Sussex resident’s anger at vandalised sign for Covid-19 testing site

A Haywards Heath resident has spoken out against conspiracy theories after seeing a vandalised sign for a Covid-19 testing site.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 1:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 3:42 pm

Heather Ephgrave, 56, said she saw the defaced sign for Plumpton Racecourse on the junction of Plumpton Road and North Common Road when she was driving to Wivelsfield Green.

She said someone had spray-painted the words ‘scam’ and ‘Covid-19 scamdemic, agenda 21’ on it.

“I found the graffiti so offensive, partly because of the nonsensical thinking behind the conspiracy theorists’ claims,” said Heather, who lives with her husband and two adult children.

Graffiti on a yellow directions sign on North Common Road at the junction of Plumpton Road, near Plumpton and Wivelsfield Green. Picture: Steve Robards, SR2105273
Graffiti on a yellow directions sign on North Common Road at the junction of Plumpton Road, near Plumpton and Wivelsfield Green. Picture: Steve Robards, SR2105273

But, on this occasion, Heather said she was particularly angry because the sign was directing people to a testing site, which is important for tackling the virus.

“I first saw a stupid message of this kind last summer, when visiting Seaford and was incensed by it then,” said Heather, who spotted a defaced utilities box.

“Thousands of people, including health professionals, had lost their lives, while others had survived but were or are living with the debilitating effects of ‘long Covid’,” she added.

Heather, who is a ‘stay-at-home mum’, partly because of chronic health issues, said: “I don’t have the clear mind or eloquence of words to begin to explain why I think the conspiracy theorist viewpoint is so ridiculous and offensive.”

However, she urged people who think Covid-19 is fictional or some sort of government conspiracy to ‘think about what they’re saying and the logic behind it’.

She called the conspiracy idea ‘fantastical’ because of the sheer number of people in government, the NHS and other organisations who would have to lie and be part of a cover-up.

“The morgues and funeral directors would also have to be on side,” she said, adding that it was not realistic to think they would lie about the difficulties of dealing with so many bodies each week.

“Anyone who has watched some of the powerful documentaries aired over the previous year, filmed inside hospitals and morgues, with grieving relatives (not to mention poor Kate Garraway’s situation with her husband, Derek) would know that to call it a hoax or a scam is just plain fantasy and highly offensive,” said Heather.

She added that she would like conspiracy theorists to spend 24 hours in a Covid ward or ICU to see if it changed their opinion.

Heather also expressed her frustration at anti-vaccination conspiracies, which claim that people are being injected with tracking devices by a Big Brother style government.

She said people can already be tracked via their phones and social media so this would be unnecessary.

“What about all the other vaccinations we routinely have (almost without a thought) from childhood onwards, which are to save us from horrible life changing and deadly diseases?” she asked.

Heather said she hoped more people in the Mid Sussex community would speak out against conspiracy theories and that ‘all those who safely can’ would get the vaccine.

She also encouraged people to be sensible over the coming months as Covid restrictions lift further.