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OPINIONSocietyAugust 12, 2020

Emily Writes: Tackling all the terrible new Covid-19 takes in one go


Last night Jacinda Ardern and Ashley Bloomfield announced four cases of Covid-19 in the community. Within hours the online community transmission of dumb takes was going like wildfire. 

It didn’t take long did it? Before the anti-Covid God squad shit the bed and started screeching about how they’ll never wear a mask because, ah, freedom? Sometimes it feels absolutely pointless to try to challenge the views that are sprouting their ugly heads all over social media like some kind of stink poo garden. But it is worth it. These conspiracy theories aren’t just spreading falsehood and bizarreness. They’re harmful to the most vulnerable people in our team of five million.

Once upon a time, behaviour that wilfully and purposefully put people at risk was rightly criticised. With social media we are seeing more and more people joyfully celebrate Covid-19 outbreaks. This shouldn’t be a surprise to us given how some New Zealanders ignored the measles epidemic that killed 83 children and adults in Samoa. But if it is a surprise, that’s OK. The key is to swallow your horror and jump in. Fight fiction with fact and stand up for those who have no voice – those who are most at risk of viruses and pandemics.

I’ve been scrolling the internet. Here are all the dumb takes in one go to get you familiar and ready to put on your big pants and challenge the BS.

OMG I called it! TOLD YOU the rona would return and the guvamint would lock us down!

You know who else called it? A guy by the name of Ashley Bloomfield. Do you know him? Glasses, sandy hair, sad eyes? He said it in public, repeatedly, and by repeatedly I mean over and over and over and over and over.

“Ashley Bloomfield is warning community transmission of Covid-19 in New Zealand is inevitable, as the authorities try to break Kiwis out of complacency around the virus” – Seven days ago.

But he knew! That’s why! He was hiding it!

You know he keeps his job regardless of whether Covid-19 is in the community right? In fact, and this is going to blow your nugget wide open, he is more likely to lose his job if there’s an outbreak. So what is his motivation for hiding it? Do you think he gets a Coronabonus for every new case?

He hid it so Labour would win the election.

Oh yes, because Jacinda Ardern was famously doing so badly ahead of the election with *checks notes* support for Labour polling through the roof and on the brink of ruling alone.

But if nobody can campaign then that’s bad for Judith Collins!

OK maybe but I would argue that encountering Judith Collins risks lessening your chance of voting for her.

I won’t wear a mask! / You can’t force me to get tested! I have rites!

You sure do have rights. The right to not have me follow you around all day yelling “this person is a selfish fucking asshole who doesn’t give a shit about anyone but themselves”. I wouldn’t do that though. And here’s why: As human beings we enter a social agreement when we become adults. Are you a parent? You teach your child this social agreement as you grow up. If Little Tommy punches Little Jimmy in the face because he didn’t share his pack of tiny raisins you say to your child “You can’t just hit Little Jimmy. That’s not OK”. If Little Jimmy steals your kid’s raisins, you might say “Hey Little Jimmy, Those were Little Tommy’s raisins and you made him sad by just taking them. Do you think next time you can share?”

And you know what’s wild? Kids understand this even at three years old. Which makes me sad – you know why? Because you’re an adult and you don’t understand that we do things in life to protect each other. We wear a mask to say to the person serving us “you are a human being and even if I’m not entirely sure* of what masks do – I want you to know I’ve got your back”.

*Masks work. You not understanding how they work doesn’t actually change anything.

I’m willing to die for this cause.

No, you’re not Jana. You cry over your manicure not being the right shade of Conservative Party blue. The most uncomfortable you’ve ever been in your life was when you couldn’t get the poor woman at the MAC counter at Farmers to listen to your  bullshit story about how you cured your kid’s eczema with vagina yeast. Or how you can’t get a business to pay for your anal bleaching anymore because “Covid 19 ruined everything!”

You don’t even know the first thing about facing anything hard. And that’s part of why you’re like this. If you’d faced seeing your mother slowly die in a nursing home or watched your previously perfectly healthy husband being intubated or sat outside the surgery waiting room maybe you would know what real pain is. And you’d know you’d do anything to spare someone that. Even a stranger.

They only want community testing because they need to produce more tests.

Oh yes, the “there’s only community transmission because we tested for it” theory. You know how when your dog pisses on the floor you get told to hit them on the nose with a rolled up newspaper? You shouldn’t actually do that because dogs can’t understand why you’ve hit them. The same can be said for Covid-19 conspiracy theorists. You need to calmly tell them that they can’t piss inside. Sometimes they will understand, sometimes they won’t. This particular theory is hard to challenge because it’s so stupid. It relies on the belief that every nurse, doctor, health professional, every public servant, every journalist, every politician is working together to ensure you can’t go to pilates on Saturday. Sometimes the only challenge to this is to say – what is more believable? That a Covid-19 test will reveal Covid-19 if you have Covid-19 or Jacinda Ardern is a lizard?

Ask your friends who are doctors and nurses! They will tell you masks don’t work!

Joe Rogan is not a doctor. His job before he became the star of your wank bank was to commentate while people got punched in the face.

You know they pushed through full term abortions –

Didn’t happen.

You know if God was here –

When he said turn the other cheek he didn’t mean ignore our most vulnerable. He was actually talking about us ignoring you dingbats.

You don’t have to live in fear!

Correct. Because we are lucky enough to live in a country that isn’t run by conspiracy theorists. We are lucky enough to live in a country where people (for the most part) genuinely care about each other. We live in a country where we (mostly) understand that all human beings matter to someone. Maybe most people get better from Covid-19, but why don’t you care about all people? (The Venn Diagram between All Lives Matter and But Covid Only Kills Some People is a circle).

You keep saying only some will die from Covid. But your only is a grandmother who wanted to see her first grandchild. Your only is a brand new baby who hasn’t even smiled yet. Your only is a mother who survived cancer. Your only is a dad of five who is the hero in his family. Your only is a great-grand-father who survived the war but couldn’t survive your selfishness. Your only is my everything.

Wear a mask. Don’t be a dick.

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