Anti-vaxx misinformation really kills

Czech folk singer Hana Horká (57) from popular folk band Asonance died after catching COVID-19 on purpose in order to start having a “free life “. Catching the virus (as she believed) would allow her to avoid needing the vaccine, leading to her celebration upon learning she had contracted the virus.
It should be noted that Horká did not fall for any conspiracy theories, she did not believe that there are nanochips in vaccines and similar nonsense which is spreading on the internet. She just thought that the Omikron mutation is not dangerous and it is more “natural” to have the disease and get the antibodies this way than to be vaccinated.

Her son, musician Jan Rek, blames her death on the stars of the Czech antivax scene – namely actor and self-proclaimed shaman Jaroslav Dušek (winner of the Erratic Boulder Award from the Czech Skeptics Club Sisyfos for “good shamanic advice for every day”) and molecular geneticist Soňa Peková (also winner of the Erratic Boulder Award, who claimed in October 2020 that “Covid-19 will really disappear by Christmas” and who collaborated with the political far right and disinformation media). Hana Horká has frequently shared Facebook posts by these two personalities.

Pjér la Šé’z (New Age psychologist) and Jaroslav Dušek. (by WikimediaCommons)

Jaroslav Dušek in particular has a great influence on many Czechs. He is a very popular actor and comedian, but unfortunately, he does not only devote himself to his art of acting and improvisation, but also gives space for the opinions of various alternative healers, self-proclaimed sages and “natural” people.
Dušek himself says he doesn’t tell anyone how to live, but the “alternative” guests on his shows do. And with his celebrity authority, he legitimizes their views.

Here are some quotes from him:

I haven’t swallowed any medication since 1991, when I did firewalking.

When my doctor forces me to take medication to survive, I’ll find another one.

Hunger is a learned state of mind, feel free to eat once a week.

A recording of one of his debates with the healer Milan Calábek about the coronavirus was deleted after some time from several internet platforms, including youtube. The Czech Centre against Terrorism and Hybrid Threats (CTHH) sent out emails to these platforms with, among other things, the following wording:
“Please be advised that there are videos appearing on your website that contain, among other things, potentially harmful procedures that purport to treat a new coronavirus.”
The administrators responded to the warning and deleted the video. Dušek and others then spoke of censorship.
“Half a million people saw the video, so they deleted us.”

Now, after death of Hana Horká, her son openly accused people like Dušek and Peková of having blood on their hands. Jan Rek says he and his father had long tried to persuade his mother to get the Covid vaccine, but in vain.

“You took my mother, who based all her arguments on your basis. I despise you, you are an absolute waste.” he wrote on Facebook.

Member of Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia & Czech Skeptics' Club Sisyfos, founding member of the Meaning of (Skeptical) Life podcast, secular humanist. Father of one new man. Television post-production by profession. And he is on BigPharma and Soros payroll.