Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for business owners and their teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

Dear John… let’s have one last chat about COVID… for the sake of our friendship


Dear John1, you are one of my closest friends. You’re smart, driven, intelligent, caring and I’ve been always able to count on you. Yet now, as we’re both dealing with this global COVID-19 pandemic, we’re drifting apart. You didn’t get vaccinated and whenever this comes up, we get to a heated debate that just makes both of us angry. That’s why in this letter I want to take a different approach - I want to appeal to your intelligence by not trying to convince you of anything, but by laying out facts before and by trusting your judgement:

Dear John… let’s have one last chat about COVID… for the sake of our friendship

It’s a long letter, please take your time to read it, thank you:

Is the COVID-19 pandemic real? 🦠

When we talked, I heard several times from you how: “this virus is just a flu” or “it’s not as deadly as we thought” or “I’m not afraid of this virus”. You even may have used a word “scamdemic” to just say that this pandemic is not real.

While the above are opinions, let’s look at the facts:

These are the facts. These are statistics compiled by hundreds of governments and independent analysts.

I ask of you to let go of the opinions you might have heard on the Internet and look at the facts. And draw your own conclusions.

And if you need people’s opinions, please visit your local hospital and interview the doctors and nurses that work in the ICU and ask about how they dealt with March 2020 and the months that followed.

Recent developments as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses

Do the masks work? 😷

Personally, I hate wearing masks. They’re simply annoying and it’s hard to see people’s facial expressions behind them. When we talked you said to me that you thought that the masks didn’t really work anyway.

BTW, on the photo above I’m smiling to you from under this pink mask! 😊

I don’t like masks, but…

First off, there is this study where among 139 clients exposed to two symptomatic hair stylists with confirmed COVID-19 while both the stylists and the clients wore face masks, no symptomatic secondary cases were reported. Plus, there are additional studies done on the efficacy of the masks.

Second, there’s just logic that shows how mask do their job. You can try it yourself:

While the masks don’t protect people 100% from infections and they’re not a cure for COVID-19 or other diseases, they do add an extra physical layer of protection as you could prove for yourself with the above experiments.

For more information, check out these CDC guidelines on masks.

And recently data showed that by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing last year we managed to basically stop having seasonal flu at all! Turns out flu is a choice.

Do the vaccines work? 💉

Let’s try to forget about the emotions related to the vaccines and take a hard look at the data we have, so that we can rationally judge the vaccines by their merit.

Facts about the vaccines in general

Facts regarding COVID-19 vaccines in practice

Now that we are two years into this virus (it’s the end of 2021 and the virus was first discovered at the end of 2019), it has affected the entire world. Here are some findings:

Dear John… let’s have one last chat about COVID… for the sake of our friendship 2

There is a strong correlation between the percentage of population vaccinated and the number of deaths per 1 million of people.

What if you don’t believe any of this? 🙏

I believe in God. It’s a belief because I cannot prove it to you for certain that He really exists.

However, please re-consider statements like: “I don’t believe in this pandemic” or “I don’t believe in masks” or “I don’t believe in vaccines”. These statements are by definition incorrect.

When faced with facts and data which I quoted above, the only correct statement would be: “I don’t believe in these facts”. However this would mean that you don’t trust any of the sources of this data, which would mean that most scientists, virologists and medical professionals, together with most administrative leaders and statisticians are all in together on a big data manipulation. Like all of them in the same time.

Who can I trust then? 👍

Trust your own judgement. Please take a look at the data and facts from these diverse sources, aggregated by medical specialists and statisticians from all over the world. Look at the data and draw your own conclusions.

I spent hours collecting them for you.

Don’t trust conspiracy theories as the goal of these stories is to create a certain narrative and to prove their point by just choosing a small subset of data and quoting it out of context. You can do better than that - get the entire context yourself by studying data.

Cautiously trust the government leaders as they always have a hidden agenda to get votes for their next elections. Many political leaders have proven over and over that they’re ready to sacrifice human lives as an excuse not to introduce restrictions or protective measures.

Trust the medical professionals. However, just as with any illness, if it’s serious, everyone tells you to get the second opinion. Do the same thing and ask several doctors you trust about any of this. Talk to them. They are here to help and many of them have lived through the peaks of this pandemic so they’ve got stories to tell.

Why am I writing all this to you? 😀

Now that we’re more than 1500 words in, you might be asking yourself, why I’m writing all this to you, my friend.

Because I care for you and our friendship.

I remember back in February of 2020 I was skeptical at first about this whole novel virus. However, as the new information was coming in, I started changing my mind. And I’ve tried to be rational about this as much as I could and keep looking at the facts and data.

