other than canceling one holiday event at the home of a family member who was smack in the middle of immune-compromising medical treatments at the time (and who we frankly didn’t want to expose right then to a lot of people under any circumstances), we’ve all been seeing each other throughout the pandemic as normally as possible.

    The problem is another group of NJ friends who are increasingly woke, another group of old college friends (all very rich and liberal), and my workplace (PMC virtue-signalers to the max). Those NJ friends have been hiding under the furniture for most of the past year, and are only willing to emerge “now that we’re all vaccinated”. Meanwhile, I dodged the last zoom call with the old college friends in other states, because I didn’t want to sit around comparing vaccine experiences and discussing how to protect ourselves and our families from those dangerous anti-vaxxer morons. And one workplace – an organization that prides itself on, among other things, being “inclusive”, of course! – is trying to figure out how they can mandate vaccines and, if they can’t mandate them, how they can legally discriminate against people who aren’t vaccinated. For the greater good, you know. (I’m a part-timer, and I may just have to stay all remote if they demand proof of covid jabs.) It’s all just….sad.

    So like I said, I think it was a mixed bag. NJ has plenty of rich liberal virtue-signalers, but a not-insignificant share of working-class deplorables and leave-me-alone libertarians as well. The line isn’t absolute, of course, but that’s how the tendencies are breaking down, and people I know have gone in completely opposite directions. This whole event has been very polarizing. I’ve snuck around earlier in the year for illicit visits with some people and attended over-capacity family events, while also having to listen to other people tell me in wide-eyed fear that there are morons out there not following the rules and endangering us all.

    And yes, you’re right, it has to do in a large part with a loss of respect. I’ve always considered myself to be on the left-ish end of the political spectrum, but from back in the days when the left actually seemed to value personal freedoms. Today’s liberals have made it clear that they are happy to sacrifice freedom of speech, movement, assembly, and bodily autonomy for what they perceive as “safety”. When confronted with evidence that conflicts with their world view – whether it be anti-Trump mania or covidian-cultism – they lose their minds and attack the messengers. I can’t have any respect for these people, most of whom I have known for decades. We had a good run, I guess….but it feels like it’s over. The lines are drawn. I’m politically homeless, and have fewer friends now, because I value those freedoms over safety, and don’t think my medical choices are anyone else’s business, and vice-versa. I never thought it would come to this.

  56. Also, regarding talking to us like we’re children –

    No, the reason I am not getting an experimental vaccine with no long-term safety data for a disease that poses little risk to me is not because I “don’t like needles” or am “afraid it will hurt”. That’s another bit of condescending BS that’s been going around. Because obviously a grown adult couldn’t possibly have a better reason for declining a shot, right?

  57. This essay has been very helpful. It explains things that I didn’t have an explanation for before. At some point in this whole thing I just decided that people were very scared, and the only thing to do was go along with whatever they wanted until they calmed down. I gave that up when they wanted me to take an experimental vaccine. If the “devouring mother” is in charge, then it’s never going to end on its own. Even now, my dad is sending me emails with titles like “The variants are coming” and predictions of a new lockdown in October.

    El – I’ve had a very similar experience over the last few years. I’ve noticed however that when I tell people I’m not getting vaccinated and why (I’m scared if long term side effects) they have all been pretty understanding. You might find that the rhetoric doesn’t run as deep as it seems.

    As for it being over in the US, here’s a report on my small corner. I live in Vermont, which has had 255 covid deaths out of a population on 600,000. 78% vaccinated. The rules are being relaxed, though notably only for vaccinated people. Last I heard, unvaccinated people are supposed to wear masks indoors and out, and maintain a 6 foot distance. This has the ironic effect of making dissenters look the same as true believers in public. Cajoling to get vaccinated comes over the radio everyday. If you ask people what they think of the situation, this is what they say: “We’ve done such a good job following the rules here that hopefully when it is safe, the rules will go away, but we need to be careful that we don’t do it too soon!” I’ve said it myself, when asked in a work meeting. It’s clear that being too eager to get rid of the rules is seen as suspicious.

  58. El – thanks for that perspective. What are your thoughts on what is happening in places like Texas and Florida? My understanding is that all corona regulations there have been dropped and, in fact, laws have been passed preventing vaccine passports and mandatory masking. Does that get much coverage in NJ? Would you consider moving to somewhere like that? That seems to be one way to escape The Devouring Mother’s household.

