An Bhfuil Cead Agam Dul Go Dti An Leithlisiú


This morning/afernoon.

Montrose Park, Beaumont, Dublin 5

Taoiseach Micheál Martin (above second right) and Minister for Education Norma Foley (above far right) visited Scoil Fiachra National School where they were given a tour of the school and a briefing on the work undertaken to mess with young heads prepare the school for reopening.

Where are your scary perspex PODS?


Previously: Breathing Breaks

Julien Behal/Photocall Ireland


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35 thoughts on “An Bhfuil Cead Agam Dul Go Dti An Leithlisiú

  1. John Smith

    Are the children meant to understand all those arrows, lines and colour codings (second photo down)? They baffle me! Perhaps it’s a new form of hopscotch.

        1. millie madonna

          I just felt a very specific shiver of fear creep down my spine there. Haven’t felt it in years.

          Might just reread Matilda later

  2. paul

    what’s with the hands on the wall? Is that for when they search the kids for contraband or when they identify if they are human or not?

    It all looks like Dance Dance Revolution to me.

  3. John Smith

    No such luck, Micko. Schools are not on the list but it’s not just shops and public transport. When the legislation came out, theatres, libraries, museums, etc, had been added to the list, in addition to the ‘retail premises’ that were in the original promise (or threat, depending on your point of view). The full list is below.

    Face coverings must be worn in the following locations:

    shops, including pharmacies
    shopping centres
    cinemas and cinema complexes
    concert halls
    bingo halls
    nail salons
    hair salons and barbers
    tattoo and piercing parlours
    travel agents and tour operators
    laundries and dry cleaners
    betting shops and bookmakers.

    Banks, post offices, credit unions and medical premises (except, specifically, pharmacies) are excluded. The legislation does not apply to children under thirteen.

    1. Micko

      Wow, with a list like that, we’ll definitely see cases going down!

      That’s what’s happening right? RIGHT?

  4. John Smith

    Micko, when the legislation was brought in for wearing masks in shops, the full list was as I’ve shown above. If you go in any of these premises, you are supposed to wear a mask now, unless you have a reasonable excuse. As to whether that will affect the number of cases remains to be seen, though I would doubt it. It certainly cuts down the number of places I go to because I do not wear a mask both on principle and because it goes against the training I received about the wearing of masks.

    1. Micko

      Cheers John, I was only beling facetious above.

      I genuinely thought it was only public transport and shops.

      I also doubt that cases will go down from mask wearing. If that was the case we would have seen that trend in countries like Spain where mask wearing has been mandatory ( and enforced) for a while now.

      Of course, in Spain we actually see that cases are skyrocketing since mid July, while deaths are pretty much flatlining (excuse the pun)

    2. Micko

      Cheers John, I was only beling facetious above.

      I genuinely thought it was only public transport and shops.

      I also doubt that cases will go down from mask wearing. If that was the case we would have seen that trend in countries like Spain where mask wearing has been mandatory ( and enforced) for a while now.

      Of course, in Spain we see that cases are actually skyrocketing since mid July, while deaths are pretty much flatlining (excuse the pun)

      1. Cian

        Two things are happening at the same time:
        1. lockdown is loosening up
        2. people are wearing masks

        The cases are increasing because of #1.
        It is possible the cases are increasing more slowly because of #2.
        It is unlikely that the cases are increasing because of #2.

        1. SOQ

          OR cases are going up in direct proportion to the number of tests and the unknown margin of error of said PCR test is spewing out false positives.

          How else can you explain nobody getting sick?

          It’s like a war broke our and nobody turned up situation now- it is getting silly now.

      2. John Smith

        I did assume you were being facetious! I also assumed you actually didn’t know about the other places – most people only find out when they go to them!

        1. John Smith

          Cian. There were no deaths almost and no cases (CSO figures) in the whole of Connacht from the beginning of May, even with the easing of lockdown – that started well be the mask requirement. About 5% of people were wearing masks in shops up until the enforcement and there were no problems..

          1. Haroo

            Some genuinely interesting studies claiming the effectiveness of masks. Being reported a lot in the French media how the benefit of masks is reducing viral load. So yes xases are increasing but death rate and hospitalisations are not to the same extent as a rwsult of reduced viral load.

          2. SOQ

            Please explain to me how they can measure viral load with a forensic test which was designed to indicate traces of a previous infection only?

          3. Haroo

            I don’t think that was the question but from my understanding viral load detection and measurement is quite easy and well developed with viral load being expressed as the number of viral particles per millilitre of blood. If you have a confirmed case of covid it would be quite easy to conduct a representative sample of the population and take a sample of blood and measure the viral load in each case presented. You can track this over time to see how viral load is progressing.

            In fairness it does make logical sense. If we can prove a link between mask wearing and lower viral loads then it at least contributes to our understanding of effective strategies. It would also go toward explaining why cases are rising around Europe but hospitalisations and deaths are not rising at the same rate.

            ““There are two likely reasons for the effectiveness of facial masks: The first — to prevent the spread of viral particles from asymptomatic individuals to others — has received a great deal of attention,” the professors explained. “However, the second theory — that reducing the inoculum of the virus to which a mask-wearer is exposed will result in milder disease — has received less attention…”

            “Many studies have confirmed the direct causation between virus load and disease severity in animals for all sorts of respiratory viral infections, such as SARS-CoV-2, SARS-1, MERS, influenza A virus (IAV), human parainfluenza virus (HPIV), and infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV). In essence, these experiments showed that the more virus particles invading the animals’ respiratory tract, the more severe the disease turned out.

