Understanding COVID vaccine hesitancy, neurobiological diversity, the nocebo effect, and mental health fall out from mandates and political propaganda
Guest Post by Jon Samson MA MTBA
Dear Medical Freedom Community,
A few months ago, I reached out to Lucia Sinatra, co-founder of No College Mandates — because I was deeply moved by her courageous advocacy work —but asked her to please keep our discussions confidential until I was ready to speak out. Sound familiar? Like many people, I felt terrified of expressing my opinion about certain public health issues out in the open — and I’m not just talking about Covid vaccine mandates.
Thankfully —Lucia’s bravery is contagious —as is the courage all the students and professionals who have stepped forward to share their concerns and experiences. It gave me the strength to finally empty myself of what I believe a lot of us have been thinking and feeling throughout the pandemic, and prior.
So —without further ado, here is my contribution to the conversation — and please keep in mind— my main goal here is to find common ground between Pro Vax and Anti Vax — for healing.
Understanding COVID vaccine hesitancy, neurobiological diversity, the nocebo effect, and mental health fall out from mandates and political propaganda
While training to become a music therapist at the NYU Graduate Program for Music Therapy in 2003 — the first impactful thing I learned was the answer to this seemingly simple question: “What is the opposite of depression”? I assumed the obvious answer was “happy” or some synonym, but from a creative arts therapy standpoint —that missed the mark. The greatest “ah ha!” moment of my life — and origin story of my career, was when my supervisor uttered these words: “The opposite of depression is expression”. When we do not use our voices, emotionally express or digest our thoughts and feelings — it is generally because we don’t feel safe. Fear makes us hold our breath, and once the organic rhythms of the respiratory system become depressed, there is a lot more happening in the body and mind than a mere lack of happiness.
In the 2019 article “How do our emotions affect our immune response?” Maria Cohut, Ph.D. cites a Pennsylvania State University Study which only confirms basic common sense — our capacity to feel safe influences our immune system and overall health. Considering the level of vaccine hesitancy (including those who chose to vaccinate despite feeling unsure), it begs the question —why do so many people not feel safe, even when governments are mandating a medical procedure to protect all of us?
Despite being a board certified music therapist —as a human—I have felt reluctant to share my views, as I have been quite afraid of upsetting people, losing friends or clients, embarrassing family, being judged, targeted, scapegoated, ostracized, marginalized, outcast, shunned, abandoned, cancelled and labeled a selfish science denying anti-vaxxer conspiracy narcissist who doesn’t care about the community— what can I say, even therapists can have a fear of rejection.
Before I go further, I must clarify — I am not looking to spread vaccine hesitancy. As a fan of science and student of public health and the human condition, I can’t help but be mesmerized by the concept and process of not just vaccination, but it’s predecessors, inoculation and variolation. While Dr. Edward Jenner is credited with creating the worlds first successful vaccine in 1796, insufflation, which was the insertion of powdered smallpox scabs up the nose —was believed to be practiced as far back as the 10th century —though most historical information on the origin of vaccines before 1550 is more subject to interpretation.
Regardless, introducing a foreign agent into the body to teach the immune system how to identify and fight off an invasion is not only brilliant, the concept applies to other areas of health and metaphysics as well. Everything from exposure therapy in a clinical setting to the moment-to-moment unfoldment of day to day life, we are constantly being exposed to thoughts, feelings, ideas and experiences which help prepare us for whatever comes next. So whether it’s a vaccination or an idea for contemplation, our body system and belief system are ideally learning and working together to become stronger, more adaptable and resilient. However, once a person doesn’t feel safe —for any reason at all, even something that could be beneficial or potentially life saving can seem like a threat.
My intention is to share some points that can help those who have dismissed the unvaccinated as uneducated and immoral—gain a deeper understanding of why they don’t feel safe — and how mandates, political propaganda and hatred from others have only made the vaccine hesitant even more skeptical and mistrusting of the people in charge of science.
