Teen death shows no depths to which anti-vaxxers will not stoop

Teen death shows no depths to which anti-vaxxers will not stoop. By Jack the Insider.

On August 21, Tom Van Dijk died after a cardiac arrest while swimming with his family. He had complained of chest pains and was transported by ambulance to Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital. The doctors there were unable to save him.

Tom was a Year 12 student at St Pius X College in Chatswood. His sudden death has shocked the school community. …

Tom’s death has been appropriated by anti-vax activists who have asserted without proof that he died as a result of receiving the Pfizer vaccine.

Such was the clamour from anti-vaxxers in the immediate aftermath of Tom’s death, that the school’s principal, John Couani, felt obliged to issue a statement that Tom had not received the vaccine. Not Pfizer, not Astra-Zeneca, not even a flu shot prior to his death. Tom was not eligible to be vaccinated for Covid-19 due to his age. While being treated at RNS, he had a Covid-19 test which was negative. …

The attempt to appropriate Tom’s death for the dismal cause of rabid anti-vaxxers is one of the worst examples of their activism I’ve come across.

Anti-vaxxers, lie, dissemble, fabricate and conflate. Anything to promote their miserable argument. We’ve become used to it. But this episode shows there are no limits, no moral line that cannot be wilfully crossed, no depths to which they will not sink.

Made it up to suit their beliefs:

Two days after Tom died and with the pain of an almost incomprehensible loss still raw, Virginia Nicholls, a former ABC journalist turned pharmaceutical executive, now retired, posted on her Twitter account, “A Year 12 student from a Sydney Catholic College has reportedly died of a heart attack shortly after receiving the Pfizer jab at the mass vaccination clinic at Homebush. A champion swimmer, he went into cardiac arrest after a swim. Unconfirmed reports of two other teen deaths.”

Her Twitter post stayed live for just 12 hours, roughly from midnight in the morning of August 23 to midday that day. She took the post down after she had received calls from approximately ten of Tom’s fellow students, many of them angry, all of them insistent that he had not been vaccinated. They were right and she was wrong. ..

It was all too little too late. By then Nicholls’ original post had found its way to some of the most rabid anti-vax activists in the country.

This has become a textbook case of how misinformation is created and how it becomes conflated and established as fact in the anti-vax world. Nicholls’ qualifying tweet was virtually ignored. …

A Sydney based anti-lockdown and anti-vax activist showed no circumspection. According to him Tom had died from Pfizer vaccine as had the other two unknown teens. His followers who number in the thousands demanded answers, undertook intrusive internet searches and finally as of Wednesday morning, started calling the school, sending emails to Mr Couani, including some faux legal nonsense insisting the principal and the school “cease and desist” from making any claim that Tom had not been vaccinated. …

Facebook accounts of anti-vaxxers went into overdrive, exhorting followers to contact the school to badger and harass people already shocked and grieving. …

By the way, those two phantom deaths almost mentioned as an afterthought were a concoction, another fabrication. As best I can tell those awful lies came from Info-Wars, the American far right conspiracy theory fake news web site run by Alex Jones.

However, the official sector encourages this dreadful behavior by lying by omission.

Only pro-vaccine information is allowed. Statistics are not kept on the problems, so there are only anecdotes. If no one is collecting statistics that might cast doubt on the vaccines, we are left with anecdotes. Lots of them. Stories of people keeling over or getting brain fog for weeks after being vaccinated, but never counted in any vaccine-related statistics unless they actually died of thrombosis. Videos of doctors and pathologists showing inflammation in tissue from vaccinated people. And so on. How many of the anecdotes are true? How many are there? No idea.

The official sector systematically downplays and hides news on the disadvantages of the vaccines, so of course people jump to conclusions.

The US has the best reporting system on vaccine side effects, and while far from perfect, the VAERS data strongly implies that these first-generation covid vaccines are exceptionally dangerous compared to other vaccines:

How much more dangerous? Very hard to say, even approximately, because apart from VAERS, we have only anecdotes.

However, the author above has a point about people who “lie, dissemble, fabricate and conflate.” Maybe it would be kinder to say that they are deluded, engaging in motivated reasoning — the friend of ideologues and the enemy of scientists everywhere — or perhaps even under the influence of CCP propaganda.

The anti-lockdown crew are the worst. First they told us it was “just the flu”. Then in April and May of 2020 they tried to convince us that we were already on the verge of herd immunity, because there were so many undetected asymptomatic cases. Any excuse to do nothing and let the virus spread. They persistently fail to understand that lockdown-to-elimination is the way to the most freedom and the least time in lockdown, if it can be achieved quickly and the borders are closed. Instead, they keep on with the illogical “they applied lockdown after just one case…” complaint. Well duh. This canard is just a big red flag that you are dealing with an ideologue. It must be obvious to all but the most unreasonable what the strategy is and that it worked in the handful of countries that applied it (at least until delta came along and people started flouting lockdowns). But they ignore the death and GDP statistics … and selective use of data is the hallmark of the ideologue. Their latest untruth is that Australia is under martial law (see here)! Incredible. In every case, the arguments are easily refuted by facts well known and easily accessible at the time. Sigh.