Much of the world is in turmoil over everything related to Covid. I can’t help but believe that our current situation is similar to what happened in ancient times when, throughout the civilized world of the Roman Empire, people must have been fiercely divided between those who held firm to the old pagan rites, and those who embraced the new sacred “truth” that a customer named Jesus had been sent by God to save the world from sin and bring exciting news of eternal life. Well, we know for certain that today there are deep divisions between those who take the pandemic narrative and the importance of being “saved” by the Covid shot very seriously, and those who reject the whole thing from beginning to end, with a befuddled majority somewhere in the middle.
A hundred times in the past year I’ve read about this strong difference of opinion shattering friendships and causing family rifts. That won’t happen in my own family, because even though my brother and two sisters disregarded my warnings and got injected in 2021 (as did all my in-laws, nephews and nieces), I simply don’t bring up the subject anymore, while of course hoping that they don’t end up paying a dear price for their foolishness. Also, they are not petty and nasty people, and cheerfully accepted long ago that their older brother is an oddball, like a man born with a tail.
It’s not quite the same with my friends, of whom I have only two I see with any regularity, four or five times a year. They’re old high school pals, responsible, intelligent, good fathers and politically conservative. Nevertheless, when we meet up and chat, I always hold back on certain subjects, because I know my opinions are too radical for them. But after seeing how they’ve taken this whole pandemic seriously, and worse, learning that both are triple-vaxxed, I feel more estranged from them than ever. As with my family, I haven’t told them about this website and that I’ve written an anti-vaccine book, though they’ll probably find out eventually. It’s tough when you can’t share these things with people close to you, though we remain friends.
Over the years, I’ve kept in touch with a handful of people I’ve met in my travels abroad. Sharing a special adventure creates an unbreakable bond. On pages 201-202 of my book, I quoted from a Christmas letter I received in 2018 from a British woman named Trish whom I had met, with her husband Colin, on a rough two-month overland trip through the heart of Africa in 1982. She was a firm believer in vaccines, and respectfully disagreed with my position, which I had mentioned in my own letter that year. She and Colin, who are my age, are intrepid travelers, having visited 132 countries at that time. Trish and I had an old-fashioned tradition of writing long letters by hand, tucked inside a Christmas card, which usually crossed each other over the Atlantic in mid-December, bringing each other up to date on our travels and personal lives in the year gone by. In 2021 I wrote my letter earlier than usual, mailing it in early December. This was the one-year mark of the international Covid-19 injection campaign, but I avoided that subject, airing my thoughts instead about the communist nature of the Covid hoax, tempering my language but knowing that it still might alienate her. And I’m sure that’s what happened, because for the first time in 39 years I didn’t receive a Christmas card and letter from her. Sad.
From time to time I’d been exchanging emails with two other guys who were on that trip, a German and an Australian. In fact, I met Dieter and his wife, who were visiting their son in New York, in early March 2020, just before Covid mania kicked into high gear. I hadn’t seen him in 38 years, and we had a great time over a few beers recounting that adventure and swapping stories of other travels. But I soon realized that he took the scamdemic seriously, as did Dan in Australia. They knew I didn’t see things their way, and I saw no point in continuing to correspond and talking about the weather, and they probably felt the same way, because we’ve been out of touch for nearly two years.
But the main figure of this composition is a fellow from New Zealand, whom I met in 1980 in Yokohama, before boarding a ferry with a small group of Australians for a two-day voyage to Nakhodka, a city on the remote Russian east coast, where we began an epic journey on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Although Quentin was quite a bit older than me, we enjoyed each other’s company. He was an easygoing man with a good sense of humor who shrugged off the many inconveniences we experienced on that unforgettable trip. We kept in touch, and the following year he traveled around the U.S. alone, and while in New York stayed at my place for a few days. In 1983 he returned the favor when I visited that part of the world, spending eighteen days in New Zealand, a most pleasant country. While at his lakeside cottage, where he lived alone, his son Richard, who was a few years younger than me, stopped by. He too seemed like a nice guy, and I could see that they had a close relationship. Richard told me he was a journalist, stationed part of the year in Europe and the Mideast, as I recall, though I forget who he worked for.
Quentin and I exchanged Christmas cards every year, and he always sent me a calendar with New Zealand’s scenic attractions. It was a nice, unbroken tradition. I caught up with him again about fifteen years ago, when he was in his seventies, at the beginning of a coast to coast Amtrak trip, stopping off here and there. This time he was with a group of senior kiwis, and while in New York they were staying at the Algonquin Hotel. I took the train into the city and we had coffee there. I enjoyed seeing him again, as we reminisced about our experiences on the world’s longest train ride and other trips we’d taken.
Pushing ninety, Quentin recently went to an assisted living home in Christchurch. We still exchange birthday and Christmas greetings, but now I hear more from Richard, who sends Quentin’s circle of friends around the world occasional updates on how his father is doing, always with a few photographs. These emails also inform me about the “facts on the ground” in New Zealand regarding Covid. Being a journalist, it doesn’t surprise me that Richard has swallowed the whole lockdown and vaccination enchilada. Sometimes I reply to his emails without going too deeply into the matter. A year ago, one of his updates was accompanied by a photo of Quentin wearing one of those cute “I’ve had my Covid vaccine!” stickers on his shirt. Later came the news, in August 2021, that Auckland, where he lives part of the year, was going into full-scale lockdown, with police and military manning checkpoints at all roads leading in and out of this, NZ’s largest city, and preventing drivers from leaving. This came on the heels of some of the world’s harshest lockdown measures implemented in 2020 by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The new decree meant that Richard was unable to visit his father for four months, the restriction being lifted in December 2021, but he had no objections, believing it to be for the common good.
