JESSICA WILDFIRE IS BECOMING one of my favorite journalists. She describes herself as an “unfluencer,” which I assume is a play on those odd creatures of social media known as “influencers.” She is also a top writer in government, health, politics, culture, and life on Medium. And because of her, if rather indirectly, I discovered the artwork of Martin Rowson.
I finished reading Wildfire’s latest article “Things Anti-Vaxxers Told Me This Week,” which opens with these lines: “The anti-vaxxers are angry at us. They say we’ve been judgmental. We don’t listen to them. We don’t respect their views. So I started listening.”
The rightwinger’s motto: “All information is subjective and nobody can prove anything.”
Here is what the anti-covid-vaxxers (who I assume are also the anti-maskers) had to say:
• “Rules don’t work, so we shouldn’t have them.”
• “Everyone’s responsible for their own health.”
• “Nobody can prove anything.”
• “If it’s not happening to you, it doesn’t matter.”
• “All information is subjective.”
• “Everyone has a right to a bad opinion.”
Those six lines are the sub-headings for the article. Wildfire gives the reader much more information about the convoluted “reasoning” of the anti-mask/anti-covid-vaccination crowd (of which there seems a never-ending supply).
I was inspired by her article to post a pair of questions on Facebook. I opened the posting with a semi-serious challenge: “Anyone wanna take a crack at answering a couple of soon-to-be-current news-related questions?”
These were the two questions:
1. What’s gonna happen when anti-mask/anti-covid-vaccination parents send their children to a school that does not mandate vaccines and masks and those children come home with Covid? 1
2. Who are those parents gonna blame? 2
To offset the grotesque and somewhat ugly images in Mr. Rowsons’s cartoons below with something fair, I have included this photo of Jessica Wildfire from her Amazon author’s page. There you will learn that she has published three books: Professor Gone Wild, How To Train Your Demon: Essays For Screw Ups, and Go Get Your Everything: The Shortest Self-Help Guide You’ll Ever.
Martin Rowson’s covid cartoons
To catch readers’ attention, I wanted a dramatic image so went off to Google and typed in “covid virus cartoon.” This led me to the fantastic image at the top of this page. I traced this cartoon to Martin Rowson, a regular contributor to the British newspaper The Guardian. Needless to say, the image above wasn’t the only piece by Rowson that WOW!-ed me.
Rowson contributes his artwork primarily to The Guardian along with the Daily Mirror, the Tribune, the Index on Censorship, and the Morning Star. He is chair of the British Cartoonists’ Association and has published thirteen books of fiction and artwork.
So, I wanted to share my “discovery” of Rowson and so selected five of his pieces that addressed the global Covid-19 pandemic. Each image includes a blurb from The Guardian addressing the topic of the article for which Rowson did the cartoon. Right-click on any image to enlarge it.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine offers as little as 10% protection against the Covid variant first seen in South Africa, researchers have suggested.”
(February 8, 2021)
“People in England and Wales—and parts of Scotland—can now eat inside restaurants and pubs (but please don’t); can hug (but be very careful); can go abroad on holiday (with a lot of caveats): the relaxation of rules offers some very mixed public messaging.”
(May 17, 2021)
“The UK’s public spending watchdog has found that the government had no contingency plans in place to deal with the Covid crisis.”
(May 19, 2021)
“Boris Johnson, Sajid Javid and Priti Patel tackle football, Covid and asylum seekers.”
(July 7, 2021)
“Ministers have shelved proposals to urgently overhaul the Covid contact tracing app in England as cases surge, prompting claims they have lost control of the so-called ‘pingdemic’.”
(July 16, 2021)
“A scientist advising the government has accused ministers of allowing infections to rip through the younger population in an effort to bolster levels of immunity before the NHS faces winter pressures.”
(July 23, 2021)
To read more of Jessica Wildfire’s writing on Medium, click here.
To see more of Martin Rowson’s art in The Guardian, click here.
1 I initially wrote, “What’s gonna happen when anti-mask/anti-covid-vaccination parents send their children to a school that does not mandate vaccines and masks and those children get Covid and die?” but thought better of it.
2 I initially wrote, “Who are those parents gonna blame—Biden or Obama or that old standby bogeyman, the liberal college professor of the ’60s?” but, again, changed my mind.