‘Revise Current Policy And Consider An Alternative Strategy Tailored To Our Nation And Its People’

at

This morning.

An open letter to the Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly from a group of doctors declaring no confidence in NPHET and requesting immediate review and oversight, as well as consideration of an alternative strategy ‘that might help us navigate out of this crisis’.

Earlier: Derek Mooney: NPHET And Government Must Get Behind The One Mask

Previously: It’s A Small Club

Meanwhile…

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107 thoughts on “‘Revise Current Policy And Consider An Alternative Strategy Tailored To Our Nation And Its People’

    1. MME

      Where is Dolores Cahill? Lots of the Irish populist right on twitter in a huff that her name is not appended to this “declaration”. Any reason her name was omitted?

      My own take is that these doctors are more than entitled to disagree but grandiose statements expressing “no confidence in NPHET”, won’t aid their message. Needless to say, a few of these doctors have an agenda beyond mere public health concerns. Presence of McCloskey amid this grouping does not inspire confidence.

      1. SOQ

        If Dolores Cahill was not involved in writing this letter then why would she be a signed participant?

        As for the est of your comment- it is very much attack the writers rather address their points- what is it they are saying that you disagree with?

        1. MME

          I have no problem with Dolores Cahill not being a signatory, just that her supporters think she was deliberately excluded so you can imagine the whirls of conspiracy on Twitter that is provoking.

          Hardly attacking these doctors to suggest their messaging might not get people on board. There is still significant trust in NPHET and the government, whatever may be thought in these parts. That is not to suggest moving to level 4+ going to be a much harder sell this time around.

          Also, unless you have been living under a rock, some of these doctors are known by and have associations with the populist right. Not all to be fair.

          As I say, these GPs are more than entitled to vent their frustrations but they need to avoid grandiose and populist messaging. That is my main point.

    2. Charger Salmons

      The Welsh government has announced a ” two-week ” lockdown from 6 p.m. on Friday until November 9th.
      Rather than two weeks that is 17 days which sneakily encompasses three weekends when everyone would normally be out drinking.
      Watch our for similar spiteful action here.
      They’re lying to us.

    3. Ham

      The reckless
      Let them do what they want and as for the vulnerable well just tough
      Great little nation

  1. Micko

    Seems like a logical argument – even if you disagree, debate would be nice.

    Although I can tell you from a friend who’s fairly high up in the HSE – they are terrified in there.

    His words, not mine.

    Any logical rational point I would make to him, would be met with “the experts are telling us” and the “modelling suggests 10k dead though Mick“etc. Completely ignoring the latest info and data and even the plain evidence around him. He could not be moved, even when asked about the disaster our previous modelling predictions.

    Hysteria and fear has taken hold at the HSE it would seem.

    So, don’t worry about it, there’s nothing we can do. This madness will just run it’s course and we’ll come out the other side.

    Maybe learn to play the piano or something useful…

    1. Janet, dreams of warm feet

      I’m learning hindi and watercolors ( usually do oils ), fancy cakes and signed up for dog grooming in January, working on plan B for when I never get my job back …
      what’s you up to Micko ?

      1. Micko

        Very good Janet! Hindi – wow!

        Yer embarrassing me ;-) I am not doing much creative things with my time.

        Although the concert / live music end of my business had gone belly up, thankfully a some of our FMCG clients had returned. I also do a lot with beauty and food brands, so they were back – some of them anyway.

        That all probably looks like it’s stopping today when level 4/5 comes in though… :(

        Need to find a new hobby. Posting here’s a hobby right?

          1. Micko

            Check

            Life goal to have an actual hobby is now achieved – yay!

            That’s that box ticked of bucket list. Now to find a swordfish, a parachute and a jar of marmite.

            What..?

