I became convinced that #COVIDisAirborne back in March 2020 when 102/130 members of a choir got Covid (4 died) after a performance of Bach’s St John Passion. Nothing else could explain this (and similar) events. Why were choir tragedies ignored by so many?
Sneezing and coughing spreads droplets. Speaking and *singing* spreads aerosols. Choir tragedies were the black swans that should have prompted a reassessment of the exclusively fomite-and-droplet mode of transmission.
Because key advisory bodies are still wedded to fomite-and-droplet mental models, we have an over-emphasis on the 2 (or 1.5 or 1) metre rule and an under-emphasis on *shared air*. Thousands continue to die daily because leadership on this key point is lacking.
Yesterday I tweeted “I got it wrong”. It’s OK for scientists to say they’ve reappraised the evidence and changed their minds. Digging oneself further into a hole to defend an obsolete position is not the scientific option.
Follow @hughes_eilir for more on airborne spread

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More from @trishgreenhalgh

9 Jan
It's a year since I first tweeted about an unusual pneumonia spreading in Wuhan, China. I lost my mother to Covid-19 on 27th December. My research on the disease, summarised in this thread, is dedicated to her.

Thanks to the funders of my research: @wellcometrust, @esrc, @nihrresearch, @healthfdn, @scotgov, @The_MRC, and to collaborators formal and informal. Thanks also to my wonderful Twitter followers for your contributions and interest.
The virus that causes Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is airborne. This means it is transmitted by *shared air* at both close range (< 2m) and more distant (>2m). It *is* important to physically distance but there’s nothing magical about 2m.
Read 26 tweets
18 Nov 20
Long thread coming: mute if not interested.

The DANMASK19 RCT of masking in Covid-19 prevention has been published. I have serious concerns. I’m deliberately not linking to the paper.
DANMASK19 was an unblinded RCT of surgical mask wearing to test if they protect the *wearer* [did not look at source control], led from a Copenhagen hospital and recruiting ~6000 people via media ads.
As far as I can see, there was
-no involvement of a clinical trials unit
-no data monitoring group
-no reference to CONSORT criteria
-no formal ethics approval
Read 17 tweets
13 Nov 20
Our new paper (important one). RECAP-v0 study.

RECAP = REmote Covid Assessment in Primary Care.

I’ll explain in this thread.


Back in March/April I became worried that people with Covid-19 symptoms were being reassured and told to stay at home. Telephone triage staff were using questionable ways of assessing how ill people were and their likelihood of deteriorating.

Hospitals were overstretched. There was pressure on primary care and ambulance services to keep people out of hospital. This led to over-use of instruments like Roth score. cebm.net/covid-19/roth-…

Read 15 tweets
27 Sep 20
Thread on online teaching. (I’ve done lots)
Students in UK & elsewhere are being offered online or ‘blended’ (online + face to face) learning. @Andrew_Adonis tweets that students should be offered a refund. Lecturers say online teaching is harder and more labour-intensive.
20 years ago I set up one of the UK’s first fully online courses – an MSc in International Primary Health Care at UCL. It was UCL’s first ever online course, and was seen as avant garde, experimental and – to quote a critic on a key committee – not “proper” teaching.
Actually, we had good reasons for teaching online: it allowed our part-time students to remain in-country and it also provided a great infrastructure to set up online, global communities of practice which extended beyond the end of the course.
Read 15 tweets
27 Sep 20
Please don’t describe me as a “Top Oxford professor”. Assess my claims on their merits, not on the basis of the reputation of the organisation that hires me. 1/
Ask if my premises are valid. Ask if my conclusions follow from those premises. Ask if I have looked for, and fully accounted for, evidence that appears to refute the claims I’m making. 2/
Count the number of peer-reviewed papers I’ve published on Covid-19. If few or none, question why I’m bypassing the standard scientific quality control process. 3/
Read 5 tweets
17 Sep 20
A story about brothers.

When my elder son was in infant school, he talked a lot about the Gold Book. You got to write your name in it if you’d done really well.

Son really wanted his name in that book. 1/
He picked up litter. He stood up straight in the lunch queue. He looked after the new kid. But somehow, he never made the cut. We worked on his self-esteem. After 3 years, he went up into Juniors and finally forgot about it. 2/
Soon after, little brother started school. A few weeks later I picked them both up and took them to a café. As we waited for our order, little bro mentions that he was sent to the headmistress today. Big bro’s eyes widen. “Were you bad?” 3/
Read 7 tweets

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