James O'Brien caller distraught his wife has become a Covid anti-vaxxer

1 December 2020, 13:07 | Updated: 1 December 2020, 13:18

By Fiona Jones

This distraught caller told James O'Brien of his utter disbelief that his wife has suddenly become a Covid anti-vaxxer and nothing he can do will change her mind.

Lee from Nottingham told James that he loves his wife very dearly and they agree on a lot of things; they both voted for Remain, both support James and his ideals - but on the specific point of coronavirus, his wife has recently become an anti-vaxxer.

They have recently had a child and his wife started questioning "what was in" vaccines after a colleague sent her "misinformation" about them - he told his wife to listen to a family friend who was a biologist and even then she did not budge.

"We both voted Remain, we both saw how...everything was corrupted and the messages that was going to people that fell for those sort of things," Lee said, explaining that he is in disbelief his wife has "fallen for this."

James empathised with the frustration Lee feels that "what you're being presented with doesn't bear the barest scrutiny."

Lee told James he "didn't even contemplate" this would be a problem and has ended up having to argue that there are "so many scientists out there" giving the facts about coronavirus yet she has chosen to believe people on social media with no scientific qualifications.

James said the people to listen to "don't even have to be research scientists, just doctors and nurses", to which Lee agreed.

Lee even tried to get his wife to listen to James's show today for the extensive discussion on the Covid vaccine deniers but she became offended, accusing him of likening her to a conspiracy theorist.

"I've done a lot of research trying to combat it," Lee said, to which James responded that, sadly, "You cannot reason people out of things they have not been reasoned into."

"It's something to do with a combination of fear and faith," James said, "rather than offering up refutations and contradictions, just concentrate on questions, and eventually she won't be able to answer them and that's the point that the light gets let in."

Lee said that it is horrible to question how some people can believe conspiracy theories then have it "happen so close to home" to someone you love.

James observed that if it can happen to Lee's wife, who is normally so conscious of misinformation, it can happen to anyone.