      2. millie

        That all sounds wonderful Janet, especially the Hindi – is it difficult? I got back into painting over lockdown – it’s very therapeutic, I think. Enjoy your free time now, as you’ll have a bit less come March ;)

        1. Janet, dreams of warm feet

          ain’t that the truth, I’ll just be a sleepless shattered shadow, hope you are getting in the zzzzz’s !
          it’s not too difficult, mostly pronunciation and they speak VERY fast,
          I used to teach in Nepal and I keep getting some words mixed up, not helpful

        2. Janet, dreams of warm feet

          ( I know the essentials like you have a nice bottom ! Always learn the fun parts of a language first, too tip, the swearing is fantastic ! )

    2. nukenelly

      The fact your friend who is ‘high up in the HSE’ seems unable or unwilling to analyse the latest info & data is deeply depressing. Or to even concede just how inaccurate NPHET data modelling was that got us into this mess.

      Whether it’s groupthink, careerism or some combination I don’t know, some NPHET members need to be proven right – economy & society be damned… They are running the show, aided & abetted by Simon Harris whose political resurrection is closely aligned to NPHET.

      1. Micko

        It’s very odd nukekellly. He’s a genuinely intelligent clued in fellah. Total nerd, bit like meself ;)

        He just seems to be absolutely terrified. He’d be a nervous enough lad, but this is off the charts.

        End of world stuff nearly. He just keeps on about “the models and projections we’re seeing Mick” etc

    3. PMCL

      “a friend who’s fairly high up in the HSE – they are terrified in there. ”
      Thanks, that’s fascinating, and worrying TBH. What are they terrified about? The mortality predictions of the discredited Imperial model? What about the fact that all-causes Irish mortality is at entirely normal levels right now – and possibly even on an annual basis. If they’re terrified right now, they don’t really sound cut out for this public health caper.
      My wife was speaking to someone in the HSE who, based on the data, doesn’t buy the fear narrative at all, and is disgusted by the showboating of their senior staff – eg. Holohan’s tour of the Late Late Show etc.

  2. Janet, dreams of warm feet

    our government would actually have to give a fupp about the nation and it’s people…they don’t, they care about money, power and photoshoots, building hotels and golf dinners

  3. dav

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/19/new-zealand-journalist-feted-for-brutal-takedown-of-minor-party-politician
    “A New Zealand journalist is being praised around the world for her determined effort to shut down the spread of Covid-19 conspiracy theories during an interview with a minor party politician.
    Newshub’s political editor, Tova O’Brien, interviewed the leader of the Advance New Zealand party, Jami-Lee Ross. The party failed to secure enough votes in Saturday’s general election to enter parliament, after peddling rumours and misinformation on social media about the coronavirus.
    At one stage during the interview O’Brien held up her hand as Ross was talking about the mortality rate of Covid-19 compared to the flu, telling him she would not allow him to spread lies on her programme.”

    1. SOQ

      And what in God’s name has that to do with a group of medical professionals writing an open letter to the Irish government?

          1. SOQ

            When it comes to making an overall assessment of the local community’s health- I’d be taking the GP’s any day.

            There is of course a consultant surgeon and a consultant of Public Health there too?

        1. Anne McKenna

          What makes you think GP’s ‘are the lowest rung on the doctor’s ladder’ Joan..???
          GP’s complete a minimum of 4 years of post graduate training similar to many other specialties. They may not be experts in one very specific field but they are generalists requiring knowledge of many areas, so very well placed to give an overview where required. They are the primary patient advocate in many instances…

    2. Micko

      Absolutely, we should squash misinformation and lies Dav. But..

      What about when the WHO released a peer reviewed study last week that completely put the previously though Covid mortality rates in the toilet? About 0.23% for general pop.

      What about when the WHO stated last week “that lockdowns on their own are dangerous and should be seen as a last resort”

      Yeah we’ll ignore that info, sorry, sorry “misinformation “ and “lies”

      Most political virus EVER!

      We’re just gonna have to ride it out though, there’s no stopping the madness and hysteria that has gripped the world.

      Gonna be interesting if it gets worse or better after Nov 3rd, coz it’s gonna do one of those for sure.

      1. SOQ

        If it can be proved the PCR tests are not fit for purpose then that is when the proverbial will really hit the fan.

      2. Formerly known as @ireland.com

        What about when the WHO stated last week “that lockdowns on their own are dangerous and should be seen as a last resort”?

        — I don’t think that is in dispute. I don’t think any government or medical people are using them as a first defense.

        1. SOQ

          Define a “very very last resort”?

