72 thoughts on “Monday’s Papers

    1. MacGafraidh

      Are people really more interested in Rita Ora wearing a mask than the bravery of the Belarusian people at the moment?

      1. Cú Chulainn

        They keep testing to see who might replace Holly Willoughby.. personally I think Rita is a tad beyond the average reader.. but I see where they are coming from..

  1. f_lawless

    This article by Martin Kulldorff, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, is like a beacon of light – plain-talking and grounded in common sense at a time where heightened levels of fear and confusion seem to be on the rise again.


    “The pandemic will not be over until we reach herd immunity, either through a vaccine or through natural infections. Herd immunity is not a strategy but a proven scientific phenomenon, and to deny that is as silly as denying gravity. With the right strategy, we can even use it to save lives.

    Under the vaccine scenario, the right strategy is to protect the elderly and other high-risk groups until they are protected by herd immunity, while the younger generations keep society afloat. Under the second scenario of natural immunity, the right strategy is to protect the elderly and other high-risk groups until they are protected by herd immunity, while the younger generations keep society afloat. If these two strategies sound about the same, they are…”

    1. Lucy McGee

      So it’s a choice between a vaccine and natural immunity then, is it?
      That’s not really a choice, is it?
      – Because neither of them exist in the real world.

      [Karl Pilkington :] “I’m not having a go or anything. I just don’t know what you’re going on about.”

      1. Cú Chulainn

        About sums it up Lucy. The viral load seems to be important. But, as our, indeed every government, refuses to tell us the truth about what is happening, we might never know.

      2. SOQ

        Because neither of them exist in the real world.

        Natural immunity comes first from anti bodies and then from t cells. People who were infected with SAR-Cov-1 are still immune 17 years later and counting so why would SARS-Cov-2 be any different?

        Natural immunity is always preferable, not least because it does not carry the risk of a vaccine injury.

        1. Cian

          “Natural immunity is always preferable”

          really? you would prefer we all got Measles-protection through natural immunity (i.e. we all get measles and 0.3% die, 0.1% will go deaf) rather than a vaccine?

          1. SOQ

            In the context of Corona viruses- natural immunity is always preferable- you know what I meant Cian.

            Sop nitpicking.

          2. goldenbrown

            “In the context of Corona viruses- natural immunity is always preferable”

            I’ve been reading your comments for a while now SOQ and one thing is clear for me: your belief is that it’s just another oul flu.

            I know several people now who either directly personally or within their family have been thru Covid. and I can confirm their direct experience has been that it’s definitely not another oul flu.

            two of them both middle aged are going thru prolonged effects – one (formerly very fit person, keen runner etc.) is experiencing something like M.E. and another is now managing heart issues. months later.

            your flippancy is breathtaking

          3. SOQ

            @ goldenbrown

            I never once said it was just another flu- I did say way back that it had similar fatally rates TO flu and now that is pretty much accepted as fact. It can be a nasty illness for some but for the vast majority it is similar to a cold, even if that.

            How and why some get really ill and most do not is largely due to comorbidities and / or age but there always exceptions to the rule- like for any illness.

            In this case we have some experts saying masks work and some saying they do not. Will Holland and Sweden’s rates go up because at this stage in the cycle they see no need for them? I very much doubt it.

          4. Cian

            “In the context of Corona viruses- natural immunity is always preferable”

            really? you would prefer we all got COVID-protection through natural immunity (i.e. we all get COVID and 0.3% die, 3% go through ICU and 30% of those have lasing complications) rather than a vaccine?

          5. Cian

            Okay – forget the percentages
            Do you accept that COVID kills people? (you choose the X%)
            Do you accept that people end up in hospital and in ICU on ventilators? (you choose the Y%)
            Do you accept that people who recover from ventilation have on-going complications? (you choose the Z%)

            Now would you prefer we all got COVID-protection through natural immunity (i.e. we all get COVID and X% die, Y% go through ICU and Z% of those have lasing complications) rather than a vaccine?


