What I have woken to in the last year is that we don’t live in a society that is run by people who value life and have compassion for the most vulnerable.
First published in June 2021.
Just a heads up to everyone who has very kindly supported me and been following me over the past year. I have been quite unwell for the past year and it has been a struggle to get treatment in the midst of COVID-19.
I am now focusing on my health and will likely be spending less time on the media. I have continued to do as much public messaging as I could through poor health, but this has come at a personal cost. Apart from being some time away from family and work, I have also been targeted extensively by fellow scientists just for putting out information that challenges false narratives.
Unfortunately, my experience with much of the media has not been a lot better – where I have been labelled as promoting “negativity”, and been treated as someone who should be promoting optimism rather than providing information. I am not an entertainer, I am a scientist.
I have had to watch utter BS come out of outlets, even the BBC, where people like Nick Triggle (BBC health correspondent) have played a hugely damaging role in putting out misinformation repeatedly – rationalising the government’s hugely damaging policies that have impacted so many lives.
I am exhausted – physically, mentally, and emotionally – given than even 16 months in, I am still having the same conversations, and I am still being challenged on the same information, despite having been mostly right about much that I have warned about and not been listened to.
16 months in, we still don’t have mitigations in place for aerosol transmission for healthcare workers, children, or even just in most workplaces. And many people have suffered as a result, many have died, and many more will continue to in the future.
What I have woken to in the last year is that we don’t live in a society that is run by people who value life and have compassion for the most vulnerable. Our media reflects these values. Testament to this is that Matt Hancock was allowed to resign.
The media covered everything except:
- Why wasn’t he sacked for the policies that led to over 150,000 people dying, to over 1 million people living with long COVID, and for allowing a new variant that escapes vaccines to an extent and is causing a third wave to enter the country?
- Why wasn’t he sacked for this?
- Or why wasn’t he sacked for this?
I fully believe we have a system in place that involves the government, and sadly some scientific advisors and PHE leadership that are essentially OK with exposing the most vulnerable in our society to a virus that we know persists in the body, and causes long term changes in our brain, and organs.
Vested interests, lobby groups, and disinformation groups are in charge. They have direct access to Number 10, in a way most scientists, parent groups, long COVID groups just don’t. And they have an ideological agenda that we as individuals have little power to challenge.
As the public there is very little we can do, because the media is complicit in this machine, spreading hopium, talking about summer holidays, while millions are exposed, suffering from long term impacts with some with chronic disability that may be permanent. Including children.
So, I am going to take a step back, and limit media to essential messaging while I focus on my recovery, because I, like most people, have zero power in this system. And I don’t believe I can make much of a difference.
And those who can, won’t speak up, and challenge. By design.
— AUTHOR —
▫ Dr Deepti Gurdasani, Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology, Statistical Genetics, Machine Learning, Queen Mary University of London.
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[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 28 June 2021 with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected, and published with the author’s consent. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.]
(Cover: Geograph.org.uk/Jim Osley. - Lambeth : National COVID Memorial Wall. | XX XXXX 2021. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)