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Those latest plans for the ‘path ahead’… February 24, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Thought the new go to excuse for restrictions by the ROI government, that being the ‘new variant’ line, was deployed particularly effectively by Micheál Martin yesterday. That being that: ‘Mr Martin said that the variant that was first detected in the UK “is equivalent to a new virus” and that it is a “major problem”.

Problem being that this is a bit late in the day, and knowledge of the new variant was available as early as 8th of December in the UK and information about its (then) likely (later proven) increased virulence was released publicly on December 14th in the UK. Which raises the question why was the seriousness of all this not recognised immediately, and why restrictions were not reimposed until the 18th? But then there’s the issue that even before the new variant numbers were increasing and this had been flagged by NPHET at the end of November.

There’s little positive in pointing to the experience of Christmas as the reason why the government has now adopted a more cautious approach. That said they do seem to be taking this more seriously than hitherto. No rash promises, nothing other than education to really see any reopening. An intriguing point about how next Christmas may be very tough too and protective measures are likely to still be in place to some degree.

An excellent piece here on RTÉ on why the US has suffered so grievously during the pandemic (one clue ‘”In a country like ours, with 50 independent states, and a huge landmass, with largely a private hospital system, it is always going to be difficult to get everybody on board with one particular set of strategies,”) has this interesting quote:

Prof Masci says that if the variant strains do not turn into a huge problem and once we’ve reached the point where 70-80% of the population is vaccinated then “there’s a good chance” we will not wear masks anymore. “(But) suppose these variant strains do take hold, become more of a problem, are vaccine resistant, and we’re all closing schools and putting masks and locking down again in a few months, (then) it’s a lot harder to say by December, ‘We’ll be out of the woods’.”

A promise to review matters on April 5th and everything effectively being placed on the effectivity of the vaccination drive (Martin states that ‘By the end of June, 55-60% of adults will be fully vaccinated.’). Increasingly we see that single shots of double shot vaccines do seem to confer a significant degree of protection. But is that enough? What do others think?


1. NFB - February 24, 2021

A million vaccinations a month would have enough people done by June to hit the lower bar for herd immunity, but of course thats dependent on vaccine supply. And does that million a month include two doses in the case of one vaccine?


WorldbyStorm - February 24, 2021

It’s all a bit hazy isn’t it?


2. crocodileshoes - February 24, 2021

Straws in the wind about compliance would lead me to worry about the reaction, should April 5 bring no relaxation of travel and visiting limits. As pointed out here before, we may face increasing polarisation between the ‘sod this, I’ve had enough’ brigade and those terrified to leave the house. Fingal County Council having to close several car parks on Sunday was a tell-tale sign: many seem to believe that their 5-k limit begins when they park their car, not at their front door.
I’m worried about the elderly, who have been ‘cocooning’ obediently and for whom there was no good news last night. I know a couple in their eighties, who have borne their rural isolation stoically, but who had to watch a similar couple across the road welcome children and grandchildren for the weekend, in total disregard of the rules. So often in Ireland, it’s the public-spirited and the rule-keepers who are made feel like chumps.


Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 24, 2021

Yea – I can see a growing ‘sod this’ contingent.

And that’s a paradoxical consequence of having achieved a degree of control over the pandemic. The danger is that the more people are immunised the less the damage the sod-thisers will do visibly, and their ranks will grow. I’m personally fairly paranoid about getting the spikey bastard just before I’m offered a vaccine. But that’s probably the psychological result of prolonged obedience to lockdown.

And inevitably, following the success of immunisation and lockdowns, you’ll then get voices saying “We told you it wasn’t that serious”. Ho hum.

Liked by 1 person

3. Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 24, 2021

I absolutely agree that the Fx/Green government ignored the data about the B117 virus’ increased infectivity. And consequently are to blame for much of the current wave.

I think the million doses a month hope refers to single doses. But to get three million people immunised by the end of June with a single dose would be a huge step forward.

