Modern man: “Because I had my shots, when I did get Covid, I was barely sick for a day or two.”

Ancient man: "Because we sacrificed a virgin, our crop failures were minimal."

Expand full comment

Seriously…one of your best pieces. In the beginning, when I had such strong instincts and beliefs and no scientific or medical background you and Brett were a source of that and reason as I went on my daily Covid walks and listened to Dark Horse. Sad to know we were all right. Tragic really…

Expand full comment

I accepted the initial double shot -- not because I thought it would keep me healthy, or because I thought it would affect any else's health in a positive way. I took it because I have a part time job that involves contact with the public, many of whom are older, and the woman who runs the company (and is also a friend of mine) thought her business would fail if her customers could not be persuaded that returning was safe. I took them because of friendship and loyalty and because I believe in her business. I didn't think the shots could possibly be very effective; admittedly I was unwilling to believe that even an incompetent regulatory environment would allow them if they were outright dangerous. I was willing to play along. I will never be so thoughtlessly naive again.

I have a casual acquaintance (we perform in some of the same venues) who proudly announced on his Facebook account last week that he had just taken his *tenth* Covid shot. He unironically referred to it as a "Fauci Ouchie." There is indeed a part of the human population that is beyond help.

Expand full comment

10, really, I didn’t even know that was possible! I guess “where there is a will there is a way” — especially if these shots serve as some sort of sacrament, it would seem.

Expand full comment

I started to be skeptic about the whole narrative from the start when suddenly we could not mention lab leak or origin of the virus. You don't even have to be a scientist to see that it would be obvious to investigate a lab conducting research on these viruses in the same town where it all started. Where we lived they closed the outdoor trails in the hills, woods ... everybody unquestionably followed whatever mainstream said ..

Come the "vaccine", I did not think much about it being a new DNA technology, did not know much about it. But then, in June 2021, I read reports from Europe, mainly Sweden that they were not comfortable to approve yet the shot for minors, there were only 2000 kids in the Pfizer trials (that is what I remember, but anybody who want to be sure, read the official documents from Pfizer). I found it very concerning that USA gave emergency approval for it. Then Israel started to have breakthrough cases and I recall some of the scientist there said we cannot stop covid spread with this vaccine..

I tried to tell people around me that this is not stopping the infection, do not attack people who choose not to try the new technology.. Then the booster came end of summer 2021, I would think rational educated people would pause, think that "they told us 2 shots stopped the spread, well then booster shouldn't be necessary, maybe we should be more critical to what the WH and CDC says..", but no, all got inline that boosters were common in vaccines... etc. I did take one of the moderna shots, as my doctor would not see me in office otherwise. Then I decided that I'm not taking anymore, rather not see my physician. Fast forward, when several of my family members and friends got covid after the 3rd shot, they started to listen just a little, but of course there was the same as Heather said, they would have been so much sicker if they hadn't had the 3 shots. I got covid at the same time and despite not having any antibodies and being older, I did not get sicker than many people I knew. I had a friend who was in the medical field and took 5 shots , sick one week after each, then got covid. Finally se said no more shots..

What happened? How could smart science educated people who do research, apply logic and scientific method suddenly loose all critical thinking? That has been the greatest chock for me.

I always thought that the more fanatic anti science pro some religious believers were the ones who would believe things with no proof, but it seems that so called scientist were as prone to mass delusion and hate against anybody who does not follow the questionable "vaccine" craze.

NOTE: I do not see down on anybody who made the choice to take the shot. That is a personal choice, my point is that critical thinking among people I thought were logical and thought critically, was suddenly gone.

Thanks Heather for keeping us question the world around us, for keeping the scientific method and critical thinking alive.

Expand full comment

I think what gives me the deepest chills isn't Covid or the vaccine. It's the fact that we allowed public institutions to regulate basic human rights to such severe degrees. I heard in Washington you can't even get groceries without a vaccine card on hand. And sure, under the worst conditions ever, maybe that behavior is needed, but Covid? Covid wasn't the world killer. Humanity was the world killer on both fronts. Both by creating a disease, and then by having that disease gain so much power and control for the government (but that is mostly because gave in so heavily into the fear. Our willingness to be terrified allowed the government to absolutely dictate our realities in a way we weren't even supposed to question...). If fear worked so well the first time, why won't it be even worse the second time? Say goodbye to basic amenities whenever the next pandemic hits.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023·edited May 19, 2023

Right! And just wait until the new WHO guidelines, err imperatives... are rolled out. We're screwed if our elected officials continue to be cowering, greedy, and quite unable to learn from this recent history of atrocities against common sense and humanity.

Expand full comment

I mean, the fact Covid was made in China under the reign of the CCP really distorted a lot of things. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of "what went wrong with the WHO" wasn't caused by that. I withhold my opinions on the WHO for now, but what came down the ladder was definitely mongrols nipping at control and power

Expand full comment

Yes, you are correct. Today in the west, the government cannot get power by behaving like a dictatorship. So, other methods evolve. Scaring the population and put them in a panic, then in the pretext of good - they/government did the get power in a similar way.

