"Be safe, Mr Moller!" the receptionist called out as I headed for the exit.
Her kind statement was like a red rag to a bull. I know she was referring to the virus, although there is no "virus" currently in New Zealand (you know the one I'm talking about. I won't talk too much about it by name in this article because my web rankings will suffer even more from "Shadow Banning" by some of the Big Tech companies). I could not resist the challenge. The poor woman!
"We are already too safe," I replied.
"Did you know that there comes a point where the safer we become, the less safe we actually are?" (I'll devote an article to this idea about safety soon).
She looked confused.
"Let, me explain: if I was to wrap myself in cotton wool, hide at home and take no risks, I'll be bored out of my brain, and depressed. I'll become frail. Dementia will set in. Eventually, I'll trip, fall, break a hip, end up in hospital, get an embolism and die of pneumonia. If I was to become a germaphobe, as the health authorities seem to want me to be, my immune system will weaken and I'll eventually die a miserable death from something like septicemia or the flu. To be a resilient person, regardless of age, we must expose ourselves to stress, including bugs - we must take risks if we are to be resilient creatures. By hiding from the world, by failing to understand how we fit within a healthy, competitive ecosystem, we cease to live as true human-beings. If we are too safe, life becomes boring and rather meaningless. Death is premature, protracted and miserable".
"That's really interesting," she replied.
"Think about the pandemic," I replied: "What is your risk of contracting the virus? Pretty close to nil because there is no virus in New Zealand right now. And, if you were to catch the virus, what is the risk of dying at your age? What is there to be scared about?"
"Not much at all, I guess," she replied.
"Well, you are young and healthy. The average age of those dying is about 85 which is above average life expectancy. Go figure that one! Being a young person, your risk of dying, if you were to catch it, is a miniscule 0.02%. But you have to catch it first. If you were to optimise your vitamin D, and take some zinc and vitamin C, your chances of dying, if you catch it, reduce about another 90%. Think about that. Right now, your risk of dying from this virus is probably the same as getting struck by lightning!"
"So, why are we all in such a panicked rush to get a vaccine that is untested, which we know is harming and killing some of its recipients? Well-intended medical procedures which turned out to be terrible litter the annals of history; take blood-letting, thalidomide, Vioxx, or the current opiate medicines scandal as examples off the top of my head. With these new genetics-based vaccines, it may be ten years, or even a generation from now before we really get to understand their safety profile".
"In the blind and panicked rush to make us feel safe, we are causing more harm than prevented while allowing the State to intrude into our personal affairs and restrict our freedoms. I think we have gone far too far already. It is madness. It is gross stupidity. We have wasted fifty billion dollars with nothing to show for it. Think of all the houses we could have built. Think of the upgrades to the health system we could have made. To infrastructure. To schools. To reduce poverty. Think of all the ways we could have strengthened business, introduced new technology - how we could have empowered our economy with that kind of money. Wasted! Your children own the debt we have created and they will struggle to pay it off over their lifetimes - not you or me".
"As a country, we are less physically and mentally healthy than before the Pandemic struck. Health services are beyond their limits. More people are unwell and dying, because of our Pandemic Response. If we had invested in health instead of lockdowns, masks and vaccines alone, then nobody needs to die from this virus. Think about that!"
"I don't know about you, but I'm not getting the vaccine. I'm investing in my health. I'm going to wait and see what eventuates. Is it safe relative to the risk of catching the disease? There is a lot of water to flow under the bridge this coming year and there is no virus in New Zealand. So, what's the rush to inject an untested drug into our bodies?"
"Sure, vaccinate the old people, if we must, but leave everyone of child-bearing age, as well as children, alone for now".
Our one-sided conversation finished about then. I rode my bike home, braving the peak hour traffic on the narrow Wellington streets. To everyone's relief, I got home safely, but the fact I survived the terror of the streets did not make the headlines of the evening news. I am disappointed.