Long Covid was said by doctors to be yet another one of the, seemingly ever-growing list, of ailments caused by Coronavirus. The BBC wheeled-out sufferer after sufferer who told us of the ongoing nightmare battling malage, memory loss, lethargy, depression and anxiety, headaches and general aches-and-pains.
The phrase was quickly given an official category and was added to the NHS website as if it was a genuine and provable illness. NHS departments were set up to deal with the long-term health crisis that Covid was going to bring us. It wasn't just a simple case of dying or recovering anymore, now there were long-term health risks that we all had to take into consideration., with 'experts' saying that as many as one in ten people who test positive from the virus may go on to develop Long-Covid.
All of this was, in reality, utter bollocks of course. There is no blood-test to confirm or discount Covid as the cause of any of these ailments, and it is highly implausible that a Pneumonia would cause any of the disparate symptoms lazy doctors were routinely assigning to Covid. Almost anything that came after Covid was caused by it.
Now, a team of researchers from France have debunked the whole 'Long Covid' myth, confirming what we already knew, that the vast majority of cases are psychosomatic.
Long Covid was initially believed to affect one in every ten people who catch the virus. However, estimates have since come down considerably. In September of this year, the ONS published research indicating that only 2.5% of people still report symptoms after 12 weeks. Even this 2.5% figure is a wild overestimate, since it assumes that every participant reported their symptoms accurately. Due to the media promotion of the pseudo-illness some participants are thought to have exaggerated their symptoms – to report things they normally wouldn’t have done. There is a certain section of the public who are also hypochondriacs who have been given 'validation' by media coverage raising doubts over what's left.
A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that the 2.5% figure is an overestimate. Joane Matta and colleagues analysed data on a sample of about 27,000 French people, who were given serology (i.e., antibody) tests between May and November of 2020. The same individuals took a questionnaire between December 2020 and January 2021. In that questionnaire, they were asked, “Since March, do you think you have been infected by the coronavirus (whether or not confirmed by a physician or a test)?”
Respondents who answered “Yes” were also asked when they caught the virus. Those who indicated that they caught it after their serology test were excluded from the analysis. Additionally, all respondents were asked to say whether they had experienced each of 18 different symptoms since March of 2020.
All of this means that between the enormous hype created by media, Doctors legitimising hypochondriacs along with careful patient selection and questions framed in such a way as to elicit a particular response, Long Covid is very unlikely to really exist. That won't stop the BBC or NHS from continuing to say it does, but then nothing they have said about Covid-19 has been accurate or truthful so why would Long Covid be any different?
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