Dark Side Of The Blooming Moon

at | 44 Replies

George Lee

Earlier today on RTÉ’s News at One.

RTE’s Science Correspondent George Lee spoke to Áine Lawlor about the new Covid-19 restrictions for Dublin.

During the interview, they had this exchange about “public buy-in”.

Warning: contains smugness, scolding and startling indifference to human suffering.

Áine Lawlor: “If this is your livelihood, if you have restocked your pub a couple of times, you know, in the hope that finally the restrictions were going to be lifted and you could go back to trying to earn a crust and suddenly again you’re told you can’t.”

George Lee: ‘But I do honestly wonder, Aine, when I hear stuff like that, these people aren’t living on the blooming moon, you know.

“They know how we have been since March. They have a particular position and they’re all in pain economically and socially because of it like us all and, unfortunately because of the sectors they’re in, they’re in a sector where you do have transmission, they know that. So …and they don’t want it to happen but they do see, as you say, I suppose, exemptions being made for some areas and they’re wondering why.

“Well I’ll give you an example now today. Professor Philip Nolan is picking up on this argument and I’m very struck by the fact that people from NPHET now have to do this. They’re engaging, basically trying to explain the arguments that the people who are lobbying politically are putting to politicians.”

Lawlor: “But it is important, this as well, isn’t it, George, because however often it has to be explained. If you are asking people to live in the new normal…”

Lee: “You have to explain it…you must explain it.”

Lawlor: “If you are asking people to live with new restrictions and if you are asking people to accept that their livelihood has gone out the window, they need to understand why.”

Lee: “One hundred per cent. But we have been, what people have been explaining it now since March. So…”

Lawlor: “Explain it again though. What’s Philip Nolan saying?”

Lee: “I do, people do understand, I think people complain.”

Lawlor: “What’s Philip Nolan saying?”

Lee: “What he’s saying is, look, this whole issue of talking about closing restaurants and pubs, why do we have to do it when there are so few outbreaks in those areas. He said people are making those arguments, he says, on behalf of NPHET basically, they’re misreading and misinterpreting the data about outbreaks.

“What he’s says is that when you effectively, if you are out in a restaurant and you are with a group and you pick up the virus, the virus grows within you, invisibly for three days, for the next few days you begin to shed the virus and you develop symptoms and you go for a test.

“Now the testing thing is so, remember what they’re trying to do, they’re trying to stop the spread of the virus, so they’re trying to get ahead of it. Who have you met in the last 48 hours? Where is it going to break out next? They’re concentrating on that. They’re not going back five days, they’re not going back and saying ‘were you in a restaurant, or were you in a pub or somewhere, or a hotel five days ago?

“And so when you look at the data, in that case, that individual, he said, will turn out to be a community-acquired infection and his household, who picked it up are now a household infection. So you see all the numbers which are saying ‘oh you have a huge increase’ in most of the cases and clusters are in households.

They don’t say where did the household actually originally get it because nobody really knows. And what he’s saying is all of the evidence suggests that it’s coming from wherever people are socially interacting up to five days beforehand. And he said that turns out to be pubs, restaurants and all of those other things like gyms and so on.

“And he said, so to say that there’s no outbreaks in pubs and restaurants, or those places, obviously not in pubs, we haven’t had the wet pubs open, he said that is misreading the data. It’s not saying that that’s not where it happens and that’s why he says that it’s so important to close down those social interactions.”


The masks just keep slipping,

Listen back here

44 thoughts on “Dark Side Of The Blooming Moon

  1. Sara

    Zero respect for publicans. They only care about themselves. Worked for a load of pubs, low wages, non unionized, and a lot of people working there who aren’t even on minimum wage (they’re off the books). Fupp them.

    1. Charlie

      I couldn’t give a fupp about pubs. They’re not for socializing. I hate the culture. They’re sociable for about 30 minutes. They’re then all about skulling alcohol and gradually becoming an idiot.
      For the record. I spent many years frequenting pubs and still enjoy a drink…just not in a bar full of people talkin poo. I guess I’m a kinda gamekeeper turned poacher nowadays…or maybe I just grew up.

  2. wearnicehats

    This really isn’t about pubs – the pubs that haven’t reopened are not really worse off. Where this will really hit hard is those cafes, restaurants and eating pubs that had managed to re-establish some sort of trade again. I recently posted on a separate thread about a very significant elephant in the room here for all casual workers in the hospitality industry. Under the old Temporary Wage Subsidy scheme an employer could afford to keep their staff on a good wage and get €350 of it back within 2 days, regardless of their hours worked. Under the new scheme (EWSS) employees are once again being paid by their hours worked as per pre COVID days. They are also taxed in the old way. Worse is that the employer now only gets €203 of that back and has to wait 4 weeks to get it. These employees came off the emergency payment so have no parachute. Restaurants and cafes will now be necessarily cutting staff hours to the bare minimum – assuming that they will even stay open. The old scheme made a takeaway only option just about viable for many businesses – the EWSS doesn’t afford that flexibility. We can only hope that someone has thought about this before they cancel indoor dining..

