A Romanian priest has hit out at virus deniers and anti-vaxxers who have become more vocal, ironically as coronavirus cases have sharply risen in the East European country.
Orthodox priest Bogdan Chiorean said there was a link between anti Covid propaganda and a falling rate of vaccination for other diseases such as measles and tuberculosis.
“They are pushing for non-vaccination, saying that the vaccine is made from aborted fetuses, to attract public disapproval,” he said. „Let’s stop this foolishness and inform ourselves better.”
His stand is more unusual, as some virus deniers say their lack of belief in the virus is based on religious faith. Some have taken part in protests brandishing icons and other religious objects.
Before being ordained, Chiorean studied medicine and runs St. Nectarie Palliative Care Center in Cluj.
“There’s a trend now, to not believe in anything, not Covid, not in vaccines, not in doctors or specialists,” he said in an interview with Actual de Cluj.
“As far as vaccines go, at least for childhood diseases get them done, because there are cases that can lead to severe complications or even death.”
“There are a lot of sites being accessed in Romania (which are full of) conspiracy theories,” he said. „Apart from the measles vaccine there is the vaccine against the HPV infection, the infection which causes cervical cancer.”
“Not so long ago, people went to doctors like they went to priests. ‘Do what you think is best,’ they’d say. “Now they go online and read 2-3 sentences on Dr. Google and they have the impression they are specialists.”
“And the conspiracy police gives them a superiority complex, thinking they have information which others don’t have. It seems wrong to me that they are people who don’t have the most basic notions of immunology, physiology (and are) spreading their opinions about.”
“I have a theory: if I go to the mechanic’s with my car, I don’t tell him what do with it, because I’m not trained,” he said. „If I were that smart, I’d repair it at home.”
He compared conspiracy theories with the fictional Bula figure, who features in many Romanian jokes.
“At school, Bula is asked what is the connection between electricity and water, and he replies that every time he goes into the bathroom, a telephone rings. See? You can find connections anywhere, the way Bula does.”
“It’s hallucinating. I’ve seen specialists in quantum physics, they have monologue theories, how waves work and Bill Gates and 5G which take us to Covid and a grand world conspiracy which wants to rule over us all.”
“It’s not even worth commenting on. We should have (sound) judgment and we’ll get through this.”