It is hard to keep fact separated from fiction in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Many critics of heavy-handed government action are prone to exaggerate their own cases, or fall for outright conspiracy theories. Let’s examine a few.

By treating citizens like naughty children who cannot be trusted with basic hygiene, engaging in random acts of cruelty such as banning tobacco, keeping scientific information and records of National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) deliberations secret, and showing little care for the economic destructiveness of harsh lockdowns, government has done itself no favours.

With good reason, nobody trusts that the NCCC knows what it is doing, is honest about its motives, is honest with the facts, or has the welfare of the people at heart. The handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, in South Africa and worldwide, has been an absolute travesty of incompetent authoritarianism, which will cause far more harm than the virus could ever do.

Government officials, from the president on down, have openly said that the economic destruction of lockdowns offers an ideal opportunity to advance the socialist project, and that ‘command councils’ for economic development are the way to go at local, district, provincial and national levels. The ideological opportunism of government is no secret conspiracy.

Having squandered all goodwill among the people, and having destroyed all trust that people might still have had in its motives, government has created fertile soil for ‘dissenting’ information to flourish. Given how wrong the government has been, it stands to reason that some of this dissenting information is correct. Much of it isn’t, however. Covid-19 misinformation has been woven into many pre-existing ideological beliefs and conspiracy theories, some of which are quite outlandish.

Conspiracy roadmap

I recently received, via the Zuckerberg fake news machine, the following ‘Covid-19 Roadmap’ which purports to lay bare how the pandemic was created and will be used to impose a ‘New World Order’.

Like any good conspiracy theory, elements of truth and plausibility weave it together. Let’s see how it fares.

First, we go to the source, which is helpfully indicated at the top right. The Dissident Signposts blog does indeed feature a graphic that looks similar, but the eagle-eyed among you will notice a few differences. The original uses the phrase ‘New Normal’, instead of ‘New World Order’, and some of the steps have also been slightly modified in the version that ultimately reached me.

A quick browse of the source website should already raise a few red flags, covering, as it does, 9/11 conspiracy theories, climate denial, anti-vaccine propaganda and ignorant fears about new technologies such as 5G wireless communication, some of which are woven into the Covid-19 conspiracy theory.

Step one suggests that Covid-19 was ‘created’. It is plausible that the pandemic may have had its origins in an accidental release from a laboratory at which zoonotic coronaviruses were being studied. For a brief while, before it got deleted, there was even an academic paper that cast doubt upon the official (and widely supported) story that the pandemic started in a fish market, and strongly suggested that unsafe procedures at one of two nearby laboratories were more likely sources.

Even if this is true, however, it would not imply that the virus was specifically created for the purpose of what could only be called biological warfare. An accident is not a plan.

In any case, it has long been known that certain animal populations are reservoirs of viruses that could jump to humans, and occasional pandemics of zoonotic viruses of varying severity were to be expected.

It would make far more sense to view this pandemic not as planned (as the term ‘plandemic’, which also appears on the Dissident Signpost website, suggests), but as a natural occurrence of which governments opportunistically took advantage.

Oh, and Covid-19 is not just a ‘bad dose of seasonal flu’. Its dangers and death rates were wildly exaggerated, especially early in the pandemic, but it remains several times as deadly, and far more contagious, than an ordinary flu. That doesn’t justify hard lockdowns, but dismissing it as just a bad flu is disingenuous.

Fear, lockdown and exaggeration

Step two is half-true. There was widespread fear-mongering, both by governments and by the media, and this influenced not only the public reaction, but also government policy. However, excessive fear-mongering does not imply there was nothing to be concerned about.

The conspiracy theorists also fall off the rails by claiming, without any evidence, that doctors or scientists were bribed ‘for supporting testing and vaccinations’. There isn’t even a vaccine to support, and nobody in the medical fraternity needed to be bribed to try to diagnose Covid-19.

Were some people or organisations paid to do research, or to conduct testing? Of course they were. That’s how you get anyone to do anything. You don’t work for free, do you? Paying wages or professional fees does not constitute bribery.

Step three is correct. Although different countries have different ideological objectives, that lockdowns were imposed is not in dispute. Fiscal stimulus is also generally pumped into the top of the economy, enabling banks to increase lending, which causes asset price inflation, which is why property and stock markets were flying through the pandemic. That is correctly described as redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich.

The claim that small businesses were destroyed is also true. Big business is more resilient, and in any case has a supine relationship with government. I argued that the damaging impact on the middle class and small business in South Africa played into the ANC’s ideological hands in May.

Pushing cashless payments is simple common sense during a pandemic. Tapping your phone or card is more hygienic than handling cash that’s been up cocaine fiends’ noses. Paranoia about cashless payments is justified, since it does lend itself to surveillance by banks and governments. The solution is not to return to cash, however, but to switch to trustless, decentralised and anonymous cryptocurrency, and be your own bank.

Step four, exaggerate cases. Again, true. That the projected deaths were wildly overstated was evident early on in the pandemic, and the more we learnt about the epidemiological models, the worse the exaggerations appeared.

The jab at PCR tests is also spot on. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests are used to detect viral RNA, convert it to DNA, and make copies of the DNA until it can be matched with known patterns. The more copies you make, the easier it is to detect the viral signature you were after.

Typically, the number of amplification cycles needed to detect a pathogen is an indicator of the viral or bacterial load in the test sample.

The concern is that the threshold number of cycles needed for a test before it can be returned as negative is often set too high. This results in positive tests even when people are carrying an insignificant amount of virus, or have already recovered from the disease. This New York Times article explains the controversy.

So, both the number of positive tests, and the projections for future infections and deaths, appear to be exaggerated by varying degrees.

Slave masks

In step five, they rail against face masks, claiming that they are ‘totally ineffective against any virus’. This is simply not true.

The first misconception is that a cloth facemask is intended to protect the wearer. It is not. It is intended to protect other people from the wearer. If you want a mask that protects you, then get an N95 or N100 mask, properly fit it so there are no air gaps, and dispose of it after every interaction with someone else. Good luck.

A second misconception is that because viral particles are smaller than the filter mesh, a filter is useless against a virus. In fact, the filter is intended to stop most of the droplets created by exhalation, talking, sneezing and coughing.

A third misconception is that face masks are somehow unhealthy. The image I received mentions ‘lack of oxygen, breathing in waste air and fungal infections’. The original adds ‘bronchial pneumonia, gum disease and other illnesses’ to the list. All of this is total nonsense.

Doctors, nurses and many professionals working in hazardous circumstances wear face masks all the time. They’re just fine. Face masks do not deprive you of oxygen to any significant degree. They do not impede breathing to any significant degree in otherwise healthy people over the age of two. You can’t get carbon dioxide poisoning resulting from wearing a mask, unless you mask up by putting a plastic bag over your head.

If you’re getting fungal infections, pneumonia or gum disease from wearing a mask, then wash the damn thing and brush your teeth. You can also get fungal infections from wearing the same pair of socks for two weeks. So don’t do that. You’re only giving the government reason to believe that you should be treated like a child who can’t be trusted with their own hygiene.

That face masks are effective at reducing the number of cases in a viral pandemic is not a new claim. It has been demonstrated during previous epidemics that cloth masks do work, and that even if a mask has only limited effectiveness (which it does), this can translate into a significant reduction in the incidence of disease.

Just wear your damn mask. It is polite to others to not subject them to your potentially infected salivary spray. Mask-wearing is not what is destroying the economy or civil liberties. Stop whining.

The same goes for social distancing and avoiding unnecessary gatherings. There are endless stories of people who think they’re better than everyone else, hosting big braais or parties, and ending up spreading Covid-19.