    Alex – yes, I heard about that rule of only the un-vaccinated being required to wear masks. Of course, none of them will. Interestingly, though, that removes the ability to signal rebellion in public. With a mask mandate, you can signal dissent by not wearing one. A lot of people were doing that where I live. Until our recent lockdown, trains were the only place where you still had to wear masks but about half the people were not. This is a powerful symbol as it shows that a large number of people were over the whole thing and prepared to get on with a normal life. The government responded by cracking down and sending police onto trains to enforce the rule. Can’t have the children getting out of line.

  59. To answer your questions as best I can – One, yes, the elimination of mandates in places like Texas and Florida got some mainstream media coverage all over the country. The coverage started out slanted (of course) about how dangerous and foolish those states were being, and then, when hospitalizations and deaths failed to skyrocket on cue, it is now being quietly ignored. Two, no, I currently do not want to move to TX or FL for multiple reasons. (My family and remaining friends are all here, and also, I just loathe hot weather.) In the event I did have to move, I’d likely pick a more northerly state that also had fewer restrictions, because there are some.

    Regarding Alex’s point about masks, it’s getting really weird. The official rule in NJ is that mask mandates are lifted except for a few circumstances (I think they may still be required in medical facilities and on public transportation, maybe?), but unvaccinated people are still “strongly encouraged” to wear masks. You wouldn’t know that from the headlines, though. When the restrictions were lifted, all the headlines blared stuff along the lines of “Mask Mandates Lifted for Vaccinated Individuals”, and it was only by reading the smaller print that you would find out that no, mask mandates were in fact lifted for EVERYONE, and masks are merely just “encouraged” for unvaccinated people, which means very little.

    So like I said, it’s gotten very weird. You don’t know who is wearing a mask and why.

    On one hand, masked people could be unvaccinated due to following the recommendations. But the unvaccinated are the least likely to obey the government’s “encouragements” (if we were, we’d have gotten our jabs), so chances are, the independent-minded have decided to ignore the mask “encouragements”, the same way we’ve ignored the vaccine brow-beating – er, I mean “encouragements”. So, who, then, is masked? Possibly a tiny number of people who can’t be vaccinated for some reason, but given the way the jabs are being pushed on absolutely everyone, I can’t imagine there are many people who want to be vaccinated but can’t be. No, more likely, it’s the vaccinated but still terrified people who are walking around masked. (It’s strange, but a lot of people seem to have developed an attachment to their masks, and I have no idea why.) Unless, of course, they are employees of an establishment that has demanded proof of vaccination to forgo the masks.

    In most stores, there are now a mix of masked and unmasked among both customers and employees. I’m guessing the masked customers are the vaccinated frightened, but what about the employees? Hard to guess. I went to get my hair cut, and there was a sign on the door saying that “We ask that you please wear a mask if you are not vaccinated for COVID-19”. I was going to ignore the sign, but when I walked in and saw some of the employees masked, I thought maybe they were masked because they hadn’t provided proof of vaccination, and decided then and there to don a mask in a show of solidarity with them (at the time my thinking it was a “hey, I’m with you, we’re the filthy unvaxxed resisters!” move). But when I spoke to my hairdresser and told her why I was wearing a mask, she told me to go ahead and take it off….so I did. I still have no idea if the masked employees were the still-frightened vaccinated, or unvaccinated and coerced by their employer to wear the masks. And then I went to an in-person work meeting, and two people who I know are vaccinated (because they told everyone when they got their jabs, of course) were the only two still wearing masks.

    I am holding out hope that there is enough resistance in the US, even in the “blue” states, that imposing vaccine passports will be difficult – at least for now. But we’ll see. This whole thing has been nothing but unpredictable….

  60. Hey Simon,

    You should read this (about ivermectin):

    https://www.biznews.com/thought-leaders/2021/05/12/mailbox-ivermectin

    It’s admittedly more relevant to your post about conspiracies than to this one, but never mind that now. It’s in a sense “old news” (I first heard about it from Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying), but it’s clear and relatively succinct (i.e. no need to watch a two hour video). Relevant quote:

    “What if there was a cheap drug, so old its patent had expired, so safe that it’s on the WHO’s lists of Essential and Children’s Medicines, and used in mass drug administration rollouts? What if it can be taken at home with the first signs COVID symptoms, given to those in close contact, and significantly reduce COVID disease progression and cases, and far fewer few people would need hospitalisation?