It’s OK to change your mind. It’s not a I told you so moment.

We can’t be too stubborn when it comes to human lives.

It’s a moment for all of us to look at the facts, look a the effects of this situation globally, take perspective and look after ourselves the best way we can. Let’s take care of each other as friends and as a society.

Your friend with ❤️

P.S. The sh*t got real for me last Friday.

As if facts weren’t enough… last week I received some sad news that struck home:

My grandfather, Tadeusz, died of COVID-19.

He just turned 95 and was as healthy as a horse. However someone visited him briefly and gave him COVID. My grandfather didn’t have much fever and was rather OK, but over next few days started feeling weaker. Until he collapsed one day. Turns out the virus was shattering his lungs in the meantime. He didn’t recover and died in the hospital.

I know I’m lucky that I got to have a grandfather in my life until I was in my forties. Many didn’t. But he didn’t have to die this year. He could have reached 100. Rest In Peace 😇

How can someone with a virus kill you by just visiting? This is so not fair!

Dear John… let’s have one last chat about COVID… for the sake of our friendship 3

  1. There’s no real-life John. “John” here collectively symbolizes all of my close friends, who despite being very intelligent and smart, refuse to use their intellect to understand the situation we’re in. I want them to take a step back, look at the facts, and without consulting anyone just use their brains to figure it all out by themselves. I hope they will! Plus it’s a Nicholas Sparks reference. 

  2. Exactly 812,205 people died as of today with more than 50 Million COVID-19 cases. 1,641 people died today in the USA (that’s more than 3 fully-loaded jumbo-jet planes per day or half of all the casualties of September 9/11 attacks. In one day. Today.) 

  3. Across all of the EU, almost 1 Million extra people died and in the 21-month period between January 2020 and September 2021, the highest rates of excess mortality were in April 2020 (25.3%) and November 2020 (40.0%). 

  4. Vaccines can have side-effects, for example thrombosis occurs only in a maximum of four to six people out of 1 million who are vaccinated with AstraZeneca. According to Germany’s Federal Center for Health Education, the majority of thrombosis cases usually occurred two to three weeks after vaccination, predominantly in people under 60 years of age. If the side effect is detected early enough, it can be treated. 

  5. Check out the differences between different COVID-19 vaccines and also look at the differences between COVID-19 vaccines and other traditional vaccines 

  6. The facts about aborted cells confirms it: it is true that decades ago, scientists decided to use fetal tissue to start the cell lines we use to test drugs today. However, the description of ongoing modern fetal tissue harvesting to create vaccines is dishonest sensationalism. 

  7. Vatican confirms that if you don’t want to vaccinate, you should adhere to all preventable protocols and avoid spreading the virus: the morality of vaccination depends not only on the duty to protect one’s own health, but also on the duty to pursue the common good

  8. Read the entire article, but here are excerpts: (a person’s) decision to remain unvaccinated increases the risk that others will contract COVID-19. But anyone can choose to eliminate that risk by getting vaccinated. Therefore, society is not justified in violating (a person’s) personal liberty by mandating that, in order to participate in civic life, he take a vaccine that he would rather avoid. (..) But these assumptions are empirically flawed. And because they are flawed, a liberal society in fact has a strong interest in implementing vaccine mandates. (..) Therefore, in the real world, (a person’s) decision to remain unvaccinated imposes costs, at a minimum, on children, disadvantaged communities, people in poorer countries, already-vaccinated individuals and funders and patients of the health care system. Moreover, none of these costs can be eliminated under our current constraints. (..) In a perfect world, liberty should prevail. But ours is not a perfect world, which makes vaccine mandates a legitimate part of a liberal society. 

  9. The life and tragic death of John Eyers – a fitness fanatic who refused the vaccine: Butler-Laporte and his colleagues found that people with variants in up to a dozen locations on the human genome were at higher risk of developing severe Covid, should they be unfortunate enough to be infected with the virus. People with variants on the chromosome 3 region alone were up to twice as likely to develop severe Covid as someone without that genetic mutation. Chromosome 3 mutations are carried in about 10% of people of European ancestry, meaning that such people have a 10% chance of being twice as susceptible to severe Covid infection. 

  10. The Apparent Paradox Of Covid-19 Positive Vaccinees: A Story Of Statistical Deception: Even if the probability of a vaccinated person testing positive is a tenth of that of an unvaccinated person, the total number of daily positives among the ranks of the vaccinated is bound to increase as the total number of vaccinated people in the population grows. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2021 /john/