33 thoughts on “Friday’s Papers

  1. f_lawless

    I was just reading this tweet by George Galloway in relation to the UK:
    “Why can’t the government or the media tell us the EXCESS death figure? How many people died in Britain yesterday compared to how many would normally die on this day? It’s really not rocket science and would be important for the purposes of perspective… ”

    Isn’t that the nub of it when it comes being able to clearly assess the impact here in Ireland too? Rising numbers of infected cases can reflect increased levels of testing. Statistics of those who died “WITH Covid19” rather than definitively “OF Covid 19” don’t tell us the true impact either. The number of deaths (for a given period of the year) in excess of what is normal Is a good indicator of the severity of impact. Is that a fair assumption? Anyone?

    1. dav

      Hi, deaths to flu and other diseases, though tragic are known hazards as the majority of the population has either a natural resistance to said diseases or if they get it bad, only a few will require serious medical care.
      The main issue with covid19 is, it is brand spanking new. It is very contagious and because of a lack of natural immunity in the population the numbers that require serious medical care at the same time would overwhelm any country’s medical services. I’m not sue what point Galloway is trying to make but I do recall him meowing like a cat on a couch on celebrity big brother a few years back.
      Please give the following a view
      How does Coronavirus (Covid-19) compare to Spanish flu?


    2. D

      Well, as far as I understand it, and correct me if I am wrong here:

      Great minds inform me that on this day last year zero people died with or of covid-19
      and there were zero army trucks going to crematoriums full of coffins in Bergamo and the ice rink in Madrid was not being used as a morgue.
      The amount of excess is not really of concern to the powerless public.

      I really wonder why people on twitter feel entitled to statistics from agencies that are in the middle of a crisis.
      The people calling for this stuff would be better off exploring exponential functions than annoying everyone with their ‘only flu’ and ‘think of the economy’ theories on twitter, which will amount to exactly nothing other than a nuisance.

      Give it a few months til it all settles down. In previous pandemics it has taken decades to figure out why certain age groups showed no mortality. Unfortunately accurate assessments and proof of projections will only be possible in due course, such is the nature of reality.

      1. f_lawless

        I think we can agree that it’s a situation that should be taken extremely seriously but I still think it’s justified to query whether putting nations into lockdown is a proportional response and whether it its actually having the desired effect. Could some other precautions have been taken to protect the most vulnerable without shutting down the economy? It will be interesting to see how things pan out for Sweden who have so far resisted imposing the same measures as most of Europe..

        It’s plausible that, before these measures, the virus had already been spreading exponentially and because the majority only exhibit mild symptoms or none at all, it’s been going undetected. Over in the UK, a new study by researchers at Oxford Uni estimates that half the UK population may already have acquired immunity: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/health/coronavirus-half-uk-population-oxford-university-study-finds-a4396721.html.

        And by the way, if you can’t see how the state of the economy is inextricably linked to human well-being then more fool you. As open-ended lockdowns are already sending economies into severe recession the knock-on effects will be devastating for ordinary people -eg. soaring unemployment, more pro-longed austerity measures, further government cuts on health care,, pensions wiped out, a surge in the suicide rate, etc,etc. Austerity has been indirectly linked to several thousand deaths and diminished life expectancy in the UK according to some studies.

        1. D

          And so, you don’t understand exponential functions, even still. Your verbiage betrays you. What’s the point in *very busy* people running off and answering your queries? If you are looking to the evening standard, twitter or broadsheet commenters to help you, I’d worry you’re not capable of understanding. I have hope though. Off with you, homework for the weekend.

          1. :-Joe

            I give you, the headmaster a “d” minus for this, frankly paltry effort.
            I had such high hope for you…(sigh..)



          2. D

            hey joe – where you going with that gun in your hand?

            at least you can spell D

            go you! reasons to be cheerful

          3. :-Joe

            Now, …I’m going down to shoot my old lady…
            – A bit of a down’er really, don’t you think?

            Instead of doing that, I’ll stand up next to a mountain but whatever get’s you going, each to their own.


          4. f_lawless

            guess I should’ve said arrogant too.

            Here’s an article I just read this evening which I thought is very well-written and a sensible standpoint to currently take. It’s not often I’d rate stuff from the Spectator – political stuff at least – but this was written by Dr John Lee, a former NHS consultant pathologist.


