Opinion: Janet Christie -Can Generation Covid take the needle?
“Would you take the Covid vaccine?” I ask Eldest and Youngest as I walk along between them on the old railway path, topping up the vitamin D. Leaves drift down off the trees, the sun is burning off the haar and mellow fruitfulness is in season.
“Definitely,” says Eldest.
“Really?” says Youngest. “I thought you’d be thinking there was some conspiracy behind it.”
“No. I’d take it,” he says.
Middle, Youngest’s stirring partner isn’t with us - he’s at work at the Climbing the Walls Centre - but she’s quite capable of whipping up a sibling situation on her own just for fun.
“I’ve looked at conspiracy theories and I think I’m good at judging which ones are rubbish,” says Eldest.
“What about the Kennedy assassination then?” she says.
Here we go. Operation Goad The Bro.
“You’ve all had loads of vaccines, MMR, tetanus...” I say, to inject some chill, and continue even though neither is listening, “you’ve both had antibiotics, and the HPV cervical cancer jab - which has massively reduced deaths and...” Nope. I’ve lost them “...genital warts!”
“I do think there were two shooters in Dallas,” says Eldest, ”but that’s not my point…”
“The moon landing,” lobs in Youngest, neatly stepping between us so she’s walking in the middle. “The flag thing, and the watsitati...”
“Illuminati, the Da Vinci Code. HIV, heroin… there are loads of conspiracy theories, but my POINT is, I think I’m good at discriminating which are worth thinking about,” continues Eldest, deflecting deftly.
“What if it’s just an excuse to inject us all with a microchip?” I chip in from the edges, just for badness.
“Why would I worry about the idea that a vaccine could do that when I carry around a mobile phone that has all of the data anyone could ever want about me right there. We all do,” he says mildly. We’re on the internet, social media - especially young people,” he says, “nodding at Youngest, “so if we’re worried about being watched and listened to and influenced, maybe we should all just get off our phones and laptops.
Youngest and I clutch our mobiles.
“So, would you not take the vaccine if you were offered, after it’s had all the checks?” says Eldest to his sister.
“Yeah. Course. I was just...”