That sort of behaviour is what will get us locked down again. That lockdowns are unjustified is cold comfort to the people who get locked down. Just stop being selfish and reckless, and stop giving government an excuse to crack down.

Surveillance state

In step six, our conspiracy theorists fret that contact tracing is normalising surveillance. To some extent, it is. However, their description, ‘Get people to accept having all their personal movements and contact with people tracked, recorded and analysed,’ is overwrought.

Most contract tracing programmes do not monitor everyone all the time. In South Africa, contact tracing largely involves sitting down with a contact tracing team member after you test positive, so you can list your recent close contacts. Those people are then notified that they should self-isolate for a given period of time to avoid spreading the disease further. This is a standard epidemic control procedure.

I do mistrust government contact tracing apps, no matter the guarantees they give about privacy and confidentiality. That’s a level of surveillance I’m not comfortable with.

Step seven worries about ‘health passports’, which could turn into a global identity and tracking system. This is nonsense. You already need a passport to fly. And, in this country at least, you already need an ID for any official business.

Yes, this allows governments to track who you are, where you came from and where you’re going. Having a consistent way to document whether travellers are infected with contagious diseases strikes me as a smart way to combat this pandemic and the inevitable pandemics of the future.

Without a passport, you cannot travel, because you’d be an illegal alien wherever you went outside your home country. A passport is a document from your government requesting another government you grant you free passage. Passports have actually increased your liberties, not taken them away.

Would I prefer a world without passports and identification systems? Sure. But in that world, there would also be no government services of any kind (since they cannot know whether you’re entitled to the service), and there would be no taxation. That’s an anarchist utopia, for sure, but not a very pragmatic vision.

Tinfoil hattery

Step eight is tinfoil hat territory, literally. The belief that radio waves are in some way harmful, or could be used to read or control minds, is as old as wireless radio, and a tinfoil hat was the go-to means to defend against it. I’d prefer to wear a stylish mesh Faraday cage, but de gustibus non est disputandum.

Yes, ‘5G networks allow constant gathering of huge amounts of personal data from smartphones and all internet connected devices’.

It is a fifth-generation wireless network technology. Its purpose is to transfer data. Transferring data is how the internet works. Without a means to transfer data, a smartphone would neither be smart, nor be a phone.

Ambient radio waves at frequencies lower than visible light – that is, non-ionising radiation – do not cause any measurable health effects.

Sure, microwaves in the 5G frequency range can cook your brain, but only if you put your brain in a shielded box to be bombarded with 800W of concentrated radiation. Smartphones typically broadcast at most 2W. You’re going to be waiting a long, long time for yummy cooked brains (or gonads) at such a low power level.

The claim that 5G can cause Covid-like symptoms is just absurd. No, it can’t. Besides, most of the world doesn’t even have 5G yet, so why an irrational, ignorant fear of a slight improvement on proven technology is relevant to a global Covid-19 pandemic is beyond me.

That people who worry about radio waves protest against the erection of new cellphone towers serves to demonstrate their ignorance of basic physics. If these waves did cause harm (which they don’t), you’d want to decrease your exposure, right?

Well, because of the inverse-square rule, your exposure to radiation is dominated by your handset, not nearby towers. Your handset, in turn, adjusts its power output depending on the quality of the signal to the tower, so the closer the tower is, the less radiation it will emit. If you think cellphone radiation is harmful, you should be lobbying for more towers, not fewer.

The anti-vax nexus

By step nine, our Covid-19 conspiracy theorists meet the anti-vaxxers.

Vaccines are effective against many diseases. They do not cause significant adverse events in those people who are medically able to receive them. They do, however, prevent serious illnesses that can cause permanent injury, disability and death.

Do pharmaceutical companies make profits from vaccines? Of course they do. Do you work for free? Of course you don’t. Are they indemnified for injuries and deaths? Only if they pass high regulatory barriers for producing safe and effective drugs.

As soon as injuries or deaths begin to mount, a drug is toast. Remember Vioxx? That debacle led to tens of thousands of lawsuits, and cost Merck many billions of dollars. That’s what happens when a drug company produces a drug that poses undisclosed risks to patients.

They claim vaccines destroy natural immunity, which is the opposite of true; they strengthen natural immunity. They claim vaccines increase sterility rates, which is also not true, although some of the diseases they protect against can cause sterility.

They claim vaccines promote ‘global depopulation’, which is a wilful and very ignorant misreading of something Bill Gates once said. Gates reflected upon the fact that high fertility rates are strongly correlated with high infant mortality rates. If global overpopulation is a problem (I don’t agree it is, but many do), then we can reduce birth rates by helping to reduce infant mortality rates. And we can do that by vaccinating children.

This line of reasoning is interpreted by anti-vaxxers to mean that vaccines reduce fertility and are meant to depopulate the planet. That’s not what Gates said. The statistical ‘fertility rate’ in a country has nothing to do with the ‘fertility’ of individual women. It is a measure of how many children they actually end up having.

Choosing to have fewer children because your children are less likely to die young is not a depopulation agenda. It is a mark of civilisation and progress.

But it gets crazier. Besides killing most of the global population, vaccines will turn the rest of us into genetically engineered sterile robot zombies. How a vaccine will decide which of us to kill, and which of us to turn into androids, is left as an exercise for the reader.

Paranoid schizophrenia

Step 10 revisits the cashless economy argument. While it has merits on its own, it really isn’t very relevant to Covid. It’s not like major cash purchases go by undetected, in any case. You can’t buy a house or a car with cash without getting flagged as a likely money-launderer. If you want financial independence from banks and governments, you need to do better than cash. Get good at cryptocurrencies, and convince others to use them. Leave it out of your Covid conspiracy theories.

At step 11 we’re into paranoid schizophrenia territory again. When I was a kid, my Bible teacher at school told us that according to the Book of Revelations, a global government would one day require everyone to be marked with barcodes on their heads and forearms. Hidden within this barcode is the number 666, or the mark of the beast. Without this mark, you won’t be able to buy or sell. To get to heaven, we’d have to resist this evil plot.

That never happened, of course, but the belief seems to have morphed into a similar fantasy about embedded microchips that would serve the same function, and it has spread from apocalyptic Christianity to other millenarian conspiracy theories.

Besides for the fact that the theory has its origins in the visions of a fellow hallucinating on a Greek island 2 000 years ago, what makes this theory implausible is the fact that we already carry, voluntarily, all the tracking and tracing equipment a surveillance state could ever wish to deploy.

There are microchips in our bank cards that wirelessly communicate with payment terminals. Our phones can track us to the nearest metre, can duplicate the functions of payment cards, and know our habits, likes, political beliefs, daily activities and personal connections in fine-grained detail.

Governments merely need to plug into Google or Facebook (and we know they do) to get all the data they could ever want. Why alarm everyone by requiring them to have chips implanted? What benefit would that provide, when everyone already voluntarily exposes themselves to surveillance?

New World Order

Finally, we arrive at the totalitarian ‘New World Order’, or ‘New Normal’, as the original puts it. This is a conspiracy theory that originated among fundamentalist Christians who feared the coming of the Antichrist, and among militant right-wing anarchists.

It is true that pandemics such as Covid-19 are used by opportunistic governments to impose greater control over citizens, and advance socialist agendas. We have seen in South Africa that this isn’t even a secret. The president has said so himself.

It is also true that the United Nations and the World Health Organisation have never seen an authoritarian plan they didn’t like. They were gushing over China’s draconian lockdown in Wuhan, and told everyone to follow in its totalitarian footsteps.

However, that people, organisations or governments are motivated to pursue certain ideological goals does not mean there is a ‘globalist conspiracy’.

