Commentary and Philosophy Fiction posted February 3, 2022

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A new side effect. (356 words)

Boosting The Truth

by LisaMay

Abigail read so much about the various vaccines through Facebook and on all those recommended site links that kept popping up. Her ex-boyfriend scoffed at her sources and said something about ‘algorithms’, but she kinda remembered that was something she’d avoided in high school… or maybe ‘algebra’ was what she was thinking of.

Words, words, words… Pfizer, Covax, Novavax,  AstraZeneca, Janssen, BioNTech, Sinopharm… really, it’s all very confusing and getting harder to choose which needle in the haystack of possibilities is the most effective. Should she even trust something that has the word ‘harm’ in it? Pharmaceuticals.

Her new boyfriend is vaccinated, so Abigail eventually gets her two jabs as well – to prove how brave, how intelligent, and how caring about her community she is, and to keep her job, and to be able to actually go anywhere with her boyfriend – you know, all those things that make life worth living. Abigail figures she’s young and healthy… although some of her friends think maybe her brain’s a bit infected with ‘alternative facts’.

Then Patsy – one of her unvaccinated friends through Facebook – contracts the COVID virus and is now hospitalised. She manages to post a brief comment about her suffering and finishes with “I’d give my right arm to be over this. I should’ve gotten the jabs.”

Patsy’s comments make Abigail’s mind up for her. Catching that disease and getting so sick sure sounds nasty! She immediately drives to her neighbourhood vaccination centre and, after parking her car, before she goes in she checks Facebook again. Patsy’s comments have gone viral. Then Abigail glances up and notices something strange. The people coming out of the vaccination centre are looking very excited, but not in a good way. They are walking with only one arm swinging.

“What’s happening?” Abigail anxiously asks the nearest afflicted person.

“We’ve all just ‘ad our Moderna booster shot. The ’ospitals will need to treat us, but at least we ’ave a chance to resist that ’orrible COVID virus! It’s always ’ard to pin down truth. They were ’appy to tell us the booster’s ’armless. Turns out it really is!”


Moderna Madness contest entry
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