    “The international vaccine rollout under Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) would legally have to be halted. For an EUA to be legal, “there must be no adequate, approved and available alternative to the candidate product for diagnosing, preventing or treating the disease or condition.” The vaccines would only become legal once they passed level 4 trials and that certainly won’t happen in 2021.”

    So… I imagine they’ll deny everything about ivermectin at least until these vaccines get full authorization (too much money is at stake to do anything else). But it’s entirely possible that once that happens, they’ll suddenly “discover” this “miracle drug” (but still recommend the vaccines, of course). But for those of us who’d rather not be guinea pigs, I think the answer is to drag our feet on vaccination for as long as we possibly can until they give up trying to literally force it on us (though they may still “recommend” it). Fingers crossed!

  61. El – I’m pinning most of my hopes on Texas and Florida etc. They have shown the way and that’s a very important thing. Whether the rest of us will be smart enough to copy is another matter.

    Irena – the corruption of the WHO makes all kinds of sense when you look at who is funding it. Here in Australia, one of our members of parliament tried to make known the research on ivermectin and was instantly condemned as an anti-vaxxer and ended up leaving his party. Looks like we’re riding the vaccine train all the way to the end of the line.

  62. Simon: “Looks like we’re riding the vaccine train all the way to the end of the line.”

    Yes. But, who are “we”? What I think will happen is that one poor country after another will get hit by a wave (often caused by new variants). They’ll panic (terrible health care system, no vaccines, and in any case, it’s already too late for the vaccines), and they’ll frantically ask “Is there ANYTHING we can do to stop this?!!” And the answers they’ll find will be: lockdown and/or (drum roll please) ivermectin, India-style. And so they’ll roll out ivermectin, and it’ll work pretty well. Meanwhile, rich and rich-ish countries will continue vaccinating and insisting that that’s the only way out, and that anyone questioning this is an anti-science idiot, etc. etc. So, the vaccines will get full approval, but by that point, the data on ivermectin will have gotten pretty enormous (plus, the vaccines may possibly become less effective, due to new variants, and the data on side effects will keep growing). Result? Various groups of people in these rich countries will increasingly clamor to make ivermectin available in addition to or in place of vaccines.

    Anyway, we can’t save the world, but maybe, just maybe, we personally can ride this wave and avoid gene therapy altogether. For the time being, just drag those feet…

  63. Alex –

    Regarding your experience “I’ve noticed however that when I tell people I’m not getting vaccinated and why….they have all been pretty understanding. You might find that the rhetoric doesn’t run as deep as it seems.”

    In my case, I doubt it. The people in question are the ones who suffered from severe Trump-derangement syndrome. They spend 4 years in a state of constant agitation, screeching endlessly about Trump, his racist white nationalist voters, and the 3rd party/write-in voters they blame for Trump’s win, and working themselves into a frenzy of hatred. That hatred has now been re-directed at “anti-vaxxers”. I’ve listened to them have vitriol-filled discussions about what is to be done about “those people”, and they aren’t sane discussions.

    As a side bar, I have been noticing for many years now that there seems to have been an ongoing public relations effort to reframe all vaccination discussions as sensible, rational people vs. ignorant anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists. The part I find especially interesting, though, is how much effort has been made to redefine anyone who questions ANY aspect of current vaccine policy as an “anti-vaxxer”. So it doesn’t matter if you’re a person who is truly against vaccines under all circumstances, or just someone who just wants to make their own medical decisions, and who is rejecting a vaccine with no long-term safety data and/or who chooses not to follow the CDC’s entire bloated vaccination schedule. You’re an “anti-vaxxer” even if you think some vaccines are a good idea, because rejecting ANY vaccine you’re told to have is “anti-vaccine”. I don’t think that redefinition has been accidental; I think there is a lot of hardcore pharma propaganda behind it that has helped get us to this point.

  64. Irena – sounds plausible. I am certainly hoping to avoid the “vaccine” altogether and have mapped out some different scenarios of how to do that. I expect things to get worse before they get better.

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