Gary Matthews fell headlong into a subterranean world haunted by vicious fantasies. But he wasn’t vicious himself. “I knew him since he was 19,” his friend Peter Roscoe told me. “He was a gentle guy. He wanted a better world. I am so sorry in recent times he became convinced that Covid was some kind of hoax.”
The “hoax” killed him, his relatives said. He had a positive Covid-19 test and went home to isolate. He died, aged 46, alone in his flat in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, on 13 January.
His short life and lonely death seem as far from the overindulged world of London’s anti-scientific right as it is possible to get. Matthews was hard up and all but unknown. He could never have been a Toby Young or Julia Hartley-Brewer. The Telegraph would never have let him write columns declaring with no evidence whatsoever that the common cold could provide “natural immunity” to Covid-19. Talkradio would never have paid him to shout that the “virus isn’t causing excess deaths any more” even as the corpses piled up in mortuaries.
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