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Lock-down was “never about stopping people getting sick”? Not sure that’s correct. May 28, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Listening to the calls from FF in particular, but some Independents, for restrictions to be lifted and for the medical advice to be, well, ignored actually, might make some wonder whether matters might have been taken a different turn under a different government. It’s not that FG are beyond criticism. Far far from it. When the history of this period comes to be written it will be useful to get a sense of what precisely happened in care homes and other institutional settings. But perhaps the fact that there were a number of medical or medical adjacent politicians close to the heart of government was no bad thing. Certainly it is revealing to see the rhetoric coming from FF’s Jim O’Callaghan who said: “the job of our public health advisers to provide public health advice but it is not their job to weigh that public health advice along with other factors. That’s the function of Government.” And continued with a variety of contentious points:

Warning that the lockdown restrictions “need to be lifted sooner rather than later”, he said “the reality is that we’re going to have to continue to live with Covid” and with a certain amount of risk.
“It has never been the case that public health advice was mandatory on people. We also need to recognise that the purpose of the lockdown was to stop our hospital intensive care units being overrun.

And continues with this eye-opening formulation:

“However we cannot now transform the purpose of the lockdown into being that we want to use it for the purpose of stopping people getting sick. That was never the purpose of the lockdown and it would be highly unusual if that was going to be the purpose of its continuance.

Surely the lock-down was precisely to prevent people getting sick and its continuation in modified form is for exactly that purpose? Indeed preventing ICU’s being over-run and people getting sick is one and the same problem.

And we have it from no lesser authority than the Taoiseach who in the speech announcing the lock-down said:

“I’m appealing to every man, woman and child to make these sacrifices for the love of each other … show that you care for your family and friends: stay home,” said Varadkar.

He declined to use the term lockdown but said the measures were drastic. “There isn’t much more we could do beyond this to restrict movement. These are radical actions aimed at saving as many people’s lives as possible in the days and weeks ahead.


Tony Holohan, the chief medical officer, said day-on-day increases have slowed, suggesting restrictions are working, but added that this did not mean the worst was over. “It tells us we are having early impact. We think now is the time for us to move, to try and spend two weeks to really suppress this virus as much as is possible in the community.”

This none too subtle rewriting of history is alarming, is it not?

The debate from the Oireachtas is worth reading in full, particularly FF’s contributor’s thoughts.


1. NFB - May 28, 2020

I dunno. Is it not more likely to just be a case of the party in opposition finding anything to use as a stick on the government? I feel like if the roles were reversed Varadkar would be the one asking for “light at the end of the tunnel” and blathering about one metre reductions. Perhaps I’m too cynical.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - May 28, 2020

That’s true actually NFB. And for putative partners it’s amazing how keen they are to take chunks out of each other. What is perhaps a little surprising is how much steam there is behind a ‘reopening’ and how easily they’ll attempt to distort the historical record. Or perhaps that’s not surprising at all.


2. irishelectionliterature - May 28, 2020

I can’t understand where O’Callaghan, others in FF and others are coming from. I don’t think it’s doing them much favours either.
I can only presume that certain elements are coming under increasing pressure due to lobbying. There must be a huge amount of businesses in the Dublin Bay South Constituency that depend on Office workers.
I also think the day we had Zero deaths was great news in one sense but bad news in another in that it gave a false sense of where we are.
Off all the parties that you would think would be pro businesses opening up quicker it would be FG but I do think that they are due to some medical backgrounds, being cautious and rightly so.

Liked by 1 person

Pangurbán - May 28, 2020

And what is one to make of Alan kelly channeling the Healy reas? Or perhaps Mattie mc grath.?

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - May 28, 2020

“There must be a huge amount of businesses in the Dublin Bay South Constituency that depend on Office workers”

The very people who can most easily work from home.

Liked by 2 people

WorldbyStorm - May 28, 2020

Agree completely IEL, great news on Monday, but deceptive. One could see, visibly, people beginning to relax a bit. And yesterday, back up in double figures.

That’s a very interesting question, Pangurbán.

That’s what is most irritating sonofstan. O’C works in a place where there are almost excessive precautions taken. His base is largely one of people who have the luxury of being able to take themselves out of the line of fire. Those who will be pushed into the front line are those who have least resources and have to work outside home. I’d add to that that I have every sympathy for people stuck in apartments and flats who have lost their jobs or will have to go back to work now or in the next few weeks because there’s no other option. I can completely understand how they would want to get away from all this. TBut isn’t it true that the political leadership in respect of tamping down expectations now so that potentially things could open up faster later seems sorely lacking.


sonofstan - May 28, 2020

Not wasting a crisis news.
Virgin Media here are closing their shops and moving completely to online operation. Most staff, we are told, will bre redeployed into customer support, mostly, you guessed it, working from home. So while presumably their employer will supply broadband and a laptop, they’ll need to heat and light their place of work and, on the wages they are on, provide themselves with a quiet and healthy workspace – and thus saving Virgin a fair amount in rent and utilities.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - May 29, 2020



gypsybhoy69 - June 6, 2020

I’ll have to correct you there WBS, technically yes the place were JOC does some of his work has been under almost excessive precautions but his main place of work the Law Library and other TBOI premises were originally running under an extremely relaxed approach. As a staff member and as part of the representative body (SIPTU rep) for the Return to Work Protocol we’ve had a bit of a battle getting our employer to move away from a sure they’re self employed and exempt from the protocol to a position that it’s a shared workplace and public health guidelines need to apply to all. We’re making progress but we’ve a way to go yet.Their compliance with the reopening on Monday 18th was so bad that a decision had to made by the CEO to shut for a further 2 days to allow some staff get up signage.
They’re chomping at the bit for the reduction in social distancing.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - June 6, 2020

That’s a great point. Having a passing acquaintance with his other place of work it is striking how carefully implemented certain precautions are. And the disparity between the two is incredible now you mention it.


3. Joe - May 28, 2020

The curse of opposition. FF and Lab feeling they have to say something, they have to get in the media. No such thing as bad publicity maybe. There is such as thing as talking crap though.

Liked by 2 people

4. 1729torus - May 29, 2020

FF are attacking FG from the right because they are flailing. No different to when they complained FG were being too tough on Britain in the Brexit negotiations.

Liked by 1 person

EWI - May 29, 2020

A FF which is nowadays attacking FG from the right and an anti-republican position (thanks, MM) has ceased to have any further purpose to continue in existence.

Liked by 1 person

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