        1. TMAN

          Oh someone please think of the children argument…. Life sucks try make the best of it while your around no matter how short that is

          1. millie madonna

            Yeah that’s the attitude.

            Hopefully someone reminds you that life sucks and to get over it next time you or a loved one finds their health and wellbeing at risk.

          2. Nigel

            You could either be talking about the dead people or the people in financial difficulty, and you’d be being a bit of a willy either way.

  3. TMAN

    Oh someone please think of the children argument…. Life sucks try make the best of it while your around no matter how short that is

    1. V AKA Frilly Keane

      He wasn’t shafted

      He got elected in a By-election (Séamus Brennan’s rip Seat)
      And assumed Enda was going to get his front bench, which included Ml Noonan and Richard Bruton btw,
      to push over and make room for him
      Instead of putting in a year or two of a bitta graft away from the spotlight
      Helping develop policy, support his colleagues
      Build his constituency base and make sure of the seat in a General

      As he wasn’t being treated like a television star by the Blueshirts Parliamentary Party, or by Mount St or any of the rank and file
      He threw a tantrum, and made a show of himself
      He didn’t even get his old job in RTÉ back

      He carried on like a diva – and fully expected Enda Kenny to immediately hand him the Finance brief

      Had he bided his time, and made any sort of effort to put the party first
      He’d have had back-to-back ministries + an acting term

      Enda Kenny didn’t shaft George Lee
      He was too full of his own self importance and shafted himself
      One of the biggest loser’s in Irish Politics IMO

      A freshman TD during the same term Leo Varadkar was also on his 1st term

      He barely lasted a year – had he managed another one – it would have brought him to the 2011 General

  4. ce

    In one of our other smaller ‘cities’ tonight, and we’re trying to play catchup with Dublin… pubs open, everybody is drunk, chipper full of slobbering drunks no mask… can’t wait to have to scramble for toilet roll again

  5. Brughahaha

    George Lee “they’re all in pain economically and socially because of it like us all”

    No George , i very much doubt you or anyone making these decisions is living on 203 euros or has even lost a single euro, but thanks for showing your still a heartless blueshirt with nothing but contempt for those worse off than you ……….

  6. Plumbob

    Is anyone surprised with these measures coming in when you have the likes of Broadsheet promoting paranoid conspiracists and quacks with a chip on their shoulder?

    1. f_lawless

      Plumbob there’s nothing wrong with admitting you find the current approach by our government and health officials a bit bewildering. I think we all do on some level if we’re honest. But I don’t think it helps to lash out and scapegoat people who are openly questioning this approach. After all, you don’t have too look far to see that there’s qualified expert opinion out there with a completely different take on things.

      In a healthy liberal democracy we should be able to openly discuss these kinds of things without being demonised

      1. Plumbob

        True but if you look at the list of people they’ve been championing on their q&a slot you have to wonder who administers this website.
        Conspiracists all have a list of things in common, the need to have an “enlightened” and “alternative” view on every topic, be it 5g, chemtrails, bill gates or whatever is the topic of the year.

      1. Plumbob

        Changing your view is entirely healthy. Every scientist worth their salt does it when new information becomes available. Having an outcome and trying to mould “facts” or data or datum to fit that outcome is not healthy.

    2. Formerly known as @ireland.com

      I would love to know how active Putin and others who want to disrupt society are in this. This virus gives him another way to stuff things up.

      1. tomm

        I wonder as well have they editorial influence over this place. Seems to be ten times the amount of cranks compared to the old days.

  7. Termagant

    Again, completely missing or maybe cannily evading the point

    The publicans are moaning now, not because they can’t open, but because once again they were told they could open and had it changed at the last minute, after they’ve paid out more of their dwindling cash cushion to restock. Like the last time, and the time before that. There’s only so many opportunities to restart these businesses before the well dries up. They’re moaning now because they keep telling government that they need concrete reliable information & guidance and the government keeps not giving a ballyhoo, going backwards and forwards and up and down in the levels and peeing everyone off.

  8. MacGafraidh

    I have to be honest, I don’t understand the latest action from the government. If, on Tuesday I visit a pub then Ann Summers to have a drunken fun night with herself.. Wednesday If i go shopping in the blanchardstown centre and visit family and Thursday I’m out in howth. Then Presenting with symptoms.. How do they identify where I picked this up and why is Ann summers and the shopping centre open but the pub closed.. Some pubs have done really well to adapt.. What now when the numbers don’t improve?

    1. Plumbob

      In a pub or restaurant you are far more likely to be in close contact with other members of the public for a longer period of time than you would be in a shop.

  9. Paul

    There was a restaurant owner saying they were doing everything they could… but I was in that restaurant recently and they put a group of four sitting at the table next to us. Not on top of us but less than two metres.


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