It is ironic that those who have the least faith in the ability of governments to do anything efficiently or effectively are the same people who think governments can orchestrate a grand conspiracy that involves global governments, big business around the world, and wealthy elites, and that such a conspiracy can get anything meaningful done without anyone breaking ranks and spilling the beans.

Once you suspend your disbelief and abdicate your critical thinking faculties, it is a short step to believing in global paedophile rings, aliens in government, the Illuminati, Nazi UFOs, occultism, quantum mysticism, Aquarianism, eugenics, mind control and Qanon.

Yes, we should guard against socialist ideology. We should guard against the ever-growing power of governments with their love of surveillance and control. And we should absolutely slap governments down when they exploit pandemics and other disasters in order to expand their powers and infringe on basic human rights and liberties.

But we should also guard against the tendency to accept any ‘dissenting’ view as valid simply because it dissents from the approved orthodoxy.

Gravity is also an orthodox, mainstream theory. Scientists can describe it, but they can’t explain it. That doesn’t mean that it’s radical, liberating and smart to dissent and walk off a cliff.

[Picture: Johnson Martin from Pixabay]

The views of the writer are not necessarily the views of the Daily Friend or the IRR

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127 COMMENTS

  1. The writer dies not know what he is talking about. He sounds clever, yet, like most people, he does not really know what is going on. There is enough evidence to safely say that the pandemic was created with a different agenda in mind, which will soon become evident. He lives in a dream like the majority of the population.

    • In many respects, yes, I concur with you that his understanding/information is, let’s say, limited. The main points are (backed with evidence or peer reviewed science)
      1.) the virus has been engineered;
      2.) there is a concerted, orchestrated drive, backed by the pharmaceutical giants and in turn the technology giants (Facebook, Twitter…) to discredit legitimate cures/therapies/medicines/beneficial substances in favour of future vaccines (they yet even exist!!!!). This narrative, backed by mainstream media, would have you die waiting for a potential miracle vaccine to be created, whist cheap and effective substances (hydroxycloroquine+zinc, chlorine dioxide, budesonide…etc) are being derided or obfuscated by the press or censored. This is highly nefarious and has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and economic collapse. Research hydroxycloroquine for example. This is the perfect introduction to the subversive elements out there that are profoundly shaping our world now.
      3.) many vaccines have had a hugely detrimental effect. MMR springs to mind with its strong link to autism. There’s a sordid trail of devastating effects, lies, deception and big money involved.
      4.) 5G is a huge concern for humanity and all life that is forced to live with this radiation. There’s an open letter signed by over 100 of the world’s leading scientists in the fiield of non-ionizing radiationstating, that that living with 5G radiation is NOT safe.

      Clearly the author hasn’t come across this information, so at best is uniformed. Information is being censored or withheld so it’s absolutely vital for anyone wishing to learn more to piece the veil of deception of mainstream media. When you do, you’ll realize just how much you’ve been lied to. All is not as it seems.

      • Look, I’m all for vaccines in general (I’ve had enough over my lifespan) but the problem that I (and, I think many others) see is that the Covid-19 vaccines have been developed in a great hurry, and under POLITICAL, rather than medical, pressure. I will not trust any vaccine that hasn’t been around for at least a year (and preferably more). The mere fact that there is a fair outcry to FORCE people to be vaccinated with a brand-new, hardly tested and heavily manufacturer-promoted product smells badly, especially with the general mistrust of both politicians and the mass media.

        • The seasonal flu vaccine is also developed on a rapid schedule, and hasn’t caused any significant problems. I quite happily get it every year.

          • Yes, but I have a choice to get the flu vaccine (which I choose not to take). Will I have the choice regarding the C19 vac?

          • And then you get sick! Since I stopped taking the flue shot, I don’t get sick….never.

          • Then you are misguided Ivo. The peer reviewed literature absolutely confirms two things 1) the ‘flu shot is ineffective and 2) it produces the most adverse reactions second only now to the HPV shot. And a third problem has reared its ugly head – that it makes the recipient more prone to any respiratory infection. I never take the ‘flu shot and I never get ‘flu. Touche. The science of one actually doesn’t bear witness – only peer reviewed research does. And the evidence in the VAERS reporting system.

      • 1. Ye gads, all is not as it seems. Indeed. This virus was not engineered, there are no peer reviews to reflect this. We don’t know what the source is of the virus, but it’s perfectly reasonable to suggest it came from some poor hungry and infected person eating a bat that was infected with a strain that started diverging from the strain that humans can get, and the two strains merged to create a super strain.

        2. Yes, this is true. This does not negate (1), though. Though please use the phrase legacy media, as mainstream media refers to Big Tech media like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter. Legacy media is not widely used enough to be mainstream any longer. They are walking dead.

        3. No. Just no. There are vaccines with detrimental effects, but the risk is minimal. Not negligible, because they are devastating to the small portion of the population who do have a reaction to vaccines, but vaccines do not cause autism. That case is closed. The doctor who claimed that can no longer practice as a doctor. Nobody conspired against him, he was just busted abusing his fancy pants degree to exploit ignorant people.
        4. 5G is non-ionising radiation. If you are scared of 5G, you should be more scared of UV lights and having X-rays taken.

        • I’ve read/researched extensively on the points I raised and being an engineer, I’m not predisposed to believe any fanciful ideas. Maybe you have too but somehow we’ve got different information or drawn different conclusions from same. I doubt the latter. There’s a strong current running through all of this. I have no inclination to denigrate the vaccine nor 5G industries. The evidence is piling up. You have to dig for it because it is widely suppressed as per my point 2. On 5G you apparently know more than the the majority of experts on the effects of non-ionizing radiation represented here: http://emfscientist.org/
          If on the fence simply ask yourself who has the money and the motive and err on the side of caution!

          • They’re not a majority of experts. They’re a small minority. And they happen to be wrong about 5G, just as they were about 4G, 3G, WiFi, microwave ovens, GSM, wireless radio and electric powerlines.

          • To believe that vaccines cause autism shows a predisposition to fanciful ideas. Conversely, this shows that you think that you know better than the majority of experts working in that field. Also, better than engineers and others with a statistics background who can follow the logic, and can replicate the findings independently. If you do not think this, but you do value the consensus of a majority of experts – which, by the way, is an untenable position for anyone with a scientific background to hold – then you have to concede that you are the one who begs to differ from majority expert consensus. Not just on this topic, but on all the ones you researched extensively.

    • Exactly correct. Hi dismisses the obvious as tin hat conspiracy theories like the dangers of 5G and the danger of the control. He simply has to look and listen and read up on 4IR and the objective.

      He is a fool unfortunately and believes the propaganda machine of the MSM.

      The conspiracy theorists of the past predicted the demise of the country if handed over to the liberal socialist communist and Marxists. He dismissed that as a conspiracy theory too.

      But he forgets or chooses to ignore the current process that are being embarked upon by the ANC in the communist playbook.

      “The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience.” ~ Albert Camus .

  2. “Oh, and Covid-19 is not just a ‘bad dose of seasonal flu’. Its dangers and death rates were wildly exaggerated, especially early in the pandemic, but it remains several times as deadly, and far more contagious, than an ordinary flu”

    “…. for people over 80”. For you and me, it hardly registers. Why did you not include this? Who is paying you?

    • He could have said that. He could also have said the world is flat. He didn’t because it would not be true.

    • I personally know of healthy nurses in their 40s who died working in hospitals near where I live, and who would never have died of ordinary flu. Covid-19 does not justify the lockdown measures we’ve seen, but it is significantly nastier than flu.

