They Were Scared of Needles the Whole Time
From the darkest corners of Facebook to the haunted preschool mommy text groups, a key rung in the nightmare labyrinth of anti-vaxxer psychology has been uncovered. News that at once deconstructs this labyrinth for all to observe, and simultaneously expands its twists and turns, making it even more elusive and leaving more questions than answers.
Many have wondered what drives one to advocate against vaccines. Is it a traumatic formative memory of a bad vaccine reaction as a child? Is it a deep communal distrust in medical professionals due to years of community members being used as biological guinea pigs for the wealthier? Well… not for this particular bunch.
“I just don’t like needles,” says Marleen Baker from Seattle, WA. “So yeah I just kinda made some excuses up. Said I thought the vaccine would turn me into a tangerine or something.”
Checking Marleen’s social media, she did indeed broadcast to her followers a concern that the polio vaccine would turn her into fruit. One post reads in all capitals, “VIOLET BEAUREGARDE FROM WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY WAS A WARNING. WAKE UP SHEEPLE, BIG MEDICINE IS CREATING AN ARMY OF HUMAN BLUEBERRIES.”
As surprising as that claim may appear, Marleen’s entire Facebook page is built off of these outlandish vaccine conspiracy theories. Another post suggests that the curtain rod industry has been paying doctors to implant devices in people designed to give the unsuspecting patient an unquenchable thirst for curtains, and yet another claims that vaccines make you a redhead, a fate no one wants. Reading through Marleen’s eight years of spirited Facebook posts with the knowledge that it was all an act is shocking and honestly quite impressive, showcasing a commitment to deception and knack for illusion that not even David Blaine could match. Somehow for Marleen, all of that deception was easier than simply admitting that she hated needles and it certainly was easier than facing her physician after her last visit, in which Marleen had tried to sit on a nurse’s lap to hide from the “scary pokey stick” and been shamed and scolded for it.
A shocking national survey has supported the hypothesis that Marleen is not alone in her mindset. Over 90 percent of anti-vaxxers wrote that their medical skepticism of vaccines was an elaborate fabricated cover-up for a fear of needles. The more anti-vaxxers come forward the stronger this trend shows itself to be.
Not even boulder Colorado native, Moonflakes Green, who can be found draped in flowy scarves peddling granola and a strictly raw food diet truly stands behind her anti-vax claims. “Sure I naturally birthed both of my babies and endured pinkeye for 5 years because I didn’t want to put steroids in my eye, but needles? Those things look like they hurt. I would love to get my hands on some of that sweet sweet medicine juice but I just don’t want that shit in my arm.”
“I guess it’s just more socially acceptable to be a rabid conspiracy theorist than it is to hate needles.” Bethany from Orange County, CA explains. “If another parent at your kid’s school holds a fanatical rage towards modern science, ya know, just another Tuesday. But if they freak out when they get poked? You might be calling CPS if ya know what I mean. Freaky behavior.”
Eliel Safran is a first-year Film, Photography, and Visual Art major who saw Sleeping Beauty and isn’t taking any chances. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Art by Art Editor Adam Dee.