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Sunday and other Media Stupid Statements from this week… January 24, 2021

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

In a weirdly soft denialist piece this morning, this particular couple of lines stands out:

 For most of this pandemic, the individual risk to any one of us has been low, but the risk to society from uncontrolled transmission is great. Frontline workers who have remained at work throughout the pandemic have long internalised this reality. But those of us who haven’t been out in the workplace have not adjusted to it. Instead of being told to keep calm and carry on, we have been told, essentially, to be afraid. It turns out that if you spend a year trying to scare the bejaysus out of people, a lot of them end up scared.

Thanks to banjoagbeanjoe for this… from The Irish Times a bizarre effort to frame a supposed ‘left’ response to Covid…

“Only if the left accepts that the present is the terrifying future in which pandemic restrictions function as part of capitalist exploitation will it be able to seize the moment to point out that our current predicament is only one contingent reality.”

What is it about the fact that transmission of the virus is not a single factor but multiple factors in a society combining – so that arguments about ‘hospitality’ opening up are irrelevant to the fact that only restrictions curb the spread?

One of our team called me between Christmas and the New Year to tell me he or she was a close contact of a positive case. We pre-emptively removed close contacts from the rota. None of them became sick. If we waited for the contact tracers to call we’d still be waiting; when the numbers of cases and their contacts surged the system couldn’t cope. Our little piece of paradise is a very small open economy and it cannot do economies of scale. Similarly, the extent to which the R number was affected by hospitality opening up can’t be determined because our data isn’t good enough. And that is just another term and condition of living in Ireland.

Stephen Collins argues that on foot of the Biden win:

The lesson for centre parties here is that they need to get back to basics with good organisation at constituency level and an active role in the community at all levels. They cannot afford to remain aloof from the fray and give credence to the taunts that they are elitists who have lost contact with the public.

But if they’re not actually organising at constituency level or taking an active role in the community at all levels, surely those aren’t ‘taunts’ but genuine and well-founded criticism?

No greater joy in heaven than for a sinner who repents, but what of a Covid-19 sceptic who even now despite having undergone a slight Damascene conversion manages to argue that the perfectly predictable was somehow entirely unexpected? And even more strange is someone who when arguing against a full Zero Covid-19 strategy seems to pit perfection against significantly better as in the following:

[a Zero Covid strategy] glosses somewhat over the harrowing cost of eliminating transmission. Melbourne endured a hellish lockdown for almost four months, which should ensure a steady stream of business for its mental health professionals for years to come. Life may also be semi-normal for many people in New Zealand, just as long as they are not among the tens of thousands who work in tourism or aviation or companies that are suppliers to either; have loved ones abroad or, if they are emigrants, at home; the need to travel to maintain their livelihoods, or for any typical human reason at all, actually; or run an SME that may not have the resources for a prolonged shutdown.

Which is why we have something called… what is it, starts with an S, has the letters ‘tate’ also in it, there to step in to support those in tourism, aviation, suppliers, etc through the pandemic.

Meanwhile there’s this genuinely bizarre analysis about what happens as (if) restrictions lift with vaccinations:

If life is relaxed for the vaccinated but not others it could be seen as very unfair – planes filling up with over-70s holiday-makers while young people cannot meet each other in or out of school. Over-70s are being prioritised for vaccination to protect their health, not so that they can party.

And then the following where the author appears oblivious to the idea that despite being vaccinated it may well be that people will still carry the virus (for more here’s the NYT on that).

In addition, there could be serious enforcement issues. Many people are rightly upset if they see someone in a supermarket not wearing a mask. For that reason it seems appropriate to continue to require vaccinated people to wear masks in such settings for the foreseeable future, demonstrating solidarity with those not yet vaccinated. 


1. oliverbohs - January 24, 2021

Got to say, opening an IT column with “I am a co-owner of two restaurants in Dublin” is worthy of Melville or Anthony Burgess. They must have thought, maybe this is too on the nose, after all brochures for sports cars don’t say outright “do you need this as compensation for what nature didn’t fully endow you with” ?

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - January 24, 2021



2. LMS - January 24, 2021

Personally know a few people who have worked for Angela Ruttledge. She is a stereotypical tyrannical small business owner. She lords it over a bunch of teenage employees in the café at the Red Stables in St Anne’s Park. It’s an absolute goldmine for her thanks to the location and to the staff being worked like dogs for minimum wage. Pass by there on a weekend these days and you will see massive queues and no social distancing. It boils my blood to see fools like her getting column inches. Small time capitalists think they are God’s gift. Smh


oliverbohs - January 24, 2021

The truth is the young fella collecting trolleys in a supermarket car park or the young girl working as a cleaner in a health centre do infinitely more benefit for the country and the world than a concentrated ball of condescencion like our restaurants owner here. All left Irish politicians, and the Labour party ones too, need to hammer this home. Because a dope like me never appreciated this fact till last year, and I fear I need to be regularly reminded. And BTW, “our little piece of paradise”. “This great little nation” 🤢🤢🤢


WorldbyStorm - January 24, 2021

There’s no entitlement like (Irish) middle class entitlement.


3. Klassenkampf Treehugger - January 24, 2021

On the question of lifting restrictions after, say, the over 60s and the medically vulnerable have completed their course of vaccinations.

Christian Drosten, the most influential virologist in Germany, has said that this is his greatest near-term nightmare. If that was done in Germany, within weeks you’d be looking at daily new cases in the 100s of thousands, and the hospitals would be quickly overrun.

Expect a the IT to start pushing for precicely this any day real soon now.

Some disturbing stats from the UK show that long Covid (if you define that liberally as still having symptoms after 5 weeks) affects a quarter of those who get the disease symptomatically over a wide range of ages.

As well as the deaths many younger people would be disabled, many of them permanently.


WorldbyStorm - January 24, 2021

Weird, as I read you first two sentences precisely this came to my mind ‘Expect a the IT to start pushing for precicely this any day real soon now.’


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