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Acknowledgement of Personal Responsibility or Blind Obedience: Reflections from Finland
You don't want to be an anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist, do you?
Opinion piece by Hanna Parikka, M.Sc., IVF biologist/embryologist, Finland, April 4, 2023
Lockdowns, masks, and constant fear-mongering in the media caused the behaviour of people around me to change and even the nature of how and about what they communicated.
News coverage of the situation in hospitals was sensationalist, not reflecting either my own perception of the situation, or that of many other hospital workers. We wondered where the tsunami of predicted deaths was. The propaganda-like news coverage and its visible impact on people's speech and behaviour increasingly seemed like psychological manipulation.
Vaccines and fear divided our nation. Any factual questions arising from healthy critical reflection on science - with its conflicts of interest - human rights and the instruments of power led to instant categorisation as denialists, conspiracy theorists…
Masks served no purpose. As an instrument of power, however, masks were effective. It was not a question of health. I didn't hear any public defence of children and young people against this medically unjustified abuse of power, but many instead analysed how to cope with being afraid of covid, and later how not to be afraid of vaccinations. What about the traumas inflicted on these children and young people by the media's fear propaganda, among other things?
People's attacks on each other were fuelled by the media. The unvaccinated were selfish, uneducated, pathetic, more dangerous than stray wolves, conspiracy theorists and living in rabbit holes. This was the media line. The public wanted an easy approach to discussing mRNA technology, and the media provided it. Reality no longer mattered. The media took no responsibility for what they wrote, the writers stated in black and white, as if it were true, things that were highly controversial in the scientific community.
All people wanted was to get back to normal life, to get back into hobbies, go to the spa and to cultural events with their vaccination certificates in hand. This is not the first time that mind games have been used, and brings to mind the famous Milgram obedience test which, after the atrocities committed by German citizens in WW2, studied the likelihood of individuals’ acquiescence to unreasonable demands by authority.
The world fell into a state of massive insanity. Public debate was dominated by the least knowledgeable, and the tough questions and criticism of the experts were censored. I was one of them. I asked the authorities difficult questions about vaccination recommendations for pregnant women, but my questions were censored or answered with extremely simple content. The alarm bells kept ringing. Now it was a matter of health and life being risked on my professional territory and in front of my eyes, and the authorities were unilaterally handing out recommendations and instructions for which I could find no scientific rationale.