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Restrictions, restrictions… October 15, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

What a difference a few days makes for politicians. Last week they were dismissing the concerns of the CMO and NPHET, this week, well, much has changed – if you’re a politician, though unfortunately not so much if you are involved in public health.

Simon Harris has been musing on it being “likely but not inevitable” we will go to Level 4 state-wide.

And yesterday evening – on a day that saw a lockdown in Northern Ireland, and some border counties moving to Level 4 in… answer(?)… we were treated to the dubious pleasure of An Taoiseach arguing for not just Level 3, but ‘enhanced’ Level 3. Given the supposed clarity of the Level’s approach this seemed, novel given the introduction of…

a nationwide ban on visits to homes or gardens in almost all circumstances, except for providing care to children or elderly and vulnerable people.

But wait, isn’t that Level 4 – or at least appropriated from Level 4 where “No visitors are permitted” and there are “no indoor gatherings”.

Just to be clear, I think the measure is necessary. And more measures again will likewise be necessary, and the fact the state is missing the opportunity to dovetail with the North is, problematic. Here’s a clear opening to go for an island-wide approach.

Touched on last week, but worth considering again. The IT poll had a raft of questions about enthusiasm for restrictions, current and potential, and some interesting findings. That these are actually softer in terms of support for them than the also recent ESRI polling may be an artefact of the questions asked. But nonetheless striking in terms of how much a minority opinion support for doing away with current levels of restrictions are.

Pat Leahy noted:

striking is the extent to which people are pessimistic about the future. Just 22 per cent of respondents believe that the worst of the pandemic is behind us; nearly seven out of 10 voters (69 per cent) believe that “the worst is yet to come”. For a Government that will try to instil economic confidence in its first budget in a few days’ time, there is an obvious difficulty. Of a piece with this pessimism about the future is the view among nearly a third of voters (32 per cent) that the Government should introduce more restrictions “to safeguard the health of the population”.


While the greater number of voters (45 per cent) believe that the current restrictions are “about right”, just 21 per cent say that they are “damaging businesses and the economy unnecessarily”. It seems that if the Government goes ahead with further restrictions in the coming weeks it is likely to have public support.

But is this a surprise? The media has largely though not uniformly, been offering in opinion columns a sort of faux-libertarian ‘open up’ rhetoric. Some in politics have taken that line too. Obviously there are business lobbies that have done so two.

Yet even with that push there’s just about 21% who think that the current level is ‘damaging business…unnecessarily’.

Leahy, unsurprisingly, frames it in a particularly narrow way:

Today’s poll bears out the findings of other surveys in recent months which have found the public’s mood to be cautious and risk-averse. It suggests that with the Government reluctant to take the advice of public health experts to reintroduce many elements of the lockdown, it may have to justify this decision to the public.

That idea that it is ‘risk-averse’ to be cautious in a pandemic tells us much of the mindset of some in the media, etcetera, in relation to these matters. But the Government most certainly should have to justify not taking the advice of public health experts. Fully a good three quarters, possibly more, of those polled would seek that. Indeed why would Leahy himself not want that too?


1. tomasoflatharta - October 15, 2020

A CoVid-19 disaster is happening in the north of Ireland. It is spreading. This was preventable. And drastic measures are now necessary – the Stormont government’s latest measures are “too little too late”.

Zero CoVid Strategy Needed in Ireland

Éamonn McCann, veteran socialist and People Before Profit Councillor (Derry-Strabane) reports from a state in Ireland which has one of the highest CoVid-19 infection rates in the world. The official name of that failed state is Northern Ireland.

Eamonn McCann’s alarming analysis is supported by the north’s doctors’ union, the British Medical Association (BMA [NI]).

The north’s BMA chairperson Dr Tom Black, warns : https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/10/15/disastrous-covid-19-epidemic-in-the-north-of-ireland-stormont-government-shambles-u-turns-and-half-measures/

Liked by 1 person

2. Alibaba - October 15, 2020

The Government rejected Holohan’s call to arms completely. In some desperation, it responds to the virus high incidence rate by dipping into Level 4 and pulling out one of its key elements – no visits to private homes or gardens by members of other households – the very thing that generates social interaction and hence more virus transmission. That is plonked now into Level 3 for most counties and Level 4 is called for some northern counties due to the rapid rise of coronavirus cases there. Talk about a half-baked and dangerous solution! It’s called ‘enhanced’ Lever 3, while never, ever, admitting that they got it wrong.

Liked by 1 person

3. tafkaGW - October 15, 2020

Well: it’s not just Ireland unfortunately.

Here in Germany as well we’re getting the ‘tinker a bit while the case load rises dramatically’ approach.

This is in contrast with the decided ‘lock that shit down’ approach during the first wave which was successful; and which, had it been kept up for a couple of weeks, would have taken the incidence right down.

So I’m not expecting a turn-around in case increases. But I hope I’m proven wrong. And support for necessary restrictions remains high, especially if lost income is subsidised by the government.

None of this is anywhere as bad as the dUK or the US, and there is capacity left in the German health system at the moment, but it’s moving in the wrong direction.

Meanwhile neighbours to the east are suffering from an explosion of cases with much less health service capacity.

Liked by 1 person

4. CL - October 15, 2020

“Trump Covid adviser Scott Atlas pushes herd immunity

“White House team member wants to protect vulnerable while letting virus run its course….
Scientists are concerned that Dr Atlas’s renewed backing of a herd immunity strategy that protects the most vulnerable while allowing the virus to run its course among the rest of the population could undermine efforts to control an incipient “winter wave”….
In recent weeks Dr Atlas has promoted a report known as the “Great Barrington Declaration”, which calls for a public strategy of “focused protection” of the vulnerable to build up herd immunity….
Both Dr Atlas’s friends and critics say his libertarian views have guided his response to coronavirus. But his critics warn those views have overridden the scientific evidence.”

“It’s easy for us in Ireland to judge America….
“Saturday, we logged over 200 cases per million people; the US logged 165-ours just smells better…..
The US is well on its way to its third wave because it’s run by people who’ve consciously sent it there. On the other hand, we’re well into our second wave because we’ve done the opposite: we’ve crossed our fingers, bathed in lavender, and hoped.”

“Out of a population of 1.4bn people, China has only suffered 4,634 Covid-19 deaths; Vietnam, Taiwan and New Zealand together have had 67. How are these countries keeping Covid-19 under control, their health services running, and their economies and societies afloat?…

Most important is a robust system for testing, tracing and isolating, where test results are returned within 24 hours, at least 80% of people’s contacts are reached and there is high adherence to a rule of 14 days’ isolation for those exposed to the virus”


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