We Knew This Day Would Come


From top: Level 5 (arrowed); Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health

This afternoon.

Level 4?

Level 4 is for wimps.

Via RTÉ:

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has recommended that the entire country moves to Level 5 for a period of six weeks.

A number of Government sources have confirmed details of the recommendations to RTÉ News.

The advice, contained in a letter sent to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly last night, is due to be discussed at a meeting between Government officials and Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan…

There are currently no plans for a Cabinet meeting today and the Taoiseach is not due back from an EU Council meeting until later today.

However, ministers expect the issue to be decided in the coming days in order to avoid a period of uncertainty.

NPHET recommends move to Level 5 for six weeks (RTÉ)

Earlier: 4 To The Floor




75 thoughts on “We Knew This Day Would Come

  1. Janet, I ate my avatar

    so it really boils down to paralysing a country because you can’t sort out extra beds in ICU within six months…the term piss up brewery comes to mind

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Exactly Janet. The HSE said back in 2009 we would need 579 ICU beds in 2020.

      According to Reid recently….
      we had 354 in April this year
      We have 280 permanent ones now,
      and will have a winter capacity of 297.”

      That’s some reflection. on FG FF and the HSE.

    2. Charger Salmons

      I hate to be brutal but what it really boils down to is does my right to go the boozer with the lads trump your granny seeing out the last of her days dribbling into her rice pudding.
      Am I right or am I right ?

  2. GiggidyGoo

    #LeoTheLeak undermining FF at every hands turn. Harris seems to be dipping his mitts into the Health ministry too – after the mess he made of it.

    1. Pat Mustard

      Harris was on East Coast this morning pontificating.

      The interviewer failed to ask him about the incoming medicinal cannabis venture which he dragged his knuckles on. He did ask him about spineless ROG urinary on mother and baby home survivors. Harris dodged the question in typical spineless fashion.

  3. Ger

    Holohan is a disgrace. Tried to hide the cervical screening scandal, never commented on public health until covid came along.
    He should be fired

  4. Micko

    Does that mean businesses close?

    That’ll destroy them. They’ll miss the Christmas market

    Everyone will just buy from Amazon.

    1. Janet, dreams of warm feet

      sure Jesus doesn’t deserve birthday celebrations, he’s been a bad god all year

  5. bisted

    …any comment yet from the Broadsheet Bord na Rona on the uncannily accurate forecast model that NPHET have been predicting to government for months…lucky Holohan came back…

  6. Johnnythree

    I could not give a widdle about Level 1, 5 or 100. I do what I pretty much want anyway as I have a simple life.
    They are only making this worse though. The window of opportunity for suppression is long gone. They said today that they cannot even test or trace now. I think they know all along that they can’t hold this down – its got to be herd immunity (no I am not Ivor Cummins nor am I a conspiracy theorist) as they can’t fix nursing homes nor society at large.
    My mate is a Professor in this area and his take is that the only way to do it is to put as much resources into supporting vulnerable. Test & trace with all the false positives and slowness of contact makes that obsolete. Other issue is 4 out of 5 cases have no symptoms. No ICU beds either but they had time to do that but lied about it. Leo is desperate not to be caught so will be throwing all and sundry under the bus in the coming months.

  7. f_lawless

    This article published today is a must read – although it’s an analysis of how SAGE’s approach in the UK has been so badly misguided, much of it is equally applicable to NPHET’s approach too.


    Author, Dr. Mike Yeadon, has some impressive credentials:

    ” a degree in biochemistry and toxicology and a research-based PhD in respiratory pharmacology. He has spent over 30 years leading new medicines research in some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, including serving as Vice President & Chief Scientist for Allergy & Respiratory at Pfizer, and since leaving Pfizer he has founded his own biotech company, Ziarco, which he sold to the world’s biggest drug company, Novartis, in 2017″

    According to Dr Yeadon, the two fatal errors SAGE has made are:

    Error 1: Assuming that 100% of the population was susceptible to the virus and that no pre-existing immunity existed.
    Error 2: The belief that the percentage of the population that has been infected can be determined by surveying what fraction of the population has antibodies.

    The same applies for NPHET. Why are they continuing to base policies on these errors of assessment despite the mounting evidence?

    1. Dell

      While I do think that once there is huge community spread it will be virtually impossible to protect the vulnerable, I really don’t think a level 5 lockdown for 6 weeks is the answer. More resources should have been put in place for people who become critically ill, track and trace should have been resourced better and then maybe the restrictions already in place might have been more effective. I’m not sure how they will fix this mess but 6 weeks of lockdown will create a bigger one.

  8. Johnnythree

    @f-lawless Good point. They made lots of assumptions. The two biggest cohorts of cases are in 18 – 24 and 65+ – two different groups with difficulties in containing infection that are unique to each.
    NPHET are not believable at this point.
    I don’t think anywhere got this right completely but lots of places did it much better. UK looks like a car crash but Manchester leading dissent that will spread.

