A conspiracy ripping through the anti-vax world may finally drive some anti-maskers to do the unthinkable: wear a mask and keep their distance.
The conspiracy—which comes in several shapes and sizes—more or less says the vaccinated will “shed” certain proteins onto the unvaccinated who will then suffer adverse effects. The main worry is the “shedding” will cause irregular menstruation, infertility, and miscarriages. The entirely baseless idea is a key cog in a larger conspiracy that COVID-19 was a ploy to depopulate the world, and the vaccine is what will cull the masses.
Anti-vax influencers are instructing their fellow anti-vaxxers as well as anti-maskers (at this point the two communities overlap to a huge degree) that one of the best ways to defend themselves from this blight is to co-opt…social distancing, the very strategy they have long decried.
Sherri Tenpenny, an anti-vaxxer who was found to be key in spreading COVID-19 conspiracy theories, suggested on a recent anti-vax livestream that you may have to “stay away from somebody who's had these shots…forever.”
Another prominent anti-vaxxer suggested quarantining people who have been vaccinated. “There is something being passed from people who are shot up with this poison to others who have not gotten the shot,” said Larry Palevsky, a New York pediatrician and anti-vaxxer, on a separate livestream.
It’s not just social distancing that anti-maskers/anti-vaxxers are begrudgingly accepting. Some conspiracy theorists are wondering if perhaps their longtime bane, the mask, could become their salvation. One perplexed poster on the fringe site 4chan asked their fellow anons if they should “wear a mask around the vaccinated, because they shed the mRNA stuff?” “I am going to be watching these vaccine shedding stories like a hawk,” wrote another man on Twitter. “Is my family going to need to wear masks to protect ourselves from the vaccinated?”