      Perhaps go and ask a Covid-19 doctor or nurse how they feel about it. I can guarantee you they’ll say the same, and that they wouldn’t want a repeat of the peak if you doubled their pay.

      • That is the question, Ivo. You framed it correctly. Spoiled brats at low risk from the virus find it easy to pass judgement when they comment because they have never been personally affected. As you say, ask any doctor or nurse with experience.

      • Why did they die Ivo? Poor treatment? Lack of treatment? SA has refused to use hydroxychloroquine whereas in the hospitals in Europe and the USA where they used it, it was virtually 100% effective. Why should people in SA who are supposedly ‘healthy’ die more often than those in the USA? or Italy? Where the VAST, VAST majority of people died with co-morbidities? And upon whose definition do we rely to say that someone is ‘healthy’? Undiagnosed conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes etc are rife. Different races/nations have different susceptibilities to different self-made ailments and they go undiagnosed until a pathogen just happens to take root.

        • RSA uses hydroxychloroquine all the time, and we even conducted clinical trials specifically to determine efficacy in Covid-19 treatments. 100% effective is misleading. Recall that ahem Africa has had a massive roll-out of vaccination, against a wide variety of diseases that also affect the lungs and other pathways affected by Covid-19. Us Africans also enjoy more temperate climates. From the available literature, there is a correlation between dealing better with Covid-19, and being vaccinated properly. Put all of this together, and you should expect Covid-19 to have less impact here than it has had in the colder climates of Europe.

          It is true that the vast majority of people die from co-morbidities, but it is not true that Covid-19 is something to cough at. Sorry, scoff at.

          • “From the available literature, there is a correlation between dealing better with Covid-19, and being vaccinated properly”
            Yeah … sorry – I gotta call bs on that one. Refer me to some of this “literature”?
            Or at least explain why the vaccine manufacturers get “no liability”.

          • 1. Flu vaccines have ‘protective’ results against Covid-19 symptoms[1]
            2. MMR vaccines, particularly TB vaccines, are currently undergoing several clinical trials to verify already existing evidence that they likewise prevent the worst of Covid-19 symptoms
            3. Vaccine manufacturers are protected from certain product liability lawsuits, in US jurisdiction, but it’s inaccurate to suggest that they have no liability, or that they cannot be sued. Either way, it makes no difference to the efficacy of vaccines in general, or the available evidence that shows correlations between certain vaccines and fewer Covid-19 symptoms.

            [1] https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3572814
            [2] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/mmr-vaccine-could-prevent-worst-symptoms-of-covid-19

    • It is perhaps understandable to assume that the virus is just a tad worse than the seasonal flu, but this is not the case. Covid-19 has extreme side-effects and we do not even know all the implications of this yet. It is true that those affected most by seasonal flu, are also affected the most by Covid-19, but the side-effects from Covid-19 are definitely far worse.

      I am saying this as someone who does not support the lockdowns, nor our government’s blundering measures that kneecapped what is left of our economy after the feeding frenzy of the Zuma years. We should be taking measures to protect the groups most targeted, and the rest of us should be sanitising and taking all the measures we reasonably can.

  3. “The perfect dictatorship would have the appearance of a democracy, but would basically be a prison without walls in which the prisoners would not even dream of escaping. It would essentially be a system of slavery where, through consumption and entertainment, the slaves would love their servitudes. ”

    quote attributed to Aldous HUXLEY (1894-1963)

  4. OK, let me just say I do agree with many of the statements made here, so do not dismiss me as just another stupid person?
    I disagree with some statements and I will not cover all in my comment. However, one that absolutely makes my blood boil is your claim that I should accept your view, and the view of many others out there, that I should wear a mask BECAUSE THAT IS THE POLITE OR RIGHT THING TO DO! Ok, you are simply not correct in saying wearing a mask does not have negative effects as well! Placing any restriction in the normal pathway of your breathing will have an effect on your breathing! It does not take a scientist to figure this out!
    I’m not saying that wearing a mask does not contribute to limit the spread of the virus which is carried by the droplets and “air” one exhales, but one has to consider all factors when trying to “force” people to wear masks!
    Also, denying negative effects of wearing a mask is as disingenuous as denying that the virus is a reality!
    The wearing of the mask simply does not make sense to me. If it is to protect other people, it means I should be a carrier of the virus, right! So, if I test daily, maybe twice or three to four times a day by monitoring my body tem, practice enhanced hygiene by washing hands regularly, and I do not have any infection symptoms, what is the chance of me transferring the virus, which I most likely do not have, to someone else?
    Now you will claim that many people is non-simptom matic, but that is precisely my point as well, that more than 90% of people will go through the Covid-19 infection without any symptoms or negative effect in any case, but people like you and the stupid government is forcing 100% of us to wear a mask which do have some other negative effect on the respiratory process. Also, denying or ignoring the negative psychological impact of mask wearing, especially on young children, and the negative effects this will have on us as humans, is just as disingenuous in any case!
    So, I do not agree with forcing people to wear masks, or surely not in “shaming” people who disagree with those that want to wear the mask, at all!By the way, this “shaming” issue is another negative result of the mask wearing issue that absolutely disgusts me to the core!
    Also, pressing crypto currency as a possible solution to a means of curbing the infection rate, makes me wonder who pays your salary???

    • You may be infectious but presymptomatic or asymptomatic. Wearing a mask to protect the vulnerable people in front of you in the queue makes perfect sense. And if an ill-fitting cloth mask negatively affects your breathing, why would doctors and nurses wear well-fitting N95 masks all day? A mask is moderately uncomfortable on a hot day, or if you wear glasses. That’s it.

    • For there to to be “droplets”, there must first be spittle (from coughs or sneezes, for example). I don’t know about you, but I don’t go around spraying droplets all over the place when I’m just *breathing*.
      If I thought people were spraying their spit droplets all over the place – even before all this – I mean … that is already mortifying enough. Eew. Let’s just think about what we’re saying here.

      Presymptomatic or Asymptomatic “spread of the virus” is a fairytale. This “virus” has not now, nor will it ever, satisfy Koch’s Postulate, or any sensible experiment meant to determine if it *causes* this disease you’re all so terrified by.

      This TERRIFYING DISEASE which kills zero point zero zero zero something percent of the people it “infects”.
      CDC’s “current best estimate” Infection Fatality Ratio (from their planning scenario, granted – but these are our “experts”, right?):
      0-19 years: 0.00003%
      20-49 years: 0.0002%
      50-69 years: 0.005%
      70+ years: 0.054%
      https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html

      This whole mask wearing business is so far beyond ludicrous that I don’t even have a word to describe it.

      Ok, maybe I do – 2 words in fact: “Bronchial” and “Pneumonia”
      Which, incidentally, is what actually killed the vast majority of the people who died during the Spanish Flu pandemic. And which, also incidentally, was caused by … ba-dum tiss … mask wearing!

  5. Oddly enough, I saw a documentary within the last two years, whose name I can’t remember, where the employees at a company in Florida or California were “encouraged” to have RFID chips implanted so their employer could track them. There was a great deal of tinfoil hattery during the first three months of the lockdown and I spent countless hours debunking the bovine excreta family and friends sent me. I especially loathed that “5G causes Covid” nonsense, but more than that absolutely hated the way government and media were putting high levels of fear in people’s heads, the heavy handedness of the government along with its stupid regulations and attempts to downplay the murders and assaults committed by SA security forces and unrealistic proposals scientific advisors made. As for government surveillance, I’ve been under it and it is real. A few weeks ago, a friend showed me that my bank account is flagged as “suspicious.” Why? Because I’ve been unemployed for five years and eight months, and either somebody in the system or the computer program itself can’t wrap whatever mind around the concept that I am receiving financial aid from family and friends to stay alive because there’s no work and the government hasn’t given me so much as a can of Coke. This wouldn’t have happened if I could receive cash instead of EFTs. The Covid virus has a low mortality. It’s not that it doesn’t kill, but to shut down the world’s economy and treat 8 billion people in ways that are prohibited even in prison (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-54546867) is a damned crime of global proportions. When times are hard, people look for someone or something to blame. Sometimes they’re right, sometimes wrong. Sometimes it’s a mixture of both.