    The best thing all of us can do is actually read the daily figure analysis and look at the possible risks which are pretty low.

    1. Cian

      I’ve been banging on about the steady rise in Hospitalizations (244) and ICU (30) for the last 6 weeks… the deaths are also rising.

      There were
      14 deaths in August.
      27 deaths in September, and
      34* deaths in the first half of October. if the second half matches the first it will be 68 for the full month.

      While we can argue what percentage of these are from Covid, the fact that deaths are increasing rapidly is a cause for concern. If we do nothing there is a chance that the will keep doubling each 3-4 weeks.

      simple projection based on doubling each month:
      – October: 68
      – November: 136
      – December: 272
      – January: 544
      – February: 1088

      *8 of the October deaths happened in September.. so the projection may be slightly off.

      1. Johnnythree

        Cian, why do you think they will double every month? These sort of projections are not ‘simple’. What about increased immunity, more self imposed reduced social contacts, better weather, less cohorts infected, more older people dead from flu???

        1. Cian

          Viral outbreaks are exponential. The question is how long between each doubling. In March/April we were doubling every 3-4 days.
          Why a month? that was a guess based on the last 3 months (not very scientific). But it could every 3 weeks or every 5 weeks.

          What about increased immunity, more self imposed reduced social contacts, better weather, less cohorts infected, more older people dead from flu??? lets see:
          increased immunity yes, this will slow it down, but if the immunity level is 10-20%, then there are still 90-80% that can be infected.
          more self imposed reduced social contacts, I said if we “no nothing”
          better weather, um, unlikely in autumn/winter
          less cohorts infected, huh? more people are infected (from a cross section of ages); which cohorts are you talking about
          more older people dead from flu are there? there have been very few (confirmed) flu deaths since April.

      2. SOQ

        Are deaths really rising Cian- or is the case than just like the rest of the year- most deaths are being reclassified as CoVid-19?

        Overall deaths is the most accurate of all metrics and to date- there is nothing over and above a bad seasonal flu showing.

        1. Cian

          The data says the deaths are rising.
          The data says there were very few deaths in June, July & August

          The data says there were very few positive tests in June & July (despite a massive increase in number of tests performed in July – so there was no ‘casedemic’)
          The data says the number of positive tests¹ has increased from August (slowly) September (more quickly) and October (very quickly)
          The data says the number of Covid hospitalizations has increased from the middle of August (slowly) September (more quickly) and October (very quickly)
          The data says the number of Covid ICU hospitalizations has increased from the middle of September (slowly) and October (slowly)
          The data says the number of deaths is rising through these months.

          All these figures are consistent. The simplest explanation is that Covid was very low on June and July, but it started to spread in August (and more and more people are catching it), and this spread of the virus had a knock on (lagged) from positive tests to people getting sick, (lagged) hospitalisations to ICU and deaths.

          ¹not all positive tests are symptomatic. I realize we are testing more people now than April, so the 1000 positives isn’t directly comparable to a particular day in April

          1. SOQ

            No- the data is saying that CoVid-19 deaths are rising- we do not have overall fatality figures to compare with as yet because they have up to a 3 month lag.

            Unless something has dramatically changed in the past two weeks- it is unlikely the over all fatalities will be anything out of the ordinary so- why are they doing this?

            It is so bizarre to have to keep stating the obvious- how can you have a pandemic without the bodies?

          2. Cian

            have you really missed my recurring point. I say it most days:


            The problem isn’t with yesterday’s number or today’s numbers in isolation. One additional person in ICU and 5 additional people in hospital isn’t a huge problem… but one additional body in ICU every day for a month and five extra people in hospital every day for a month IS a problem.

            If the numbers keep rising (and there is no reason to think they will stop rising unless we change something) we will have a serious problem in 4-8-12 weeks time.

          3. SOQ

            Of course the numbers keep rising as they do with all respiratory Illnesses this time of year- why would CoVid-19 be any different?

            But it is very slowly rising which is the exact opposite of last time around.

            It is finding pockets of susceptibility but to plan on the basis that it is to behave the same- is malfeasance.

          4. Cian

            But it is very slowly rising which is the exact opposite of last time around.
            Is is slower – but is that due to what we are doing socially?

          5. Cian

            So if we cancel all the lockdowns the number of cases/hospital/ICU would drop to zero? Just like Sweden?

  9. E'Matty

    What happens at the end of the 6 weeks? Same again? Except, in the meantime we’ll have wiped out another portion of the Irish economy.

    1. Johnnythree

      Yup. Keep trying to catch the virus while walking all over the economy. they. have. not. a. clue. Am afraid to visit Sam McConkey or Gabriel Scallys Twitter – they must be on fire/ under the bed.

  10. Johnnythree

    Just read Level 5 regs there on gov.ie. Makes what difference really?? Anyone care to tell me how they will ‘crush the virus’?

