Dr Billy Ralph

Via CassandraVoices:

Billy Ralph GP writes:

I am a father, a husband, a son, a friend, a doctor, an athlete, a traveller, a student and a citizen. Although just one person, I nonetheless occupy many nodes in the complex networks that make up society. These extend into the past, traverse the present and reach towards the future.

Over the past few months I have been deprived or diminished in many of these roles. Had I been asked if I wanted to relinquish the responsibilities inherent to these roles I would have declined, but I may have wanted to increase my responsibilities in some areas.

I am just one person in a vast network of people whose lives have contracted in the past six months. This makes me consider the extent of the wastage across society.

Why? Policies were adopted by an unelected government on the erroneous advice of experts listening to other experts, who predicted an enormous death toll from Covid-19 that has not come about anywhere on the globe. These same experts are now doubling down on initial errors and inflicting incalculable harm on the delicate fabric of society.

I don’t think these experts took into account people like a patient of mine, eighty-five-year-old Joe, who was married to Mary for sixty-years. They were forced to separate, partly because of her dementia when she had to go into a care home, but then because of public health restrictions. Mary resides in a nursing home and Joe visits every day, but the last time he held her hand was on their sixtieth wedding anniversary in March.

Previously Joe would cry when recounting his visits to Mary. Then he realised that if he spoke to her about their early days he could bring her back to life; at least for an hour or two. This stanched his tears. He was happy to have a small piece of the woman he married return to him.

His last such conversation was in March. Until recently he was still visiting her and looking and waving at a woman who didn’t recognise him. If the day was bright and sunny all he’d see was his reflection in the window. Joe managed to see Mary this week; to hold her hand and speak to her, but unfortunately she was unconscious. She stayed that way until she died a few days later.

The experts never asked Joe how he and Mary would like to live out their last days, nor sought the opinion of the thousands of elderly people whose children live abroad and who had planned perhaps their last trips to a wedding, a graduation or a funeral. Instead a paternalistic decision was taken, after a shameless use of the national media for propaganda purposes, inculcating a fear of imminent death in the elderly if they did not comply with the rules. [more at link below].

The Bonds that Hold Society Together (Billy Ralph GP, CassandraVoices)

And we wish Billy the very best in his next career outside medicine probably abroad.

That’ll learn him.

Previously: It’s A Small Club

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57 thoughts on “Joe & Mary

  1. Fakenews

    “erroneous advice of experts listening to other experts, who predicted an enormous death toll from Covid-19 that has not come about anywhere on the globe.”

    Over 1 million have died so far.

    224k in the US alone because theyve an orange moron in charge who dismisses the experts and undermines his own administrations health care advice on a daily basis.

    Go back to bed!

    1. E'Matty

      “Over 1 million have died so far.” And how many of them were actually caused by Covid? We have no idea but we do know it’s a fraction of the 1 million. It’s because of gullible unthinking hysterical types like yourself that the elderly are dying alone. The government could never impose such restrictions without the support provided by people like you who buy all this BS.

    2. Cui Bono?

      You’re just plain ignorant at this stage or in complete denial if you think the death count is correct.

      They’re over counting by including people who died of other causes and many who were never even tested.

      This is not the deadly virus we thought it was back in March.

      Wake up and get out of bed!

          1. Pat Mustard

            Think you missed the part in the conversation where we talked about the last general election Daisy.

            Do keep up.

          2. newsjustin

            People voted for Fine Gael TDs (and lots of other TDs) to form a government. Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, Green Party formed a government….The Government.

          3. bisted

            …some people voted for change…they voted for parties they believed would deliver that change…the greens were assumed to be part of that movement…Roderic O’Gorman was elected on the strength of transfers from people who believed he would not be part of returning FFG to power…wrong…

          4. newsjustin

            “Roderic O’Gorman was elected……”

            Exactly. As were all the TDs. Amongst them the TDs who formed the Government.

          5. GiggidyGoo

            Kinda missing the point there lads.

