Confessions of a COVID-19 truther

We hunt down sceptical research like lions chasing antelope. The Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine is now compulsory reading. We relish science that confirms our biases and scoff at the stuff that doesn’t. We hate, with passion, that Neil Ferguson, the self-righteous so-and-so from Imperial College whose scare-mongering study caused governments across the world to embrace lockdown strategies. The bastard.

Quite often we don’t understand, or bother to read, the complicated statistical analyses we share. We know that the other side – the alarmists – is equally ignorant, so no shame there. We add caveats: all I’m saying is; this is not to say; don’t get me wrong… Then come the buts. But the authorities are muddling people dying with COVID and people dying of COVID. But the testing is inadequate and the tests are faulty. But the spread must be far wider than we realise, hence the real lethality rate is much lower. But the Italians have a much older population. But Swedish public health officials are refusing to panic. But but but…

The truther road can be tough, sometimes. We have doubts about doubts. Maybe our denialism is killing people, perhaps even literally. Last week, a truther friend came clean. He’d switched sides. He had spoken to somebody who’d nearly died of the virus, and now believed that the pandemic could be the greatest threat mankind has faced. Fair enough, I said. It’s been nice knowing you, I thought.