Anti-Maskers Ready to Start Masking—to Protect Themselves From the Vaccinated

An anti-vaccine conspiracy about the vaccinated is leading some anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers to contemplate wearing a mask and social distance.
Mack Lamoureux
Toronto, CA
May 11, 2021, 2:08pm
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.
A man wears a cut-out face mask during the protest from "No Mask" movements on September 5, 2020, in Rome. (Photo by Stefano Montesi - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

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. 

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Experts say the conspiracy is born from a fundamental misunderstanding of how vaccines work. It has been widely debunked and you can read about it here, here, and here, among other places.  

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. They should also “have a badge on their arms that say ‘I've been vaccinated even though it's not a vaccine’ so that we know to avoid them on the street, to not go near them anywhere in society,” he said.

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?” 

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“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?” 

While the conspiracy is baseless, the fear it is causing vaccine skeptics is very real. And where there is a fear, there’s money to be made. 

In a recent livestream appearance with a Canadian sovereign citizen, Judy Mikovits—one of the leading anti-vax celebrities and the key figure in the conspiracy film “Plandemic”—spoke in-depth about the conspiracy. Mikovits told a story about how she was kicked off a plane for wearing a colloidal silver mask—colloidal silver being a supplement long championed by the anti-vax and holistic crowd—to defend herself from airborne viruses.  

“Why do you think they pulled me off the plane with the silver mask?” said Mikovits. “Because I'm not going to get sick, folks. I'm not going to get sick.” 

The implication is these are the only masks that will work for not just viruses like COVID-19 but also the shedding. Thankfully, the masks are available from online holistic stores, of course. 

Drew, an anti-fascist researcher who first tweeted about Mikovits’ stance on masks, told VICE World News he doesn’t think the masks will catch on among the anti-maskers. 

"Rhetoric over the past year like ‘my body, my choice,’ ‘facts over fear,’ ‘take off the muzzle’ are going to look silly if they do (wear masks),” said Drew, who didn’t want his last name to be used out of fear of reprisals.

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Nevertheless, the conspiracy is picking up steam. Recently a private school in Miami went so far as to ban vaccinated teachers from interacting with unvaccinated students. In April, a Gold Shop in Kelowna, British Columbia, caused a stir when the owners put up a sign saying the vaccinated were banned from entering the store, citing worries about vaccine shedding. The store also had a sign that masking was not allowed and instructed customers to “lower their face diaper.” 

The community is still attempting to figure out how to deal with “vaccine shedding” so, to be clear, not every anti-masker is endorsing masking. 

“The mask won't save people from this, either. So if you're thinking you're just going to walk around with a mask on around your vaccinated friends and family members, it's the same as walking around with one for COVID,” said one woman during a YouTube roundup for anti-vaxxers who purported to be Canadian nurses. “It's going right through.”

Natural News, an anti-vaccination conspiracy site that was banned from Facebook for spreading misinformation, is reporting hard on the shedding. In one article, a blogger wrote “a mask is useless to protect against spike protein transmission.” 

The website instead advises that the only thing that may save them is a “pine needle tea.”

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