            …If we take drastic measures to reduce the incidence of Covid-19, it follows that the deaths will also go down. We risk being convinced that we have averted something that was never really going to be as severe as we feared.

            …Let us also consider the Covid-19 graphs, showing an exponential rise in cases — and deaths. They can look alarming. But if we tracked flu or other seasonal viruses in the same way, we would also see an exponential increase.

            ..The data on Covid-19 differs wildly from country to country. ….Do we think that the strain of virus is so different in these nearby countries as to virtually represent different diseases? Or that the populations are so different in their susceptibility to the virus that the death rate can vary more than twentyfold? If not, we ought to suspect systematic error, that the Covid-19 data we are seeing from different countries is not directly comparable.

            ..It certainly seems reasonable, now, that a degree of social distancing should be maintained for a while, especially for the elderly and the immune-suppressed. But when drastic measures are introduced, they should be based on clear evidence. In the case of Covid-19, the evidence is not clear. The UK’s lockdown has been informed by modelling of what might happen. More needs to be known about these models.

            ..Much of the response to Covid-19 seems explained by the fact that we are watching this virus in a way that no virus has been watched before. The scenes from the Italian hospitals have been shocking, and make for grim television. But television is not science.

            ..Governments everywhere say they are responding to the science. The policies in the UK are not the government’s fault. They are trying to act responsibly based on the scientific advice given. But governments must remember that rushed science is almost always bad science. We have decided on policies of extraordinary magnitude without concrete evidence of excess harm already occurring, and without proper scrutiny of the science used to justify them.”

          5. D

            And now the spectator. Quite a shame he’s not a doctor in maths or epidemiology then, isn’t it. Talk of arrogance.

            > Here’s an article I just read this evening which I thought is very well-written and a sensible standpoint to currently take.

            you can spot your error in this sentence, your opinion does not matter and is of no consequence.

          1. :-Joe

            ” for once ” I am right?..

            I’ve been right at least once before.
            -Just don’t ask me to prove it.


    3. class wario

      galloway is an insufferable gimp at the best of times, not sure what he’s trying to achieve here

    4. :-Joe

      Galloway is a highly intelligent, intellectual and decent individual with a very clever and sometimes wicked sense of humour.

      Always worth listening to as he, far more often than not, is usually ahead of the curve and offers a much more in depth and wider persective on current affairs, politics, history etc. etc. than many other of his wise and reliable peers and way ahead and above the mainstream sewer of news and media.

      A lifelong record of being a nuiscance to those in power, always speaking truth to hold it accountable, more than a match for other intellectuals e.g. being somewhat of an arch nemises to Christopher Hitchens for very good reasons and that’s no small achievement in itself.

      I’ve no idea what he’s getting at exactly but you can be sure, that rightly or wrongly, it’s something interesting or he wouldn’t be wasting his usually valuable and “valiant effort’s”(As he likes to say) and the limited time he has left to play around with.


    1. class wario

      considering other countries are full on telling banks they have to freeze mortgage payments, it’s pretty pathetic that this was still the first course of action by AIB given our softly softly approach to them here.

  2. Mr. P

    RE: The last front page (Daily Star)

    While I completely agree with the distancing measures and get angry at the fools who ignore them, I fail to see the hazard in going for a car drive and an isolated walk somewhere that there is no other people.
    You are isolated in a sealed car, you can get to an isolated area and exercise in safety…. anyone?

    1. Andrew

      Unnecessary travel in cars should be avoided. More people driving around, means more of a likelihood of traffic accidents. Hospitals can do without that. Curtailing all of these activities means a reduction in all sorts of incidents that normally occur, thus reducing the workload on policing, ambulance and hospital services etc.

    2. Janet, I ate my avatar

      I am of the opinion that if you don’t live in an isolated place or one where you can easily keep the 2m distance it’s time to get on utube HIT classes

  3. jamesjoist

    I see President Trump hates the fact that he has to play ‘kiss and make-up ‘ with President Xi . He really behaves like a churlish schoolboy. The massive shortages of medical equipment makes need for ‘bite-your-tongue diplomacy , and Fortuna’s wheel keeps turning

  4. :-Joe

    I think carer’s have enough of a tough time doing their invaluable work and dealing with the most vunerable in this pandemic without burdening them with another illness, disease or virus at the same time.

    Jeez.. the crazy ideas from some people, pfff.. really?


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