Facebook is a menace. COVID-19 is a menace. Conservatism is a cesspool. Together, those three ingredients have created a toxic stew of malevolent death and devastation. We can talk about all those things in the abstract, look at the numbers and statistics, catch the occasional whiff of seditionist right-wing rhetoric. But I hadn’t really fully understood just how horrifying that combination of right-wing extremism, Facebook, and a killer virus was until I became a regular at the Herman Cain Awards subreddit.
Yesterday we looked at the Facebook timeline of a right-wing COVID casualty. Today, we’ll look at another, not to mock or laugh or engage in schadenfreude, but so that we can all have that vivid and visceral reminder of the evil that conservatism and Facebook are foisting on the world. You can read the rest of this series here.
Today’s unfortunate case study is Brandy.
Brandy was totally not worried about COVID, but she was worried about the Nazi-style tactics of, uh, confirming someone had taken a life-saving vaccine amid a global pandemic.
There was a bizarre belief among right-wingers during the 2020 election cycle that COVID talk was really all a ploy to make Trump look bad. Any attempt to point to the death toll was met with “the flu kills more people every year” fiction. It really was all a hoax to damage Dear Leader.
It’d be futile to try and reason with these people, to show them the real death totals from the flu, or that decisions on reopening businesses had nothing to do with an election that had actually been decided two months prior, but instead on flattening the curve (and simple economic desperation). Facebook was happy to host and spread these conspiracies.
Paul Walker was an actor best known for the Fast and Furious franchise, who then drove his Porsche fast and furiously into a tree—driving around 90 MPH in a 45 MPH zone. Because of the children in Haiti. And Hillary. This is classic QAnon bullshit.
Meanwhile, Michelle Obama is trans ha ha ha ha ugh. These people are vile.
There’s a weird tic in these right-wing memes. They say something pretty stupid, and then a dramatic: “let that sink in.” Or: “think about it.” But clearly, these people aren’t thinking about it.
I mean, if you want to think about it, in order to vote you still need to register to vote and be enrolled in the voter rolls. So if the government asked people to register their vaccination in order to do stuff, like fly or take the train or eat at a restaurant, how would that be any different?
But of course, there’s a new shift. Just a month prior, COVID was going away because it was just an election-season ploy to damage Trump. Except that COVID didn’t go away, so they move on to the next conspiracy, pretending that the first (now-discredited) one never happened.
Also, cancer is not a virus.
Brandy wasn’t afraid. She trusted a mythology that stated that a god exists, but had nothing to do with the creation of the vaccine. She worried about losing her constitutional rights, but not her life to COVID. And then, two weeks after declaring that lack of fear ….
“Only God knows why these things happen?” No, we all know why. It’s no secret. There’s a global coronavirus pandemic killing millions of people. Most of the world doesn’t have the privilege that we have here in the United States with access to three life-saving vaccines—at no cost! If they trusted in their god, they would trust that he sent them a vaccine to spare their lives.
What a stupid, senseless death. A daughter lost her mom—for what, to own the libs? And the irony? These people hate us liberals so much that they mock and insult and wish death upon us. And how do we respond? By begging them to take a life-saving vaccine.
Let that sink in.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.