As the BBC has reported, “Levels of protective antibodies in people wane ‘quite rapidly’ after coronavirus infection, say researchers. Antibodies are a key part of our immune defences and stop the virus from getting inside the body's cells. The Imperial College London team found the number of people testing positive for antibodies has fallen by 26% between June and September. They say immunity appears to be fading and there is a risk of catching the virus multiple times”. More than 350,000 have taken an antibody test.
However, “In the first round of testing, at the end of June and the beginning of July, about 60 in 1,000 people had detectable antibodies. But in the latest set of tests, in September, only 44 per 1,000 people were positive. It suggests the number of people with antibodies fell by more than a quarter between summer and autumn”. And it gets worse.
As Yahoo! News has pointed out, “The findings by Imperial College London and market research firm Ipsos Mori also suggest the loss of antibodies was slower in 18–24 year-olds compared to those aged 75 and over”. One of the lead authors stressed “We don't yet know whether this will leave these people at risk of reinfection with the virus that causes Covid-19, but it is essential that everyone continues to follow guidance to reduce the risk to themselves and others”. Which means Hands Face Space, not counter-propaganda.
Where does that leave the Great Barrington Declaration and its backers? If the likes of Toby Young, Dan Wootton and Julia Hartley Dooda had any scruples, and indeed any shame, they would acknowledge that they have been promoting a false prophet and say sorry. But they don’t have either, so they won’t, and the denialism will continue.
Indeed, so far this morning there has been no direct comment on the news from Young, Wootton, or Ms Hartley Dooda. But the loathsome Tobes has been promoting breaking the law by publicising James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole and his travelling by train without a face covering. And then there is Karol Sikora.
He has seen reports of the study, which was commissioned by the Government, and decided to tell his followers to Look Over There. “T-cells are a crucial part of our immune response. Reading articles this morning about antibodies, you would think they just don't exist. None of us fully understand our immune system - headlines this morning suggest otherwise! … There is more at play than antibodies”. So it’s not really happening.
Denialists gonna deny. And they are free to hold whatever alternative viewpoints they choose. But the idea they are other than fringe wackos needs to stop, and now.
There is the science. And there aren’t “two sides”. Time to get real about Covid-19.
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