Hey everyone, it’s Matt again. Last time, I wrote a little about my first interaction with the early version of the technology that forms part of the Joint Working System (JWS). I started there for a number of reasons. For one, it was my introduction to the project. The technology also forms a big part of how the system works. I also hoped that, by breaking down how it all began, it would help alleviate the fears that some may have about it.
After I published the post, I realised that more people probably have fears about the vaccination than the tech. The simulation system is grounded in VR, so anyone with a modern games console or gaming PC has the potential to access similar. The brain scanning equipment is, in some ways, a hybrid of different medical tools too, which I’m sure many have seen in hospitals, either due to their own injuries or through ill relatives. That and medical dramas, of course.
Drug use though is a whole different story. In particular, the risk of side effects is a source of major concern for a lot of people. That’s not just with the Neg-Vacs either. From broad-spectrum antibiotics to over the counter painkillers, all medication comes with a degree of risk. In most cases, those taking the medication don’t actually encounter any of these. Then, the majority of those that do, only suffer mild ones, such as minor headaches or short spells of dizziness.
Now, at the more serious end of things, there are certain risks that are less manageable. For example, in rare cases, some anti-depressants can risk inducing a coma, or even increasing suicidal tendencies. Remember though, not only are the chances of these more serious side effects occurring rare, there’s also the balance of risk versus benefit. You see, all medication goes through rigorous testing before it gets offered to members of the public. While there will always be instances of unexpected reactions, the fact is, medication is never rolled out until it’s known to be generally safe.
The same applies to the Neg-Vacs. Each combination was tested for safety, multiple times over, even before they were used in effectiveness tests. In fact, the drugs were being tested before the tech was. The results of those tests allowed the medical team to tweak the balance of components, and understand the variable risk levels that will be present when you get your custom-built dose.
The team monitors you closely during your first cycle, and they’re really easy to contact if you need them, or if you have any concerns. So far, there haven’t been too many side effects to report. Interestingly, our office manager, Mark, told me that the strangest one he’d seen was actually in the sim itself.
The volunteer’s Alleviation Sim didn’t actually feature them at all. They were in control, but they were absent as a character. It’s only happened twice, apparently, and was a sign that the volunteer’s body was creating an immune response against the Neg-Vac. Easily fixable, but still pretty strange, right?
As to how effective the drugs really are, that can be demonstrated by the first prison test. I’ll save that for next time though.