          298 hospitalisations and 34 in ICU- out of a population of 4.5 million- is not a very very last resort. Also an interesting observation made recently is that the hospitalisation times are much shorter than previously and that quite a number of those are just precautionary.

      3. dav

        What about them @micko? You swear you have discovered some holy grail that debunks corona virus. You haven’t. Those reports are available to NPHET and I know that I, and I’m damn well sure that you, cannot interpret them any better than NPHET can. You see I know that I’m not an expert in disease control, just as I’m sure that none of the posters here are. I will leave that to those in NPHET to give the best advice based on ALL the information they have to hand. Not a bunch of internet loon-bags that see whispers and conspiracy in everything they consumer online.

        1. Micko

          Jesus dude calm down

          Yer gonna have a coronary

          It’s only the internet. No need for calling people loon-bags coz they don’t agree with ya

        2. f_lawless

          @dav

          But then again there’s some top-level epidemiologists out there whose expert opinions contradict the approach of NPHET. For example, when Prof Carl Heneghan gave advice to the Oireachtas Covid Committee Hearing and when Prof Sunetra Gupta took part in a recent debate on Irish national TV.

          These public policies set out by NPHET are causing a huge amount of collateral damage to Irish society. It’s therefore entirely justified that we as citizens should discuss the merits of them while seeking out a range of expert opinion to inform our own.

  4. Tony

    . Your man De Brun wrecked it for everyone with his goose- stepping around with the neo nazis. Spoilsport

  5. Formerly known as @ireland.com

    It is not just the over 65s that are vulnerable. Please explain how you protect 20% or more of the population?

    “Natural immunity inevitably increases” – What the actual! Says Who? Actually, who says? This is hopeful, at best.

    Lockdown cycles are not sustainable. How about educating people, so they understand the value of wearing paper masks and cloth coverings, social distancing, etc. How about enforcement powers and fines, so people will stay at home.

    If you lockdown and stop the virus arriving on the island, things can improve. I think it is too hard, though.

    1. Clampers Outside

      ” too hard”… isn’t the idea behind the Dr’s open letter that it is “too hard” and a different approach is needed. At least they are looking to get a conversation going on looking at an alternative approach.

      – – –

      Me… I think it is time an alternative was looked at, at least investigated rather than ploughing on with lockdowns based on predictions that haven’t come to be (and no, lockdowns, didn’t prevent them coming to be).

      Personally I’m torn… My Mam and Dad both turn 82 in the next couple of months. I haven’t seen them since Feb. Their youngest grandchild, my wee man, by the time they see him next, will be twice the age he was last time they hugged.
      I want better, faster testing availability so they can meet again soon…. :/

        1. Clampers Outside

          They are, but I don’t like the worry my Mam is definitely feeling.

          We could have met when the first lockdown ended but my Mam was too frightened… I’ve been keepin’ a brave face and all that, but its starting to piss me off at this point. I know my Mam feels similarly… Thank fupp for video calls and messaging.

    2. SOQ

      Here is an idea Formerly

      How about properly looking after those who are high risk? Send health inspectors with serious legal powers into every nursing home in the country- and you’d be surprised how quickly things would improve.

    3. Rob_G

      “Natural immunity inevitably increases” – What the actual! Says Who?

      it would, because all of the old people, asthmatics and diabetics will have been killed off already. Bit callous, but they are right.

  6. John Smith

    This sensible and well-argued case will, no doubt, come under heavy fire because of the ‘tainted’ names amongst the signatories. (The inverted commas are to signify that I do not agree with the opprobrium heaped on them.)

    On an individual basis, I find the arguments compelling and have only one main concern. As one of the ‘vulnerable and elderly’, I would welcome the availability of targeted care and protection and the freeing up of the rest of society. However, this care and protection should be optional, at the choice of the intended recipient.

    The way that everyone is, currently, being forced – whether by fear, threat or other pressures – into compliance with restrictions (regardless of whether these are advice or rules or laws) leads me to expect that those who fall into the vulnerable categories would be similarly forced to receive the targeted care and protection and for the same stated reasons (control of spread, preventing the overwhelming of the care and health providers and facilities, etc). However, these are the people who are affected most seriously and adversely by not seeing their families and friends and by a lot of the other restrictions. Many of them, too, will only have a short time left to them, regardless of Covid, and would not, necessrily wish to spend this time as virtual prisoners, while the rest of the population get back to normal life.

