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The Irish plan to move on from lock-down… April 10, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Pat Leahy in the IT today argues that:

The restarting of house and commercial building is seen as particularly important, with Ibec data showing that the construction sector accounts for more than 9 per cent of private sector employment.
Much of the manufacturing sector was judged as essential and remains open, but non-essential manufacturing would be likely to reopen early. Any sectors reopening would be expected to be able to guarantee appropriate social distancing for employees.
The Government might also consider the early reopening of non-essential retail outlets – everything from clothes shops to garden centres – and some offices, although working from home will be encouraged where possible.


It is not clear how soon locations in which people gather – such as restaurants and pubs ­– might be allowed to reopen, but these are likely to be in a later phase.
As is happening in other countries which are considering reopening, large public gatherings are likely to be banned for some time, and this may be contingent on how early measures go.

But perhaps an indication that matters are far from there as they stand:

The chair of the coronavirus expert advisory group at the National Virus Reference Laboratory has said we cannot be complacent about the dangers of Covid-19 because “given the opportunity this virus will run rampant”.

He said it is hoped restrictions can lifted in the “next couple of weeks” but we cannot be complacent about the dangers of Covid-19.

Dr Cillian De Gascun said “we are not going to return to a normal state of affairs” soon.


1. CL - April 10, 2020

“What will it take for us to come out of this period of extreme social distancing and return to some semblance of normal life?…
The first step will be to expand testing, especially testing that provides rapid results, so people can get diagnosed quickly.”

“President Donald Trump says America does not need and will never have mass coronavirus testing, despite warnings by experts that a comprehensive program is vital to getting life back to normal.”

“Dr De Gascun …said that over the next five to seven days he hopes the testing situation will increase dramatically as additional laboratory capacity comes on stream….
He said test and contact tracing in real time – between 24 and 48 hours – is what is needed to fully contain the disease….
He said some people in the community are currently waiting up to 14 days for results which is not acceptable.’

Getting safely back to a semblance of ‘normality’,-economic life resuming, etc- means lessening the social distancing restrictions. This can only be done by widespread testing so that those without the disease, and those who have developed immunity, can be differentiated from the infected. Contacts can then be traced and quarantine applied where needed.
Otherwise new waves of infection and repeated lockdowns are likely.

That Ireland, home to the world’s leading biotech companies, has not an adequate testing infrastructure is peculiar.

Liked by 1 person

2. Tomboktu - April 10, 2020

I think there is a risk that the public mood could turn.

The information on numbers waiting for tests and on the supply of different reagents is scanty.

Journalists are now reporting that questions are not being answered at the daily Dept Health press conference. When that becomes the story, it begins to be dangerous.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - April 10, 2020

What is your feeling Tomboktu as to a way forward given what you point to above? And by the public mood turning, do you mean in the sense that people are wearying of the lock down or that they don’t believe matters are being handled openly or correctly?


Tomboktu - April 10, 2020

I think the way forward is for more information to be given. If the only information that our official system provides is repetitive and does not expand to answer new questions as people learn more — whether what they have learned is reliable or unreliable — then trust will slip.

It is telling that this week the advice on not going out except for the stated reasons needed to be underpinned with enforceable legal powers. The commentary has been that it was to ensure trips to holiday homes could be stopped. But they would do that only of they did not accept the advice (at least for themselves).


WorldbyStorm - April 10, 2020

Yes, those are very sensible. It has to be both transparent and emphatic.

I see the UK gov conferences also running into probs with breakdowns of figures not being given by their medical spokespeople.

Liked by 1 person

benmadigan - April 10, 2020

“the UK gov conferences also running into probs with breakdowns of figures not being given by their medical spokespeople”

From what I can gather people in the UK, and the rest of the world, have no idea of the real number of UK deaths. The Govt haphazardly reports figures (only hospital deaths, no home or nursing home deaths), changes the timeframe (20 hours, 24 hours), and announces some deaths happened last week, not today and there are registration issues.
At the same time it is constructing temporary morgues for potentially hundreds of corpses all over the country. Somethings just don’t add up!