          6. f_lawless

            Cian you seem to have a poor conception of what a natural herd immunity strategy would entail. It’s not about “letting it rip” and getting everyone exposed to the virus. It’s about protecting the elderly and other high-risk groups while letting a herd immunity build up in the low-risk younger generation.

            I guess you didn’t read the article I linked to above. Oh well

          7. SOQ

            Actually the percentages are very important- crucial even. There are many serious and infectious diseases out there which can also kill you but we take a calculated risk that they will not. We pass viruses and bacteria to each other all the time?

            I said this from the very start- the only way the fatality % can go is down and keep going down so at what point do we start getting some sort of rational perspective about this thing? 0.1%? 0.01%? 0.001%? 0.0001%?

          8. Cian


            I agree that until there is a vaccine that we should try to increase the herd immunity as quickly/safely (and I realise that these are mutually exclusive) as we can.

            But my point was to SOQ’s assertion that “Natural immunity is always preferable” to a vaccine. Which is anti-vaxx hogswash.

          1. SOQ

            Thanks for that Lilly- first I have heard of it myself.

            Anything I have read suggested it was a reinfection- meaning not fully cleared before.

    2. class wario

      isnt out entire understanding of ‘herd immunity’ based on the prevalence of vaccines and vaccinated people protecting those who aren’t able to receive them? they should just advocate for natural selection by way of covid-19 openly instead of this disingenuous guff

      1. f_lawless


        “Herd immunity happens when so many people in a community become immune to an infectious disease that is stops the disease from spreading. This happens by people contracting the disease and building up natural immunity and by people receiving a vaccine.”

        Naturally acquired immunity levels in a population can be a decisive factor determining whether the introduction of a vaccine effectively brings the population to a herd immunity threshold or not.

        Considering that in the US, the FDA has has set the efficacy threshold as low as 50% for a Covid-19 vaccine to qualify for market (it’s likely to be similar here in Europe), this is all the more reason that a complimentary natural immunity strategy involving the least at risk (the young) makes sense. In the eventuality that the vaccine has low efficacy – and/or doesn’t arrive any time soon – a natural immunity strategy is what governments need to be adopting regardless in order to keep our societies afloat.

        1. Lush

          Well my other half for one.
          She’s obviously averse to lycra body suits on middle aged men.
          Can’t blame her.

          1. Janet, dreams of big guns

            hahaha, I always wonder driving past if I’m going to need to hop out and do CPR, some of them are really stretching themselves and the lycra but I suppose it’s better than sitting on the couch

          2. Lush

            Oh god, I dunno.
            He used to have this all-in-one blue thing. He looked like yer wan in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
            The stuff of nightmares.

          3. Janet, dreams of big guns

            mine also dons the Lycra but he’d just make you want to knock him off the bike and force feed him a few egg sandwiches, bleedin ectomorphs

  2. SOQ

    Bad law for bad science comes into force this morning, the timing of which could not have been more useless.

    But does not include an indoor premises or a part of such a premises that is a post office, credit union or bank.


    A person shall not, without reasonable excuse, enter or remain in a relevant premises in a relevant geographical location without wearing a face covering.

    5. Without prejudice to the generality of what constitutes reasonable excuse for the purposes of Regulation
    4(1), a person has reasonable excuse if –
    (a) the person cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering –
    (i) because of any physical or mental illness, impairment or disability, or
    (ii) without severe distress,
    (b) the person needs to communicate with a person who has difficulties communicating (in relation to speech, language or otherwise),
    (c) the person removes the face covering to provide emergency assistance or to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person,
    (d) the person removes the face covering to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury,
    (e) the person removes the face covering in order to, and only for the time required to, take medication,
    (f) the person removes the face covering at the request of a responsible person, or of a worker, in order to enable him or her to ascertain the person’s age by reference to photographic identification for the purposes of the sale of goods or services in respect of which there is a minimum age requirement or where the responsible person, or worker, has lawful authority to verify the person’s identity, or
    (g) the person removes the face covering at the request of a responsible person, or of a worker, in order to assist the responsible person or worker

    So i assume all you have to say is you have a reasonable excuse and they cannot enquire any further.

