External contribution

A little babble from a citizen* who has become marginalized**.

Rather well integrated, with a marriage, a divorce, two children, a job I like, a roof over my head, friends, hobbies, working for a third of a century and having been lucky enough to never have been unemployed, left-wing political ideas, commitments in society as a first-aid worker, respondent in a listening aid center, union responsibilities, militancy in anti-racist or anti-fascist movements, blood donor. A citizen, what!

Nevertheless, at the age of 55, I say no to the piquouze. Vaccinated, yes, since my booklet is in order. So I am not an anti-vax person. Piqued, no, since I don’t see the need for it as far as I am concerned. Am I at least a conspiracist? Not really either, since I tend to favor the theory of the big stupidity over that of the big conspiracy. However, I cannot help but think that this SARS-CoV‑2 did not fall from the sky and was man-made, and that it was probably stupidly allowed to escape from a lab in Wuhan. If there is blame to be apportioned, it is on that side, not on the people who made the informed choice not to be vaccinated.

As a citizen, I have the right to think, to make my choices and even to share my ideas, no matter what some people think. I can’t help but think that there is a lot of money to be made and that Big Pharma will use all their lobbying power to sting as many people as they can. No vaccine for poor countries and a maximum for countries that can afford it.

As a citizen, I also went to school and learned a few things, such as, for example, that the cycle of a virus is to be very deadly at first and therefore not very contagious — since it kills its host before it can infect another — and then, over time, become more contagious and less dangerous. This is what is happening with the omicron variant. They adapt, the little viruses, and they existed even before the first humans appeared. In fact, they are part of us, since part of our genetic code, and therefore of our deepest nature, is of viral origin, brought in over millions of successive generations.

As a reflective citizen, I also believe that we have a weapon called natural immunity. It helps us to defend ourselves against nasty viruses and as I am not anti-vax, I fully understand that people at risk should, perhaps, if they wish, think about getting vaccinated. If I have freely chosen not to do so, it is because I consider that we must also take into account what is called the benefit-risk balance and that I believe that neither antibiotics nor vaccines should be abused. Let our bodies defend themselves as much as possible by eating well, sleeping enough, making love, enjoying the small pleasures of life… « Let’s stay cool » should be the motto of humanity. This is not statistically significant, but no one around me has died from covid and I have to look far and wide to find people who have been hospitalized (none of them in intensive care). On the other hand, much closer to me, there are people who tell me that they have had complications following one of these injections and I know a lot of people who, even though they have been injected three times, have caught the disease. It’s a good thing they’re vaccinated, or they’d be dead at 30!

May I note that the world’s population continues to grow? We are obviously not facing a pandemic that would decimate the human race. Shocked by this last sentence? If we are indeed in a democracy, everyone has the right to give his or her opinion while respecting that of others. If you were upset by some of the comments, it’s up to you to deal with your frustration, not me to keep quiet. In short, I am for natural immunity and against the abuse of vaccines. I am also very suspicious of the pharmaceutical cartels who, I believe, will do everything to eventually replace natural immunity with vaccine immunity. On this subject, I heard this morning, January 11, 2022, on RTBF’s La Première radio station, a « specialist » explain that she hoped for the arrival of a universal vaccine soon.

Can you imagine a world where we would have privatized our immunity and where we would be « entitled », from birth, and provided we had the financial means, to a universal vaccine that would protect us from all existing viruses? Of course, we should upgrade regularly throughout our lives, as we do with our computers, to stay healthy. Natural and free immunity would have become useless and has been. While I never contracted covid (unless I didn’t realize it) and while I was never hospitalized and even less placed in intensive care, I hear, via the press and various political statements in Belgium or in France that « because of people like me » the hospitals are submerged and that people die because they can’t have their cancer operated on, for example. Some people also say that if I were to be hospitalized, I would have to pay for it. I am being made into a special species that deserves less treatment than a hit-and-run driver, a terrorist, a cancer patient who has abused alcohol or cigarettes, an obese person or even an old man who should die right away because he won’t last much longer anyway!

Doesn’t every person have the right to be cared for as much as possible? Let’s remember that the lack of beds and caregivers is the result of decades of privatization and drastic savings in our hospitals. Is it the fault of the unpricked that we have gone from a stock hospital to a flow hospital looking for more and more profits? Faced with this lobbying and this repeated hammering day after day in the press inviting always the same specialists, how can we react? Is the reason of the strongest — the one who has access to the media — always the best? Imagine associating the phrase « because of people like you » with a skin color, nationality, or sexual identity. Wouldn’t that fall under the anti-discrimination law? Here, however, the unvaccinated can be made into real scapegoats with all the risks that this entails, not only for them but also for the whole population. But what is Unia waiting for?

Yes, I feel discriminated against, and it’s even more than a feeling since I am not allowed to go to the theater, to the cinema, to the museum, to the restaurant, on a trip abroad and yet I am the one who contaminates you, while you are vaccinated! How would I have done it? As a citizen, I have the right to think that this vaccine is not safe and that we don’t have enough information, just as I have the right to think that it is pure madness to vaccinate our children. I also have the right, as a citizen, to question this argument of collective immunity that this vaccine would bring us, firstly because we see that it does not work, and secondly because it is impossible to vaccinate the whole planet. Those who think that vaccinating the whole of Belgium would protect us forget that the variants come from all over the world and travel mainly through the vaccinated people. As a citizen, I have the right to think so, and even to say so, just as I have the duty to ask myself why I do not need a health pass to give blood in a hospital, while I am deprived of visiting a loved one who is hospitalized there. We know very well that vaccinated people transmit more of this virus because they have access to all the places where they could be infected and they take far fewer precautions.

I recognize that I am part of a minority of citizens and I can’t help but wonder why the left remains silent in the face of this health crisis. Are there so few of us who see the real danger of all these measures? Are there so few of us ‑among the progressives- who fear that from democracy to dictatorship, there is only one pass? I can’t understand how I was marginalized in this way simply by choosing not to vaccinate, not only by society at large but also by my peers. As a reminder, people who choose not to be stung are not breaking any laws. What right do we have to annoy them so much? I am aware that I am living a very interesting experience that I never imagined I would be able to experience one day. Little by little, we find ourselves pointed out and then slowly but surely put aside, wondering what awaits us tomorrow. In my case, all it would take is a piquouze to get back in line. I measure this « luck » in comparison to other categories who, in history, have not been able to change their skin color or religion as easily.

I’m at a level where I don’t dare say too much about how I feel about drawing parallels, for example, between what happened in the late 1930s and what is happening today — early 2020s, as historians of the future might say. So I won’t elaborate. The fact that left-wing organizations remain silent and boycott the various demonstrations against the CST and compulsory vaccination is dangerous in many ways. All the space is left to the extreme right and the signal sent to our rulers is that they can continue to file, « qrcode », discriminate and harass. A social system that manages to make it perfectly acceptable for citizens to control others, when it is absolutely not their role to do so, and when those citizens who meekly submit by showing their phones do not ask themselves any questions, is, in my opinion, a dangerous society that is getting closer and closer to the image I have of an Orwellian world. Isn’t there a risk that this system will prepare us for a certain reframing of our rights in order to avoid, perhaps, a popular uprising as a result of the economic recession and soaring prices that we are already experiencing? Does this really remind you of anything?

In this speech, I have listed a whole series of rights that we all have as citizens, but we also have the duty to act, to inform ourselves, to debate and, as far as I am concerned, to push my brothers and sisters on the left to mobilize before it is too late.

Jorge Rozada

* Individual considered from the point of view of his political rights. 

** A person who lives on the margins of society. 

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