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A silent majority in favour of pandemic protections… October 27, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Can’t say I’m very surprised at the news, noted by ASF in comments, from the SBP that polling by RedC on their behalf supplies the following;

The Business Post Red/C poll asked 1,000 adults if they favoured a “circuit breaker” involving level 5 restrictions for 2-3 weeks. Some 66 per cent were in favour, with just 18 per cent opposed and 12 per cent neutral.

And:

Support and opposition to fines broke down along the exact same levels. The Dáil approved a bill last week to impose on-the-spot fines of €500 for people who breach the 5km travel restriction and a fine of €1,000 on the organisers of house parties.

Interesting point here:

Dr Pete Lunn, the head of the ESRI’s behavioural research unit, said today’s poll was an indication that a “silent majority” of the public was supportive of level 5 restrictions, despite strong complaints from some businesses forced to shut down.

And Lunn notes: “There’s huge sympathy for them [the businesses], but it has distorted the public debate because the ordinary citizens who are scared of this and want the second surge flattened more quickly, nobody articulates that. They are all just at home,”

The age divide is less pronounced than might be expected:

Some 73 per cent of those over 55 were in favour of stronger actions compared with 59 per cent of 18-34 year olds.

Tellingly:

However, while 41 per cent of people polled by Red C believe that the schools should remain open at all costs, another 34 per cent of people want them shut immediately to stop the spread of the virus.

In other words those polled take a pragmatic but cautious view of matters seeking protections. One imagines that were that ‘open at all costs’ line were to be subject to a demonstration of what costs might actually be there’d be a change of heart there. But thankfully transmission in such settings remains low.

All these attitudes outlined here remain in the majority despite and ranged against them/us, a cohort of media columnists, politicians and business interests pushing a line of ‘living with the virus’, an approach that the events of the past three months have demonstrated are essentially unattainable – that with every reopening within which the virus exists, given the broader lack of testing and tracing capacity and so on, it is impossible to prevent it from spreading (telling line from those pushing back against the poll on various social media saying that it only asked about 2-3 weeks of restrictions instead of 5. Unfortunately for that line it ignores the immediate follow up question ‘I would be willing to abide by Level 3 or higher restrictions at Christmas time if still required’ where 72% supported that proposition, 15% did not and 10% were neutral).

I can’t understand the appetite amongst some for continuing with a situation where the virus circulates and with the necessary controls and restrictions that that entails, as against seeking to quash it to the lowest possible level and then contain it with better protocols, or even to eliminate it to all intents and purposes. Of course the latter course would be difficult, and might not achieve its goal, but it would offer a better prospect of something akin to ‘normal’ than the supposed ‘living with the virus’ approach of so many in those circles mentioned above.

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