[Point de vue] Italy reintegrates its unvaccinated caregivers, France “resists”

1er last November, Italy therefore unconditionally endorsed the reinstatement of the caregivers unvaccinated due to “shortage of medical and health personnel”. This highly political decision is however a logical outcome, when you know that being vaccinated does not prevent the virus from being transmitted around you.

But how did all this come together initially, in the absence of evidence of effectiveness? I will illustrate with a dramatic story how medical science can sometimes go astray, based on beliefs and arguments of authority. Around 1975, not so long ago, the precept was enacted from the United States, based on vague theoretical arguments, that it was medically necessary to put newborn babies on their stomachs. For 16 years, flying under the radar, a 300% increase in sudden infant death syndrome followed, evidenced after the fact by retrospective studies, in the late 1980s. The situation was corrected, but it took nearly twenty years and a massive worldwide death toll for this well-meaning medical doctrine, distilled by American doctors, to spread with “the rapidity of a flash in the pan” in the world entire, is rectified.

A tale by Andersen, The Emperor’s New Clothes, illustrates the mechanics of mimetic adhesion at work. The story of an emperor whom two crooks pretended to weave a cloth, explaining to him that it would be invisible to the eyes of idiots: no one wanted to appear stupid, everyone, including the king, was summoned to believe that this one wore a fine cloth, though their eyes saw a naked king. Until a child exclaims “But he’s naked!” and their eyes open.

The analogy here obviously relates to the rhetorical “dressing” of the real, made up of a corpus of ready-made “scientific” beliefs, exonerating themselves from the burden of proof, which often self-proclaimed scholars have assumed to enact their dictates (prohibition of caregivers unvaccinated, confinement, pass…), like an evening newspaper watering with its learned contempt those who do not adhere to their acts of faith and have the audacity to think that these wrens on the TV set are naked.

In 1971, a certain Franck Gross published an article on the very serious New England Journal of Medicine, concerning a disease he called “the emperor’s new clothes syndrome”, in reference to this tale. He described how an erroneous diagnosis can be confirmed by several doctors, by successive contaminations of the previous diagnosis, by successive mimetic contiguities, another name for conformism, “scientific” conformism, in this case.

In this way, Potemkin realities can be created, with heavy consequences, which the information systems of our time, moreover, distill into multiple domains. It’s counter-intuitive, but despite the appearance of heightened rationality, many scientists are not immune to this mimetic adherence.

But back to our caregivers not vaccinated. Through this repressive and inhuman behavior for health professionals, broken in their careers, stupid by the deprivation of thousands of health resources, France “is resisting”, pursuing a kind of headlong rush, no doubt driven by the pride, the hubris of not wanting to be wrong. Will it take twenty years, in France, like babies lying on their stomachs, to admit our mistakes?

[Point de vue] Italy reintegrates its unvaccinated caregivers, France “resists”