Dr Johan Giesecke, Sweden’s former chief epidemiologist, addressing the Oireachtas Special Committee on Covid-19 Response this morning.

This morning.

As Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn warns  that Covid-19 is spreading ‘disproportionately‘ among younger people…

…a Swedish expert will tell the Oireachtas Special Committee on Covid-19 Response that controlled spread of the coronavirus should be allowed among people aged under 60.

Via RTÈ:

In his opening statement, Dr Johan Giesecke, former chief epidemiologist in Sweden, will say Ireland should concentrate on the old and frail with frequent testing of staff and residents in care homes. He will tell politicians that we should wait at least a year to start comparing countries’ Covid-19 strategies.


Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, [Covid Committee Chairman] Mr [Michael] McNamara said that two counties – Offaly and Kildare – may face further restrictions after already having an additional three weeks of restrictions, which begs the question as to the success of the original measures taken.

Lockdowns are not inevitable, he said, adding that we need to consider is it possible to shield the vulnerable from the virus while allowing society to move and to operate more normally.

Controlled spread of Covid-19 an option, Swedish expert to tell committee (RTÉ)

50 thoughts on “Herdy Gurdy

    1. rominick

      Excellent response Jeffrey, you’re counter argument is fantastic.
      You’ve totally convinced me that the Swedish approach is incorrect.

    2. italia'90

      So are you happy with the prospect of geographical area lockdowns possibly for the next 2 to 5 years, if Covid-19 is as virulent as some scientists would have us believe?
      What’s your preferred path to zero covid?
      Is there a *better strategy that hasn’t been discussed openly and honestly?
      *not looking at you Sweden
      I’m just back from a project in the UK. They are not taking the socially distancing, washing ur hands and **mask wearing guidelines very well at all, at all.
      **I’m not in favour of healthy virus free people having to ***wear masks, but if it makes the bed wetters feel better about themselves, then I’ll play along.
      ***I wear a mask/shield & PPE at work and have done so for many years. But only when using certain chemicals and when using hazardous equipment. I couldn’t function 100% if I had to wear a mask all day.
      Please for the love of Jasus remember, you quarantine the boat not the harbour.
      Wash your hands and your phones and stop friggin in the riggin and picking your nose.

        1. Nigel

          200,000 dead in the US in six months, how do you think that’s helping the populace’s menatal and physical well being?

        1. broadbag

          ”I’m just back from a project in the UK. They are not taking the socially distancing, washing ur hands and **mask wearing guidelines very well at all, at all.”


    1. Janet, dreams of big guns

      maybe turn him into a dog with a bit of conditioning
      dogs and wolves have the same dna just different genetic memories towards humans

      1. Mulch

        Yeah, but how many people died when they first opened the door to start conditioning the wolf, probably because some eejit in the house said ‘sure its only a dog, let him in’!

        1. Janet, dreams of big guns

          pretty sure they started with a puppy, ( some monkeys still rob wild puppies and use them as they grow to protect the pack)
          I was trying to show analogies are silly

  1. Rob_G

    It’s interesting, and it’s not to say that both the Irish and Swedish approaches have their benefits and drawbacks, but given that his colleague Anders Tegnell has publicly stated that he regrets that the Swedish approach resulted in so many deaths, I’m not sure that this represents a slam-dunk either way.

    1. SOQ

      Anders Tegnell said he regrets the way in which nursing homes were handled which is quite different but unlike our own ‘experts’ – at least he had the decency to admit it.

  2. Listrade

    It’s just too early to make any calls on what the right strategy is. Sweden is interesting and they accept the mistakes they made with the nursing homes. But we haven’t seen enough like-for-like data to know if we can have a “controlled spread”. At the moment, we’ve more chance of controlling a fart during a bout of the squits.

    The elderly are a known high risk group, that’s an easy one to control. But also has other issues. However, its the unknowns that are a concern in any controlled spread in particular spread in high density populations. These could be especially vulnerable whether it is due to poorer health and undiagnosed conditions as well not having the same access the same safer standards in work as some others.

    The frustration with the statement is I’d agree with him that we need to wait to make a judgement on Sweden’s results. But that is to justify that their deaths and cases could even out in comparison over 12 months. But by that same argument, its too early and not enough like-for-like to say that “controlled spread” is the correct process or that it is viable in Ireland.

