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Lockdown times March 25, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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So, this is the real lockdown, or is it the precursor to the real lockdown? What is the feeling on that? Certainly it can’t come a moment too soon many of us will think. Here from the IT is the full list of ‘essential’ retailers:

– Retail and wholesale sale of food, beverages and newspapers , Retail sale of household consumer products necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of residences and businesses; Pharmacies/Chemists; Opticians/Optometrists; Retail selling medical and orthopaedic goods ; Fuel stations and heating fuel providers; Retailers involved in the repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and bicycle repair and related facilities (e.g. tyre sales and repairs); Retail sale of essential items for the health and welfare of animals, including animal feed and medicines; Laundries and Drycleaners;Banks, Post Offices and Credit Unions; Retail sale of safety supply stores (for e.g. work clothes); Hardware stores, builders’ merchants and stores that provide hardware products necessary for home and business maintenance, sanitation and farm equipment, supplies and tools essential for gardening/farming/agriculture; Retail sale of office products and services for individuals working from home and for businesses; Retailers providing electrical, IT and phone sales, repair and maintenance services for home.

Outdoor exercise hasn’t been stopped, but one would hope there’d be considerably more supervision. The scenes at the weekend weren’t confidence inspiring, but underscore the importance of guidance and guidelines and that supervision.

One small but not insignificant point:

Mr Varadkar said private hospitals “will act effectively as public hospitals” for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Not before time even if there’s talk overnight about the private hospitals still being in negotiations…

It’s not even that I would accuse the government of being slow-moving on this. There’s many reasons to criticise this administration, not least its track record across the last four years. But, broadly speaking given it is now two weeks since schools closed one has to credit them with some sense. And the consensus amongst those expert in medical matters appears to be that measures taken to date have been broadly positive, even if the testing situation remains deeply problematic. Moreover the approach in regard to unemployment has been in the right direction if, as always, insufficient.

And light at the end of the tunnel? Perhaps, the Taoiseach was talking about schools reopening in May. Or June. Or he’s ‘hopeful’ about same. That’s sensible that he’s not pinning himself to a specific date. Who could, in a world where we’ve seen states planet-wide plunge into lockdowns in a way that is unprecedented, well… ever.

Though Pat Leahy notes here:

Today’s package will cost nearly €4 billion; the Government is prepared for another €4 billion if needs be. The total cost of the coronavirus crisis – welfare, wage supports, increased health spending, tax receipts lost – is now rocketing far beyond the €10 billion that Government insiders were estimating only last week.
The measures are for three months – until the beginning of the summer. What if the virus continues to rage then? We will do it again for another three months, says one person at the heart of the administration: whatever it takes. That would take us until September – a six-month shutdown.

More on the money shortly.

Comments»

1. EWI - March 25, 2020

So, to recap; Keynesian spending is ok, the creches are now publicly-funded, the hospitals are now run as a single tier for the public good, there are suddenly all that ‘unconstitutional'[1] direct public intervention on the private letting side, and we’re inching towards a Basic Income.

If the left can’t ensure that these genies remain out of the bottle, then nothing has been learnt from when the developers, their land banks and even the actual banks were rescued into state-ownership and yet no public good resulted because FG ideology.

[1] someone absolutely needs to take a constiutional challenge to this, while a FG government is doing it with FF and Labour support, and force the Supreme Court to either balk same government or finally concede the principle. Same for a Basic Income.

Liked by 1 person

2. Tomboktu - March 25, 2020

Trying to figure out the meaning of the new testing rules that were posted at 2.00 am this morning. Now, the ‘core’ of the testing is those who have a fever (or chills) plus one of the other symptoms (cough, short breath, or breathing difficulties), with priority going to those with symptoms who are a close contact of a confirmed case, a person in a high risk groups (e.g., immunosuppressed following cancer treatment).

It replaces the previous regime where those with any symptoms — not just a fever — would be tested.

The new regime may reflect rationing because the numbers with symptoms are too large for the capacity of the health system to conduct tests.

Alternatively, it might mean that the degree of isolation and social distancing means they have narrowed the set of people they need to test.

A second alternative is that the current level of closures could be run for a longer time than announced so far in order to allow those who are positive and either mildly ill or asymptomatic to run through the course of the virus and become safe for others. Another version of that is that we will shortly move to a stricter form of lock down (e.g. more workplaces closed).

Liked by 1 person

3. Saints and Scholars - March 25, 2020

I don’t know at all but might it not just be a way of prioritising given the level of demand. It wasn’t clear to me if the demand queue already in existence would have to be cleared first before the new prioritisation would apply. Presuming that the current queue people weren’t classified according to the new criteria, I am thinking they must be.

Liked by 1 person


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