            In a hamster study published in May, researchers at the University of Hong Kong showed that 66.7% (10/15) of hamsters contracted Covid-19 through non-contact routes (either aerosols or respiratory droplets). Partitioning their cages with a surgical mask reduced the transmission rate to 16.7%. More importantly, this 16.7% of hamsters also had milder Covid-19 — as evidenced by less tissue damage and expression of virus proteins in the respiratory tract — compared to hamsters whose cages were unprotected”

            Here is the link that provides links to several studies from the University of California San Fran


          4. Haroo

            In the UCSF link they explain why the advice changed regarding mask wearing and ranges from poor understanding of transmission/prevalence, cultural norms in the USA (it wasn’t worth the effort trying to get them to wear masks) and insufficient supply.

    3. Sham Bob

      What training do you mean?

      Is the principle because they’re mandatory? Like let’s say hypothetically if you knew for a fact that mask-wearing actually helped stop the spread of a deadly virus, would you wear one then?

      1. John Smith

        Hospital training regarding why, when, how to wear/handle/etc a mask, etc, when I was working as a radiographer (in cancer departments, accident and emergency and theatre. Interestingly, a friend who is a senior hospital nurse now is in agreement on the training content.

        The principle is that no-one should be forced to wear a mask in the current situation because mask-wearing is:
        – an abnormal behaviour that adversely affects how we behave and react socially
        – not good practice in terms of the wearer’s health (especially if not used correctly, eg for too long)
        – more likely to increase the spread of a virus (if present) than reduce it (watch how masks are handled, stuffed into pockets, used again, etc – especially, but not exclusively, when used by people wearing them just because they have to and not because they like to or believe it is a good thing to do)
        – a practice that can affect the intelligibility of speech – some people’s voices are muffled and lip-reading is prevented (everyone lip-reads, not just people with a hearing impairment)
        – a practice on which scientists are divided on whether it is beneficial in the present circumstances.
        (There are probably more reasons but these will do for now.)

        I believe that everyone should be allowed to make up their own minds and that no pressure should be applied. The government’s role should be to ensure that all the pros and cons are made available so that people can make an informed choice.

        Would I wear one if I knew for a fact that mask-wearing actually helped stop the spread of a deadly virus? As you say, this is hypothetical – we don’t know and I think it unlikely that we would know. It’s all based on statistics and these are questionable for any number of reasons. If I were truly convinced, I might, but only after taking into account all the points above and doing my best to guard against the dangers of wearing one. I would be more likely, though, to do what I am doing now – avoiding all places and circumstances where I have to wear one.

        1. Haroo

          I fully accept that it is very difficult to prove something 100% and you are entitled to your opinion but I think we can say that there is suffient evidence that mask wearing is effective in limiting the impact of the virus.

          I relation to your point:
          – It is abnormal behaviour: It is and that is another benefit. It is a constant reminder to be vigilant (social distance, wash hands). Times are not nornal so do not act like you would before.
          -Adverse affects on the wearers’ health: I am also open to new evidence. Is this widespread? Effects a significant portion of the population? Or is it related to the next point
          -Increases spread or risk of spread through improper use: But surely the answer to that is teaching people how to use it properly, providing more safe disposal places and maybe even more masks. We should not give up on an effective strategy just because people are lazy or don’t want to learn.
          -Impairs speech/makes people hard to understand: That argument could be used against allowing people from Kerry or Donegal into the public sphere (I jest).
          -Scientists are divided: Again I am always open to substantive evidence. I think the science for it is backed up with logic and evidence based research. I know there are some who question it but I do not think they are divided as you think.

          As for it being someone’s choice/right to make up their own mind. That has to be balanced against people’s right to be able to exist in or operate in a society without being put at substantial risk. As a lot of commentary, anecdotal evidence and actual evidence is suggesting, asymptomatic cases seem to be rising substantially. For people with underlying health conditions(known and unknown)/the elderly a population taking no precautions represents an unacceptable risk given the trnasmission rate in some areas and communicability of this virus. Your rights have to be balanced with the rights of others. Your rights come with responsibilities.

          There is a really good study on the ineffectiveness of masks during the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1918. It is really quite balanced. The essential findings were:
          1). improper use of masks (not covering nose and mouth).
          2).use of masks to the point they were filthy, falling apart and effectively worthless as a barrier. So you are absolutely correct in your earlier assertion.
          3). a misunderstanding that essentially masks are to protect others from a potentially sick person i.e. if your are sick/asymptomatic it is to protect us from you.
          4). lack of widespread use (a lot of individuals in countries where individual expression and rights were strong objected and lessened the impact of mask wearing). It requires a substantial majority of society.
          5). a need to combine with other measures such as social distancing.

          Those 5 points were explaining why masks did not limited the spread. However, there is a lot of evidence to show it reduces viral load which limits its impact on people (ICU/death).

          I think we need mass buy in. No one is suggesting you have to wear it for the rest of your life. It is a relatively small amount of time and for the majority is a minor inconvenience that can have substantial benefits for those most at risk in society.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      If it was good enough for your Aunty Nancy with TB, it’s good enough for little Jayden, Kayden and Okayden and their Covid

      1. Micko

        TB – now there was a deadly disease!

        The ol “Consumption”

        Killed 1 in 7 back in the day.

        I do love playing disease Top Trumps

  5. Gokkers

    looks like someone’s already had an accident, *holds pee pee,shakes legs…warm feeling…too late : /

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