After receiving the follow-up letter on Friday (please see here: https://miriaf.co.uk/evil-is-always-after-the-children/), the hospital replied that same day to confirm surgery would go ahead in the absence of a Covid test, and entirely dropped all mention of social services, revealing that as nothing but a baseless threat to force compliance, which is so breathtakingly despicable, there are really no words to describe it.
They were still being silly, though, writing a ridiculous response outlining why this small child with no symptoms of any illness represents a dire and mortal threat to the entirety of the hospital's staff, and so would have to be admitted into a single cubicle, rather than onto a ward, and they couldn't confirm whether a cubicle would be available until 6am of the day of the operation.
So, over the weekend, they got this response:
Thank you for confirming that [name]'s urgent surgery will go ahead in the absence of his receiving Covid testing. As you will appreciate, we are extremely keen to ensure this surgery goes ahead as planned, and causes [name] the minimal distress that is possible. Adults many decades his senior can experience profound anxiety and distress in the lead up to such surgeries, so, you can appreciate the potential stress and distress this may be causing [name], a nine-year-old boy, especially in light of all the medical trauma he has already experienced.
Obviously, the best way for [name] to remain as calm and stress-free as possible is for his surgery to go ahead when it is planned, giving us as his parents the best opportunity to prepare and reassure him as the date approaches. It would, obviously, be deeply distressing to [name] were we to have to tell him on the day of his planned operation that it was not going ahead after all.
This would then intensify and prolong his distress, which would now be compounded with uncertainty, as well as the practical implications of his having to continue to live with very poor and deteriorating eyesight.
In these circumstances, I think it is reasonable to request that the hospital adjust its usual 'policy' regarding cubicles, and does set one aside for [name]. You have stated the hospital has [name]'s best interests and wellbeing at heart, and if this is the case, then clearly, a cubicle must be booked. The alternative would create a situation that would patently deeply undermine [name]'s best interests and wellbeing.
Moving on to the risk you suggest [name] may pose if he doesn't have a Covid test: in the first instance, [name] has no symptoms of any infectious illness, and the World Health Organisation has stated that asymptomatic transmission of viral illness is "very rare", and that the response to controlling disease should focus on testing and isolating those with symptoms only (1).
In addition, and as I explained in some detail in my initial correspondence, which I am attaching again*, is the fact that the PCR tests that the hospital proposes to use do not and cannot detect infectious viral illness. As the Nobel-Prize winning inventor of the PCR test explained repeatedly throughout his career, that is not what they were designed to do and should never be used for that purpose.
I refer you once again to the New York Times report on the "epidemic that wasn't" (2), when, in 2007 in the USA, a pertussis epidemic was falsely declared on the basis of using PCR testing. However, when the definitive diagnostic of growing the pertussis bacterium in a lab was used to confirm suspected cases, it didn't find a single one. Rather, those who had "tested positive" for pertussis on the PCR test, probably had ordinary and non-serious respiratory illnesses such as the common cold.
Reflecting on the situation, Dr. Cathy A. Petti, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Utah, said the story had one clear lesson.
"The big message is that every lab is vulnerable to having false positives," Dr. Petti said. "No single test result is absolute and that is even more important with a test result based on PCR." (2)
Concludingly, it is clear that [name] - a child who has no symptoms of any illness - does not pose a significant health risk to anyone else in the hospital, and PCR testing does not mitigate risk in general as it is not a reliable indicator of the presence of active viral infection.
Please confirm as a matter of urgency that [name]'s surgery will go ahead on [date], that a cubicle will be booked for him, and that there will be no more delays or uncertainty to this critical operation.
The hospital wrote back this morning, confirming the surgery would go ahead on the planned date, and also confirming it is standard procedure for ALL children having this procedure to be admitted to cubicles, and ALL parents to call on the morning - it has nothing to do with Covid testing! By insinuating otherwise, they were yet again attempting to coerce compliance, by suggesting, were this boy to have a Covid test, then he would not need to be on a cubicle and would not need to call on the day, neither of which are actually true!
Ladies and gentlemen, our wonderful NHS...
Disgusting and despicable psychopathic manipulations aside, the main thing is this little boy will get the operation he urgently needs and get his sight back. By strange coincidence (but of course, there aren't any...), I also had a sight-saving eye operation at the age of nine, for detached retinas. I didn't find the procedure traumatic at all because all the adults involved were so thoughtful and kind, making the process as comfortable and stress-free as possible. So it's nice to have the chance to 'pay it forward' in some way, and I guess what we're all doing at the moment - the most important job there is - is trying to be the kind of adults we needed around when we were children.
Wishing this little boy and his family the very best of luck
(*The original letter to the hospital: https://miriaf.co.uk/letter-to-hospital-declining-covid.../)