It’s official — I am a Covid conspiracy theorist. Aren’t we all, at this point?

When I used to share my forbidden opinions about the virus and the vaccines, acquaintances called me crazy and friends thought I was joking. They’d cry that surely I don’t really believe that the vaccines could affect my fertility, or that government officials wouldn’t just allow us to return to normal if we all got the vaccine, or that Covid hospitalization and death numbers could be artificially inflated.

But with every new admission from the CDC, every study and piece of reportage, we “conspiracy theorists” are vindicated. And everyone who mocked our distrust of public health officials is eating crow.

I wasn’t always so obstinate about the pandemic. I naively trusted that “fifteen days to slow the spread” was a temporary measure meant to protect our families and avoid overwhelming hospitals. As soon as the government started to shift the goalposts so they could continue the lockdowns, I realized that I had allowed myself to be duped. Never again, I vowed.

As it turns out, aggressive skepticism and even outright disbelief of everything the government tells you during a pandemic is a pretty reliable policy to have.

The idea that the virus was engineered and either intentionally or unintentionally leaked from a Wuhan lab went from a conspiracy theory to regarded by scientists as the most likely scenario regarding the virus’s origins.

Hydroxychloroquine went from “fish tank cleaner” and ivermectin from “horse dewormer” to potentially effective early Covid treatments. A deep dive into the data will eventually prove that hundreds of thousands of lives could have been saved through the use of therapeutics, but that wouldn’t have made as much money for pharmaceutical companies.

Women who were worried the vaccines could affect fertility were called crazy, but now the public health regime admits there can be “mild” and “temporary” changes to women’s menstrual cycles from the mRNA vaccines. How long until we learn those changes aren’t so “mild” after all and could have long-term effects on women’s reproductive systems?

Government scientists screeched at young, healthy people not to return to normal because they would inevitably die from the virus or kill others. Now, we know that incidental asymptomatic spread is not a threat to others and that the vast majority of people who have died from the virus were elderly and/or have multiple other comorbidities.

Those who warned that the vaccines weren’t as effective as they were made out to be have been denounced as anti-vaxxers and a threat to public health. CDC director Rochelle Walensky now confirms that the vaccines don’t stop people from catching or spreading the virus, undermining the entire case for vaccine mandates. We learned pretty quickly after their emergency approval that the efficacy of the vaccines wanes over time. Pfizer’s CEO, in a video that’s oddly been removed from social media, admitted that two doses of their vaccine isn’t enough to combat the omicron variant and even three shots only offers “decent” protection against hospitalization. The European Union recently warned that constant booster shots could even weaken the immune system and advised against a fourth jab.

We weren’t allowed to question the death and hospitalization numbers. Yet that narrative started to crumble when the Cuomo administration in New York was confirmed to be fudging its data on nursing home deaths to save political face. This past weekend, the CDC director indicated that data would be forthcoming on how many Covid deaths were “from Covid” and how many were “with Covid.” This would mean that some portion of the nearly 900,000 people we were told died from Covid may have just tested positive when they were hospitalized with other issues.

How can you watch all of the “conspiracy theories” about Covid come true and not consider yourself a “conspiracy theorist”? Isn’t it rational to reflexively distrust the people who have repeatedly lied to you? Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.