    I, for one, am keen to get back to all my normal activities – visiting family and friends, voluntary work, meetings, conferences, boards, hobbies, performance, maskless shopping, etc, etc – and do not wish to be debarred from these by virtue of having passed some supposedly significant birthday.

  7. newsjustin

    I read this and found it useful as an alternative viewpoint. Ultimately, I’m not a doctor or a disease expert so faced with these competing arguments, I’m inclined to go with the establishment view. Nonetheless, I’m glad this view is out there and, hopefully, will be reckoned with in NPHET’s and Government’s thinking.

    A few points didn’t sit well with me though
    – 4th page, 3rd paragraph…why have a go at masks? Frankly, masks are the least of our concerns (after deaths, serious illness, jobs, economy, schools…). This seems to have been shoe-horned in to appease anti-maskers.

    – 1st page, 3rd paragraph re 85K deaths. That was a worst case (everyone in the country getting it and the death rates current at the time being real) scenario. I get that these Doctors are saying the real death rate is closer to 0.13%. If that’s true, we’re still looking at another 4,500 plus deaths from now until everyone gets it (once?). Who wants to tell these 4,500 families that their loved ones were expendable? Secondly, the death rate is one thing, but what multiple of Irish deaths will have very serious illness in ICU? How many will have serious heart complaints after? How many will have “Long-COVID” symptoms? The number dying is only one facet of this illness.

    1. Clampers Outside

      Fair points those.

      On the matter of who tells those families…
      Don’t we, the govt, the policy and budget makers do this for 10s of thousands of sick people every year when the govt doesn’t make the best possible medical treatment available (regardless of cost) to everyone with a health issue with a possible end in death.

      Like I said above, I have two elderly parents, one recently beat cancer, and the other on more meds than I can count for painful arthritis. They’re both in high risk categories, not just one category.
      I don’t view the idea of either of them getting COVID19 lightly, but there are risks and there are decisions that need to be made on balance.
      I just don’t see a balance being taken seriously when lockdowns are used.
      We need to investigate the alternatives.

      1. SOQ

        A wee tip n the arthritis Clamps- fresh ginger root.

        I recommended it to someone who is in the same boat and she bought it very fresh and very cheap in Lidl- shaved bits onto every meal for a week and was able to cut way back on the pain meds.

        And better still, it is also really good for gut health and especially ulcers so a win – win all round.

          1. SOQ

            NP- it is a natural anti inflammatory and it works- even for some types of toothache.

            Ginger has very powerful natural pain killing properties. Much like capsaicin, gingerol relieves pain by acting on receptors in the nerve endings. Researchers have found that ginger not only has a direct effect on your pain pathways but it also helps relieve inflammation which may be an underlying cause of the pain.

            https://healthyfocus.org/benefits-ginger-root/

          2. Clampers Outside

            Thanks for that too.

            By the way, my skin issue took a bad turn… Last weeks ‘woohoo!’ moment was premature.
            Its not foliculitis as the antibiotic didn’t work.
            Final diagnosis is now that I have psoriasis, of the type ‘guttate psoriasis’. Trying to be positive about it… in that it’s by far not the worst type, and there is hope it could just ‘go away’ in its own time.
            That said, I do have health insurance (the cheapest basic pack) but the only private dermatologist down these parts doesn’t have access to a ‘light’ (UV?) treatment machine. They do have one in Waterford Hospital so I’m going public… Lord knows when I’ll be seen. Meantime, I picked up a prescription for a foam spray steroid… At €65 a can, wtf!? The pharmacist saw my job drop when I heard the price :0) Fupp! With a bit of luck I’ll get a bit more than two weeks out of a can, maybe more… remains to be seen.

            Anyway, that’s my latest, and thanks for the tips. My Mam did try CBD, drops and even smoking bud, but found no effect on the pain so she is willing to try stuff :)

          3. SOQ

            Well again- ginger has both anti bacterial and anti viral properties so worth a go, from the inside out.

            Outside in- tea tree in coconut oil.

            That will be €150 please- do call again.

