As I was growing up, I was told that being a boy, it was not right for me to tamper with the cooking process. If I did, so it was claimed, my chest would swell as my breasts grew large like those of females.
It was a message I heard from several people and I almost believed it.
Our culture being deeply steeped in oral tradition, stories like the one above abound, and are in circulation all the time.
Many times, those who consume them believe them and yet they are not backed by any research. They are usually concocted to buttress a certain viewpoint. Unfortunately, they spread like fire in the dry savannah.
When tea or thobwa was invaded by ants, we were told that it was okay to consume it because ants were mankhwala am’mimba (gastral medicine).
Again, this was a message from many sources, which made it sound like it was a true message.
Hitler’s chief propagandist, Josef Goebels, once said that if a lie was told many several times it becomes [like] the truth. In oral traditions, many stories, which are not necessarily true, are told so many enough times that they begin to sound like the truth.
A case in point is the myriad of stories about the Covid-19 vaccine. Despite being deficient in veracity, such are told so often and with such vehemence that the poor Malawian believes them totally.
My wife had to travel to Chikwawa to get her second jab of Astra Zeneca. She asked the medical officer there what the reception to the vaccine by the locals was like. Poor, was the response she got.
Each time a vehicle passed by blaring out messages about the vaccine to urge people to get vaccinated, women would literally run away from the hospital, fearing that that they may fall victim to the “evil scheme designed to make them barren”.
Making people barren is one story that has been pedalled by what I call vaccine scare mongers. Another is that the vaccines are designed to kill you, albeit not immediately but after the passage of some time.
But, like one observer put it, do people actually believe that killing them, if indeed that was the intention, would be so complicated as to warrant the extensive research that has gone into developing Covid-19 vaccines?
Or, if making people barren was the intention, would it require the kind of investment (in terms of time, effort and money) that has gone into developing and distributing Covid-19 vaccines.
In Africa, we ingest imported food and drugs from a tender age. It would be easier and cheaper to use any of the food items or drugs that we import to achieve either of the two evil plans mentioned above than to use Covid-19 vaccines.
Then we have the endless religious grounds for rejecting the vaccines. I have always been a religious person myself, and quite deeply so, but do not buy any of the religious stories I have heard about Covid-19 vaccines, not in the least.
They (the stories) often lack the backing of scripture if one studies scripture thoroughly and without prejudice. Covid-19 vaccine is not the mark of the beast.
For starters the mark of the beast is, by no means, a medical procedure neither is it a physical or a visible mark. It cannot be accidentally taken either.
The beast will not be disguised in any form. Those that choose to worship it will do so purely out of their desire to do so, not because anybody has imposed it on them after disguising it. Disguising the mark of the beast in a vaccine simply is not in line with scripture.
I am not so naïve as to suggest that Covid-19 vaccines have no problems. Like any drug Covid-19 vaccine has its own problems. It must be appreciated that each type of the vaccine was developed in haste because the pandemic was raring its ugly head and decimating populations around the world.
We had a choice to make between developing the vaccines over a “normal” development time while people were dying or take an accelerated approach to curb the fatalities. We took the latter option; hence, the health problems that have been associated the vaccines.
Like I have stated before, one needs to weigh the probability of contracting the Covid-19 disease and getting devastated by it as a result of shying away from the vaccine against that of suffering the side effects of the vaccine. From what I have observed the probabilities are weighed greatly in favour of getting vaccinated.