Wanted: shepherds of the herd

FIGON | dinsdag 20 oktober 2020

We should focus on the influencers with their millions of followers to spread the word that not the self, but the community is at risk, Ed Moret argues.

The rich, the famous, the beautiful, do not understand what happened to them during the COVID19 pandemic and do not accept their inability to change it. They start searching for the truth and find a new religion: the religion of self. In this religion, the government, large corporations, medical establishment and mainstream media are the devil, denying the self to be free and to determine its own daily life.

These rich, famous, beautiful people are the missionaries of this religion of ‘believe in yourself’. They distrust authority and institutions. For years, the degree of vaccination in Beverly Hills has been as low as in South Sudan. Where anti-vaxxers in the US used to be limited to orthodox groups and anthroposophists, their bubble has now merged with the Deep State bubble. Anti-vaxxers now range from the political left to the right. These missionaries are influencers with millions of followers. Research by Johnson et al. (Nature, 13 May 2020) has shown that anti-vaxxers outcompete pro-vaxxers on social media.

However, as a community we may need as much as 70 % herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2 to protect the weak. If we want this growing bubble to listen to reason and evidence, and to not be selfish, we could try to enter their bubble, with our small number of followers on social media. But it is far more effective to focus on the influencers with their millions of followers. They should spread the word that not the self, but the community, is at risk. And that not the self but the community is the solution, in the form of herd immunity. Not scientists, politicians, doctors, or CEOs, but the influencers might be able to turn this information around. We ask them to not be selfish but to be the shepherds of the herd.

Ed Moret, managing director of the Utrecht Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS) and FIGON Secretary
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