The simple answer is, yes because of the comments section. Whether it’s the Times or Facebook, little anonymous nerds point their dirty little fingers at the dusty keyboard and poke you in the eyes with their six-inch-long fingernails. But they forget to pass their brains and collect two hundred credits for coming up with a good comment.
I commented on a very good article defending the AstraZenica vaccine. I refused it because I had a choice of having another vaccine, the Dutch government having done a U-turn, 48 hours before my scheduled appointment. My main objection was that I didn’t understand why only people between 60 and 65 received the jab. This, despite my scientific background.
The comment got a reply,
Poor choice on your part. No one s to blame. I chose to have the AZ jab. Excellent choice. I would be very dubious of your claim of knowing how science works
Wow! A personal attack that took me back to the good old days when I spent hours on Facebook. I deleted my comment, but not its response. Two other people recommended the response, after the comment was deleted.
And there was I thinking I was wrong to have left Facebook; that it really was a democratic platform where people could comment after having read the original post, thus engaging in a stimulating and enriching experience.
Thrice no! How the responder could actually evaluate my knowledge of how science works, without knowing me, defies science itself. But the word “choice” made my left eyebrow cringe. My objection to the AstraZenica, however ill-founded it may have been, was based on bad communication between the Dutch government and its people – over why there was such a fuss concerning this particular vaccine. I would have had the jab, had I been faced with no choice.
This absence of choice for a vaccine that was not suited for anyone but someone like me didn’t concern the guy who commented. He chose to have AstraZenica shot into his biceps. Of course he did.
You cannot usually choose which vaccine you have. When you book, you’ll only be offered appointments for vaccines that are suitable for you. – NHS website
But what’s all the fuss? It’s only a comment, and it won’t change the world. My late father used to read the Times thrown into his letter box with missile-like precision by a spotty-faced teenager on a bike. I used to be addicted to the sports pages. It’s a nice way for me to “keep in touch” with a person I loved and admired. Not forgetting the fact that the Times is a bloody good newspaper. I just won’t comment again.