With all the focus and emphasis nowadays on inclusion and diversity, one of the most critical aspects, neurobiological diversity, has been sidestepped in the name of “science”. Yet different bodies have different immune systems, nervous systems and over arching constitutions. Certain body types handle vaccines very well, while others suffer damage. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS)— would not exist otherwise. There is no escaping duality — vaccines save lives— and they can also seriously injure or kill.
According to the official CDC website, “VAERS received 17,749 preliminary reports of death among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine.” Some discredited scientific experts have laid out detailed claims that those numbers are grossly under estimated, though even one death is a tragedy. While it has been argued that statistically, Covid vaccines help more than they hurt, that doesn’t prevent someone with doubts from feeling like they’re being forced to play Russian Roulette with their health— without any room for discussion or the right to choose.
While most people are aware of the “Placebo Effect”, the “Nocebo Effect” is not as commonly discussed, yet vital to understanding why mandates are so harmful to the hesitant. With the placebo effect, those who are trusting of the vaccines are more likely to do well with the injection, regardless of actual efficacy. The nocebo effect, however, scientifically supports the fact that those who do not feel safe or positive about taking the vaccines are more likely to suffer damage. Whether it’s imagined or from genuine medical trauma, if a person doesn’t feel safe, their entire psychological, emotional and physiological eco-system is in jeopardy. Being in a chronic state of fear and being thrust into a survival crisis while branded ignorant, immoral, self centered and even deserving of death — is enough to drive a person mad.
The Administration claimed to enforce mandates to protect lives from the potential of fatal exposure to Covid, yet the mandates by design inflicted immediate and irreparable damage to the livelihoods of so many. Losing one’s job, education, home, ability to see family — losing one’s place in society —these are tragedies of devastating proportion, seem like crimes against humanity to those inflicted, and inevitably impact mental health, if not physical health as well.
There is no getting around it — even if the vaccines were 100% safe and effective, the need for mandates are a symptom of a lack of trust and safety cultivated between government and its citizens. The only way these mandates could work effectively— is if Big Pharma and all institutions involved in public health (and finances) had a completely untarnished record of serving the good of the country with transparency and accountability — but history tells another story.
The “Opioid Crisis” didn’t happen in a vacuum. It wasn’t just the Sacklers. Or Monsanto. And whatever happened to Baby Powder? Now there’s a clear example of something everyone trusted for generations — but as it turns out, caused cancer. The FDA attempted to get court approval to withhold crucial Covid vaccine data for 75 years. If something as simple and seemingly innocent as baby powder could take decades to reveal itself as harmful, is it not rational to question whether a complicated new technology like an mRNA vaccine might pose certain risks evolving science may not account for within the first few years of rollout? But let’s keep zooming out for a birds eye view of public health.
In the name of science and healthy eating guidelines, the government and the food industry produced a “Food Pyramid” riddled with misinformation, and have been pumping high fructose corn syrup and disease causing chemicals into the American diet since at least the 1970’s. The unethical and inhumane treatment of livestock in farm factories doesn’t only cause pain, suffering, illness and death for the animals. It’s well known the consumption of these meats pumped with hormones and harmfully addictive additives engineered by medical scientists cause all sorts of health issues in humans and our pets.
The food approved for school cafeterias, hospitals and all mainstream institutions is a recipe for obesity, diabetes and so many other conditions that result from chronic inflammation due to high acidity, chemicals and over processed ingredients. These health challenges are precisely what make a person more likely to die of Covid. The entire “low fat” movement that was pushed by the mainstream health experts, backed by science and government, misled people into thinking avoiding healthy fats was a good idea — all the while our brains are fueled by lipids. I’d sure love to see a study on mental health stats cross paralleled with healthy fat intake across a broad spectrum of people suffering with mental health challenges. Perhaps they can start by implementing healthy fat focused diets in mental hospitals? Yeah, right.