  6. I expected Ivo Vegter to have big shoulders because he regularly “swims upstream” against the popular journalism. If Ivo writes something that does not challenge my understanding or adds to my knowledge of the world, and particularly politics, he has not done his job. Keep exercising those shoulders. Well done

  7. If Ivo does not challenge my beliefs or understanding on his articles, he is not doing his job as a journalist. Ivo regularly “swims upstream” against popular journalism. Well done

  8. I agree with Troy Ounce – as far as I am concerned all news media are corrupt and base what they write on what they believe. The article above just shows how little you know about the truth of things most of it is a lot of BS.

    • I have no love lost for the Fourth Estate and the sooner we rid ourselves of legacy media, the better. However, the fact that news media are corrupt, has no bearing on Covid-19 or any other disease. You can sidestep legacy media and Big Tech media all-together, and still educate yourself on the topic. You can even avoid the Wuhan Health Organisation. Ask around, there are plenty of credible, bright people who work actively in the field who can educate you.

    • As far as I’m concerned, all people who say “all news media are …” are not worth hearing from regarding the news.

      • Media is a collective known, but it could also refer to more than one medium. Kindly direct your ire at the Intemellectuals who prefer to say ‘data are’, because the root of data is datum, the plural is data, and that is Latin.

  9. Guys, calm down! Ivo is, like all of us, entitled to an opinion. That he is clearly knowledgeable about some things is not debateable but the fact is that he is clearly uninformed about other things such as the Bible, the Illuminati, occultism and a few other areas. Just make sure that YOU are informed enough not to swallow ANYBODY’s OPINION hook, line and sinker

    • I’ve read the Bible cover-to-cover, twice. I practice occultism in my spare time. I’m a ranking member of the Illuminati. Who’s uninformed now?

      • To understand the Bible, you must let the Holy Spirit lead you to understand it. Without the HS you will read a lot of words but will never understand the meaning of it, even the chief priests and the whole Israeli Council could not understand the Lord’s plan of salvation. If you are, as you said a member of the Illuminati, the chances are good that you are a descendent of the people who crucified Jesus Christ the Son of God the Creator.

        • Without HS? I don’t know, most people who believe wholeheartedly in the Bible seem to be without a HS (high school) level of reading comprehension.

  10. Very well written and informative article, making a powerful case which will, regrettably, not change the mind of a single conspiracy theorist. How can it? What conspiracy theorist will ever be swayed by things like facts, logic, evidence and reason.

    I must just take issue with statements like “Yes, we should guard against socialist ideology”. We should not.

    In an era of Trump and Fox news, there is a lot of misunderstanding about what socialism is and how important it is to a moral society. We should not allow Trump and Fox News and the EFF to give a twisted and distorted definition of it.

    • In an era where people still want to give socialism a try, we should guard against it even more. The greatest human rights abuses in humanity’s history happened in the name of socialism.

        • Communism is the end goal, namely a stateless, classless, society. That is why all the communist countries describe themselves as socialist, one way or another. The difference is ideological, academic and onanistic, yet it somehow keeps getting brandished like some sort of gotcha Trump card. I do not think that the millions who died, of starvation under the Ukranian Genocide, of ‘expropriation without compensation’ under the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, the cultural cleansing of the Great Leap Forward of China, in Gulags of Siberia, or in labour camps of Cuba for having the wrong sexual orientation, or in African countries that continue to blame colonialism for their Marxist-Leninist socialist tendencies, really care about that purely academic exercise.

  11. Plenty of well respected medical men and women who dismiss the “virus” as nothing to be overly alarmed about. If masses of people actually died FROM it as opposed to dying WITH it, I might buy into the excitement and take some bites from the turd sandwiches that we are being fed.
    Were are the seasonal flu deaths?
    The fact is that the entire world has seemingly lost common sense. It seems obvious that there must be another agenda at play here.

    • Apparently less obvious to some than to others

      However, imo, one must be willfully blind to not see that there is in fact “something” (else) going on

    • Both of these can hold true, namely that the virus is a serious threat, and that there must be another agenda at play here. In South Africa in particular, it’s worth reading the People’s War by Anthea Jeffery to identify the other agenda at play. Then also read South Africa Can Work by Frans Rautenbach to identify an agenda worth having.

  12. Covid 19 is a strain of flue. Its mortality rate is similar than that of flue, less than that of heart diseases, HIV and TB. We do not have lockdowns and resultant economic destruction because of flue, heart disease, TB and HIV. In fact government has passed regulations that make it a crime if you as a person wants to protect yourself from contracting HIV by avoiding HIV positive people. They even go further and made it a criminal offense to mention that somebody is HIV positive. On the other hand people that are not Covid-19 positive are forced to wear masks as if they are. What a crazy mixed up world we live in.

  13. Fok those who believe the observations and follow the logic of the author aren’t paying enough attention, thinking critically and Are in for a nasty surprise. Enjoy the ride, the horse is out of the stables.

  14. The WHO gives an IFR of 0.14 for Covid, pretty much he same as flu. Average age of death in developed world 82. 95+ deaths have multiple comorbidities. In many countries Covid deaths are much lower than bad flu years- eg Germany 2017/8 had >20,000 flu deaths, compare with 9000 Covid this year. I live in Slovakia, a average flu deaths 1000, Covid to date 150.

  15. The writer should read up on the balance and relationship of CO2 and Oxygen required in the body. This will enlighten him of the negative/harmful effects of increased levels of CO2 caused by rebreathing (wearing masks). The body was not designed to perform that act.

    • You mean this easy google search:

      “One of Europe’s Leading Neurologists Claims Masks Are Dangerous & Explains Why
      Dr Margareta Griesz-Brisson is one of Europe’s leading neurologists. She claims masks are dangerous and should not be mandated.

      She is currently the Medical Director of The London Neurology & Pain Clinic and also serves as a medico-legal experts in the UK, Norway, Germany, Switzerland and the United States. She specializes in neurology, neuro-regeneration, neuroplasticity, neurotoxicology, environmental medicine and pain management.

      The much loved mouth and nose cover…the re-breathing of our exhaled air will without a doubt create oxygen deficiency and a flooding with carbon dioxide. But we know that the human brain is so sensitive to oxygen deprivation that our nerve cells for instance in the hippocampus who can’t be longer than 3 minutes without oxygen, they can’t survive. The acute warning symptoms air headaches, drowsiness, dizziness, concentration, slow down in concentration time…But chronic deprivation, all those symptoms disappear because people get used to it, but your efficiency will remain impaired. And oxygen undersupply in your brain continues to progress. We know that neurodegenerative diseases need years to decades. So if today you forget your phone number, the break-down in your brain already started 20 or 30 years ago.”

      FYI this article was fact checked in the article and the source is the Association of Naturopathic Practitioners
      Source: https://theanp.co.uk/page-1075460

        • Would this not equally imply that people living at high altitudes are more forgetful than people at sea level?

