Monday 1 February 2021


It's an odd thing, dealing with deniers. 

Al Cotton, our resident sceptic, has been doing some of his own research into Covid, and has come up with a lot of reasons why it's all a hoax, no such thing exists as the Covid virus, and we're all currently hammering the economy to keep an epidemic that doesn't exist under control.

He's found a site that tells him that the virus that causes Covid-19 doesn't exist, has never been isolated, and therefore the whole thing is a myth. That you can't catch Covid. And that fundamentally, what you need to avoid the disease is positive thoughts - because it's negative ones that do the damage. Also that Covid is really influenza, which is why there is so little 'flu about this year.

I explained to him that I actually studied the influenza virus, and I've seen the crystal structures of the influenza protein that equate to the "spike" on Covid-19. I've explained to him how scientists can isolate viruses, sequence the RNA, and so know that 'flu isn't coronavirus - that they are in fact different things, even to look at under an electron microscope. He doesn't believe me. He's read a webpage.

I explained to him about the Soho Pump which John Snow chained up, and proved that cholera is passed on by drinking dirty water - thus showing that diseases can be transmitted from person to person. He told me he'd seen Game of Thrones, and that definitely never happened.

 I told him about the eradication of smallpox. He said the virus, if it ever existed - which he doubted - had probably evolved not to infect people any more. He says that's what evolution does - encourages viruses to die out. I told him that's actually the opposite of what evolution tends to do, but he saw a picture of James Delingpole not wearing a mask and that's convinced him.

I pointed out that influenza was first passed between species in a lab by deliberately getting the snot out of one animal and spraying it up the nose of another (a ferret, as it happened).  Thus proving how respiratory diseases get passed on.  He said he's not a ferret. Which, to be fair, he's not.

You'd have thought he'd have learned from when he told us that if lockdowns worked, we wouldn't need another one. We just refused to feed him. Told him if eating worked, the Sunday roast he had should suffice forever. But the funny thing is, he still got hungry on Monday. He tells me that's different, because Julia Hartley-Brewer said.

I don't understand why he has to believe everything that people with degrees in PPE tell him about science, yet not what people with actual practices and qualifications in medicine, virology and epidemiology say. Although, as an exception, he believed Sunetra Gupta when she said we had nearly reached herd immunity. Last spring. And again three weeks ago, when she said lockdowns had delayed the onset of herd immunity (which of course she'd said we already had).  To be fair, Professor Gupta is a theoretical epidemiologist. And I'm sure just as soon as we have a theoretical pandemic, she'll get a prediction right.

So ultimately, I reckon Al thinks he's being clever. He wants to believe he's seen through us all. He likes being "in" with the contrarians. He doesn't like the sad truth - that we need to hack our way through a pandemic until we get through the other side with vaccines and a lot of social distancing. He wants wishful thinking and happiness. He knows Brexit was done through magical thinking - so how can it not cure a virus? If the virus exists. 

Basically, he's just hunting down stuff that makes life look happy, and easy - because an invisible virus, which some people carry even without knowing it, is really scary. And he's not had a scary life. He wants a nice safe one, where good people don't have bad things happening to them. He wants me to open the Moot House for worship because why would God let bad things happen to people just because they were worshipping him?

He doesn't want the real world. He wants a fake one. Because, deep down, he's scared.

1 comment :

  1. Should Al the Sceptic not be called Septic, because that sort of hiding from reality is dangerous.


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