The needless suffering people endure as a direct consequence of pure greed of those who are in power is sickening — literally.
The healthcare and food industry is riddled with misleading marketing designed to generate profits at the expense of public health. This is the world in which we live —the result of generations of leaders and loopholes protecting special interests while fueling the division in this country with hateful propaganda to keep us angry, vengeful, frightened and distracted from the real source of the problems — the wealth gap, trickle down economics, you know, that old systemic chestnut, racism not withstanding.
But speaking of racism, Harriet A. Washington, an African American author and medical ethicist, wrote a book called: “Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans From Colonial Times to the Present.” The title says it all. But if you’re unfamiliar, try googling “The Tuskegee Study” if you can’t understand why some African Americans have such long standing fears about medical government. A not-such-fun fact —is that slavery was perpetuated via medical misinformation. The authorities at the time claimed black people experience less pain because they are a different species and are less prone to mental illness, therefore fit for slavery.
Just a few short decades ago, doctors were in commercials promoting cigarettes —so when someone raises the question of believing in science — it’s more so about the distrust many people like myself have in the people in charge of the science, not science itself. I honestly find it epically perplexing that Big Pharma —leading up to the Pandemic—had a SLEW of lawsuits against them for fatal damage caused by misinformation around their products (and still do)—somehow managed to turn it all around so that ordinary citizens with rational concerns and awareness of public health history are blamed for ignorantly believing or spreading misinformation. Hello?
One thing that is indisputable —is that public health and safety measures have not yielded a healthy nation. The health stats in this country are atrocious, but the profit margins for the elite corporations are robust. That’s not a conspiracy theory, that’s a fact. The only true immunity achieved from the vaccines was that Big Pharma is fully protected from liability — making the mandates ever more gaslighting, if not outright non sensical. Also worth noting, for those who are convinced that all people who don’t trust the Covid vaccines are Trump supporters — need I remind you it was Trump who granted Big Pharma immunity, just like Ronald Reagan did in The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986.
The thing that breaks my heart the most — is seeing how easily and readily people HATE one another because of the divisive narratives and fear tactics. During the peak of the first wave of the pandemic, left wing media outlets released a series of images of morbidly obese people who weren’t vaccinated, dying of Covid — and in the comments section, were countless jabs like “good, they deserve it” (with some added profanity). Oh the humanity.
As someone who grew up in South Africa in the 1980’s — who also lost family in the holocaust during World War II, I really don’t have to stretch my imagination to spot apartheid tactics when they’re being implemented.
There has not been a sufficient conversation about the impact Covid vaccine mandates have had on our collective mental health and how this medical apartheid has further cemented the division in this country. No matter how effective the vaccines are (or aren’t) — the mandates gave those who hate the unvaccinated a moral victory — permission to look at ordinary citizens with rational concerns about corrupt institutions as the ones to blame. “This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated” says it all. Really think critically —such a catchy tagline —does that sound like something designed to inspire the vaccine hesitant to get their shots, or is that more so effective at alienating and dividing? That is the power of propaganda.
Furthermore, and please forgive the analogy, but the government offering money to people for getting the shot — bribing them — comes across like the proverbial candy bar being offered to the kid at the playground by the nice man with more candy in his truck.
As someone who happens to be a ginormous Star Trek nerd, I am a big fan of Spock’s words in “The Wrath Of Khan”: “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”. Spock willingly sacrificed his life by entering the radiation filled warp engine because he knew for a fact if he didn’t fix the problem, everyone else would die. That’s inspiring heroism. In the real world, however, we must first be able to agree what exactly the true needs of the many are, and whether the risks people are being forced to take will genuinely help the collective meet those needs.
The entire narrative of “get your shot to protect the community” did not age well, as we now know from Pfizer —directly —the vaccines were never actually tested for whether they prevent transmission— which they don’t — given the number of “breakthrough cases”. Worth noting, however, vaccines did significantly correlate in time with a decrease mortality- especially for older people. Whether that was because they worked or because the virus was less dangerous or some combination there of- I’m not qualified to say. Point is —this is not an all or nothing situation.
