Pensioner is sent 'incredibly dangerous' bogus conspiracy theory letter claiming Covid is a hoax
Rob Hayes said his elderly mother had the "worrying" letter pushed through her door.
It suggests the pandemic has been faked by the government to impose totalitarian rule, refers to the lockdown restrictions as "deliberate psychological torture", and encourages people to stop wearing masks.
Mr Hayes said: "If people who read it believe it then it's nearly as dangerous as the infection itself."
Wakefield Council's director of public health said the conspiracy theories in the message were "incredibly dangerous" and reminded the public that hundred of people in the district have died as a result of the pandemic, with the number of cases still high.
She said: “We are aware of sources of misinformation about Covid-19 being circulating nationally, regionally and locally.
“We know a lot of people are sharing information especially on social media platforms and it very important that the information shared is always from accurate and comes from reliable sources.
“Distributing false information during the global pandemic – on social media – or in this case via a leaflet - is not only highly irresponsible it is also incredibly dangerous.
“The seriousness of the situation cannot be under-estimated – as sadly there have been 318 deaths in our district from Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, including 30 more deaths in the last week (November 9 to November 14). These are all incalculable losses to the families, friends, and colleagues of those who have died.
"At this time our local hospitals are under great pressure – currently treating 325 patients with Covid-19, which is higher than the first peak. Positive tests in our district are 515.1 per 100,000 for last seven days.
“We all need to be aware that Covid-19 isn’t a quick illness for everyone and many people in the district are experiencing longer-term effects and it is referred to as Long-Covid.
"This condition, is thought to affect more than 60,000 people in the UK, and can cause continuing fatigue, brain fog, breathlessness and pain.
“For all these reasons it is vital that we all take the right actions to stop the spread of the virus.
“We are asking everyone to follow the government’s national lockdown guidance to stay at home as much as possible, and when leaving the home to maintain social distancing and follow the rules on wearing a face-covering, to keep ourselves and others safe
“At this time when cases of Covid-19 continue to rise in our district we all need to take the right actions and help save lives."
For latest more information visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus