27 thoughts on “Friday’s Papers

    1. Formerly known as @ireland.com

      You are not wrong. Shades of 1984 in the messaging from the British Government, too.

      1. Some old queen

        Apart from the lack of ethics of this particular business, it highlights the absurdity of the government’s public health policy. People under near house arrest and an economy in an induced coma, while planes fly in and out like a fiddlers elbow- it makes no sense.

        1. Formerly known as @ireland.com

          All new arrivals on the island should be quarantined for 14 days, under supervision. It has worked in Australia and NZ. It is harsh but I can’t see any other way of stopping the virus continuing to come. There is no point in locking up people in Ireland if anyone can arrive with the virus.

        1. millie aka oprah

          I’ve heard awful things about them for a long time. Lovely fruit but terrible working conditions. They’re always looking for staff of some kind, which is absolutely no surprise.

  1. missred

    Those ones in the US, saw them earlier on the news, one woman complained she needed her roots done (don’t we all) and couldn’t buy the things she wanted so she was joining a mass protest saying they wouldn’t comply. Absolute eejits

    1. Formerly known as @ireland.com

      Australia has a silly exemption that allows hairdressers to continue to operate. It sends mixed messages, if you are telling everyone to stay at home and only leave for essential reasons.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Big headline .’…but virus spread hits plateau’. First sentence of the article then says ‘may have reached plateau’
      Sloppy/lazy reporting at best.

  2. f_lawless

    Very interesting article by Pietro Vernazza, the Swiss chief physician for infectiology, and is surely relevant to Ireland’s situation and what viable strategy we might adopt to manage the virus and end the lockdown:.

    In light of the reality that there’s no vaccine any time soon, he advocates targeted herd immunity while simultaneously protecting the most vulnerable.


    “what’s next? There are two strategies under discussion: Either an attempt is made to keep the infection rate as low as possible despite the easing of the measures and to wait until a drug or a vaccine is available; or one tries to limit the spread of the virus without the presence of a vaccine through the targeted creation of a herd immunity. There is also a third possibility – namely a combination of the two approaches: the establishment of immunity for the population is carefully permitted in the younger, less vulnerable population, while the infection rates in the older population and in the risk groups should be kept as low as possible…

    ..What are the next strategic goals?
    The big question now is what the goal of the further measures should be for the next few weeks: We will certainly want to continue to prevent our hospitals from being overloaded. But how do we want to protect the most vulnerable? Just as we have had to allow new infections and hospitalizations to appear in the past few weeks, they will be inevitable in the next few weeks and months. Because the infectious disease will only be overcome when the population has become immune – be it by achieving sufficient herd immunity or by vaccination.

    Vaccination is in progress, but it is not expected that a solution will be available sooner than a year from now. In particular, we do not know whether the group most affected by Covid-19, elderly people over the age of 80, would benefit from vaccination at all or whether, as with the flu shot, they will respond insufficiently to them…

    (Herd) immunity can protect vulnerable groups
    If we are lucky, a drug with very good efficacy against Covid-19 will be available this year, but this is also uncertain. It is therefore possible that, especially for the particularly vulnerable groups, only protection through immunity with a sufficiently large population will be a practical goal. The more people who have already had an infection, the lower the risk of infection for the rest of the population. Ideally – we then speak of herd immunity – a condition is reached in which the virus can no longer spread. For Covid-19, an immunity rate of around 60-70% is calculated as sufficient.

    Success by combining different strategies
    To achieve immunity, we have to allow infections. This is not in conflict with our goal of preventing severe gradients. The vast majority of all infections develop with mild symptoms or even completely unnoticed (see report). Especially in children and healthy younger people, the symptoms of a disease are almost always mild or the infection even goes completely unnoticed. It would be ideal if we could get the youngest people to become infected with the virus as soon as possible without affecting the elderly, especially those with risk factors (high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, etc.)…

    In contrast, the opposite strategy should be used for the group of risk patients and older people, namely avoiding infections as far as possible, as was also practiced in the current lockdown phase. It should be left to the individual himself to find his own individual balance between health protection and personal freedom based on his personal assessment of the health assessment…”

    1. Some old queen

      IMO no strategy can be effective without knowing, or at least being able to have an educated guess at the parentage breakdown of :-

      1. Negative- never exposed
      2. Positive- previous infection- immune
      3. Positive- current infection- no symptoms
      4. Positive- current infection- with symptoms

      The estimates for 2 and 3 are at 50% but the speed at which it entered into nursing homes would suggest that 3 is or at least was, much higher.

      There is a lot of talk of vaccines as though they would be a miracle cure but if it mutates like flu then that is just playing pin the donkey. And like all vaccines there are associated risks, especially if fast tracked.

      What is needed is a cheap accurate test which will show who has, had or never- screening as many as possible- knowledge is power.

      1. Hansel

        Very well put SOQ.
        Covid19 herd immunity and vaccines are still purely optimism, unfortunately.
        We need the widespread testing and fast results.

      2. f_lawless

        @SOQ – I agree that antibody testing would surely help inform any herd immunity strategy. I’ve read that a widespread antibody testing program is already underway in Germany for example.

        @ Hansel I’m not sure I agree with framing herd immunity as “purely optimism” – or is it that you mean herd immunity acquired through vaccination as being “purely optimism”? The country can’t withstand several months of shutdown waiting for a vaccine that mightn’t even be effective among the elderly. I think the way forward should be something similar to what the Swiss chief physician outlines above. I notice that Denmark and Austria have recently re-opened nurseries and primary schools as they begin to implement their own herd immunity strategies

        1. Hansel

          f_lawless, I could have been much clearer, apologies.
          I’m saying that until we know more about the antibodies: how long antibodies last, how well antibodies are created, how effective they are, etc, we won’t know how well herd immunity will work unfortunately. Results from the German study you quote are exactly what we need. It’s (well founded!) optimism until then, and we can’t use it as a policy just yet.

          I expect rolling shutdowns/quarantines for another year or two, sadly. Let’s hope the periods of calm are used to expand the respiratory care and ICU sections of our hospitals dramatically.

          I believe Denmark are playing a risky game: I don’t think they’re in a better position than us.
          But a phased return to normality is hopefully where we’ll be at around the start of June or so.

          1. f_lawless

            Thanks for the reply Hansel. I think it’s important to keep a positive mindset and remain hopeful things will improve

  3. Kit

    Tom does not deserve a knighthood
    This old soldier deserves a Victoria cross the highest honour a soldier can ever win

  4. GiggidyGoo

    The EU has apologized to Italy for lack of help over coronavirus. The penny dropped that there will be a backlash by Italy over the treatment the EU meted out. Itexit could well be on the cards. Likewise Spain will have second thoughts, as the EU didn’t treat them well either.

    1. class wario

      The reaction of the Northern countries to this crisis at an EU level has been disgraceful

      1. ReproBertie

        We’re a Northern country and we were backing Italy and Spain in the big EU economic support debate.

    2. Formerly known as @ireland.com

      Doesn’t each country have its own sovereignty? The EU could have done more.

Comments are closed.

Sponsored Link