TODAY I come before you as a new woman!
One week ago, for the sake of mental health, I took the painstaking decision to ignore my burning natural urge to engage with antivaxxers and/or pushers of misinformation on social media.
It was not an easy week by any stretch; it was white knuckles and gritted teeth.
And trust me there were tests.
Last week Saturday, a few hours into my conscious uncoupling from social media, I was driving home after finally having my grey hairs eradicated, when a loud speaker car appeared behind me in traffic:
Do not let the Government force vaccinations on to your child! These vaccines are experimental! We do not know what the long term effects are! These vaccines can cause harm to your children!
Jesus lay a hand!
In what bizarre, twisted act of cruel serendipity did this loud speaker end up behind me, mere hours after I decided to avoid all vaccine talk? And why was there so much traffic?
My good mood instantly spoiled, I could feel every one of my nerves on fire, every drop of blood coursing through my body rapidly boiling.
I pictured myself getting out of my car, grabbing my tyre iron and busting his windscreen.
I saw flashes of myself ripping those speakers off the roof of the car with my bare hands.
Then I envisioned myself being shared all over social media and WhatsApp in a video titled, “Vaccine Loving White Woman Gone Mad.”
I imagined the anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists rolling in the comments with: “See what I tell yuh this vaccine turning people mad!” or “The vaccine making woman strong like hulk!”
I also thought of the super uncomfortable call I would have to make to my husband to come meet me at the St James Police Station, while I was awaiting a transfer to St Ann’s psychiatric hospital for a mental evaluation.
All in all losing my marbles wouldn’t be worth it. Plus my six-year-old daughter was in the car with me.
So, much like I distanced myself from social media, I distanced myself from this fool supreme by turning down a side street.
He followed me! I suppose he assumed I knew some sort of traffic avoiding short cut.
Little did he know that as we traversed the labyrinth of St James back roads, my desire to block him off and strong arm my way into his vehicle to rip out his speaker wires intensified.
After what must have been a million and four extremely deep breathes I lost him.
The entire ordeal was a reminder of the importance of what I set out to do last week, which was to protect my mental wellbeing by removing myself from rage/stress inducing situations.
Surviving the pandemic somewhat sanely has been difficult enough without absorbing the negativity of others.
It would be dishonest of me to say I didn’t use social media last week, because I have zero will power and had to take a maco every now and then. As much as I saw and wanted to comment, I didn’t.
And you know something, last week I felt incredibly calm.
I have come to a realisation that I cannot change people’s minds, and it was in fact rather arrogant of me to think that I could.
As much as I would love to be, I am not some sort of misinformation fighting vigilante.
At this point all that can be said about the virus, the vaccines, and what needs to be done to protect ourselves have been repeated again and again. If people don’t want to listen, then there is nothing I can do about it. Yes, I can ensure anything I share or say is responsible, but I cannot control the actions of others.
It was an oddly good week. I cannot guarantee next week will be the same, but I can try.
Regarding my air fryer, which I will admit I stole from my mother-in-law, it is just Magical! If you have a mother-in-law who has one that she never uses, I recommend you sticky fingers it as soon as possible. (Alicia was last seen wearing air plugs while driving)