        1. Lush

          +1 on the ginger SOQ.
          Shaved/grated (easier to do once peeled and frozen). I buy stacks of the stuff, peel and freeze, use as needed.
          g
          Makes lovely warming infusion too, just add honey.

          1. SOQ

            Do you find any difference between fresh and frozen Lush? Thaw first or just peel from frozen?

            I love it- the most tasty root I have found so far.

  8. ReproBertie

    If the science is saying that we can get through this with hand washing, social distancing, mask wearing, and the cough and sneeze etiquette then let’s have it. The original lockdown was based on limited knowledge of the virus and a need to flatten the curve. It was supposed to help the health services and prevent them being overwhelmed. As we gain more knowledge we should be adjusting our handling of the pandemic accordingly.

    Unfortunately it looks like there are too many people who are not following the guidelines (look at that report of one guy not isolating after travel and leading to 56 infections for a simple example) and because we can’t be trusted to act responsibly the government are being left with little option beyond sending us to our rooms until we learn to behave.

    1. John Smith

      @ReproBertie
      ‘Unfortunately it looks like there are too many people who are not following the guidelines… …and because we can’t be trusted to act responsibly the government are being left with little option beyond sending us to our rooms until we learn to behave.’

      Those who don’t follow the guidelines have varied reasons for this. Obvious ones are: they think the guidelines and the imposition of them are wrong, they don’t understand the guidelines (they are very complicated and most people just go by what they think they have been told), the guidelines are inappropriate to their circumstances, they don’t care, etc.

      Different approaches would be required to ensure compliance, depending on the reason for non-compliance but ‘sending us to our rooms’ – ie, continuing the present situation ad infinitum or raising the level of restrictions – will not work for most of those who don’t comply and is likely to make a lot of those people more fixed in their opposition and to add more converts to their side.

      Imagine using that approach in other situations. Murder is wrong but some people still commit murders so we’ll lock everyone up until murders stop – put in theft, etc instead of murder, if you like. Some children mitch from school so we’ll keep all children in a permanent boarding school environment. And so on. Punishing the innocent does not force the guilty to do right. In the current situation, the innocent are already putting up with severe restrictions. Many of the ‘guilty’ can justify their actions to their own satisfaction and to that of many other people and, whether they can or not, will not be converted by further impostions, which they will continue to ignore.

      1. ReproBertie

        People who break the law always have varied reasons for doing so. It doesn’t change the simple fact that they are breaking the law. The more people ignore the guidelines the more the case numbers rise and the more the government look to a lockdown. If we can avoid a lockdown by following the guidelines but choose not to then we have only ourselves to blame when Mammy gets the wooden spoon out.

        Murder is wrong so we have enforcement and punishment. Perhaps the same is needed for the existing guidelines.

          1. SOQ

            Perhaps- just perhaps- some people don’t abide by the GUIDELINES because they think they are of no use?

            How can it be that a country like Sweden with no lockdowns- with pubs restaurants and schools all open throughout and no friggen masks is not going mad with sickness if these ‘guidelines’ are of any use?

          2. ReproBertie

            I don’t care why they are not abiding by the guidelines SOQ. I didn’t always agree with the rules my parents had when I was growing up but I knew I was in trouble if I broke them.

            We can continue to ignore the guidelines and end up in lockdown or we can follow them and not end up in lockdown. Sweden doesn’t care which we do. In fact, the Swedish experts said they couldn’t recommend their strategy for Ireland because of things like population density and sick pay differences. Be sure to ignore that information. Again.

          3. ReproBertie

            Dr. Michael Broomé, the chief physician at Stockholm’s Karolinska Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, says his department’s patient load tripled during the spring. His staff, he says, “have often felt powerless and inadequate. We have lost several young, previously healthy, patients with particularly serious disease courses. We have also repeatedly been forced to say no to patients we would normally have accepted due to a lack of experienced staff, suitable facilities and equipment.”

            The Swedish way has yielded little but death and misery. And, this situation has not been honestly portrayed to the Swedish people or to the rest of the world.

            https://time.com/5899432/sweden-coronovirus-disaster/

          4. f_lawless

            “The Swedish way has yielded little but death and misery. And, this situation has not been honestly portrayed to the Swedish people or to the rest of the world.”