    1. Rob_G

      “It’s just too early to make any calls on what the right strategy is. Sweden is interesting and they accept the mistakes they made with the nursing homes. But we haven’t seen enough like-for-like data to know if we can have a “controlled spread”.

      Agreed; that’s why i think governments are correct to err on the side of caution.

      1. f_lawless

        The government imposed a lockdown without ever properly assessing the toll it would take on society and now they continue doggedly along the same path without any proper debate on the inevitable further devastation these restrictive measures will cause as we head into winter – how extensive the damage is likely to be, whether the outcome that is hoped for is really worth the damage incurred, etc. It’s misguided to frame this as “erring on the side of caution”. It’s more like “safetyism” culture gone toxic

  3. Junkface

    Nobody has the exact right approach to tackling and crushing the virus. It seems that the best we can do is take it as it comes while sticking to basic hygiene rules, social distance and mask policy and keeping away from sharing small indoor public places without excellent fresh air ventilation / air conditioning.

    National lockdowns are not good though, they really hurt the working class and tourism related jobs, not to mention everyone’s mental health. Localised lockdowns for breakouts is the way to go.

    1. SOQ

      But are localised lockdowns really the way to go? The entire thing is based on a PCR casedemic which is questionable to say the least. What we do know however is it is round about the same fatality rate as a bad flu so why wreck economies for this and not for the flu?

      Also, unlike a flu- this thing is very specific to particular demographics so it really is about advising those in those groups and let them make their own call as to how sheltered they wish to be.

      1. Nigel

        Better question – why restore the economy to what it was when we know exactly how vulnerable it is to shocks and we know more shocks are coming? Since the burden for the recovery from these shocks always falls on non-wealthy taxpayers, it’s not for their benefit, that’s for sure.

        1. SOQ

          It will be impossible to restore the economy to what it was even without a second lockdown- many people have already lost their jobs and the SME sector has took a hammering.

          As for shocks- while there may be minor spikes as the virus passed through the rest of the population- there is no evidence of a second way anywhere- including China- so why continue to strangle the economy over something which has never happened before?

          1. Nigel

            I’m not talking about the current crisis. There could be another pandemic, another global crash, and most definitely of all, there will be climate change. We need to start shaping our economy with these realities and probabilities in mind.

        2. Janet, dreams of big guns

          While I’d love to worry about the larger economy I just need back to work ! I had just been promoted and the longer this drags on the more likely I’ll have to start AGAIN from scratch

          1. Janet, dreams of big guns

            ah it’s not your fault it’s the world, I can always switch off the internet and get out, I do everyday :)

  4. Nigel

    People keep saying we should focus on isolating and protecting the elderly and vulnerable, when the one thing most countries signally failed to do, even with lockdown, was isolate and protect the elderly and vulnerable. It’s a global bloody scandal.

    1. Junkface

      I spent some time visiting my Grandmother in her nursing home before she died. It was very grim, staff numbers were stretched too thin, care for very vulnerable persons was not acceptable, especially for my Grandmother. Falling over, falling out of her bed, lying there unable to move for some time before staff realised she had broken bones.
      It’s a for profit system, meaning profits are maximised for business owners while they hired the cheapest staff, took.as many shortcuts as possible and charged families a fortune. This is happening all over the western world evidently and its a shameful reflection on our culture and how we treat the elderly.

        1. Janet, dreams of big guns

          I was saying that in a comment a few days ago, the isolation and fear and worry are grinding my two down too

  5. Johnnythree

    On another note but related. Apparently Stephen Donnelly being prepared for a slow slide out of his role to be filled by Niall Collins. Apparently impressive on TV with Sinn Fein recently swung it for him. Donnelly regarded as a constant car crash. Glynn also regarded as needing communications help due to regular fear based utterances.

    My guess is they will be kicking NPHET under the can as business realities take precedence. Shield vulnerable and get on with it. The figures are blown out of proportion. Look at the false positives. Jesus.

  6. Madam X

    As one who had this rona 6 months ago and still suffering but managable a controlled spread needs to happen protecting those over 60 and immune compromised but and the big but is there are young people who will die from it as well.

    1. John Smith

      @ Madam X

      So far there has been 1 death under 25, a total of 6 under 35 and a toal of 123 under 65. Only 137 people under 25 have been hospitalised and only 8 have gone into intensive care. This is in spite of large numbers of young people living life much as normal. While not suggesting that these people’s illeness and deaths should be disregarded, it does suggest that this is not an area of spread where there is much to fear.

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