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Monday 3 January 2022

Tel School Swipe OUT OF ORDER

Almost two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, with that grim attribute adorning more than 172,500 UK death certificates, one might think that by now the pushers of misinformation might stop and think before crawling out from under their rocks. But today’s front page lead from the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph shows that that thought would have been misplaced. Oh, and, WON’T THEY THINK OF THE CHILDREN?

Backlash at reality by our entitled media class ...

The headline, “Backlash at masks in schools as cases ease … Tory MPs call for rethink over effect on children as new infections decline”, is a masterpiece of malicious deceit. Cases have not, repeat not, REPEAT NOT, “eased”. Partial reporting (not all of the UK, for instance) together with a shortage of testing capacity and a lag in reporting means that no such conclusion can be drawn, certainly not from a single day’s figures.

The seven day rolling average shows the grim reality: close to 160,000 new infections a day, with the trend rising, hospital admissions averaging more than 1,400 a day, also on a rising trend, and deaths beginning to tick up significantly with a daily average of 140.

... promoted by one non-expert ...

So who are the Tory MPs of whom the Tel speaks? Mainly, they are one Tory MP, Iain Duncan Cough, who has given the paper a significantly-sized, and significantly dishonest, quote. “It’s far better to test pupils for Covid than to mandate masks”. THEY’RE ALREADY BEING TESTED FOR COVID. “They will be worn badly”. NO CITATION. JUST MADE UP. “And won’t stop contact between kids”. MEANING WHAT? Sadly, there is more.

I don’t know who they’re going to protect”. TRY DOING SOME RESEARCH. “The teachers should be triple jabbed by now”. HEY EVERYONE, DUNCAN COUGH SAYS IT’S OK TO INFECT SCHOOLTEACHERS. Then the article quotes someone from UsForThem, which is a group known for peddling misinformation. Could it get worse?

... and supported by another non-expert ...

As if you need to ask. Andrew Bridgen. Yes, Andrew “HS2 ate my homework” Bridgen. And what does he have to say? “I think [reassuring news there] that the children have suffered immeasurably during this pandemic and these measures are taken to try to protect others”. Which means what? Who knows? And, indeed, who cares? But it gets worse still.

Bridgen, according to the Tel, was “Hitting out at the intergenerational unfairness on heaping new restrictions on children, who are largely at low risk from coronavirus”. They still get infected. They still get ill, sometimes severely. And, whisper it quietly, they still take it home to their parents and maybe grandparents. Or carry it the other way.

... and so the winner is - well, I never

Face coverings are all about reducing the transmission of Covid-19, whether in the classroom, on buses, metros and trains, in shops and offices, and even in settings like Parliament. There is sound evidence to support the wearing of face coverings in schools (thread from Prof Christina Pagel HERE, thread from Deepti Gurdasani HERE).

There is also ample evidence that the latest wave of Covid infections is severely affecting the NHS (Shaun Lintern reminding us of the situation in Lincolnshire HERE). It is also causing staff shortages elsewhere as workers fall ill or have to self isolate. So what does a former paper of record splash on its front page? A welter of shitty misinformation.

The press has made this crisis worse. It’s high time it owned its involvement.

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Anonymous said...

Remember when we were told less than 20,000 deaths meant "we would be doing well"?

The seedy tory scumbags don't mention it anymore.....nor do their media lapdogs.

Mr Larrington said...

Nothing like unity among the ranks* of the so-called “party of government”, and that is nothing like unity.

* joke about “Das Horst Wessel Lied” goes here ==>

AndyC said...

There is clearly now an almost total overlap between the three denials; Covid-denial/ anti-vaxxing, climate-change denial and Brexit is a disaster denial.

Rosie said...

Quite right. The Christmas Royal Institution lectures shown on telly made it clear that masks were crucial in the battle against Covid spread. I recommend mandatory viewing of the three programmes by Budgen and Duncan Smith. And how Jenny Harries got a gong is beyond me when she did moree damage than anyone in the UK when she pronounced against masks in 2020. The science on masks and virus spread reduction has been known since the 19th century said (Sir) Jonathan van Tamm in one of the three Christmas lectures.

Anonymous said...

Wheres sexpest Francois?

Mark Hayhurst said...

I've warned about the slide in quality at the telegraph for years. My plays often deal with this very issue. Playing to the gallery, not the truth

Anonymous said...

"and deaths beginning to tick up significantly with a daily average of 140"
Defined how? Can't seem to find it.