    That is how it works elsewhere although there has been some shocking scenes coming out of the US with the ‘Karens’ demanding to know other people’s medical business and being very abusive.

    1. class wario

      Do you not accept that there has been 1000s of American ‘Karens’ (ew) kicking off about their right to not wear one too?

      These are drafted in such a way as to presume good faith excuses. Nuts loudly proclaiming they have a righteous excuse in the hope of some infamy does not come under that umbrella

      1. SOQ

        The term ‘Karen’, at least as the UK definition goes- is those who get upset at others not complying to what they precieve as the CoVid-19 rules- in other words, nosy old wagons who can’t mind their own business.

        Anyways here is something for the ‘Karens’ to consider. Ireland has one of the highest rates of asthma prevalence in the world. It is the most common chronic disease affecting children, and the most common chronic respiratory disease in adults.

        – 890,000 people in Ireland experience asthma at some stage of their life.

        – 380,000 people in Ireland currently have asthma.

        – 1 in 13 people in Ireland currently have asthma.

        – 1 in 10 children currently have asthma.

        – 1 in 5 children experience asthma at some stage in their life.


        People with asthma who feel any discomfort should not wear masks as wearing such may affect their condition not just at the time, but for a sustained period afterwards.

        1. class wario

          “The term ‘Karen’, at least as the UK definition goes- is those who get upset at others not complying to what they precieve as the CoVid-19 rules- in other words, nosy old wagons who can’t mind their own business.”

          in no way is the term ‘Karen’ specifically related to covid-19 rules and it is very weird to try and say otherwise.

          honestly it’s also quite weird to act like people who wear masks are the ‘karens’ and not the infinitely more combative anti mask side. the latter, for example, held a march through dublin on Saturday which included chanting slogans like “only slaves wear masks”. big karen energy

        2. Junkface

          I feel sorry for the poor ladies called Karen, its such a dumb trend from the US. What about girls in schools called Karen? They must be getting bullied.

          Most of the footage of people spitting, coughing and screaming in other people’s faces are from American women (anti-science Trump supporters). They are disgusting and seem to have lost their minds this year. Its all very strange, cultish behavior

          1. SOQ

            Well we are obvious watching different video streams because all I have seen is women screaming at people in supermarkets for not wearing masks.

            And no- the ‘Karen’ label stared in the UK.

          2. class wario

            it almost certainly originated from the US where the name and a particular style of haircut are predominantly associated with women who demand to speak to the manager, complain unnecessarily etc. it has nothing to do with covid-19.

          3. Junkface

            I saw Stephen Colbert doing many comedy reports on ‘Karens’ 3 years ago, it was a light bit of poking fun at the office grump. But in the last year it has exploded as a derogatory term for unpleasant women. The whole thing is odd.

            I’ve never heard it being used like that in the UK media.

          4. Janet, dreams of big guns

            I saw a few Janet memes but thankfully it never took off to the same extent,

      1. SOQ

        Yeah I see lads with some sort of sports neck scarf thing which they pull up when needed- but sure that is only a single piece of stretch cloth which serves no purpose whatsoever.

        Probably easier to breath in mind.

      2. scottser

        i keep asking the missis to give me a pair of tights to wear over my head like an 80’s bank robber in an episode of ‘the sweeney’. i may have to buy my own..

        1. GiggidyGoo

          G’wan Clon.

          D’auld slip is expensive at €200+. You wouldn’t sleep in it at that price, just put it on for a few minutes before going to bed. Nice stuff though.

  3. GiggidyGoo

    Donnelly fast becoming another soundbiter. All bluster when in opposition. Talked the talk. What’s he at now? Hiding behind the usual phrases. ‘Considering’, ‘Preparing option’, ‘as soon as possible’, and of course ‘monitor closely’.
    Not much monitoring in the meat factories now was there? Never an unannounced inspection.
    Next it’ll be the hotels. Some have music and dancing – social distancing? Not on your life, literally. Staff wearing masks – not on your life either.