Somehow, the media went with it, not sure if by control or scare. Definitely some control as youtube removed any references to lableak. One of the consequences I find unsettling is that I do not trust CDC as a guide to public health, or the FDA. The CDC director publicly on multiple times saying things that were totally not true and not proved in any way. I think she said something about masks being 80% effective.. which would mean more effective than the vaccine. Also, Pfizer never tested if the vaccine prevented spread. Using the word Vaccine was a good way to make people think that the mRNA shot was the same as a vaccine. So, not only did the governments get powers that they probably do not want to give up, but where do we go to find the truth? If CDC is not following the data and research and makes stuff up - who is telling the truth? I had to read papers och listen to people like Heather, and generally using more critical thinking on what was said to go against the narrative from people around me in CA. We need more outlets that follow the data and dare to go against the government narrative.

Expand full comment

i have slowly started to become a "eugenics type" cynic. I only say that jokingly, but a lot of the mindsets of people needs to be "cleansed". We CAN'T keep living in a world that "the simplest solution is the best solution". That was one the worst ideas ever invented because it incentivizes laziness across countless areas to such a degree, we have become inhibited from thinking things through. Now people of power have capitalized on our laziness and intend to use it for their own personal good. So many people just want to hear, "it won't hurt". Bitch I AM GOING TO MAKE IT HURT. We aren't in the Utopia. People die. People suffer. That fact is the statistic, human misery is not. We better start finding peace of mind in hearing sincere adults being sincere adults and not us being coddled. I swear to God if the next crisis is handled as badly as Covid, a small thing like "a bit worse influenza" will give the government the right to permanently hole us up and isolate us from one another to the point we actually accept "no, you are right, no freedom IS freedom"...

"hello O' Brien, my biggest fear is YOU. Would you like to take the center stage now for me and everyone here because that is our new truth?"

Expand full comment

I, for one, certainly should have known better.

For several years I worked in a research lab at a major university medical center. True, I only did the computer work (I have exactly one published paper to my name), but even back in the 1970's it was obvious that the peer-reviewed papers/government grant system was, if not totally broken, at least rigged.

Moreover, I spent much of my life learning that "the system" was not to be trusted in many fields. I think it began when my mother, following the customs and recommendations of both society and the medical experts, fed her newborn infant a mixture of diluted evaporated milk and Karo corn syrup, instead of breastfeeding.

But it didn't really hit me until I had children of my own, and observed again and again that the best course of action seemed to be to do exactly the opposite of what the experts recommended and society accepted without question. From birth and childrearing practices to educational decisions to nutritional and medical choices, life taught me that "going with the flow" was often a very bad plan.

So why, why, why did I willingly, even eagerly, accept the COVID shots? Two reasons.

One, working in medical research had provided opportunities to perhaps make a difference in the world, and one of these was that I was a test subject for the development of the Haemophilus Influenza B vaccine. I like to think that was a good thing. But it predisposed me to being willing to try the COVID shot for the good of the world. Plus my children were worried about their overweight, elderly mother.

Still, I feel really stupid for trusting the medical establishment that this was "safe and effective and the only way to keep from killing grandmothers." On the other hand....

By far the biggest factor was blackmail. We have family living overseas, and the only way we could visit them was to get the jab. Grandchildren change so much in the course of a year. Even knowing what I know now, I have to admit I'd probably do it again.

But I still feel stupid. And very, very angry.

Expand full comment

Linda, it's a razor's edge between the shadow show and the light of day. It can happen any time. You're not stupid.

Expand full comment

"Do not vilify your family, friends, and neighbors for making decisions for themselves."

How I deeply, truly wish my own family members had heeded this. I was vilified for not getting jabbed to "protect my grandparents", despite my desire to hold off until more safety data had come out because I've been either pregnant or breastfeeding for all of the past 3 years. When I attempted to explain about this, I was told to just stop breastfeeding so that I could get jabbed, and was told by another family member that potentially skipping a couple periods would only throw me off getting pregnant for a few extra months and what was the big deal with putting that off if it meant I could "do my part?"

My husband and I were also rejected from enrolling our daughter to a daycare two days before my maternity leave ended because we weren't jabbed, and when we told our families about our situation, my sister in law told me that "sometimes we as parents have to do things we don't want to do if it's best for our children", essentially saying I was not being a good mother because of my refusal to get jabbed.

Expand full comment

I have never heard, "Because I had my shots, when I did get Covid, I was barely sick for a day or two."

Most people I know who got the shots got sicker than everyone else, were out for at least a week.

That said, the point on this level of magical thinking is pretty amazing. These are the same people who weaponized the word "pseudoscience" against obvious things like Vitamin D and exercise in the early pandemic.

Expand full comment
May 16, 2023·edited May 16, 2023

“…weaponized the word ‘pseudoscience’…”

How many terms and expressions am I sick to death of because they are used as smears to preclude reasonable discussion of the evidence?

Let’s add, anti-vaxxer. Ironically, this term, if used descriptively and not pejoratively, now applies to most everyone (considering the near zero booster uptake.) And it certainly applies to those mRNA rollback-ing Europeans.

