To be honest with you, my first instinct was to hit “Unsubscribe” and never watch anything by JP ever again.
The problem being, not only would this have been an extremely childish thing to do, it would have hurt me far more than it would hurt him. He’s hilarious after all.
If you’ve never heard of JP Sears, stop what you’re doing right now and go search “Ultra Spiritual” on Youtube. It’s one of the best things on the platform.
Maybe that’s why it was so disappointing that his latest video, “What It’s Like to Believe Everything the Media Tells You” is one of the worst. It’s 8 minutes and 36 seconds of entitled, misinformed idiocy skillfully disguised as biting satire. Worst of all, he closes with this fantastic piece of baiting:
“After all, following the mainstream narrative helps me classify anyone that doesn’t go along with its narrative as an irresponsible lunatic conspiracy theorist. That way I can label them as crazy instead of thinking about what they’re saying.”
As anyone who knows me knows, my entire self-image hinges delicately on the belief that I’m a reasonable, open-minded person who doesn’t dismiss opinions I disagree with without investigating them. So, even though I’m probably just falling for some masterful trolling, I decided to think about what he’s saying.
1. It’s Not All About You.
In the first minute of the video JP, his tongue almost bursting through his cheek, asks the following question:
“Who knows how to make the best choices for my health and my life? Definitely not me…the last thing you want is for people to make their own choices and then experience the consequences of those choices.”
I think this is the central misunderstanding that the people who support this idiocy are guilty of. So if any of you are reading, please try to understand this: you aren’t the ones that will experience the consequences of your choices.
The aim of the lockdown isn’t to stop you from dying. Frankly, you aren’t that important. If COVID-19 killed you the moment you stepped outside your house, but wouldn’t kill anybody else, the government wouldn’t lift a finger to prevent you from going outside.
Repeat after me: The purpose of the lockdown is to prevent a wave of COVID-19 cases from overwhelming healthcare systems. This is important so that people who become seriously ill or are suffering from a different serious condition, can still gain access to care.
Hospitals aren’t magical wellsprings of healing, with infinite resources and staff. They’re limited, often crumbling institutions which are under enormous strain from our ageing populations, rising childbirth rates, soaring obesity-related conditions.
The arrival of this new, highly contagious virus for which there is currently no vaccine would be more than they could manage, so non-essential workers are being asked to stay indoors temporarily, to slow the spread of the infection and limit the strain on the healthcare system.
Making “your own choices” is perfectly reasonable if you could be certain that you wouldn’t infect anybody else (which you can’t) and if you would choose not to go to a hospital if you or anybody in your household became seriously ill (which you won’t). So grow up.
2 .You’re At Least 20 Years Late To The Location Tracking Party. AKA Bill Gates Is Not Out To Get You.
The most asinine theory put forward in the video (at the 5:08 mark) is that the pandemic is a plot orchestrated by Bill Gates to inject location tracking microchips into our bodies, or to force us to download a compulsory contact tracking app.
First of all, the contact tracking app is not compulsory. Secondly, there’s no need to make it compulsory because if the authorities wanted to track your phone they could already do so! Will Smith taught us this in “Enemy of the State” back in 1998!
Every day you walk around with a GPS enabled device in your pocket, which you paid your own hard earned money for, but somehow you think that COVID-19 is the government’s great scheme to find out where you buy your soy lattes?!
You have an always-on, constantly eavesdropping “smart” speaker in your house, you use a credit/debit card to pay for everything you own, your internet service provider can track every website you visit (yes, even those websites). Trust me, the government already knows where you are. UBER Eats knows where you are.
Continuing the theme, JP goes on to point out that Bill Gates is a software engineer and not a doctor, so it’s crazy to take his advice on how to fight the pandemic. And this is true, Bill Gates isn’t a doctor. Neither is JP.
But one of them has been using his considerable resources to fight malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in developing countries for over two decades, spoke eloquently all the way back in 2015 about the importance of preparing for an emergency exactly like this one, and through his foundation, has donated $250 million towards fighting this pandemic. Guess which one it is.
Perhaps all of this “philanthropic” behaviour has simply been a twenty-year-long plot to download Windows directly into our brains, but if it is, I’m not smart enough to see it.
3. Statistics are your friend.
One point on which JP and I agree is that the media’s reporting on COVID-19 has been little more than scaremongering. The statistics related to the spread and impact of the virus are often presented in ways which maximise fear while doing nothing to help people put them into perspective. Of course, that’s only irresponsible when the media does it, not when JP does.
At around 2:20, he cites a study by USC into COVID-19 infection rates which suggests that the number of people who have been infected may be as much as 45 times higher than originally thought.
It’s important to say here (even though JP doesn’t) that the results and methodology of this study are still being debated by the scientific community, because the infection rates were estimated by testing for antibodies in a small sample of volunteers (only 863 subjects), and were released as preliminary drafts, (without the peer review that scientific studies are usually expected to undergo to spot errors).
But even if the results of the study are accurate, (we already know that infection rates are far higher than the figures currently suggest after all) it only tells us that the disease is less lethal than it currently appears, not that it’s not lethal at all.
Here’s another statistic. In the week ending 3 April, the UK recorded 3,475 COVID-19 deaths and 16,387 deaths from all causes. That was the highest number of deaths in a single week since January 2000, and over 6,000 more deaths than you would expect at that time of year. Regardless of how many people have caught the disease, isn’t 3,475 extra deaths in a single week worthy of being taken seriously?
Again, the issue isn’t solely your health, it’s how the health system in your country copes with these extra people.
4. The mythical mandatory vaccine.
At 4:13, JP makes another point which I agree with; it’s worrying that so many people are talking about producing vaccines on a timeline that will make proper regulation and testing impossible.
This would be especially troubling if, as he implies, governments were planning on making the vaccinations mandatory, but they’re not. If you’ve been paying attention, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Polio, measles, chicken-pox and whooping cough (to name but a few) have all reemerged in the last decade thanks to the anti-vax movement, and yet no government anywhere in the world has passed a law forcing its citizens to vaccinate their children.
If governments haven’t made vaccinations mandatory for the idiots who are responsible for the return of these diseases, why would they do so for this? If your answer is “so that they can microchip people”, why wouldn’t “they” just slip these microchips into the MMR jab or some other vaccination? There would be no need to manufacture a worldwide crisis to do that.
Anyway, after a little digging I discovered that the claim seems to originate from this video entitled “CoronaVirus: Has UK Government Passed FORCED VACCINATION Act?” (Another win for Betteridge’s Law of Headlines). In this video, a man named Mr Cheswick clearly and in a completely non-sensationalistic manner, explains how the government has given itself new powers to force citizens to be vaccinated.
To his credit, Mr Cheswick is helpful enough to include the relevant statutes right in the video description. Unfortunately, it seems that neither he nor the people commenting bothered to read them, as the text clearly states that:
(1) Regulations under section 45B or 45C may not include provision requiring a person to undergo medical treatment.
(2) “ Medical treatment ” includes vaccination and other prophylactic treatment (emphasis mine).
What a strange oversight. It’s almost as if we shouldn’t be taking health advice from YouTubers…
Look, maybe I’m just not getting it. Maybe I’m an idiot and JP is a comedic genius who’s playing both sides. But then again, maybe this is a perfect example of that thing disingenuous people do when they say something shitty, only to claim they were joking when they get called out on it.
So JP, if you’re reading this and I’m doing you a disservice, I apologise. What do I know about being funny? You’re the comedian here after all. Just…maybe stick to talking about crystals and functional training from now on? I guess I just don’t find pandemics to be a laughing matter.