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - April 10, 2020

+1 Ben …Owen Jones pointed to a particularly poor example of that today.When asked about health staff and figures for ill or worse the Minster sort of obfuscated and handed off to the one of the medical people who made great play about privacy or something, when of course no one wants names or to intrude but rather figures of those impacted. Very very strange as you say.


3. makedoanmend - April 11, 2020

I’m not disputing any insights or information shared so far. I may seem to be muck-stirring, but that’s not my intention. Far from it. I’m only on one team: stay healthy if I can. And if I stay healthy or at least don’t become a transmit node, then I also serve the larger society.

Yesterday, the quarantine where I live was rapidly deteriorating. The amount of people and cars in public rose exponentially. During a routine morning exercise walk (every other day or so), we had to stop because it became too hard to keep distance. Noise pollution from traffic is once again a common feature. The proliferation of joggers and push bikes was phenomenal.

1. Many people are becoming aware that for the foreseeable that no vaccine will be available. So the thinking might be: ‘let’s get on with this and get over it – let the cards fall where they may.’

2. Science and medicine rarely have perfect information (and Convid-19 is a new flu twist) so they may not be able to answer all questions. Questions are easier to construct than answers – especially in science. Every answer potentially leads to a new question. Dealing with data is a highly complex.

3. If science has actionable information, it is not always easy to convey it to those who need carry out the actions, and those who have to carry actions may have a hard time formulating coherent solutions because there are numerous and sometimes contradicting variables.*

4. Politics never goes away. Many leaders and their support staff know that the public is fickle. People want to stay safe but also want to live as they feel entitled and spend as they always did. If a full blown economic depression becomes reality, there are charlatans out there waiting to pounce on prudent govts and prudent science.

5. There is no one leading figure, nation or organisation to convey the complexity of information in a coherent way, or warn that we do not have enough information. There is no organisation whose bona fides are so strong that the majority of people will inherently be willing to accept advice. 40+ years of laissez-faire capitalism and its continuing onslaught are having long term consequences.

6. Key: The vast majority of people are still following prudent guidelines issued by their governments, but as time goes by it just becomes easier to nibble away at the edges and go out a few more times than previously. I think this is leading cause in the numbers outside yesterday.

But I think we should be prepared for Trump and his extremist social views to gain more ascendency in the future. It almost seems inevitable that he and those like him will claim that the precautions taken by governments to limit the death toll and gain time to deal with the situation was weak and flawed – that these liberal lefty commies ruined our economies, and for what? Real men don’t do precaution – or some other silly bullshit.

*Human Institutions of Living Memory: When I had to study John Snow and the cholera epidemics in London I thought at the end of the book I would be provided with a nice ending where he statistically solved the crime. Not so. He only began to point in the correct direction. It took decades for people to accept his ideas as other scientists and people improved on his thinking and techniques. Science does not seek perfection but instead works on the dogma that we always can learn more, and there is no end destintation. Science is about incremental improvements in understanding and practice.

When certain practitioners of disciplines and their living knowledge are culled by political philosophy (Trump’s USA and the Tory’s central govt admin cull) we loose not only valuable knowledge but also may find it economically impossible to replicate their knowledge in the future. That which was built over decades or centuries may never return.

Even to this day, scientists still have problems with linking data to cause and effect. It is in the “grey areas” where science always operates and always will, that the right-wing gains a foothold because where doubt is a necessary component for framing questions about our physical conditions, the modern right portrays the doubt as weakness.

If the Left is serious about politics and the human condition, this pandemic is throwing up an opportunity to study how humans function, as macabre or brutal as the idea may seem.

Liked by 1 person

Ned Corcaigh - April 11, 2020

Plus 1. Plus 2 even.


WorldbyStorm - April 11, 2020

Excellent comment MDAM.

“1. Many people are becoming aware that for the foreseeable that no vaccine will be available. So the thinking might be: ‘let’s get on with this and get over it – let the cards fall where they may.’’