        • For a supposedly investigative reporter Ivo, you are doing a terrible job. Please look up the OSHA regulations in the USA with regard to the minimum level of oxygen required and below which is dangerous? By using ‘factcheck’ and ‘reuters’ you are buying into the Corporate media. You are so, so wrong it is beyond a joke. And whilst we are looking at masks, please show me where it has been proven safe that humans can breathe through cloth for extended periods? Cloth has loose fibres and toxins/poisons which are used to transport cloth and stop infestation of insects as well as stop molds. Where is the safety data on this? The truth is, there is none. Nobody has researched these loose fibres getting breathed in and settling into the lungs.

  16. This article has no facts…similar to any conspiracy theory out there or someone’s opinion. You cannot say something is true or not true without the facts. Where did you get your facts from? Cite them. This article is just as nonsense as all others out there. It is your opinion – thats it. If you want to claim you know it all and are right – please get your facts straight and cite all statements from a reputable source. Your word means nothing.

  17. Some so called “conspiracy theories” end up being true and some not. I am a part time farmer and I have been telling every farmer that I can find that the undermining of farmers in South Africa is an intentional strategy of the government to psychologically isolate farmers so that their land can be expropriated without resistance form the rest of the nation. Most farmers and farmers unions think this is a conspiracy theory but it is the well researched conclusion of Frans Cronje of the IRR. Personally it joined a whole lot of unexplained dots for me and is certainly the best explanation for what is going on in South Africa and until I hear something better then it is my preferred conclusion. One persons conspiracy theory is another’s reality and the difference is often education. Frans Cronje is substantially better educated than most when it comes to SA politics but it doesn’t seem to stop farmers calling it a conspiracy theory.

    • Neil, it’s about overrunning the hospital system, mate. This is not a video game, not only the Kill ratio count.

      Grow up

      • The figures quoted are international, not specific to SA.

        At the outset of the pandemic, where facts and data was not readily available, planning for a worst case scenario was rational and arguably correct, to manage hospital capacity or to “flatten the curve”.

        However, with the progress of time and new data, it has become evident that the system has been able to deal the peak in hospitalisations. Even in SA, with its poor hospital infrastructure, emergency Covid beds have been reduced/removed.

        So now the question and main point of the data given the low fatality rate, (which you obviously failed to grasp), is “is the cure worse than the disease”. I’ll leave playing games to you.

      • I did, please refer to table 1 row 1: “Infection Fatality Ratio†” quoted below:

        “Table 1. Parameter Values that vary among the five COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios. The scenarios are intended to advance public health preparedness and planning. They are not predictions or estimates of the expected impact of COVID-19. The parameter values in each scenario will be updated and augmented over time, as we learn more about the epidemiology of COVID-19. Additional parameter values might be added in the future (e.g., population density, household transmission, and/or race and ethnicity).”

        The opposite of Fatality is survival…

        • And I quote your quote: The scenarios are intended to advance public health preparedness and planning. They are not predictions or estimates of the expected impact of COVID-19

  18. Daily Friend you do yourself an injustice by allowing Ivo the freedom of using your column. Want to have a definitive definition of ‘opiniated’ read ‘Ivo’.
    The pros and cons of mass vaccination is yet to be determined!

    • So the eradication of small pox is not the success we think it is?

      Hopefully some smart people give us answers! Small pox probably not that bad actually.

    • In fact, the Daily Friend could not be better served than by the kind of journalism that is Ivo’s trademark – forthright but reasoned, unafraid to test claims from all quarters, willing to weigh contradictions and uncertainties, and founded on solid research.

    • The pros of mass vaccination are undeniable. When last did you see someone trying painfully to walk around with the after effects of polio? Mass vaccination works so well that the morons who are opting not to have their children vaccinated have caused outbreaks of children’s diseases that newbie doctors could not even recognise – that’s how well mass vaccinations work. And no, the fact that mass vaccinations work in general is not an opinion. The notion that they are yet to be proved to work is where the burden of proof lies.

  19. Look at the Timelines
    1 Release the virus October 2019
    2. Allow it to spread before any country can lockdown
    3. Lockdown and let the virus spread inside the the country. Feb/March 2020
    4. Open up the borders and stop the lockdown June 2020.
    5. Hype the mortality rate and the second wave and make tracking and tracing (app) compulsory. Sept Oct 20202
    6. Eventually enforce the 2nd Lockdown Oct/Nov 2020. Let see what happens
    7. End the 2nd lockdown June 2021 and
    release the vaccine

    • 1. Nobody released the virus. China tried desperately to keep it contained and to keep it quiet.
      2. There are countries that locked down, notably Taiwan who also alarmed the rest of the world. Most of the other countries opted to listen to the Wuhan Health Organisation. Even then Trump shut down America, he was labelled a xenophobe and his opposition called for more people to join Chinese New Year celebrations in downtown San Francisco. So no, people shut it down as they could, and some countries still haven’t shut down.
      3. Lockdowns that involve social distancing cannot let the virus spread inside the country. It could keep the virus contained within a country, but that contradicts 2. You have to pick one: Either they want to allow the virus to spread, or they want to prevent the virus from spreading. So either 2, or 3.
      4. Open borders and stopping the lockdown would allow the virus to spread. So we’re back at 2 now? So no more 3?
      5. There are no compulsory tracing apps.
      6 and 7 are a rehashed 2 and 3. Do they want to spread the virus, or do they not want to spread the virus?

      • what they wanted was lockdowns (and they got ’em)
        what they wanted was widespread fear (and they got it)
        what they wanted was for the masses to beg them for a solution (and they’re getting that as well)
        what they want is for all of us to live in complete dependence on their system – but here’s the thing, none of us want that – so they have to *slooowly* lead us with very tiny changes over a protracted period, each step becomes “just normal” before the next step kicks in.

        It’s just a mask,
        It’s just a test
        It’s just an app
        It’s just a vaccine
        It’s just a new digital currency
        It’s just a passport to prove you’re not going to murderdeathkill everybody in the shopping center
        trust the experts, they know what’s best for you.

        • They cannot possibly want lockdowns, given that this impacts their bottom line. The South AFrican government excluded, because it is a prime opportunity for them to grab power and to make more people dependent on government. The fact that a crisis gets exploited does not equate to the crisis being engineered in order to exploit the crisis. There is no evidence of this. Merkel is the latest to announce new lockdowns for Germany, and this is a political liability, as it is in the UK. If the economy grinds to a halt, people cannot generate wealth. If they cannot generate wealth, the grabberment has nothing to grab. It really is just a mask, and it helps to protect people you care about. If you don’t want to get tested, that’s perfectly fine, just maintain social distance. You don’t have to install any app. You can use cash or barter if you must. Experts do not need to be trusted, they should show their steps. And they have. The CDC is a great resource, if government funded, but it has plenty of useful information. Of course it does require applying critical thinking and doing some homework, and not just ad hoc reasoning to support conspiracy theories. Butt you do not need to trust them, just follow the steps.

          • What is five hundred billion rand? We have around 80% debt to GDP at the moment. That means we are not generating wealth, and the government as a result cannot steal something that is not there, they’ve had to make debts with international banks.

