Well, we did it, America. We sabotaged our chances of truly getting this disastrous pandemic under control. AGAIN. Slow clap for us. When President Biden began the mass rollout of vaccines in early 2021, Covid numbers drastically reduced. By spring, there were slivers of normalcy returning to some of our lives as we got the shot, our parents got the shot, our coworkers got the shot, and so did our neighbors, our friends, our children’s teachers, and the cashiers at the grocery store.
There was finally more hope than fear for the first time in 13 months. We started thinking maybe we can actually do something this summer! Go to the pool? Have friends over? Travel even? Even just the thought of a holiday with Grandma and Grandpa was enough to hold onto as we waited for vaccine availability.
So what the fuck happened?
Well, the Delta variant happened. And anti-vaxxers happened. But more importantly, jackasses like this lady happened. This woman, who does a grave dishonor to everyone in the medical profession by making a complete mockery of the oath they take to “do no harm.” This woman, knowing she’s a person of influence, encouraged and aided in the spread of misinformation and falsely promised her “patients” that they were protected from Covid and didn’t need the vaccine.
Seriously. This is why. This is why every time we take steps forward—every time we have a shred of hope to hold on to that this nightmare might eventually pass, we have imbeciles like 41-year-old Juli A. Mazi right there, ready to ruin it. Ready to ensure that we stay stuck in this hamster wheel of endless shut downs, endless quarantines, endless missed holidays with family, endless missed playdates with friends.
For what? For fame? For power? Because you revel in watching people suffer? Like what in the actual fuck, lady?
According to People Magazine, Mazi, who resides and practices in California, “faces federal charges for allegedly falsifying COVID-19 vaccination cards and selling pellets she claimed without evidence would provide ‘lifetime immunity’ to the disease.”
Pellets that provide lifetime immunity to Covid. We can’t make this shit up, folks. And we wish this were a satirical story on The Onion, but it’s not.
Juli A. Mazi is real, doing real damage, and she’s not the only one.
Another reckless influence on vulnerable Americans is Joseph Mercola, who’s #1 on the “Disinformation Dozen” list. (ICYMI, a study from the Center for Countering Digital Hate found that 12 people—TWELVE—are responsible for the majority of online disinformation spread about Covid-19. This guy is leading the charge. And yes, he’s also a natural health doctor.)
How much harm has he done as we fight this pandemic? It’s hard to measure, but for reference, he regularly spews out bullshit like one article entitled “Could Hydrogen Peroxide Treat Coronavirus?” to his 3.6 million followers. That one was shared nearly 5,000 times on FB.
Listen, this isn’t a knock on homeopathic or naturopathic professionals. I personally have had wonderful experiences with some “natural” doctors who have slightly different beliefs than those in traditional, modern medicine. I’ve tried homeopathic remedies for chronic headaches and anxiety and find them to be helpful. I wholeheartedly believe there are smart, caring naturopathic doctors out there who actually “do no harm” and instead, provide safe, effective medical advice to their patients.
These two aren’t it.
Not only did Juli A. Mazi sell (as in, she made a profit) off “pellets” that she claimed contained the Covid-19 virus, so they’d “create an antibody response in the immune system”, but she also allegedly created counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards for her patients too. And, according to People, she “instructed her customers to falsely mark that they had received a vaccine, allowing them to circumvent efforts to contain the spread of the disease.”
That’s doing harm! A shit ton of it.
Furthermore, it’s not just natural health physicians jumping aboard the misinformation train. Christiane Northrup, a retired gynecologist in Maine, had her IG account suspended after claiming that COVID-19 vaccines will make women infertile, change people’s DNA and contain tracking devices. She’s also the writer of several acclaimed books on women’s health, so people listen to her, which means she’s also one of the “Disinformation Dozen.”
Or how about Texas pediatrician Angelina Farella, who says that vitamins would be a more effective means to fighting Covid-19 than an actual vaccine. VITAMINS. Like, the Flintstone kind, or…???
(Side note: Dr. Farella is also a member of the right-wing medical group America’s Frontline Doctors who have fought masks, shutdowns, and vaccines since the pandemic began and who regularly appear as guests on Newsmax—of course! Independent reports that “one member of the group has professed to believe in alien DNA and demon sperm” and also, “Its leader is an anti-vax physician who was arrested for entering the Capitol on January 6.” So do with that information what you will.)
It’s bullshit like this, this plague of misinformation, the intentional spreading of lies by influential people that so many trust to tell them the truth and help them stay safe and healthy—this is why we are in yet another pandemic wave.
This time, however, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky says it’s is a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” And why, as of July 16 of this year, 97% of hospitalized Covid-19 patients—not surprisingly—had not received the vaccine.
Who is to blame? Loud, powerful, yet incredibly dangerous voices like Joseph Mercola’s, Juli A. Mazi’s, Christiane Northrup’s, and Angelina Farella’s, that’s who.
Because the problem is these people are viewed, by those who trust them, to be actual, reputable doctors. And that means the anti-vax, anti-science crowd is more able and willing to cling to their spread of disinformation and say, “But they’re doctors!”
They’re doctors, so we should believe them, right? They’re doctors, so they must be smart. They’re doctors, so we can trust them. They’re doctors, so they’re helping us and would never harm us—right? RIGHT?
Unfortunately, as in every profession, there are a few bad eggs. There are a few corrupt individuals who sully the name of the entire profession. Or a few who might be mentally unwell and unaware they even though they are educated, they too, have been duped into believing conspiracy theories and are now just infecting the rest of the country, and the world, with harmful lies.
In the meantime, we will trudge on, as we have for the past year and a half. We will try to drown out the noise of these harmful individuals who are actively keeping this pandemic going. We will try to amplify the voices of reputable scientists who are committed to saving lives and educating Americans about the true dangers of Covid and the fact that vaccines work.
And we will continue to look forward, with whatever hope we can find, that someday we really will be on the other side of this nightmare.