‘Can’t be paranoid at coughs and colds’ Schofield clashes with scientist in Covid debate

Phillip Schofield clashes with professor over 'cold paranoia'

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With the summer now slipping away and colder months approaching, This Morning’s Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby were keen to learn how to distinguish between common cold symptoms and Covid. The ITV presenting duo welcomed Professor Tim Spector and Dr Sara Kayat onto the show to discuss the debate and offer viewers key advice on what to look out for. However, when Tim suggested coughs – which could be symptomatic of Covid – should result in people isolating, Phillip became frustrated, insisting we can’t be “paranoid” over winter colds.

In fact, Phillip revealed one of his own daughters was “terrified” to leave the house after having a recurring cough, even though she tested negative for Covid, in fear of the public reception.

The outburst came after Tim said to the This Morning stars: “We don’t want people going to the office or school that are sneezing (or) coughing all over people, 

“Potentially giving them not only Covid but also other viruses and we can’t at the moment tell what they are -“

Tim quickly found himself cut off by an irate Phillip, however, who jumped into the debate: “There’s the rub, Tim.”

He continued to vent: “Suddenly we don’t want people going in and giving each other coughs and colds, 

“We’ve lived like this forever!” Phillip exclaimed. “We’ve given each other coughs and colds. 

“Covid came along and changed the ballpark a little bit here. (But) We can’t end up being paranoid about winter coughs and colds.”

Recalling his own daughter’s experience in a similar predicament, Phillip added: “My daughter’s just had a persistent cough, tested herself, PCR test, it was just a cough. 

“She was paranoid,” he continued. “Terrified to go anywhere because of the fact she was coughing. 

“She wanted a big sign on herself saying, ‘It’s just a cough’. 

“And that’s where we’ve ended up now so where we would’ve normally just had coughs and colds and gone through the season with them, now you’re saying ‘Oh, be careful don’t go to work don’t go to school because you might give someone a cough!’”

Professor Tim remained cautious, however, despite Phillip’s passionate tirade.

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“We have one of the highest hospitalisation rates in Europe at the moment because we’ve got too complacent about Covid,” Tim argued.

“We’ve gone from one extreme of being over-worried to the other extreme saying, ‘We don’t have to worry about anything, vaccines will take care of it’,

“And I think it’s the wrong attitude. We have to have somewhere in the middle.”

The debate certainly sparked a reaction outside of the ITV studio as well.

Taking to Twitter following the clash, Gemma said: “@thismorning what a load of rubbish!! 

“Most children get coughs and colds when they have gone back to school in September, as long as you test, wash your hands and try not get close to others we have to get on with it!”

Diana agreed: “Utter madness its cough and cold season my kids primary and secondary age and me and my hubby have all had colds since bk to school we had covid tests all clear kids r all ready suffering where is the line !! #ThisMorning.” (Sic)

While Dave weighed in: ”Stay home if you have a cough.. I’ve got asthma and cough everyday I’m f****d [laughing emoji] #thismorning.”

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.

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