It’s been almost 3 years now that we have been living through the Covid pandemic. At the start in 2020 we knew very little. Since then a fantastic amount of research has been done internationally including the production of vaccines. We know Covid is an air borne virus and we know how to limit and prevent its transmission. And yet, in Scotland and the UK, the number of people in hospital with Covid is rising and over 2 million people are struggling with long Covid. Why? Misinformation and belief in myths about Covid. Here are the FACTS.
Myth 1.: Covid Is Just A Cold
- Our immunity is stable when we catch a cold. That is not the case with Covid. It is a fast and ever changing virus. Our immunity system is not keeping pace with the changes in the virus.
Myth 2.: It is Just A Cold In Children
- Whilst it is the case that for most children at the start of the pandemic in 2020, the virus had a milder effect on MOST children. But since then the virus has mutated many times. Over 16,000 hospitalisations of those under 18 have taken place in the UK already in 2022. Covid has also resulted in over 100 deaths in children – that is more than any other childhood disease which we would routinely vaccinate for.
- over 100,000 children and young people have long Covid. 22,000 of those children have had the symptoms for over 1 year.
- 18,000 children and young people have had the activities they would normally participate in affected because of long Covid – affecting their daily lives and education
Myth 3: People Who Die With Covid Are Not Actually Dying Because Of Covid (They Would Have Died Anyway)
- Death certificates – lots of deaths come from a combination of factors. Death certificates don’t just have one thing on them. For example: if someone is being treated for cancer and they have Covid, when they die both of these will be entered on the death certificate. What we don’t know is how many more years of life that person would have had if they hadn’t caught Covid and they would have been able to continue with their cancer treatment – perhaps even successfully.
- Covid does not appear on a death certificate unless the doctor filling it in assesses that Covid contributed to the person’s death. The only things on a death certificate are those things that contributed to their death.
Myth 4: Long Covid Doesn’t Exist – It’s All In The Mind
- At the moment there is not one test of any kind which will say for sure that a person has long Covid. But this does not mean that it is all in a person’s mind. IT IS A REAL CONDITION.
- Much research continues about the linking of the persistence of the virus with changes which are taking place within the person.
Myth 5: The Preventative Measures Were Worse Than Covid
- Lockdown – many countries did not have lockdown but they did put in other public health measures such us widespread testing and contact tracing – in 2020 Scotland and the UK did not have this.
- Lockdowns work to suppress infection but they are harmful to mental health. A second lockdown was needed because in Scotland and the UK effective ongoing measures were not in place or adhered to in order to limit the onward transmission of Covid. That second lockdown would not have been needed if those measures had been in place and acted upon.
Myth 6: Vaccines are Worse Than Covid
- The Covid vaccines are very safe. They have all been extensively tested.
- Vaccines do not reduce fertility – any suggestion or promotion of that is a LIE. What can reduce fertility temporarily in some men is having Covid.
Myth 7: Covid Vaccine Boosters Have Not Been Properly Tested
Booster vaccines have been thoroughly tested. They provide an extra layer of protection.
Myth 8: There Is No Robust Evidence That Masks Work
- There have been many studies that in indoor spaces if people wear masks then the chance of catching Covid is considerably reduced.
- It must also be said that no mask is 100% effective – but some are better than others – and any mask is better than none at all.
- Masks do not lower your blood oxygen levels
- Masks do not weaken your immune system
- Masks do not cause major mental trauma in children although no child should be forced to wear one
- In some people, masks can induce a feeling of claustrophobia
- Some masks can make it difficult to hear what someone is saying – there is a problem for those with hearing difficulties including those who lip read.
Myth 9: Ventilation And Improving Air Quality In Buildings Is Not Important
- A very effective way of reducing the transmission of Covid (which is air borne ) is managing the quality of indoor air.
- You cannot over ventilate or over filter the quality of indoor air.
Myth 10: It’s A Choice Between Full Lockdown Or Taking No Precautions Whatsoever
- It is key to reduce the numbers in crowded spaces and to have high quality air in those spaces.
- Employers do have a duty to ensure that there is clean air in the workplace.
- We are still in a risky situation with Covid but there is a lot we can do. It is worth taking all these measures so that we can go to work, and children can still go to school
Myth 11: Covid Will Never Go Away – Let’s Just Give Into It
- Only one virus has been eradicated – smallpox. And we continue to vaccinate against all the others.
- Medicine is about prevention and the treatment of diseases that kill and maim us.
- Many of the economic consequences we are seeing today are because Scotland and the UK did not implement the very effective public health measures from the start.
- Public Health is essential, it is democratic and it always protects the most vulnerable.
To listen to the whole presentation from this week’s Indie Sage click on the link:
- #Covid in Scotland 13% Excess Deaths: Weekly Update
- #Covid Weekly Update Scotland: 12% Increase in Hospitalisations