top of page

I wish I had said something!

I overheard a conversation while waiting in line to get a flu shot. In this line, you could choose

to get a flu shot, a COVID shot, or both. About eight people away from me in the line, a woman

was (loudly) talking with an older couple about various male friends and relatives who had

become ill or even debilitated shortly after receiving the COVID shot. After each statement from her, either the man or the woman in the older couple would express some sympathy. ‘Oh, that’s no fun.’ Or, ‘I hope he got better.’ Or, ‘sometimes people get sick.’ Until the loud woman said that she was pretty sure that the shot caused it. Then, the man said, ‘my daughter is a biophysicist and I am a physicist. My wife is (some kind of scientist). We don’t think the shots caused these.’ And the woman in the couple said, ‘I would only trust peer-reviewed papers on this.’  And the man said, ‘And I haven’t seen any papers confirming a cause-and-effect.’

I had so many thoughts during this. 

I, too, am a trained experimental and theoretical scientist.

And the loud woman was clearly not. And the older couple weren’t being mean to her; at no

time did they insult her or tell her she was stupid or unqualified to make her statements of

causation. And yet…

And yet, I know that data was either not released by the vaccine companies and various health

organizations, or it wasn’t recorded. I know that scientists and medical doctors such as Martin

Kulldorf and Jay Battacharya were silenced and insulted by social media companies, their

fellow academics, and by officials in public health. I know that Dr. John Campbell, a nurse in

research and practice in the UK, has gone through a process of disillusionment as he’s seen

data coming out to contradict virtually every positive thing said by drug companies and health

officials with respect to the COVID vaccines and their efficacy as well as side effects.

So, I struggled with my thoughts. I ended up not speaking up, partially because they were ten

feet away from me in the line and I felt it would be rude to yell, partially because I wasn’t sure

at the time how to express my thoughts, partially because I was afraid to be seen as a skeptic.

I wish that I had — the loud woman deserved my support, especially because she isn’t trained

and thus her observations could easily be discounted, and they were just anecdotes. But shehad questions, she was trying to understand, and that is the essence of science. And maybe

the older couple just didn’t know that there is more, and valid, information out there.

I hope I will speak up next time. I hope I will overcome my reservations and my fear. For now,

loud woman, I’m sorry I didn’t. You deserved better from me.

bottom of page