This is a terrifying point you make. I’ve heard it myself – all the stuff about how ‘it’s just a flu’ etc. I’ve something I’ll post up tomorrow but this isn’t just a flu which I know from now knowing four people directly who’ve caught it and one indirectly. Even for those who are in their 30s and 40s the health outcomes can be very very bad indeed.

“If the Left is serious about politics and the human condition, this pandemic is throwing up an opportunity to study how humans function, as macabre or brutal as the idea may seem.”



4. Tomboktu - April 11, 2020

Ireland somewhat of an outlier on this graph


5. CL - April 11, 2020

“Ireland is the sixth highest in the EU for testing, Mr Harris said. “We’re a leader, but we want to do more.”…
He said the “next big challenge” will be to widen testing criteria so that, when restrictions are lifted, anyone with symptoms will be able to get a test quickly….
Before considering lifting the current restrictions, the daily increase in new cases needs to come down below 5 per cent, the Minister said. It is currently just under 10 per cent, down from 30 per cent a few weeks ago.
He said he would also like to see a stable number of about 100 people being treated for the disease in intensive care units. The current figure is about 150.
The current figure for the number of people each infected person passes the virus onto is now at around one, down from more than four at the start of the crisis. Mr Harris said when it drops below one the virus will start to slowly die off….
He said it may be a case that some restrictions will be lifted but then reimposed if infections rates start to creep up again.”

Liked by 1 person

Alibaba - April 11, 2020

I find the self-congratulation and back-slapping of Simon Harris nauseating as in “Ireland is the sixth highest in the EU for testing …”

What about comparing us to the model responses of South Korea or elsewhere internationally? Think about the fact that people here faced weeks waiting on tests and are still awaiting the results, and not forgetting the worry and stress facing health workers, carers and families. But no worries, Harris “hopes” the backlog will be finished at the end of next week. It exasperates me beyond belief.

Liked by 1 person

6. tomasoflatharta - April 13, 2020

The direct testimony below directly broadcasts the horrible reality of nursing homes. The political establishment sugar-coats the phenomenon. This helps the owners to financially, socially, and politically benefit from a sick system.
I saw my mother waste away for three years in a nursing home, and chose to see the reality. It is an an approach that focuses us on the need to fight for better alternatives for us all in the very near future.

We need a system where we all have the right to die with dignity. Workers in these institutions have a right to live with dignity. These two principles go hand in hand.

The source is the Facebook Page of Honor Heffernan – a nursing home worker courageously offers direct testimony – we must support and encourage others to do likewise – it is the only effective way to confront and solve this crisis. In Ireland “Right to Due With Dignity” Legislation is very long overdue – it is now an overdue emergency.

I got a call from the owner of a nursing home this week desperate and crying. All of her permanent staff were sick or in isolation and the agencies had no nurses available.

I arrived on Friday morning- supposed to be the 2nd nurse with 5 HCAs to support 24 residents. Instead what transpired was I was the only nurse with 3 HCAs as the other agency staff failed to show.

I had never been in this home before, so I didnt know the residents or how to navigate around the home.

The author continues : https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/04/13/can-words-force-covid-19-nursing-home-action-right-to-die-with-dignity-right-to-work-with-dignity/


Alibaba - April 13, 2020

It’s come to my notice that restrictions on visa entitlements have been lifted for Brazilians to work more than 20 hours per week and some of them doing 60 hours per week in nursing homes. I’ve even been told that refugees are getting work in nursing homes. You could take it that this is done in desperation to provide succour to residents or to avail of cheap labour. Some such workers are not provided properly with the PPEs at cost to themselves. No dignity in that and no wonder there are clusters of affected people in this sector.

Liked by 1 person

Joe - April 13, 2020

Sorry. That’s just a racist post. Mods? Admin? It should be taken down.


WorldbyStorm - April 13, 2020

Sorry do you mean Alibaba’s, isn’t her point that they’re not being protected and that they’re being exploited?


Joe - April 13, 2020

Well I can’t read Alibaba’s post any other way than that it’s racist. Must be just me.