Along with mainstream media, Biden himself pledged that if people took the shot, the virus would stop right there and then — and anyone who makes the argument that if people all just took the vaccine from the get go, it wouldn’t have spread —are sidestepping the reality of the emotional climate in this country, and haven’t been exposed to the full spectrum of studies and data that have rolled out due to lack of mainstream media coverage.
Dr John Campbell, whose videos have been viewed more than 550 million times, offers a compelling argument that questions why the spike protein itself was selected as the primary agent of the Covid vaccines, as they are most likely to lose the battle if the virus mutates. There are other components that could have been utilized that would be equally effective in creating an immune response —but that are more resilient against mutation. I have absolutely no idea how accurate that is, but are we allowed to discuss it?
Why is it that well published medical and scientific professionals with multi-decade careers have been de-platformed for discussing scientifically valid phenomena like natural immunity and alternative ways of treating or preventing serious complications from Covid? Since when in history did censorship ever truly protect Truth? Why are doctors in California being threatened to lose their medical license unless they follow a specific protocol regarding Covid? Why would a licensed doctor need to be told how to treat patients at all?
I know several people who did not get vaccinated — got Covid, and recovered quickly. They also happen to be people who take impeccable care of themselves and don’t eat mass produced food products that have little to no nutritional value — but I’m no doctor or scientist — I just notice what I notice.
We were told by the experts the spike proteins would stay localized in the body, but now know they have been found in breast milk, and so the Covid vaccine recommendations around pregnant and nursing mothers have changed. Yes, science changes, I get that part — but mandates don’t leave the headroom for that. And can you believe I’ve gotten this far without mentioning myocarditis?
College students — those who are least likely to die of Covid and more likely to suffer from heart related Covid vaccine injury — are still being subject to booster mandates in many colleges across the country. This is far beyond what the current CDC guidelines call for, and conflicts with what’s now widely accepted — which is that boosters are more needed for the elderly or immune compromised. An organization by the name of No College Mandates — co founded by trained lawyer and mother, Lucia Sinatra, has built a community of thousands of concerned students and parents with very real and heart breaking stories of injury — and their only goal is to attain the right to choose.
This may be difficult to believe, but just to reiterate, I have no interest in spreading vaccine hesitancy. I’m simply hoping the people who have dismissed and blindly hate the unvaccinated — can gain a deeper understanding of the thought process and deeply difficult feelings that inform such resistance.
Whenever we reduce anything to extreme polarities — right or wrong — black or white — we miss opportunities to understand things from a wider angle. We limit the size of our reality when we refuse to see from different points of view. Understanding leads to trust and safety — so perhaps when it comes time to take a new vaccine in the future, there will be less fear, hatred and division, particularly if mainstream experts and leaders can leave room for healthy debate and to validate grounded concerns.
It’s tormentingly scary, spirit crushing and heart shattering to not feel safe or agree with government, mainstream medical institutions, and especially, to think differently than the people in our families and circles of friends —about what should be a matter of informed consent, personal choice and neurobiological diversity.
Here is my expression of all this, in song form:
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Beautifully written. Thank you for giving voice to the millions who refused to be coerced and peer pressured into giving up their RIGHT to body autonomy. It is hard to find a path back to forgiveness for the harms that were done due to a manufactured hysteria, at the hands of greedy and self-serving bureaucrats and corporate heads and a medical industry that is beyond corrupt. Bad news is that everyone sees it now, even the most arduous cultists but they are too stubborn or stupid or a combination of both to admit they were duped. It matters little. There will continue to be fall out for those who orchestrated and perpetuated and became nice little commissars in the insanity of covid jabbs and mandates.
Well-said, I haven't seen anyone put forth this aspect of the past 3 years as you have beautifully articulated. The song is beautiful and heartfelt, thank you!