            January 14th 2020 the Dail was dissolved
            The Election was February 8th
            20th February, Varadkar resigned as Taoiseach.

            What we had between then and the formation of the FFFGR government was a caretaker government which wasn’t elected to govern. In other words, an unelected government. Many of the previous government lost their seats, yet were serving in the unelected government with no election 2020 mandate from the people.

            The unelected government did, in fact, adopt policies relating to Covid.

          6. Daisy Chainsaw

            It was elected to govern in 2016 and it governed until a new government was formed after the 2020 election. That’s the way it’s always been in Ireland, regardless of how long it takes for the next government to form and it’s ridiculous that this “unelected government” rubbish was peddled by idiots who seem to have no clue about Irish politics.

          7. Cian

            No. They were elected to govern up to the point that a new government was formed.

            Just because SF is a joke party that didn’t put up enough candidates and wouldn’t form a coalition (they consistanty avoid leading, be it not sitting in Westminster, doing nothing for 3 years in the assembly, or now hiring in Dublin).

          8. GiggidyGoo

            They weren’t elected to govern in a caretaker capacity. It is the norm that they do continue to govern but in a limited capacity. However the caretaker government was an unelected government. Members of it were rejected by the electorate and had no mandate.

          9. Nigel

            Yes, they were elected, and since Sinn Fein more or less refused to form a coalition, they allowed FG back in with FF. No, I’m not impressed either, with any of it, but spare us the whining. You’re still safely and happily hurling from the ditch.

          10. Nigel

            Here, put ‘saying they were unelected’ in one hand and start spitting into the other, see which fills up first.

          11. GiggidyGoo

            Ah Nigel arrives for the late shift. Not reached Cian level yet. But why want to do that anyway?

  2. Fakenews

    I will also add that these same experts that Billy dismisses as propaganda predict a nightmare winter in the US with another 200k dead by 1st January.

    The US since monday recording 1k deaths per day.
    70k infected just yesterday with doubling every 10 or so days.

    If the Billys and anti-lockdown nuts here and elsewhere got there way those are the kinda numbers we would be experiencing here.

    1. wearnicehats

      The population of the US is about 330 million. Ireland is 5. About 33 million americans live in poverty. In Ireland it’s about 700k.

      About 33 million americans do not have access to healthcare

      Your comparison is nonsense.

      1. Fakenews

        Its not nonsense.

        Billy asserts that its all propaganda. The virus is out of control in the US. Billy thinks we would be better off ignoring the science.
        Look how well thats working out in the US. 1,000 deaths a day. Now 80k infections per day. With doubling rate every 10 or so days.

        Nphet correctly predicted we would be at 1k infections per day when their first call for level 5 was ignored. They actually got it right almost to the exact date.

        If we had the same relative numbers of infections and deaths our toll would be many multiples of what it currently is. The implementation of restrictions have thankfully insured or death toll is low.

        Morons like yourself seem quite happy to ignore the science. I dont like lockdown, its the result of poor gov. policy. Direct your ire to our shitty politicians.

        This is a pandemic. A global disaster. Get a grip.

        1. Cui Bono?

          Haha your ignorance is astounding.

          You actually believe you’re following the science.

          PCR positive tests do not mean someone is infected.

  3. Tinytim

    It is difficult for everyone, to greater or lesser degree. Even without an exceptional year it would have been difficult for several people for a myriad reasons directly as a result of government decisions..housing/direct provision as the obvious example.

    It’s great for sympathy to call out stories of poor individual and charities know all too well the value of single character in an appeal rather than the masses.

    It is unrealistic for a government to ask each and every individual for their opinions – rather we can approach our elected reps to help our voice be heard.
    There are some clear examples of pompous ‘leaders’ of other countries which chose not to listen to the available learned advise; so far they have not faired as well as us.
    Certainly I would rather nphet (nC19et ?! ) publish meeting minutes and sources for their information, and to modify their advice as new good information is available.

    The apparent unelected government ( which merely serves as a distraction in the argument was simply a mode of exactly how our govt is designed to work in such situation. If you don’t like it then come up with a better way and lobby for change. That situation was not unlawful or whatever as is implied here.

