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Saturday 3 October 2020

Allison Pearson’s Grade D

The realisation that last weekend’s White House gathering, where distancing and face coverings were largely ignored, had become a Coronavirus superspreader event, with the result that Combover Crybaby Donald Trump is now seriously ill in hospital and many others are unwell, has not yet reached those who ply their trade at the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph, including wayward pundit Allison Pearson.

So it was that she could be found on an eastbound District Line train once more, telling anyone who would listen that the Government her paper supports is wrong, and a dubious convocation of fringe medical figures, and outright wackos, is right.

And although she was interviewed some days ago, Ms Pearson keeps on promoting an interview with Sunetra Gupta. “A privilege to interview brave, brilliant Prof Sunetra Gupta. The anti-lockdown case is mainly made by right-wing libertarians. Sunetra comes from the left and worries about its impact on the poor. One of the world’s best epidemiologists tells the truth”. “One of the … best” being opinion, not fact. And there was more.

In case you missed it, here is the brilliant Professor Sunetra Gupta explaining what our government should be doing about the virus. Rather marvellously she says Covid is a ‘third division pandemic’”. Sunetra Gupta suggested that 68% of the population had already become infected with Covid-19. But the study has not been peer reviewed.

Still, minor drawback, eh? In any case, there was more frothing and ranting to do. “About two-thirds of Wales is locked down. One Covid death on 30 September in the whole of Wales”. How many more would Madam care to entertain before desisting from trying to frighten her followers? Also, she had Quote Tweeted a #KBF wacko.

Then it was on to getting paranoid about vaccines. “According to [Toby Young] and Lockdown Sceptics, the vaccines they are working on will not prevent infection. Or death. Just modify symptoms. Are we really waiting for a placebo?!” Wibble. Hatstand.

There was more. “Lots of furious mums asking to join the coronagettes. If Hancock ever dares to try and vaccinate children, who are unharmed by Covid, he’ll have a revolution on his hands”. First responsibility of Government is to protect its people. Next.

Eventually she got round to using The Donald as a talking point. “Trump is receiving treatment that boosts antibodies. If you want to know what works don’t listen to Matt Hancock. Watch what they give the rich and powerful”. What he’s been given is, in part, an experimental treatment that has not been approved for public use. So we should aspire to be treated with something that is not available to us. Way to go, Ms P.

But wait - here’s something that you can buy over the counter! “Everyone should be taking Vitamin D right now”. Yes, because someone on Twitter said so. And several of her followers agree with her. Who needs medical practitioners when you can have advise dispensed by a shouty fringe Telegraph pundit on social media?

How did we manage before Twitter? On health matters, maybe better than now, actually.

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Johnspartacusanonymous said...

Can only hope the deranged witch Pearson swallows the Kool-aid before too long. How much do they pay ding-a-lings of her ilk.

Anonymous said...

God what a malicious idiot.
" If Hancock ever dares to try and vaccinate children, who are unharmed by Covid, he’ll have a revolution on his hands".

Children generally aren't harmed by German Measles (aside from horrid rash), but we vaccinate because of the possibility of them passing it on to pregnant women or catching it when they themselves are grown up and thinking about having a baby.

Children aren't generally exposed to HPV, but we give them a vaccine before they're sexually active to protect them as adults.

Am starting to become convinced the 'libertarians' are some weird social Darwinist death cult. Name me one single policy they've agreed with over covid - they dislike masks, cry about lockdowns, froth about social distancing and are now losing their minds over vaccines. Is like every effort to reduce this virus - no matter how minor - somehow mortally offends them.

Anonymous said...

Re: Vitamin D. There's definitely some evidence that vitamin D deficiency can lead to poor health beyond the well-known rickets. It could indeed be useful in cutting down on some respiratory illnesses.

But... are the connections between vitamin D deficiency and Covid severity real or a reflection of social/health issues of the affected?

i.e. people likely to suffer from D deficiency - the housebound, those with chronic illnesses, the overweight. Topping up their Vit D might help - but it could well be their other health issues causing the problem and Vit D is merely a correlation.

Plus if Vit D was the answer, can anyone explain why Spain, Italy, India and Florida/California have been hit so hard?

Anonymous said...

'Sunetra Gupta suggested that 68% of the population had already become infected with Covid-19. But the study has not been peer reviewed.'

This reminds me of those pieces arguing that 80% of the population are completely immune due to T-Cell reactions to previous coronaviruses.

But then you think about it and wonder why a disease that 80% are immune to would spread so much? After all if scientists said they had a vaccine that protected anything over 80% of the population it would be seen as really good.

May also tie in to the usual crowd arguing that 'herd immunity' threshold is only 20% for Covid 19 when it clearly isn't.

Someone is really spending lots of money and effort pushing this misinformation onto the population. They need to be held to account.

Talking of which (sorry to ramble on). Look at this fucking nonsense:


a) Ferguson's prediction was if most of the country was infected to get herd immunity - so 1% death rate.

b) He predicted much lower numbers in event of a lockdown/distancing.

c) If it was '12 times too high' that implies the current death toll is it and won't get any worse (it will) or that the government hasn't been playing games to reduce the numbers (like with the 28 day cut off).

d) The Daily Mail is absolute shit.

David said...

"But then you think about it and wonder why a disease that 80% are immune to would spread so much?"
If it spreads so much why do you object to Gupta suggesting it had spread to 68% of the population?

India has a lot of sun but a population that has skin that protects them from UVB. Italy was worst affected in the north with large areas covered by pollution in the tail end of winter.

RodJ said...

Anonymous "Am starting to become convinced the 'libertarians' are some weird social Darwinist death cult." Social Darwinism is an idiotic idea; even if they're not an outright death cult, libertarians like Pearson and Young certainly worship stupidity.

RodJ said...

PS. I do not know if Vitamin D is a defence against CoVid-19. What I do know is that in common with a lot of people in the North of England and Scotland, I suffered from chronic Vitamin D deficiency. It took several visits to the GP and a battery of lab tests to diagnose. My GP prescribed a course of high dosage Vitamin D, to be followed by taking a maintenance dose every day for the rest of my life. I hadn't realised how ill I had been until the treatment began to work - symptoms include weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite, and in my case feeling like I was in my eighties when I was in my fifties. Eating a reasonably healthy diet and spending time outdoors were not enough to prevent the deficiency - we just don't get much sunshine up here.

David said...

Not just covid but all viruses. This may interest you.
"The link between vitamin D deficiency and susceptibility to infection has been suggested for longer than a century, with the early observation that children with nutritional rickets were more likely to experience infections of the respiratory system, leading to the coining of the phrase “rachitic lung” (1). The isolation of vitamin D3 from cod liver oil, which was used to treat tuberculosis (TB) in the 1930s, led to its widespread use in TB treatment and prevention, until the introduction of antiinfective chemotherapy in the 1950s (2). More recently, epidemiologic studies have demonstrated strong associations between seasonal variations in vitamin D levels and the incidence of various infectious diseases, including septic shock (3), respiratory infection (4), and influenza (4,5)."