  20. Here’s one closer to SA:
    7 700 000 people living with HIV in SA
    71 000 TB deaths in 2018 (source WHO and UNAIDS)
    20 000 total Covid deaths (to 19 Oct 2020)

    mmm… the ANC Government sure acted fast to shut down and destroy the economy due to the more than 3 times higher mortality caused by HIV than Covid… yes makes sense to me…

    Sources: https://www.unaids.org/en/regionscountries/countries/southafrica
    https://www.unaids.org/en/regionscountries/countries/southafrica

  21. I enjoyed the article. I found some of the comments on the article hilarious to say the least, especially those “scientists” whom claim to have better mental and practical insight and logic than the information provided in the article. The article never claimed to be a scientific, but rather a thought provoking reflection of what we know, albeit very little. In such articles one treads on the fine dividing line, and the content will be shades of truth and lies. Anybody who thinks that the content is either totally false or completely true, or an attempt to ridicule anybody but provide critique on a governance system that has proven as a fact that they are factually corrupt, needs to wake up and understand that the article is just an informed opinion on an issue that does not have that much dependable and reliable facts conveyed to all and sundry by reputable sources. Maybe the commentators should read less, and get out more dependable information to be digested, and not develop scientific “facts” from their own database. I enjoyed Ivo’s article for what it is. He never claimed anything to be true fact, but it is a true reflection of how this ‘sane world” digest and act on a new threat – without logic, fact, practical implementation or know-how, but knee jerk reactions of fear, rumor, illogical measures, corruption, and may I say foregone stupidity and the blind leading the blind. Ivo keep up the good work. Ignore those self-made scientists who try and outwit everybody else with collective accumulating criticism without any substance for their counter arguments.

  22. Some of the points in this article are valid and some are absolutely false.
    A mask definitely restricts a significant amount of oxygen from going into the lungs and it definitely recycles, mostly, carbon dioxide. I can feel it when I wear a mask and it affects my breathing and lungs enormously. Masks also prevent the immune system from functioning properly. Our antibodies are supposed to naturally deter foreign particles and viruses. With a mask this is vastly limited.
    Covid-19 is not a deadly disease. A minute percentage of people die from it and their immune systems were already at the point of scurvy or collapse so they could have died from almost anything. To force restriction of oxygen intake by, more specifically, the elderly is mindless. THE CONTINUOUS WEARING OF MASKS MAKES PEOPLE SICK. This is exactly what the medical industry Big Pharma, want. The medical industry has made more money out of this PLANDEMIC than at any other time of its existence over the same period of time.
    The criminal behaviour of doctors signing off most of the deceased as Covid-19, even when the deaths were unrelated or just partially related, need to be convicted and sentenced. They are taking orders from an equally criminal WHO which is influenced by evil individuals such as Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, etc, etc.
    To deny that this is a completely planned agenda, is just ignorant. It has been planned from the 1980’s already. I have copies of the Rockefeller documents and the UN Agenda 21, now Agenda 2030, is proof of this.
    Conspiracies mostly come from governments. There may be different theories about the 9/11 incident but one thing is for certain, it was orchestrated by the US regime and the Israelis played a big part in it. There is enough evidence to prove it.
    Thousands of doctors, scientists and professors have come together and joined by international lawyers to condemn the lockdowns, the wearing of masks and the false information created by individuals, governments and institutions. They are in the process of litigating and suing these individuals, governments and institutions for the lies and abuses against the people and violations of human rights.
    http://www.worlddoctorsalliance.com

  23. What’s telling to me, in reading the comments, is how many Daily Friend readers are tin-foil hat, conspiracy fools. Publish one rational, informed commentary and they all come falling out of the tree. If you ask me, if there’s a grand global conspiracy out there (and there isn’t) then it’s to dumb the population down so we can have more presidents like Donald Trump. The most subversive thing anyone can say is “Teach logic in the schools, please!”

    • You don’t need to dumb the population down to have more presidents like Donald Trump. All you need for that is an environment where populism festers. Recall that in terms of leadership styles, Trump and Obama have exactly the same populist leadership styles. They are vastly different leaders on all other fronts, but both of them approached their campaigns from the position of an outsider sticking up for the masses. One of them is actually draining the swamp, while the other one is desperately trying to chase all the token voters back to the plantation, as it were.

      Logic would always help, though. We mostly have people walking around with the following contradicting statements:
      > Government must do something!
      > Government is doing too much!

      I’m glad that Trump is there, purely because the alternative was more of the same establishment corruption of the kind found on the laptop from hell.

      • If Trump and Obama are all the same to you then what can I say? It’s one of the wettest we’ve seen from the point of view of water and don’t argue with me about it because I’m intelligent. Some people would say I’m very, very, very intelligent. Because windmills cause cancer. Covfefe.

  24. Ivo you’ve done a useful thing by summarising the ideas which have been trying to make sense of an absurd situation. Thankyou.

    If the situation is absurd then perhaps the explanation is equally so.

    Your faith in humanity is strong. I do not share that faith.

    Describing John’s vision as a hallucination is a pity unless you were not doing so in a mocking way. It’s hard to tell. I for one distinguish between a hallucination and a vision where God or a spirit speaks to a person.

  25. “the theory has its origins in the visions of a fellow hallucinating on a Greek island 2 000 years ago”
    That statement regarding John is offensive to many and unnecessarily condescending, and has absolutely no place in an objective analysis of other theories.

      • Yet you practice occultism in your spare time? Pick one now and stick with it.
        Seems you also treat this page as your personal little soap box, which it is not.

        • That was a joke, obviously. I’m also not a member of the Illuminati. But I have read the entire Bible at least twice, and many parts of it many times. For the record, I don’t believe in anything supernatural, and think such beliefs often do more harm than good.

          Oh, and a weekly column is pretty much the definition of a personal soapbox.

  26. “The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.”

    This is the opinion of an activist. I addressed many of these points, including the IARC’s classification and the largest study conducted on cellphone radiation to date, in the two articles that I linked in the para about ambient radio waves.

    This article makes many of the usual health-scare errors: suggesting correlation means causation, extrapolating experimental findings from mice to humans, misunderstanding the actual meaning of IARC carcinogeneity classifications, making sweeping statements like “we have considerable evidence about the harmful effects of 2G and 3G” without citing that evidence, making generalised claims about the potential harms of exposure without specifying the emission intensity that would be required, neglecting to detail a plausible physical mechanism by which non-ionising radiation at low power levels could cause DNA damage, etc. It is full of red flags.

    Just because it’s in SciAm doesn’t make it true. It is a popular magazine aimed at the lay public. It is not a scientific journal. Its articles are not peer-reviewed. Some of them are junk science. This is a good example.

    • look ivo, you are an embarrassment to the irr, many are refusing to read and click because of such VERY uninformed rubbish ‘journalism’.

      take it or dont, but stop talking so much crap

      • On the contrary, intelligent (and, needless to say, well-read) journalism that exposes nonsense brings only credit to the IRR.

  27. “Ivo, you forgot to mention that the whole conspiracy was dreamt up by AI post achieving its human equivalence threshold and has commenced depopulating the planet of these resource wasteful meat computers.” he said leaning over to flick the ash from his Montechristo while savouring his double Jonny Blue.

  28. Expected deaths from covid were massively over exaggerated. Shutting down your economy is never a good idea. Enforcing social distancing and wearing a mask is effective in slowing down the spread. It seems us humans enjoy a good bout of mass Hysteria. Remember when 9 11 was supposed to be the end of the world. Social media is the perfect medium to. Spread mass hysteria and bulk buying toilet rolls. Most governments went into initial lockdown because no politician wanted to look ineffective and be responsible for mass deaths. More people are murdered in SA than covid related deaths. Better to take your chances with covid. The ANC does far more damage than covid ever will. If you want the government to stop spying on you then you probably shouldn’t be using the internet Facebook or Instagram or using a credit card or having a bank account. Google probably knows more about you than your spouse. Technology and 5g enables us to work remotely and make our lives easier. If this wasn’t around during covid, society would come to a standstill. And if there was some grand conspiracy by our government I wouldn’t be too worried. They can’t get much working anyways.

    • No, enforcing mask wearing does not work. Masks do not prevent viral infections. And think about how people are ‘wearing’ masks? On their chin, under their noses. Why? BECAUSE THEY CANNOT BREATHE! Because they are uncomfortable! Very few people are wearing them because they believe they work – they mostly wear them because they fear a fine or aggravation from over-zealous little Hitlers in shopping malls.