  11. Mr T

    Level 5 for six weeks would mean all businesses shut up until December sometime. there’s no way all those businesses can make up the Christmas sales in that time. Genuinely a fatal blow to a massive amount of businesses in this country who make so much of their turnover in run up to Christmas.

    Amazon and online shopping will finally kill the high street in one season.

    1. SOQ

      It’s the same game as last time- NPHET come in high and the government has an excuse to go to level 4.

    2. Micko

      I’ve a friend who has a salon business in town.

      6K a month lease. Landlord gave them no break. They had to pay it for the months closed the first time around in lockdown.

      They were able to keep their lease by dipping into savings and selling some products online. They barely made it.

      They employ about 15 staff full time.

      They were hoping the Christmas market would help them recoup some of the sales they lost out in this year.

      This will destroy them. They probably won’t reopen.

      NPHET will all still have their jobs all the way through this.

          1. Micko

            Ah well, we do have to cut him some slack Giggidy

            He’s not the brightest is he?

            Not seeing the big picture. Small minded thinking.

          1. GiggidyGoo

            Sure do. It’s a time-honoured troll tradition to try imitate other users names in comment sections.

  12. Charger Salmons

    So when does the public anger spill over into civil disobedience ?
    Not since Oct 2nd 2009 to be precise.
    The day Ireland collectively lost its soul and its cojones.
    You’ll be told what to do and you’ll do what you’re told.
    That’s what happens when you let politicians lie and let them get away with it.
    Prepare for another lockdown suckers.

    1. SOQ

      Yes well the only place people are pushing back in the UK so far is Manchester.

      Interesting developments in Berlin mind- Judge rules closing of pubs and restaurants is unlawful.

    2. goldenbrown

      “That’s what happens when you let politicians lie and let them get away with it”

      you mean like Boris?

  13. Joe

    It does joyfully expose the idiot a k a. Leo Varadkar after he excoriated Holohan two weeks ago when NPHET recommended the lockdown. He is eating his words now. FFFGGP are all profit before people parasites and don’t give a toss about citizens health, If Varadkar had a shred of probity he would resign.

    I’m not a scientist but when the vast majority of the accredited medics worldwide advise that building herd immunity by natural means would result in a hideous amount of deaths I am happy to put up with another lockdown.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Lockdowns just postpone the inevitable. The inevitable is that this, like the flu, won’t go away. We don’t have lockdowns for the flu.

      1. Cian

        True. But we do have a (reasonably effective) vaccine for flu. And we recommend the most vulnerable get the vaccine.

  14. Johnnythree

    “””I’m not a scientist but when the vast majority of the accredited medics worldwide advise that building herd immunity by natural means would result in a hideous amount of deaths I am happy to put up with another lockdown””””
    Sure, thing. Just keep locking down and it will push it out for another bit. People will be cool with Level 3, 4 or 5 – whatever.
    I’m not sure which medics you are familiar with but even the WHO says not to be using the oul lockdown. But I am sure you know that…

  15. Vanessanelle


    we could see this was coming the day Holohan came back to work and starting ranting about the number of infections, and throwing shapes about the Cabinet leaking his letter

    So Roots done, Mani Pedi done, Wax done, and threading and tint just done now over dinner hour

    Good for about four/ five weeks, easily,
    As I won’t be going anywhere nice anyway

    Funny how I can get organised yet the State & Government Depts can’t

    how is it after 10 plus months of this virus amongst us that the answer to managing the plague of infection is still to Lockdown

    Dept of Health & HSE seniors, and all the Ministers for Health over the last ten years should apologise and surrender their perks and pensions

    Call a snap election now lads
    Ye will in yere – what John Moynes said earlier today
    Starts with a h

    1. broadbag

      ”Funny how I can get organised yet the State & Government Depts can’t”

      Slightly different scale, though, yeah? Unless your nails are as big as Connacht, gruaig the size of Munster and your waxables encompass the landmass of Leinster and you have international entry and exit points?

      1. Vanessanelle

        tell ya what
        gimme that same budget and manpower
        and resources, like all that free media, Garda etc

        And do you know what
        I wouldn’t have done any worse

        and my billable hour is 000,000s less than the entire DoH/HSE complement on the NPHET committee + expenses

        I would definitely have got the Leaving Cert done, corrected and out of the way for another year
        without as much as a line of Canadian Code, naw’ mind 50,000 of them

        1. Charger Salmons

          You told us you were getting your bits done a couple of weeks ago.
          Hardly well-organised if it takes that long.
          My Slovakian topiarist can trim a hedge into the shape of a lion rampant in the time it takes for a crack,back and sack.

  16. goldenbrown

    just one request……..

    please please can everyone stop pronouncing NPHET “neffit”

    I’m sick of it

    it’s only a bloody acronym, it’s not a word and if it really must be pronounced and verbalised as an actual word would then it’s surely “en-fett”


  17. Eoin

    It does not matter about the virus at this stage. It could be the bubonic plague out there and people will still say ‘enough’. They have crossed the line and their ‘cure’ is now killing the patient.

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