    1. SOQ

      I expect the reason they can’t enforce a mask rule on staff is they must do a medical examination first. Otherwise the employer would be wide open to liability claims if someone’s health suffers- it would be interesting to see what the employer’s insurance says on the subject?

      1. class wario

        “Otherwise the employer would be wide open to liability claims if someone’s health suffers”

        *laughs in meat baron*

      1. GiggidyGoo

        Surely didn’t. But it isn’t a phenomenon just for us and the UK

        The Covid-19 has become a game-changer for:
        – New / extras added to laws.
        – More powers to the police forces, heading for Police State status
        – Pushing electronic money transactions – there will be a push against cash in the coming years
        – Worlds billionaires elite deciding how health services are to be distributed.
        Control, in other words.

        Plenty of time on my hands today

    1. GiggidyGoo

      You don’t have to announce beforehand what the content of your post is going to be.

      Taken from the H&S manual for Hotels and Guesthouses:

      “If not possible to ensure a 2-metre physical distance between workers, have
      you put in place alternative measures?
       installed physical barriers, such as clear plastic sneeze guards between
       to maintain at least a distance of 1 metre or as much distance as is
       to minimise any direct worker close contact
       to provide hand washing or hand disinfection aids nearby, so that
      hands can be cleaned as soon as the task is complete
       made face masks available to workers in line with Public Health advice
      and ensuring that masks are clean and not shared or handled by other

      ‘If they do, they are fired” – indeed. GIYF

  4. Gerry

    The advice here in China is that masks work (compared to no masks) as follows:

    1, when both parties wear them — transmission virtually zero;
    2, when an infected person wears one and meets a non-mask-wearing healthy person — transmission about 1/10; but also,
    3, if an infected non-mask-wearing person meets a mask-wearing healthy person — transmission is about 50%.

    Thus mask-wearing is massively beneficial in all cases.

    Of course any legislation would have to exempt people with one lung or whatever, don’t use the exceptions to argue against the basic idea.

    1. SOQ

      Advice from China- yes- that is trustworthy alright.

      If masks worked then why was there such a virulent outbreak in Wuhan- given that they were wearing them from the get go?

      1. paddy apathy

        You are becoming very, very tiresome now SOQ. They’re barriers to transmission. They may not be 100% effective. But they are better than nothing. SOQsplaining.

        1. Jack Of Ireland

          Do people who complain about masks also complain about condoms. Neither are 100% effective, but still effective most of the time. Best endeavours to prevent Covid and Stds

          1. Janet, dreams of big guns

            I have noticed the people who complain about condoms tend to be the people less affected by the adverse results ( or think they are )

    2. Junkface

      They came up with the same strategy for beating the Spanish Flu in 1918. Its simple science when dealing with air transmissible viruses. Wear a mask.

      China let the outbreak get out of hand because people were not wearing masks in high percentages in the wet markets in Wuhan. They wore masks after the outbreak got a hold.

      The CCP have failed to be open and transparent about the beginning of the outbreak. They refused to allow scientists from EU and USA to examine the scene. That’s standard behavior for China’s leaders.

      1. f_lawless

        Another strategy Irish authorities were recommending back in 1918 to combat the Spanish Flu:
        – lozenges made from formaldehyde and lactose.

        Thanks, but I’m still more persuaded by the several randomised control trials conducted over the last couple of decades which concluded there was no evidence that masks were effective at preventing spread during a flu pandemic. This was the basis of the WHO’s official position on masks until they gave in to political lobbying in June of 2020. BBCs Deborah Cohen confirmed this.

        If the reason that the virus took hold in China is because they didn’t wear masks early enough, as you say, then what makes you think adopting mask-wearing in Ireland at this late stage in the evolution of the virus will make an impact?

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