Memes & Reality — Counterfactual thinking/cognitive dissonance and Covid

The best art imitates life in a compelling way. If it imitates a dream, it must be a dream of life. Otherwise, there is no place where we can connect. Our plugs don’t fit.
Darwi Odrade in Dune Vol. 6: «Chapterhouse Dune»

Usually, I love memes when they aptly summarize a complex issue, or capture a strong emotion. Chosen well, they are great to communicate information, to make it stick. Well, at least, that’s my hope. But nevertheless, a lot of memes either accurately reflect reality or hyper-focus on specific aspects of reality.

Just look at these Covid Memes (sources unknown or noted on the memes themselves):



Translation: «Come on, say the sentence!» «I was lying down for a week due to Covid, but thank god, I am vaccinated four times. Otherwise it would have been much worse.»

Depending on your point of view, these memes are either funny or infuriating. But no matter which position, it’s still … strange, when you hear the meme almost word for word in an actual (chat) conversation. Especially long after you have found these memes. For example:

«It’s a lot better than on Monday. I assume, it wasn’t totally wrong to get the fourth shot four weeks ago … considering the day nursery crèches are currently being closed, highly recommended. :-)»

But hey, what do I know, that person might be right. Perhaps the shots did help. But perhaps, they had no effect, or perhaps even a detrimental effect. Perhaps it’s just that Covid got less worse over its variants.

And I wonder whether psychological tendencies like counterfactual thinking and cognitive dissonance are at play here:

counterfactual thinking: The tendency to imagine other outcomes in a situation than the ones that actually occurred (“what might have been”).
Baron, R. A., Byrne, D., & Branscombe, N. R. (2006). Social Psychology (11th ed.). Pearson Education, Inc.

Perhaps combined with some cognitive dissonance:

cognitive dissonance: An internal state that results when individuals notice inconsistency among two or more attitudes or between their attitudes and their behavior.
Baron, R. A., Byrne, D., & Branscombe, N. R. (2006). Social Psychology (11th ed.). Pearson Education, Inc.

After all, people wouldn’t have gotten the shots, again and again and that they cannot remove from their body, if it did not work. Would they? So they have to work. And yeah, one of the hardest things is admitting that you were conned. Especially when it’s irreversible. Things you do with your body that cannot be undone.

But overall, damn, that’s quite an achievement for Big Pharma. If they weren’t evil as fuck, I’d say kudos.

But my guess is, these so-called Covid vaccinations make it in the advertisement hall of shame. Might even get the spot of the century.

  • Pre 20th century (and a contender in the 21st century when it comes to one very peaceful religion) it was organized religion (not religion itself). But organized religion makes the rewards posthumous (whether it’s an asexual heaven or heaven plus a lot of virgins). Great business model, if you lack a conscience.
  • In the 20th century it was scientific publishers. The scientists do the writing and reviewing for free (or even pay open-access fees), while the publishers make lot of money (incl. by bundling journals into pricy packages that university libraries have to buy). There’s a reason why sites like sci-hub exist.
  • And yeah, in the 21st century, so far, it’s Big Pharma. People get four Covid so-called vaccine shots and still get Covid. Then they argue that the so-called vaccine did prevent an even worse outcome, instead of even considering that they might have gotten Covid because the vaccine didn’t work (at all or not anymore) or that their immune system was compromised by the shots. Again, not saying that this is the case, but the other sides (no effect or detrimental effect) of the so-called vaccines often aren’t even considered. How was it? Like using a condom, still getting an STI, and thanking Trojan.

Perhaps that meme here is worth thinking about:

But yeah, that’s quite an achievement. Once we have some distance to Covid, it’s time to think and reflect. There have to be better ways to deal with pandemics and diseases than this. And yup, not a discussion based on memes, but on scientific data. Data that is checked for fabrication and manipulation by Big Pharma.