  4. Micko


    You’re all such nitpickers. “Ummm actually the government was elected legally” and “ the predicted deaths well well within the range… blah blah blah effin blah”

    The point of the man’s story is the torment and anguish he has seen caused by the restrictions placed on people that we’ve deemed unable to make decisions for themselves. The elderly.

    People we’ve terrified to within an inch of their lives through the constant media coverage of Covid.

    Let them make their own decisions. They are the ones affected by it. Let them live if they want. There are worse things than dying.

    I know you’re all smart people, some of you act REALLY dumb sometimes.

    1. Oro

      Torment and anguish give me a break. This man is inconvenienced and annoyed that he can’t do his usual routine. He understands that he’s having a tantrum therefore waxes poetically to raise the stakes and cynically exploits a patient of his in order to give more weight to the toys he’s throwing out of his pram. I’m sure he gets misty eyed thinking of how many people are suffering for his contraction of social obligations! How can the people of Ireland go on without his input. Pffft. Always men with these arguments too, hinging on their own inflated sense of self.

      1. E'Matty

        Aren’t the elderly of Ireland so lucky to have people like you to tell them what’s best for them. Lock them up in their homes for their final year’s and let them watch their communities die while they suffer in loneliness. You guys are just so compassionate. How about letting people decide their own fate instead of you imposing your fear based will on all of society.

          1. Oro

            Janet if that’s directed towards me; I’m not sure what your idea of a troll is, but following up comments of mine directly suggesting they be disregarded because of an unproven emotional response of yours is……troll behaviour.

        1. Oro

          I wasn’t giving orders at all. To any groups of people. I think the author of the piece in question is totally cynical, selfish and is designing an argument that is supposedly to benefit clients of his but is rly just in service of maintaining his own interests. I don’t think anyone should be locked up, which I believe is what you have suggested on several occasions with your “protect the vulnerable” line.

          1. Oro

            Are you sure you’re supposed to be replying to what I wrote? Seems like you’re having a malfunction ;)

  5. Kate.

    It would have helped Mary to have had a car trip out with her carers , show her familiar sights , park outside family home , allow Joe to speak to her from behind his garden wall & there wouldn’t have been any fear of catching the covid virus if stay confided in vehicle. Nursing home are prisons & with a bit of planning they don’t have to be.

    1. wearnicehats

      An advanced dementia patient wouldn’t be able for a car trip.

      Unfortunately the best hope for people like Mary – and Joe – is for Dementia and living wills to be included in the Assisted Dying Bill. Having seen at first hand what an awful awful awful disease it is I’ve changed my own will to ensure that, if it happens to me – and the Bill is passed – that my relatives are spared the horror of a dementia death.

  6. E'Matty

    We have those who swallow this pandemic BS wholesale who due to their own personal fear, induced through a media, political and medical establishment hysteria campaign, are condemning hundreds of thousands, if not millions, to untold hardship and suffering. They virtue signal that they are saving lives, even though all the evidence clearly shows lockdown don’t work and this virus is exaggerated in every way..We’re destroying our economy, indeed our very society, and imposing extreme suffering on the most vulnerable in our community for nothing. It’s always the fearful childlike mob who fall for the parental State when they have been induced into a state of fear for their own safety.

    1. Janet, dreams of warm feet

      and the mentality so nicely prepped by the catholic church…just needs a sprinkle more shame and self rightousness and sanctimoniousness neighbor pointy finger action

        1. Micko

          Well considering that 5G sits in around the 30ghz range on the Electromagnetic spectrum which is squarely in the non-ionising radiation end of the spectrum. (Non-ionising means no cancer basically) and is pretty much in between the regular cellular band range and satellites , microwaves etc in that they are being closer to visible light.

          Now once you jump over the visible light range – then you’re into all the nice damaging areas of the EMS

          IN short, your microwave at home probably has more chance of killing or even harming you.

          But why do you ask?

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