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Crumbling Discourse in Society

October 6, 2021

Our society seems to be going off the rails. I am not sure where the problem is rooted, but people have become more and more intolerant of views expressed by others in recent years to the point that I think it is harmful. I have seen friends become enemies. I have seen people rebuked for merely having a different opinion on a topic. Any day of the week, you can visit Twitter and see some of the nastiest, hateful exchanges between people. Twitter isn’t alone, of course. The same thing exists on Facebook. And it is because of the hateful exchanges I’ve seen that I do not have account on either platform any longer.

Before I closed those accounts, though, I had many animated discussions with people on different topics. Some people participating in the conversation agreed with my opinions and some did not. Personally, I appreciate the fact that others have a different opinion than my own, since hearing their views helps me to expand my thinking about whatever issue is being discussed. However, there were some people who had absolutely to tolerance for any view except their own. And it was sad, too, because most of those people who were so bigoted in their thinking called themselves “liberals”. Liberals, they were not.

In 2021, it is clear that the free exchange of ideas is still being oppressed by these types of bigots. One of the platforms I was using was “Nextdoor”. For those unfamiliar with Nextdoor, they are a community-oriented site where people have discussions about things happening in their town or the neighborhood. I had not visited the site for a few days, but tonight when I went to log in I was greeted with this notice.

I was being falsely accused of violating community guidelines, specifically in sharing “misinformation.” I had not been involved in any heated exchanges with people, but I was involved in discussions related to vaccinating children. There are some in my neighborhood who want to require all kids to get the new COVID-19 vaccine. I believe we should not force it on them until we know more about the effects. Is my opinion “misinformation”?

It might due to the references I used to support my position. On the CDC’s web site, they show that children are not nearly as affected by COVID-19 as older adults. In fact, as of today they show the total number of deaths of children aged 0 to 17 at 499 people, whereas the same page shows that the number of children who have died from pneumonia is 1010. We also know, generally, who in that age group is most at risk, as the CDC has published that information, too. The research is pretty clear about it.

And my concern about vaccinating children is a concern shared by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation in the UK. They wrote:

For persons aged <18 years old who do not have underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19, there is more uncertainty in the precision of the harm-benefit balance when considering the impacts on children and young people themselves.

My concern is also shared by Pfizer, too. In a document published October 2021, they wrote the following:

The number of participants in the current clinical development program is too small to detect any potential risks of myocarditis associated with vaccination. Long-term safety of COVID-19 vaccine in participants 5 to <12 years of age will be studied in 5 post-authorization safety studies, including a 5-year follow-up study to evaluate long term sequelae of post-vaccination myocarditis/pericarditis.

In short, they need five years to determine whether it is safe for children.

My expression of caution is clearly shared by medical experts. Even so, the bigots who police Nextdoor falsely claimed that my opinion, with data points taken from the CDC and linked directly, is “misinformation”.

Well, this is one more social media platform I will not be using. It’s sad that our society is so full of intolerant, bigoted individuals. What’s worse, though, is that they lie. I did not publish “misinformation”. Apparently, though, I published information with which they did not agree.

How can we function as a society when conversions are shut down by intolerant, bigoted individuals like those at Nextdoor?

More importantly, how many deaths like this, this, this, and this will there be among children due to vaccines the government claims are “safe”? Perhaps we will know once research is conducted on what is actually causing the adverse side-effects.

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Paul E. Jones

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