And of course the perennial favorite: conspiracy theory/theorist.

Expand full comment

23, oh I sure have heard it--including its worse version. "Because I had my shots, I didn't get COVID."

Expand full comment

I totally agree with every point Heather made; I just wish I could write with such honesty and clarity. After each paragraph I thought “yeah, that’s right, but until now I hadn’t thought of it that way, and if I had, I couldn’t have stated it so clearly.”

Expand full comment


Thank you for your courage ,

honesty and writings through the whole Pandemia era . Your podcasts and substack articles have helped in my (sense making)understanding that our politicians and health authorities were not rational in how the Pandemic was directed and managed .

Pattern recognition of skewed data reporting by the managerial class ( and legacy media)so ardent in their belief that they were righteous in their ad hominem attacks to any who questioned their data or behaviours.

I found it important to have in person conversations to discuss the crisis our society was in with regards to the uncertainty,ambiguity and direction our elected leaders and health Czars were taking us.

To make retrospective sense of what occurred with the controlled narrative imposed on us has taken time for my sense making process.

I look forward to your next post

Expand full comment

If nothing else comes of this pandemic experience, it is that I no longer blindly trust my government. Like many "good liberals" I toed the line, got my shots, parroted the slogans, virtue signaled with the best, and let those "experts" tell me how to live my life. How easy it can be to get wrapped up in our comfortable bubble of groupthink. In this essay, I was particularly struck by the image of the Pied Piper, leading the children away. I can't help but see this through the lens of an ROGD mom, whose kid was let astray by online trans-influencers during lockdowns. I fully expect to be witnessing the after effects of this pandemic nightmare for the rest of my life.

Expand full comment

Jane, still we have to believe something (if not believe "in" something). Even guarding against blind trust can be a life's work. I hope you can witness the effects as you--as we all--keep an eye out for future nightmares.

Expand full comment

EXCELLENT !! It was SO frustrating hearing "FOLLOW THE SCIENCE" from so many

Nimrods!! The Lazy in fact were not following any solid research...just waiting in line like sheep.

Expand full comment

Excellent concise article, I hope it is shared widely. This sentence is powerful for me: “Do not vilify your family, friends, and neighbors for making decisions for themselves”, as this is exactly how I felt during the whole “pandemic”, thankful, though, that my closest friends and family already felt similarly to me about natural immunity. Have a dear friend who lives just outside of NYC who chose to get the shot, though, and I never bugged him about it or talked about my concerns. Covid swept through that area in a major way at first. He is experiencing heart trouble now and I’m kicking myself in the ass for not being more intrusive at the time...

Expand full comment

Expand this piece a wee bit and you’d have yourself a nifty commencement speech.

Expand full comment

My dog fell suddenly, lethargically ill. I was willing to tend to her quiet dying. On day five, I thought an allopathic exam might identify an treatable cause for her illness.

I'm not exaggerating the following, select exchange from the veterinarian.

Vet: I see she's behind on her rabies vaccine.

Me: Do you think she has rabies?

That "scientist" had nothing to offer my dog, even with the glassware of blood labs, X-rays, and standard protocol. It was a chance I was willing to take.

Expand full comment

It's funny how this behavior of cancel culture is so ingrained as a tool to win debates, even amongst followers of Bret and Heather have fallen prey to it. Absolutisms such as "leftist bad", "retard", and "insanity" have all been thrown at me (though I am not surprised as I intend provocation and negative response from being provocative). but the world today has seen and more importantly FELT the power of cancelling another human being. People's desire to be the authority stems from insecurity, and the world is so damn insecure today, no place is safe from authoritarianism (of which I call, "I know" being the most dogmatic statement of modernity). People seem to "know" everything. I never espouse knowing a lot but often display my subjective stances with absolute conviction as it's the only sane thing I can imagine doing. I try to disagree with others through effort and effort alone, rather than force. My willingness to go into more and more detail is a "manipulative tactic". My misuse of words is just a "means to get more attention". The thought police are already here. "Less think is good think". "Less words is good words". "Having an opinion is bad". Life is all about multiple perspectives, until recently that is. Now everyone just wants the "absolute perspective" because that is "the solution" to the complexity we have damned ourselves into. Power is the most powerful demon and being powerless to that demon is the joy of many people... I hope that at some point we can see that. (that moment became clear to me on my birthday in college. It was the first I saw how a room of 8 people joined together to decide what my reality ought to be. I remember telling them, "i hope to recover from this. This is what I don't want to be like.") I don't want hordes against hordes. I don't want numbers defining the future. I want effort, hard work, and cooperation to be what defines the future. I wanna be around people who dig their heels in deeper and are ready to take on the abyss. Not shallow actors who join up in hunting parties like the ones Bret and Heather were given no policing protection from. I pray to God that reality comes to us before it is too late. (and I don't really believe in prayers hah. Everybody better get to work and figure out how not to band up in hunting parties please)

Expand full comment

Great work of public education.

I am - we should all be - grateful to you.

Expand full comment