A NHS nurse in Scotland, Tracey McCallum, was suspended from her employment at Crosshouse Hospital over supporting conspiracy theories and branding the coronavirus pandemic a “scamdemic”.
McCallum, 45, alleged that face masks were helping accelerate the spread of the pandemic, claimed that vaccination leads to genocide and declared that vitamins could help in treating COVID-19. Almost all of her Facebook page posts have since been deleted following news of her suspension.
The nurse also supported a now-discredited claim made by US President Donald Trump that anti-malaria drugs could be used tackle the virus, while alleging that new coronavirus vaccines would bring side effects. In her posts she also claimed that she personally knew nurses who would not take a coronavirus vaccine.
There have been protests over government responses to the coronavirus pandemic in the UK launched by 'covid dissidents' and some activists who support them. The first protest started in April 2020, when the first national lockdown was introduced. Anti-lockdown protests continued into September 2020, as the government imposed new restrictive measures in the wake of a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases.
On Tuesday, the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, is expected to make a lockdown announcement for 12 local authority areas, implementing “Tier 4” restrictions, which imply a full lockdown. As COVID-19 cases continued to rise, the Scottish government introduced a tier system of lockdown rules, allowing 5 levels of pandemic restrictions in the nation. The new system is ranked from “Level Zero” (“closest to normality”) to “Level 4” (“closer to a full lockdown)”.
As of Tuesday, the total number of COVID-19 cases registered by the Scottish government is in excess of 80,000, with the death toll topping 3,000.