I have been trying quite hard to avoid adding angry posts to this blog. However, the slides from a recent talk to employees of an insurance company by Michael Sharpe MA MD FRCP FRCPsych., a Professor of Psychological Medicine at the University of Oxford & Oxford University Hospitals (given in February this year), are so preposterous in some of their insinuations that I can’t resist commenting. (Those who have read past posts relating to the appalling treatment of ME patients on the say-so of psychologists may forgive my indulgence in this instance).
It may be quibbling to object that, despite his warning to his audience to “beware of poor quality research with unclear denominators”, Sharpe claims (without any qualification) that post-COVID-19 syndrome primarily effects older patients, females, and those with pre-morbid vulnerability. Current research shows, however, that one in every ten sufferers is aged between 18 to 49. However, for a Professor (of the “science” of psychology) to imply that an article by George Mombiot is a possible cause of Long COVID suggests that Sharpe subscribes to a view of the world that anthropologists refer to as “magic thinking”. (Fortunately, there is no slide recommending that Monbiot be burned at the stake). Others, however, are horribly predictable. For example, the one where the Professor promotes the idea that: “at present the best treatment” for COVID-19 “is psychologically informed rehabilitation”. Given that the clique within his profession to which he is affiliated has, to date, been frustrated in its attempt to impose “psychologically informed rehabilitation” on patients suffering from the medical condition of ME – where it’s application has had very seriously damaging results – it must be that Sharpe and his friends now need to corner the market in a new set of unsuspecting patients.