The Blame Game - Shawn Loughlin editorial
In an old episode of Seinfeld (though, I suppose they’re all old these days), Jerry creates a bit about his Uncle Leo and how he blamed just about everything on anti-semitism. From an overcooked hamburger at a diner to losing a bet on a horse, Jerry jokes that his uncle could (and did) blame any minor tragedy that befell him on anti-semitism.
Now, while there’s nothing funny about anti-semitism, Jerry was able to make the bit work. Uncle Leo didn’t think it was that funny, but it got the laughs Jerry so desired and painted a picture of someone who, when anything inconvenienced him in any way whatsoever, he had a boogeyman handy to blame.
On a less humourous (again, careful to point out very clearly that anti-semitism isn’t a hilarious romp) note, I hate that I keep getting a similar feeling from our friends who have not been so keen to roll up their sleeves to do their part to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since this vaccine became widely available throughout North America, those who do not believe in the science behind it have swung like Tarzan from vine to vine (theory to theory) in the hopes of landing on solid ground (definitive proof) showing they were right all along and that the vaccines are poison and that they’ve made us all sterile, autistic and/or dead (though the two former two seem slightly less important if you happen to be the latter).
As an avid soccer fan, I grew tired when, last season, a player would collapse on the pitch, seemingly from exhaustion connected to one of the most physically-demanding sports in the world, and in came the vaccination theories. The nameless, faceless goons on Twitter would ask without asking and say without saying with statements like “are you awake yet?” and “when is enough, enough?”
Even the pride of Perth County was targeted by this kind of behaviour. Both Justin Bieber and his wife Hailey have suffered from unique ailments (for their young age) recently and in both cases the anti-vaccination mob rushed to connect the couple’s conditions to COVID-19 vaccination. Hailey had a mini-stroke, which has been connected to a heart defect (a hole in her heart that didn’t fully close at birth), while Justin has repeatedly had to cancel tour dates due to a worsening case of Ramsay Hunt syndrome, caused by the chickenpox virus in children and shingles in adults.
While tragic, there are simple explanations for both, but never underestimate the ability of the horn-honkers of Ottawa to plumb the depths of depravity when it comes to this stuff.
Disgraced former Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston MPP Randy Hillier was in hot water late last year for doing something similar. He shared a post on his social media feeds that connected the deaths of 11 people to the COVID-19 vaccine, sparking outrage from the families of the deceased, who sought out the media to tell the stories - the real ones- of their departed loved ones, why and how they died and to decry Hillier’s attempt to use their deaths to further his baseless conspiracy theories. (Hillier would later apologize for the post, but, clearly, the damage was done.)
These are just a few cases. Some folks who have orbited out of their gravitational pull with reality have even suggested that monkeypox is caused by the COVID-19 vaccine (though those same people also allege that the media has made up monkeypox out of thin air; you kind of can’t have that one both ways).
Tragedy befalls many in this world of ours. Sadly, it’s a part of life, but co-opting a death to prove a point is low. Sadly, again, whether it’s vaccines or guns, that’s part of life too.