WorldbyStorm - April 13, 2020

I kind of see how you could read it that way due to the terseness of the post – but I think it’s the sentence construction. The ‘some such workers’ are those who are non-nationals and refugees who have been brought in and ‘not provided properly with the PPEs at cost to themselves’ and that there’s ‘no dignity in that’ and it’s the refugees and non-nationals who are the ‘sector’ and make up the ‘affected people’. THat’s my read of it though I’m open to correction.

But I don’t think knowing Alibaba that there’s any chance they’d be racist at all. Or to put it another way, Alibaba has been a constant commenter on the site across ten years or so and also having met them IRL knowing their politics and so on it would go against everything I understand of their political position and them as a person if they suddenly manifested racist intent.


CL - April 13, 2020

Alibaba,-Just to reinforce your point, in the U.S too those with least power are doing some of the most necessary and dangerous jobs during the pandemic,
“The bottom line is that this virus does not regard people as first- or second-class citizens. Its reach is indiscriminate. Anyone can spread the virus, and anyone can die from it. And those who would deny rights, or benefits, to the undocumented may come to find that their well-being is inextricable from everyone else’s.”


Alibaba - April 13, 2020

Spot on really CL. I do regret it if I gave the wrong impression to other readers. My sympathies are absolutely with people being exploited when subjected to cheap labour, dangerous jobs and not provided with appropriate PPEs. It is noteworthy that some restrictions imposed on foreign nationals and refugees here previously are lifted now largely to facilitate those owning nursing home businesses who are well connected with establishment parties.

One more thing though. I do not agree that posts deemed to be ‘racist’ are ‘to be taken down’. It is my view this narrative is to be countered and put up for a challenge when prejudiced intent is proven to be so. That avoids censorship. It sparks debate and rightly so.


WorldbyStorm - April 13, 2020

Don’t worry about it, I get how Joe misread it, I also know how easy it is to write something and give an unintended impression. I do it more often than I like. It’s all a lot easier face to face, or can be in theory!


WorldbyStorm - April 13, 2020

Re censorship broadly agree tho outright avowed fascism perhaps is in a different context but always try here for a lighter touch in terms of censorship


Joe - April 14, 2020

I don’t believe I misread it. I just read it. Maybe I misread it and Alibaba miswrote it.
Like WBS I’ve been reading Alibaba’s posts on here for a long time and I have never seen anything racist in their comments.
So, I fully accept that it wasn’t intended to be racist.


WorldbyStorm - April 14, 2020

Again, I get that, misread is a loaded term and I’m happy to withdraw it. You read it and interpreted it in one way and as I said I can see how that interpretation might happen. But we know intent is crucial and we know that the internet can be an arena where whatever our best intentions one can wind up conveying inadvertently an impression that is not one that is intended. Or can convey an impression that can be interpreted in a certain way. Next actual CLR meeting we three can raise this over a pint or two and glass of wine! 🙂


7. roddy - April 13, 2020

Many people are put into nursing homes by relatives who would have no problem looking after them.They find them a nuisance and that is a shame. Both my parents died at home and myself and other siblings have no regrets.


WorldbyStorm - April 14, 2020

It’s tricky. My gran was very ill at the end and she went into a brilliant nursing home at 94. She’d been laid low by a series of mini strokes at the end (ironically she had vision issues and the choice was a procedure that might assist the vision but came with some dangers of strokes – she went with it for the risk as was her right). Unfortunately the strokes had meant she became mentally very very foggy and unable to look after herself (even more ironically she’d had a stroke in Poland in the 1990s which she recovered from almost entirely) and while some of us fought for her to stay home in retrospect she was better in a place that had more care for her. the fogginess did clear, I well remember on a visit to her she told me that it was really strange for her being 95 as she was then and having everyone she had known who had been her friends when she was growing up and a young woman (she was born in 1912) gone for years. It wasn’t said in a regretful or complaining way, that wasn’t her style at all, more in a sense of wonder.


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