I, unfortunately, made the mistake of hearing the radio this morning, the story when I came in about a 50% rise in stillbirths, and how it had ‘perhaps’ been caused due to pregnant women getting Covid. Having had a baby in the time of Covid, I feel I’ve got a dog in this race. If you dig past the headlines, you’ll find a global increase from 2.38 per 1,000 to 9.31 per 1000, but as with so much I read and see, there is never any attempt to do any logical analysis, on the top tier search results, it’s just fear pornography. There was no conversation about the near shuttering up of the global health system and its disruption, the stress and anxiety (primarily a creation of the media), the way a woman carrying a new and precious life is more likely than anyone else in society to go into solitary confinement, or the opposite, to self medicate with drink or drugs believing the world is about the end. Having had a baby I can tell you, as a father, that some aspects of the birth were inhuman. The cynical part of me said to my wife, our son on her knee, that the story is probably just designed to increase vaccine uptake, maybe even amongst pregnant women (there’s been a slow shift from not to vaccinating pregnant women, to it’s ‘probably’ safe). I’m not an anti-vaxxer, I feel I’ve had every vaccine on the market, including rabies, but although I’m happy to see my parents take the vaccine, I don’t think it’s an anti-vaxxer position to tell my kids not to take it, or a pregnant woman, but maybe my problem is not with vaccines, but trust. “No, no one would sink that low”, was her answer, that you’d use dead babies to reinforce a narrative, that with a war mentality, you can sink to anything.
I didn’t agree and just turned off the radio.
[Note: there is a good piece on this issue in Nature here.]