Deathly Embrace


Paul Reid, CEO, HSE in Dr Steevens’ Hospital  at the weekly HSE operational update on the response to Covid-19 this afternoon

This afternoon.

Dr Steevens’ Hospital, Dublin.

Speaking at the weekly HSE Covid-19 update, Mr Reid said there is a “natural urge to hug people and wish them a Merry Christmas” after spending time at a restaurant or a gastropub, but he warned this will pose “an extreme risk”.

He said he foresees three phases of risk, namely this weekend as restaurants and gastropubs reopen, the second being next week until 18 December when people can visit other households, and from the week of Christmas until the New Year being the third phase.

Mr Reid said the HSE will be “watching very carefully” during the third phase “which poses the highest risk for the HSE and health services” due to an anticipated level of inter-generational mixing.

Not inhumanly weird at all.

Hugging at Christmas will pose ‘extreme risk’ (RTÉ)


49 thoughts on “Deathly Embrace

  1. ReproBertie

    Has there been any talk anywhere of a move to Level 2? Anything about how if we keep the numbers down and the cases drop or the 14 day incidence or whatever the current metric is, that we can look to further relaxation of restrictions? Or is it all just warnings about increases in Levels?

    1. Cian

      If the numbers continue to decrease I can’t see any reason not to drop to Level 2…. saying that it is probably unlikely to happen before Christmas.

      1. bisted

        …political expediancy has trumped public health advice again…ignoring the public health model last time led to the present elongated and less effective lockdown…NPHET advice was based on a simple model which forecast the number of new cases doubling at an alarming rate…the model underestimated the growth and the government was forced to act…even the pro-sickness people admit that cases will increase again…but hey…xmas…

  2. Tony

    the most important thing is to completely ignore the context of a global pandemic and all the science that’s come to light in the last year. Just put your pinky in the corner of your mouth, gaze up to the sky and let on that it’s all happening for no reason at all.

    Then you can go ahead and call it ‘inhumanly weird’.

    1. george

      I’m looking at Adam’s response to the social distancing and Broadsheet’s and only one of those is “unhumanly weird”.

    1. John Smith

      What do you expect, gallantman? Once the abnormal is accepted as normal, people forget what normal really is and those who try to fight against what is happening are labelled as the weirdos.

      Wonder how many people will be giving and/or getting designer masks or decorative masks this Christmas. Wonderful stocking-fillers!

      1. Brother Barnabas

        not weirdos, john – bullploppers

        like your claim earlier that the vaccine gives you the virus

        it’s dangerous idiocy

        1. John Smith

          @ Barnabas
          ‘like your claim earlier that the vaccine gives you the virus ‘

          My claim? Nothing to do with me, Barnabas. I do remember seeing that incorrect statement, though, made by someone else.

          Whether those who fight for a return to normality are labelled weirdos or the word you substituted is irrelevant. What you have said merely confirms my point that the abnormality becomes the new normality, once people accept it. Those who think that the wearing of masks on a continuing basis would be a bad thing (even if they think it is OK temporarily) need to keep alive the message that it IS abnormal and needs to come to an end at some point. (I happen to think that the end should have been before it started but that is a whole different argument.)

          1. Brother Barnabas

            the abnormality is not becoming the new normality

            nobody regards what’s happening as ‘normal’ and nobody is enjoying it

            the situation we are in is utterly messed up and abnormal, so, unfortunately, it requires messed up and abnormal measures

            there isnt a single person who likes wearing a mask

          2. Brother Barnabas

            and, apologies, john, I just checked back – it was ‘John Davis’ who made that claim

          3. Micko

            “there isn’t a single person who likes wearing a mask”

            Pretty sure Nigel said he liked it a few weeks back in a back and forth with me.

            At least I think it was Nigel – you guys all blend into one after a while. It may have been Cian… ;)

          4. John Smith

            @ Barnabas

            “there isn’t a single person who likes wearing a mask”

            I know a few who do and more who tell me it’s OK and they’ve got so used to it that they don’t even think twice about it. When you add in the people (like the one in the you-tube link) who are saying that it could be a good thing to carry on because it could help against flu, you realise that it is already becoming something that will drag on and on, if not stopped. The legislation has already been extended to 9 June 2021 – that’s another sixth months from now.

  3. Micko

    Mr Reid said the HSE will be “watching very carefully”

    I heard they’ll also be making a list and checkin….

    Ah, sure you know the rest

  4. newsjustin

    “Not inhumanly weird at all.”

    Some people continue to decide/believe that its weird that extraordinary measure are being talked about and implemented during an extraordinary global situation.

    It’s not.

    If a pigeon was struck by lightening and flew in your window and you had to throw a pint of milk on it, you’d get weird looks while trying to explain that too. Strange times call for strange measures.

    1. ian-oh

      ”If a pigeon was struck by lightening and flew in your window and you had to throw a pint of milk on it”

      Whoa, Déjà vu man.

    2. f_lawless

      Sound scientific evidence-based measures would be a much more appropriate course of action. There has been a distinct lack of that from the government since March – the rolling lockdowns, 2 metre rule, masks, ‘wet’ pub closures, 9-euro meals, rule of 6, etc,etc

      1. John Smith

        ‘Sound scientific evidence-based measures’

        Now that really would be strange measures. You’ll never get the government to agree to anything like that!