  29. Ivo….
    “A quick browse of the source website should already raise a few red flags, covering, as it does, 9/11 conspiracy theories, climate denial, anti-vaccine propaganda and ignorant fears about new technologies such as 5G wireless communication, some of which are woven into the Covid-19 conspiracy theory.”

    You have sorely disappointed me. I honestly thought you were open-minded but you have proven you are no better than the usual Corporate shill masquerading as a ‘journalist’ in the Corporate media.

    9/11 was absolutely an inside job. No doubt about it.
    Climage change? Really?! yes it’s real, but it has NOTHING to do with man or CO2. Absolutely nothing. Yes, there is pollution and yes we must fix it BUT we are not poisoning the planet with CO2. Just look up the Club of Rome to see who decided that man is the enemy. CO2 is absolutely VITAL for growing plants on our beautiful planet. If we took the CO2 levels down to zero we would ALL DIE. Look at the aircraft that pollute our skies. I suppose at least with ‘covid’ there are fewer planes but they still pollute. And where is the industry regulating pollutants from aircraft? And no, I’m not talking about CO2. It is the exhaust fumes and metallic particles that pollute.

    And yes, this whole ‘covid’ crap is absolutely engineered. Without a shadow of a doubt. Go and look up the World Economic Forum and the Rockerfellas document regarding Future Scenarios, including the “Lockstep” chapter. Watch “Plandemic : Indoctornation” and listen to David Martin. Please, throw that damned ego away and watch it. Us as normal members of society are supposed to rely on the impartiality of the press to act as a shield from the government but you’ve just proven that even the Daily Friend is mainstream. So disappointing.

      • It’s very strange how some people have zero problem in dismissing information without even understanding what that information is. So sad.

        • Right, 9/11 was an inside job. Because jet fuel can’t melt steel beams. And covid-19 was engineered, so that Big Pharma can make money out of vaccines that they still have to spend money on developing. With a lockdown that makes it more difficult for everyone to put up the money to pay for those vaccines. Whereas they’ve had a cottage industry of annual influenza vaccinations already in the bag. Hey, if I wanted to make money out of vaccines, I would try to plant the idea that people should do the kind of thing that spreads diseases for which I do not have to spend money to develop remedies, and for which I already have the remedy supply chain cornered. In other words, if I were just trying to make money out of vaccines, I would not bother engineering a new disease, to halt virtually the entire world’s economy, to bet my chips on a wing and a prayer. I would just create a toxic work environment whereby employees with influenza feel guilty or shamed about taking a sick day, so the annual flue spreads, and people need their annual flu shots along with other flu remedies. Hey, why stop there? If I really wanted to milk gullible morons, I would convince them that Big Pharma is evil and that they can cure themselves with vitamin supplements that are not regulated, and for which people do not need a prescription, and which are mostly produced by Big Pharma as well. What’s more is I would convince them that they need to take these supplements daily, so they will always feel the need to purchase them, even when they are not sick, which is most of the time for most people.

    • @louise
      I had that same experience of (somehow) thinking and expecting dailyfriend to be (different? better?) than the M5M … It’s kind of disheartening, not only to think you’ve found a news source that does real research and then find out it’s just playing the game, but to also discover sooo many readers are equally content to let others do their thinking for them.

      You know what gets me the most though? That at some point in the not too distant future, when corporate sponsored scientism is defeated and honest inquiry is returned to the education & research institutions, how there will be so many people that look back at what they used to “believe” (because that’s how it works in scientism, you “believe” a thing, you don’t prove it – for example: Sars-CoV-2 has not been isolated, so we can’t even prove it exists, much less with something so insanely ridiculous as PCR) and slap their foreheads wondering “WHY?”
      Well, we know why.

  30. A review of the medical literature was undertaken by Denis G Rancourt, PhD , the summary of which is:

    “Summary / Abstract : Masks and respirators do not work.

    There have been extensive randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies, and meta-analysis reviews of RCT studies, which all show that masks and respirators do not work to prevent respiratory influenza-like illnesses, or respiratory illnesses believed to be transmitted by droplets and aerosol particles.

    Furthermore, the relevant known physics and biology, which I review, are such that masks and respirators should not work. It would be a paradox if masks and respirators worked, given what we know about viral respiratory diseases: The main transmission path is long-residence-time aerosol particles (< 2.5 μm), which are too fine to be blocked, and the minimum-infective-dose is smaller than one aerosol particle.

    The present paper about masks illustrates the degree to which governments, the mainstream media, and institutional propagandists can decide to operate in a science vacuum, or select only incomplete science that serves their interests. Such recklessness is also certainly the case with the current global lockdown of over 1 billion people, an unprecedented experiment in medical and political history."
    https://www.rcreader.com/commentary/masks-dont-work-covid-a-review-of-science-relevant-to-covide-19-social-policy
    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/D_Rancourt

  31. The Dangers of Low Oxygen Levels – OSHA

    Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) – USA

    Richard E. Fairfax,Director
    Directorate of Enforcement Programs

    “Paragraph (d)(2)(iii) of the Respiratory Protection Standard considers any atmosphere with an oxygen level below 19.5 percent to be oxygen-deficient and immediately dangerous to life or health.”

    “Human beings must breathe oxygen . . . to survive, and begin to suffer adverse health effects when the oxygen level of their breathing air drops below [19.5 percent oxygen]. Below 19.5 percent oxygen . . . , air is considered oxygen-deficient. At concentrations of 16 to 19.5 percent, workers engaged in any form of exertion can rapidly become symptomatic as their tissues fail to obtain the oxygen necessary to function properly (Rom, W., Environmental and Occupational Medicine, 2nd ed.; Little, Brown; Boston, 1992). Increased breathing rates, accelerated heartbeat, and impaired thinking or coordination occur more quickly in an oxygen-deficient environment. Even a momentary loss of coordination may be devastating to a worker if it occurs while the worker is performing a potentially dangerous activity, such as climbing a ladder. Concentrations of 12 to 16 percent oxygen cause tachypnea (increased breathing rates), tachycardia (accelerated heartbeat), and impaired attention, thinking, and coordination (e.g., Ex. 25-4), even in people who are resting.

    At oxygen levels of 10 to 14 percent, faulty judgment, intermittent respiration, and exhaustion can be expected even with minimal exertion (Exs. 25-4 and 150). Breathing air containing 6 to 10 percent oxygen results in nausea, vomiting, lethargic movements, and perhaps unconsciousness. Breathing air containing less than 6 percent oxygen produces convulsions, then apnea (cessation of breathing), followed by cardiac standstill. These symptoms occur immediately. Even if a worker survives the hypoxic insult, organs may show evidence of hypoxic damage, which may be irreversible (Exs. 25-4 and 150; also reported in Rom, W. [see reference in previous paragraph]).”

  32. Mr Vegter, I sincerely hope that you will not be discouraged by the negative comments from many of the responses to your excellent, thought provoking piece. I also don’t always agree with everything you write, but I’ve always found your work to be well considered, based on real facts, logical and definitely worth taking note of. also, you are never afraid to present an unpopular line or reasoning. Please keep it up.

      • Ivo, why don’t you like to be proven wrong? Surely it is better to have the truth revealed to you than to carry on with the incorrect information?

          • Wow! You are unbelievably arrogant! This lady asked two very good questions and you react like this? Is your article simply satirical then? Because if you cannot be respectful to people who hold differing views from you………………………..?

          • ” … there’s no risk at all that you’d reveal any truth to me.”

            of that I have no doubt 🙂

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