Before we had any real data on the effectiveness of single doses I opposed them for precisely that reason – lack of data. But now we have data from the two countries that have cornered vaccine supplies (the dUK and Israel) which suggests that a single dose is surprisingly effective, at least for a number of months until one can get a booster / update.

So I’d go for a strategy of spacing out the doses by about three months or perhaps more and thereby ensure that more people get some significant protection.

I’m hoping that the rumours about AZ reneging on it’s ‘best effort’ commitments to EU delivery again doesn’t come to pass, BTW.


WorldbyStorm - February 24, 2021



4. banjoagbeanjoe - February 24, 2021

“Problem being that this is a bit late in the day, and knowledge of the new variant was available as early as 8th of December in the UK and information about its (then) likely (later proven) increased virulence was released publicly on December 14th in the UK. Which raises the question why was the seriousness of all this not recognised immediately?”

Because info coming out of the UK has been sometimes iffy and dodgy during this pandemic? Because the UK has shown itself not to be trustworthy on various matters, pandemic and non-pandemic related?

My first reaction to Boris bigging up ‘the new variant’ was that he was looking for a scapegoat or excuse for how his govt’s policies had mucked things up.
Thinking on it, there’s a bit of that with our government too. Which came first – the govt mucking things up by not locking down soon enough or the UK variant?


WorldbyStorm - February 24, 2021

That’s a fair point BJBJ. That said it was coming from medical sources in the UK, but the your last point is spot on. Numbers were rising from Nov on…


5. NFB - February 24, 2021

Varadkar sounding bullish about “80% of adults” being vaccinated by June: https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2021/0223/1198925-mandatory-quarantine-legislation/

Again though, there’s vagueness there about single doses when two might be required.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - February 24, 2021

Jesus, I might even be vaccinated (at least with one shot) if that’s the deal. But… hmmm… agreed. It’s still all very vague. And how come the press isn’t holding their feet to the fire on this?


6. CL - February 24, 2021

Ireland at 7.1 doses per 100,000 is ahead of the EU at 6.3.

The UK is at 27.8 and the US is at 19.6.


Liked by 1 person

7. CL - February 24, 2021

” Dr. Anthony Fauci has been reluctant to blame former President Donald Trump for how the coronavirus devastated the United States so badly, but he said Tuesday that the former president’s denialism about the pandemic contributed to the death toll.”

Liked by 1 person

8. Alibaba - February 24, 2021

In the televised address Micheál Martin went “I want … I want … I know … I know” and dished out a lot of assurances with dates, including vaccination percentages. Believe it when you see it. This could go bang.

Liked by 1 person

9. banjoagbeanjoe - February 25, 2021


According to this, some Astra Zeneca vaccine doses in mainland Europe could become available to a savvy buyer. Who’s the best wheeler dealer we have who could prise these doses from the sceptical French and Germans? A job for John Delaney maybe? Some kind of barter might work. A hamper of Jameson and Kerrygold and diddley aye cds in exchange for a tray of Astra Zeneca.


Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 25, 2021

There is resistance to the AZ vaccine, partly because of their own bad communication and because its associated with that con-man de Pfeffel Johnson in many people’s eyes.

Here in Berlin however, they’ve established a ‘take what your given’ rule for the under 65s, and looking at the vaccination stats a good proportion of the AZ ended up in people’s arms.

Unfortunately I suspect that some people will adopt a ‘well if that (an AZ) is what I’m going to be given, I’ll take nothing’ and hope that they can later get a Pfizer or a Moderna vaccine.

Which will do nothing for the general uptake of vaccination, unfortunately. Personally I’d jump at the chance of even one AZ vaccination, right now, given what we now know.

To make vaccination in any way compulsory, would open up a real can of worms. I suspect that various facilities will be made dependent on a vaccination cert. Which will open up another can of worms.

Unfortunately the British B117 variant is so infectious that you need at least 85% vaccination / prior infection to reach herd immunity.

The bottom line however is that decades of anti-vaxxer misinformation will lead to many tens of thousands more deaths and disablement.


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