I’ve got this acquaintance who is a dyed-in-the-wool hypochondriac. My first encounter with her dangerous brand of hypochondria was at Christmas time in 2018 when she asked me casually in a text, “You do vaccinate [your son], don’t you? I replied “NUNYA.” The resultant argument became so heated that my husband inserted himself into it, and informed her in so many words that, “Until the day you’ll share the results of your latest pap smear with us, you will have no right to access our family’s personal medical information.” Three days later she and her family showed up at our Christmas party as though nothing had ever happened.
Back in January 2020 I had an encounter with her yet again. A very odd illness was running its course in Anchorage. Many students, including my son, were coming down with a very low grade fever and excessive sleepiness. The pattern of popping a low-grade fever, followed by a long nap, then perfectly fine again repeated itself twice a day for about a week. Monday afternoon, the school nurse called and reported a low-grade fever of 100.1 and informed me he needed to be picked up. Even then, I was a little dubious. 100.1 deg. F is barely warm at all. I get that hot after screaming my head off… was he really actually sick? So, we stayed home about a week, missed the first week of ski practices (and got very discombobulated because we didn’t know who our coaches were!). After a week, a dry cough set in that lasted 3 whole weeks. Aside from the cough, there was nothing else to report. In the end, my whole family got this illness and we all had the same symptoms. It was basically a weird, mild cold.
So at ski practice one night, I ran into my acquaintance. We chatted about the illness briefly. She insisted it was the flu. She insisted that she had it too and that she’d “only ever been this ill once before.” She moaned about how terrible it was, and how much she was suffering. I looked at her with doubt and said, “You know, what we experienced really wasn’t all that bad. I remember the flu being a lot burlier than this.” She turned, hands on hips and said, “I KNOW what the flu feels like, OKAY? And this is the flu.” So I then asked, “Oh, so you went to the clinic and got swabbed? And you definitely had the flu?” She then lost her patience, and as she waved her hand at me over her shoulder as if to dismiss my question, she said, “I don’t need to get swabbed to know the flu.” The most ironic part of this whole exchange was that she, the hypochondriac, was still bringing her kid to ski practice every day, even though they were all too sick to move, according to her, with the FLU…or so she thought. But when my kids had the mildest of colds, we stayed home. So much for being a hypochondriac, right?
It just so happened that my kids had a doctor’s appointment that week, which is just our regularly scheduled annual pediatric exam. I described the symptoms and asked, “Have you had any positive flu cases with symptoms like that?” She said, “Nope. We’re seeing a lot of what you’re describing and it’s not the flu. It’s just a bizarre cold.”
The logic that drove my acquaintance to demand my son’s medical records is this: If your kids haven’t been vaccinated, then your kids put my VACCINATED kids at risk of contracting the same diseases for which my kids are VACCINATED. In other words, the vaccine will only work if absolutely everyone gets it. How reasonable people can fail to see the logical fallacy in that idea is beyond me. If your child is vaccinated, then your child should have no fear of succumbing to my kids’ dirty germs. Amazingly, my dirty, germy kids, when dealing with illnesses like weird colds and viruses that come around each year, do not experience terrible sicknesses…. how can her fully vaccinated kid really be healthier than my kids when we fair better over all when experiencing the same disease?
When it boils down to it, this logic is the root of the Tyranny of Hypochondria, and the heart of the emotional manipulation. It exerts there are binary choices: right choice and wrong choice. It exerts that SHE has made the right choice and I have made the wrong choice. Since she has made the right choice, she is morally superior to me. But she lacks rational and legal grounds by which to enforce her choice on me, so she uses the argument, “won’t somebody please think of the children?” to emotionally provoke me to revise my actions and align my choice with hers. And she has made her demand a stipulation on our friendship, another classical emotional trap. It’s a losing battle because I am stubborn and I truly do not require her friendship. Too bad!
Now we have the same thing happening on a much larger scale and there is real power involved. In nationwide lockdowns, the picture of this interaction now involves state and municipal authorities who threaten heavy fines for non-compliance. They require no evidence that the people in quarantine are actually sick, and they literally have no way to produce such evidence because of the lack of reliable, abundantly-available tests. Placing every American on lock down under the presumption that their exposure to pathogens will lead indirectly to another persons’ death requires two logical jumps and no evidence: first, that they are a carrier in the first place, and second, that their illness can be traced to someone else’s death. If you were trying to get a conviction for murder based on such reasoning, your case would be thrown out for insufficient evidence. How can we suddenly lose the standards of due process and every single American just acquiesces? The combination of fear and emotional manipulation, that’s how.
Over 200 years ago, one Founding Father warned of the risk of Medical Tyranny. Benjamin Rush, who is less well-known amongst the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, wrote “The Constitution of this Republic should make special provision for medical freedom. To restrict the art of healing to one class will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic. … Unless we put medical freedom into the constitution the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship and force people who wish doctors and treatment of their own choice to submit to only what the dictating outfit offers.”
There’s no effort to disguise the goals of the “dictating outfit.” We have people like Bill Gates gleefully promoting MIT’s trackable skin implants. We have researchers rushing to develop a vaccine, and the US Government has already given full immunity to such companies from liability for harms that result from these vaccines. Our elected officials are threatening further lockdowns all the time. Apple has already rolled out tracking software to assist states in enforcing “social distancing.” It’s not very difficult to see what happens next. Forced vaccination, and if you do not comply, full alienation from society. Rabbid pro-vaxxers have been demanding exactly that for years. The Corona Virus is the silver platter on which we are being served the Tyranny of Hypochondria. And this dish is a dish best served cold.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.