            Seems like a ridiculous level of hyperbole. That’s the same propagandistic piece someone linked to yesterday that never once mentioned the significance of cross-reactive T-cell immunity.

            How about this perspective: Sweden’s overall weekly mortality rate per million during the period Jan-June 2020 was the same as it was in Jan-June 2015: 187 per million.

            There was no pandemic in Sweden 2015. No mentions of “little but death but death and misery” in the media. April 2020 saw an above average spike for that time of year but that’s pretty much it. We’re now in October of this year and there’s still been no significant spikes since the April period.

            https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apa.15582

            “the overall weekly mortality rate per one million people between January and June was very similar for the years between 2015 and 2020:187, 176, 180, 179, 165 and 187, respectively. “

        1. John Smith

          @ReproBertie
          ‘If we can avoid a lockdown by following the guidelines but choose not to then we have only ourselves to blame when Mammy gets the wooden spoon out.’

          That still does address my point that Mammy’s wooden spoon is hitting the people who ‘obey’ and not the ones who don’t. If someone doesn’t choose to obey the present guidelines (for whatever reason), why should they start obeying them if they get tighter still?

          That, of course, only relates to whether forever tightening up the restrictions is effective in ensuring obedience. As to whether the restrictions are right in themselves is a completely different matter, which involves considering all sorts of other issues. One is why the figures are rising (is it just the ‘flouters’ who are to blame – a very simplistic and finger-pointing answer – or are the reasons far more varied?). Others include the validity of the figures, the effectiveness of lockdowns and the seriousness of the side-effects of these, etc. Many of these points are covered in the open letter.

          1. ReproBertie

            You’re right, it is collective punishment and I’m not in favour of it which is why I mentioned the possibility of enforcements and punishments for breaching the current guidelines.

            The government has a blunt instrument in lockdowns and they’ll use it because people are ignoring the lower level guidelines. The gardaí can’t enforce many of the current restrictions but a full lockdown (Level 5 is apparently back on the cards now) is easy to enforce.

            If you look back to the original lockdown, there were counties with little or no cases in full lockdown alongside counties with numerous cases. The lockdown was unfair on them then and will be again now but too many people see the guidelines as something to find a way around rather than something to follow.

            It was in our hands to avoid a lockdown but, in the words of WB Yeats, we have disgraced ourselves again.

          2. Hank

            Blame, blame, blame.
            It’s all our own fault. Seriously, do you actually believe that?
            Do you think the virus would be gone away if everyone had followed guidelines?
            Do you think we are in a worse state now than we were in March/April?
            Why do you think the graphs showing number of new cases for every European country that had lockdown all have an almost identical pattern despite pubs/schools/shops being open in some countries since well before summer and closed in others until very recently and despite some countries having harsh penalties for breaking government restrictions while others had guidelines they asked the public to adhere to.
            Is it coincidence??

          3. ReproBertie

            No I don’t think it would have gone away if everyone followed the guidelines but I do think the numbers would be much lower. We have a story today about one guy who didn’t isolate after arriving back in the country and infected 56 people. That’s not an isolated case. A garda today, while waiting for a Covid test result, went to a press event possibly infecting others.

            In both cases they ignored simple guidelines which, if followed, would have resulted in fewer cases.

  9. BS

    I’m starting to think silly old queen and that dee wan that’s always beside Gemma are one and the same.

    SOQ do you wear a mask?
    Ever use the word “plandemic”?

  10. Slightly Bemused

    Just an anecdote, but I have a scar above my eyebrow where a random flying mop head decided to play a flying visit. Dr Andrew Rynne (he of the top left picture) did an incredible job of fine stitching and, while some may doubt this, my brains did not in the end fall out.
    He also taught Christy Moore how to sing, is a wonderful balladeer and a whistle player par excellence,

      1. Slightly Bemused

        Than Dr Rynne’s singing? Certainly safer than mine. To paraphrase Barry Manilow, I sing the songs that make the young girls cry, usually as they run screaming away with their hands over their ears.