  5. Andrew

    Why is an administrator with zero qualifications, giving advice on the risks related to hugging.
    How about asking him a hard question every now and then about what he actually does?

    1. george

      I think you’ll find he has several qualifications. He isn’t inventing the advice he is communicating the advice.

        1. george

          Nobody claimed he had a medical qualification. You didn’t say medical qualification. You imply he is not qualified to be the CEO of the HSE. He does indeed have relevant qualifications and also experience for the role which is not “administration” as you snarkily put it.

          Nor does come up with medical advice on close contacts, medical experts do. He is merely communicating it.

          But yes Andrew, hugging is a covid-19 risk as the virus is spread through close contact with an infected person and I do not require a medical degree to say that.

          1. f_lawless

            But how credible is asymptomatic transmission at this point? With all other respiratory viruses that have been studied throughout history, It’s always been a very rare phenomenon in the past, and never a driver of transmission. Why are we so convinced that SARS-Cov-2 is different to all others? Without the characteristic, there’s no justification for blanket lockdowns, masking the healthy, viewing everyone as potential disease spreaders, etc.

            Back in June, a top scientist at the WHO, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, said that according to known research, asymptomatic transmission of SARS-Cov-2 was “very rare”. This created an immediate uproar from different sides of the debate, causing her to issue a carefully worded statement that didn’t retract what she said yet left it open to ambiguous interpretation.

            Then things went quiet, and we were all told to continue assuming everyone potentially had the virus. There seemed to be no further attempt to get any kind of definitive answer on the matter.

            But cut to late November and the results of a massive new study involving the majority of Wuhan citizens were published in Nature magazine: 300 asymptomatic cases identified and no positive tests amongs1,174 close contacts of those asymptomatic cases

            This is further compelling evidence that the policies based upon asymptomatic transmission of Covid have been unfounded, have caused so much unnecessary damage to people’s lives and livelihoods, and need to be revised


          2. Andrew

            If all he’s doing is ‘communicating’ the message, why all the utterly meaningless platitudes from him, endlessly on twitter and elsewhere?
            Again, what does he actually do? What expertise does he bring to the role?
            What did the HSE do during the summer to increase capacity? Why do we such a dreadful health service with ICU capacity on a par with Iran.
            Why was someone like Paul Reid given this job do you think?

    2. GiggidyGoo

      You had advice being given out by the Govt. a few days ago to wear a mask when you’re cooking Christmas dinner. NPHET gave no such advice. So some bright spark (Donnelly?) decided to throw another (government advice) frightener in the mix. Now where did they get that?

  6. SOQ

    And then after all this rule breaking- January’s overall fatalities will have an exponential rise to…… near monthly average over a five year period.

    How many suicides do you think will happen over this traditionally stressful period eh lads? Or do they not count because it doesn’t affect YOU?

      1. SOQ

        There is no studies because of the time it takes to record and process deaths by suicide. I know of four myself and that is WAY above anything I have ever seen before- and I very much doubt if I am the only one.

        GP’s are recording record levels of stress and anxiety related conditions- or are you waving the high hand at those too? Get real.

        1. george

          I literally provided a link to scientific paper on the topic but of course you don’t pay any attention to actual science preferring to watch banned youtube videos instead.

          1. George

            Also surely you don’t imagine you can post extremist rhetoric for months including suggesting people should be killed and then somehow have an ounce of credibility for your unverifiable anecdotal evidence?

          2. SOQ

            We don’t have any figures in Ireland for yet George- it takes minimum of six months for each one to be processed and probably much longer right now.

            Common sense should tell you that suicide rates are going to follow the upward trajectory of other mental health issues.

            If this fact leaves those who consider themselves virtuous uncomfortable then good- because they bloody deserve it.

          3. GiggidyGoo

            That link…. “Commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.” and “Most of the available publications are preprints, letters (neither is peer reviewed),91011 or commentaries using news reports of deaths by suicide as the data source.12”

  7. ian-oh

    Reid looks suspiciously like Justin Boyd Barrett behind that mask.

    Have we ever seen the two of them in the same room?


    1. ReproBertie

      Ah, Canada! That’ll be the country that had the report showing a 25% drop in cases after they introduced mandatory mask wearing.

        1. ReproBertie

          I don’t watch YouTube in work so I haven’t seen it yet. I don’t doubt that mistakes were made in lockdowns, particularly our recent move to Level 5, but back in March we didn’t know as much about the virus as we do know and some of what we thought we knew was wrong. You can’t really blame people for following the best advice available.

          It’s really not about me being right. I know the science changes all the time as we learn more and as new facts emerge opinions have to change with them. I’m just amused by the way you throw something out there and then ignore any evidence to the contrary. When Canada suits you up it pops but when it doesn’t it’s ignored.

    2. Cian

      The number of covid deaths in Alberta went from 476 on 24-Nov (when he made this statement) to 561 yesterday – 9 days later.

Comments are closed.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!