On New Years Day this year, I emailed Richard, taking care not to antagonize him, though I couldn’t resist throwing a barb at our illustrious president: “….I’m glad you finally got to see your dad after months of lockdown restrictions. I imagine your prime minister Jacinda is not very popular, as is the case with the vegetable Joe Biden here. I have some very strong opinions about all this Covid crap from the start, but I don’t know where you stand on it so it’s probably best that I don’t air them here….” He promptly replied: “….Contrary to what you would imagine, our prime minister has huge popularity rankings – the highest for a prime minister since the second world war. Over 90% of New Zealanders support the stance the government takes here re Covid and nearly 95% of eligible Kiwis are double-vaccinated. We live in a very compliant and socially responsible society here! I know there are many different views about Covid and the pandemic – my brother doesn’t believe it really exists [good for your brother! – JM] – but whatever the views, it has totally disrupted the entire world for the past two years….I know politics is a huge topic and we should probably stay clear of that I reckon!…..”
Well, I reckon too. Very compliant and socially responsible indeed. I’m skeptical about the 90% and 95% he cites, but who knows, those figures might be accurate. In New Zealand, sheep – I mean real sheep – outnumber the human population five to one, so is it possible that they’ve taken on some of the traits of that meek animal, so easily converted into lamb chops? Now I’m just being silly, but I’m serious about the situation there. If the great majority of kiwis are so stupid as to hold Jacinda Ardern in high esteem, they’re in big trouble. You can think what you want about this woman. I say she’s a witch with impeccable leftist credentials, a female version of the Canadian bastard Justin Trudeau. She is, in fact, a protege of Klaus Schwab and his globalist World Economic Forum, and I’m sure she takes her marching orders from those hidden wirepullers.
I received the following email from Richard on March 15th:
Dear all: I’m writing to let you know dad has tested positive for Covid. He was diagnosed earlier today and is being well looked after and doing well. The staff at Briarcliff Manor are doing all they can to contain the outbreak – so far 16 residents have tested positive. All positive residents are in isolation and managing ok so far. The nurses, care staff, and management are working around the clock and doing a fantastic job. I telephoned dad a short time ago to see how he is doing and he answered with “Hello, it’s Covid Charlie here.” He definitely hasn’t lost his sense of humour! He tells me all the nurses coming into his room are wearing yellow plastic gowns and wearing large helmets and face visors. He asks each one of them where they have parked their UFO! I’m flying down to Christchurch on Thursday morning and hope I will get the chance to visit him in the coming days. The home is understandably closed to all visitors for the time being, but there is a chance of maybe being able to visit on compassionate grounds. I am keeping my fingers crossed. In the meantime, I’m happy to report dad is comfortable, eating and drinking well, and his symptoms so far are mild. He is in good spirits and taking the diagnosis in his stride.
He followed up four days later, telling everyone that after a few rough days, Quentin is doing very well, and that all residents except for two had tested positive for Covid. The staff have been working very hard to deal with the outbreak, he added, and several tested positive and are home sick or else off work and self-isolating because of their close contacts with the infected. Things are very tough right now at Briarcliff, and there’s a strict no visitors policy, which he understands.
Well, well, what do you know. All residents and staff, presumably, had been double-vaxxed, if not also boostered, and the great majority still tested positive for Covid. And this doesn’t seem to faze Richard at all. Nor, living in his journalistic fantasy world, does he have a clue about the absurdity and meaninglessness of a positive Covid test result. It has always been common for people living or working in close quarters to infect each other with a transient illness. Before 2020, we would say, “There’s a bug going around.” Now everything is Covid, Covid, Covid.
It’s purely a coincidence that the southeast quarter of the U.S., which is nicknamed the “Bible Belt” for its heavy concentration of church-going Christian Fundamentalists, also sees the most tornado activity due to its flat terrain (though several midwestern Plains states are also tornado-prone). These violent storms are a regular occurrence, especially in the Spring, and often cause a considerable loss of life and property. I don’t know how those affected can go on believing in a just and merciful God, and keeping their faith in Jesus to protect them, especially after seeing their churches turned to rubble, but people can perform all kinds of mental gymnastics, they can rationalize anything. And we see the same with many of the injected faithful, who even after suffering crippling side effects insist that everyone should get the shot, and sometimes curse the unvaccinated for their own condition.
These Bible Belt Christians not only picture God as a Big Daddy in the sky with a beard and a hairy chest, they also believe in his nemesis, Satan, a sort of vaporous horned devil that creeps into human souls by osmosis, and tempts them into doing naughty things. We seem to have the world’s highest percentage of religious nuts, many millions of whom literally believe in Satan. Now I do think that all of us have occasionally felt an impulse to do something we know is wrong, or even evil, just as I believe that there are micro-organisms that can cause fever and respiratory distress. But to be frightened about a likely nonexistent virus which, even if real, poses no special risk, is as primitive as being on the lookout for Satan, or what savages would consider evil spirits. And I believe that getting an injection to ward off this dubious virus is no less crazy, though much more dangerous, than the practice of exorcism, the ritual casting out of Satan by specially anointed holy men. Perhaps in the future some enterprising huckster will invent a spiritual vacuum cleaner to suck Satan out of people through their skin pores. That would be about as scientific as testing positive for Covid, which so many people dread.
Lastly, I wish to say that, despite his optical illusions, Richard is a nice man and a devoted son. I have mixed feelings about writing this. I would never think of offending or embarrassing him, which is why I used fictitious names in this true story. (March 28, 2022)