        Oh, wait, the mop. Yeah, probably :-)

        1. Slightly Bemused

          Occasionally something happens and I think I grew up in a boring town where nothing ever happened. I think there was a song about that.
          Then I am reminded of issues like this. I mean no disrespect to Dr Rynne. He kept me alive on more than one occasion, kept members of my family alive, on many occasions. And the Xavier mentioned in the article is ‘the other doctor’ of the town, and in most recent time helped make my brother’s end days possible, bearable (behave, don’t read too much. I am waxing lyrical). Seriously, the epitome of a gentleman.
          I have travelled the world. Been places that many could not find on a map. Some of my family have reached the pinnacle of their fields, and every day a gentleman pushes a cart around the town picking up litter, just to make it better.
          And all from a small town from just outside the Pale.
          The weather was pretty nasty today, but for whatever reason, I am reminded that I truly do love this town.

  11. Let's do the time warp

    Fantastic article by the medics. A sincere thank-you and much appreciation and respect to all of you.
    I’d like to make a few comments…
    Does anyone know why, since March, there’s been hardly any mention of how we can boost our immune system? Surely this would only help. It’s as if it’s been forgotten that we have an immune system that fights off viruses and bacteria for us, night and day. If it’s weak, we could do things to strengthen it, but divil a bit of official information or support about this. This has always baffled me.
    As for ‘cases’ – wouldn’t it seem odd if your doctor said you were a ‘measles case’ if you had no spots and felt perfectly well? To call an ailment a ‘case’ usually means you have serious symptoms and are in hospital or should be in hospital. So why are people who get a positive result in the PCR test told that they are a ‘case’ when they might have no symptoms and never get any? Shouldn’t the test results be further classified into asymtomatic, mild, moderate and severe? Lumping all cases together just has everyone wild-eyed with terror.
    More info on ICU patients would be helpful too. How many of these ICU ‘cases’ are in the ICU because they are very ill with an unrelated ailment – cancer, heart disease, etc – and happen to have had a positive PCR test some time in the past, but again have no symptoms of Covid 19? If someone goes into hospital as a day patient for kidney dialysis or whatever, and they happen to have had a positive PCR result in the past, are they referred to as a ‘hospitalised case’?
    As for flu rates – does anyone know why there seems to have been no flu anywhere in the world after April this year? Has there been a cure that I haven’t heard of??! I trawled through lots of countries on this website https://apps.who.int/flumart/Default?ReportNo=7 , and it was always the same – no flu after roughly April 2020. Or am I missing something??
    Thanks again to the brave medics who have much to lose by daring to speak out – reputation, pensions, salary, funding – all are at risk simply by your putting your heads up above the parapet. Here’s hoping more will join you – there’s safety in numbers.

    1. Hank

      Yes, the letter they sent was excellent. Definitely the most constructive, reasoned and well thought out proposal for trying to deal with covid I’ve seen to date.
      And one other thing you didn’t mention: In March/April, there were approximately 5,000 tests per week. Now there are over 100,000 per week.
      But, this is never pointed out when reporting “new case” numbers which gives the illusion that there are more cases now than there were in March/April. Obviously, 100,000+ tests per week will give more positive case results than 5,000 per week.
      ICU admissions and death rates would be much more logical numbers to focus on.

  12. Let's do the time warp

    Yes, Hank, spot on, and being more specific about the test results would help a lot. Or perhaps not, because maybe, just maybe, once the results are adjusted for age, co-morbidities, symptoms or lack thereof, it might be glaringly obvious that there are few if any grounds for the lockdown and mass panic.
    The inventor of the PCR test, Kary Mullis, who died Aug 2019, always said these tests must not be used for diagnosis; they were for lab work/research only. He said they were too sensitive and too open to abuse. The more cycles you put the PCR swabs through, the more positive results you will get. I’ve heard that here in Ireland we put them through up to 45 cycles, while in other countries they are put through a LOT less. This would mean we automatically get more positives. I’d love to know the truth here.
    And does anyone know the false positive rate or is this info classified as well? I would like to know that number. And is the false positive rate applied to just the positive results, or is it applied to the total number of tests done?? Big distinction.
    What I’d give for the RTE of 30 or even 20 years ago to tackle all of this in a lively televised debate. Alas, not a chance these days.

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