Vaccinations, anti-vaxxers, masks, and more…


COVID-19 – transparency and communication are key: “As the first wave of COVID-19 vaccination gets under way, the need for good communication has never been greater. Without it, the extraordinary scientific advances that have led to the vaccines’ development might easily be derailed. Clumsy political jingoism almost hijacked the UK’s rapid approval of the Pfizer vaccine. But the regulator has made it clear that, despite giving emergency temporary authorisation, all the usual procedures were followed.”

Vaccinating the UK – how the COVID-19 vaccine was approved, and other questions answered: The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has not published specific details about the approval process, but a spokesperson told The BMJ that scientists and clinicians had “carefully and scientifically reviewed the safety, quality, and effectiveness data—how [the vaccine] protects people from COVID-19 and the level of protection it provides.”

Masks work. Get over it: “Civilized society requires everyone to follow some basic rules to protect each other… It’s just a mask. It’s not a political statement. Get over it.”

Pseudoscientific treatments for addiction are everywhere: The United Nations estimated that the global burden of disease due to drug use was 42 million years of “healthy” life lost. It has also been estimated that worldwide, about 100 million people suffer from alcohol addiction symptoms, and about 35 million suffer from drug addiction symptoms. This is harrowing. Worse, the majority of people who experience addiction do not receive effective treatment based on scientific evidence due to lack of availability and accessibility—and the United Nations has rightly called upon national governments and the international community to step up interventions to address this gap. 

Why we’re so bad at counting the calories we eat, drink or burn: People often eat more than usual around the holidays—and this year more than most as the pandemic prompts many to stress eat. A common way to avoid putting on extra weight is by choosing healthier options with fewer calories per serving. One problem with this strategy is that people tend to eat more of something if they think it’s healthier.

Today’s Abused Health Concept

Anti-vaxxers aren’t just anti-vaccine. They’re anti-public health:  “Those who were surprised at how quickly the anti-vaccine movement pivoted to go all in with anti-maskers, anti-“lockdown” protesters, and COVID-19 conspiracy theorists and cranks need only realize one thing. This was entirely expected. Anti-vaxxers share one other thing with these COVID-19 cranks … Both groups share an unrelenting hostility towards public health. This hostility among anti-vaxxers towards public health interventions manifests itself with a refusal to take responsibility to do anything that decreases the risk of COVID-19 transmission and predates the pandemic…

Anti-vaxxers don’t just resist reasonable, science-based public health interventions to slow the progress of a pandemic so that hospitals aren’t overwhelmed and fewer people die. They actively try to undermine them by urging each other to spread the disease…“In recent years anti-vaxxers have manifested their hostility towards public health interventions not just in the form of resistance to school vaccine mandates, but in proposing laws and regulations that intended to make it more difficult for local health authorities to prevent and respond to outbreaks even leaving aside the issue of vaccines. It was never just about vaccines, and anti-vaxxers were never just anti-vaccine. It was about public health and collective action, and anti-vaxxers were always anti-public health.”