An infographic rendering of the Swiss-cheese Covid model, including the ‘misinformation mouse’ eating new holes for the virus to pass through’

There are things we do to fight disease
Masks, hand-washing, distance, but these
Can’t work on their own
So the cornerstone
Of the strategy is some Swiss cheese

John Moynes

55 thoughts on “A Limerick A Day

  1. Rob_G

    This contribution is a nice counterbalance to all of the Ivor Cummins nonsense featured from time to time.

  2. Joe

    It’s a good fair infographic.
    Amazing how in the year 2021 anyone with a modicum of education could believe in a world-wide conspiracy involving every government, many with extremely opposing political ideologies, drug companies, every scientific health researcher and even your local GP and be anti health information, anti Vax and fundamentally anti science. Some people really live in a demon haunted world and life must be terrifying for them.

    1. SOQ

      The response to this virus has been an unmitigated disaster from start to finish- criminal even- and that includes the mandating of masks which has been proven in country after country to make zero difference.

      If anything they may increase the chances of infection, a point even being conceded by Mr. Luke O’Neill of course.

      THAT is the science- not some superstitious placebo nonsense- SARS-CoV-2 could drive a bus through a cloth or paper mask.

      1. ReproBertie

        “ the mandating of masks which has been proven in country after country to make zero difference.”

        Except Canada of course, one of the few places to actually conduct a study, where the mandatory wearing of masks has been proven to reduce cases by 25%.

        Which you knew. Why do you insist on ignoring things you know when posting like this?

          1. f_lawless

            More flawed observational studies? Better to stick to randomised control trials to form your opinion – the far superior form of scientific evidence; the least prone to bias.

            “The German study claimed that the introduction of mandatory face masks in German cities had led to a decrease in infections. But the data does not support this claim: in some cities there was no change, in others a decrease, in others an increase in infections (see graph below). The city of Jena was an ‘exception’ only because it simultaneously introduced the strictest quarantine rules in Germany, but the study did not mention this.”


          2. Cian

            under your text was 4 graphs.
            As the figure shows, the result is 2:1:1. Rottweil and Wolfsburg display a positive effect of mandatory mask wearing, just as Jena. The results in Nordhausen are very small or unclear. In the region of Main-Kinzig, it even seems to be the case that masks increased the number of cases relative to the synthetic control group.

            In all the cities, there was one with an increase, 1 uncertain, and the rest showed decreases.

        1. f_lawless

          (comment keeps disappearing – trying again with link to worldometers website removed)
          Would there be any point in pointing out to you that the study (I assume) you’re referring to by the Department of Economics at Canada’s Simon Fraser University (a) isn’t peer-reviewed and (b) seems to be cherry-picking data endpoints to fit a conclusion? The period chosen for the study was July to August, yet by the time the paper was released in late September, according to official statistics, “new cases” were clearly on the rise and have steadily continued to rise since.

          The assumptions made my the economists who authored that paper now look extremely weak. The fall and subsequent rise in cases is better explained by the seasonal effect. Rather than flawed observational studies, why not look to more robust scientific evidence to form your opinion – the randomised control trial carried out in Denmark, for example?

          1. millie bobby brownie

            That’s not it at all SOQ. I’ve tried posting links a few times this morning only to have them disappear.

            And they definitely do not fall under ‘fear narrative’.

          2. ReproBertie

            It seems the standard of acceptance for studies that counter the anti-mask arguments is a lot higher than any utterance that suggests masks don’t work.

          3. Cian

            Rather than flawed observational studies, why not look to more robust scientific evidence to form your opinion – the randomised control trial carried out in Denmark, for example?
            Which one?

            The one that concluded: “The recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers by more than 50% in a community with modest infection rates, some degree of social distancing, and uncommon general mask use. The data were compatible with lesser degrees of self-protection.”


          4. f_lawless

            Yes that’s the one Cian. While I agree that the way the conclusion is worded makes the results seem a bit more watered down that the actual hard data produced by the study infers (a “statistically insignificant” reduction of 0.3% in transmission). But that’s not all that surprising given the fact that the study was initially prevented from being published for months on end and that the data produced is potentially very problematic, politically speaking.

            I suspect the author of that BMJ blog entry, Prof James Brophy, is being deliberately obtuse claiming that the study may actually show a benefit to the mask wearer and implying that the likes of Prof Carl Henegan are misinterpreting the results due to their “personal beliefs” is a bit of a stretch. I see on Brophy’s own website back in July he’s written in bold capitals “MASK UP” in the imperative. Isn’t that effectively shouting orders at the reader? Maybe he’s quite biased himself.

            Anyway, prior to 2020 of course, there’s the evidence which had accumulated from numerous RCTs carried out over the years on the efficacy of face masks in preventing community spread of influenza. The WHO did a large-scale review of the most robust off these in 2019, and found, quote:

            Ten RCTs were included in the meta-analysis, and there was no evidence that face masks are effective in reducing transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza. “

            That was before “political lobbying” (as BBC’s Deborah Cohen put it) caused a policy change well into the pandemic in July 2020.

          5. SOQ

            And yet f_lawless- it hasn’t occurred to one single journalist to ask who was doing the lobbying, or why.

    2. An older man

      May I point you to FAT being bad & the 5 a day. All made up. An example of global penetration. Qui bono. Take time to look deeper. To my eye the driver is how to monetise something, anything. Fear is a tool to facilitate so is selfishness. Humans are good at both. Today a virus not a super killer. Next I wonder.

      1. Cian

        And the “different parts of your tongue have different taste receptors”.
        FaKe NeWs – you can taste all tastes in all parts of your tongue. waKe Up sHeEPle!

          1. V AKA Frilly Keane


            But @AnOlderFella isn’t wrong

            Every decision and steer we’ve had to follow
            Since last February
            Has had Money as its key motivation

            The race for a vaccine was / is about Money
            Not to save the World
            But to make Money
            They even stuffed their pockets with grant millions/ billions
            + Allowances
            And still sought indemnity

            You really think they all want to get Airlines flying again so we can all get a holiday?

            Unverified unvetted Tender awards weren’t accidents
            And a reconfirmed committment not to pay student nurses & midwives should tell you there is no more dominant force behind it all than Money

          2. ReproBertie

            If every decision since February was about money then why did they shut down the global economy and take on massive state loans to pay the wages of those that couldn’t work?

          3. ReproBertie

            So the government shut down an economy that was growing as we emerged from the crash to force the government to borrow more and potentially push us into another recession?

            Sounds like Turkeys voting for Christmas to be honest.

          4. newsjustin

            “The race for a vaccine was / is about Money”

            Stopping the virus will save lives and allow countries to properly reopen….saving economies and jobs.

            Sometimes you get a 2 for 1. Don’t feel bad about it.

          5. Rob_G

            “To get money out the door”

            – governments conspired to do this to spend all of their own money – how does that make sense?

            Et tu, Frilly?

          6. Nigel

            That people will opportunistically make money out of this is a feature of our global economy, not a bug. People made money out of the crash. People are going to make money out of Brexit. Perverse incentives to profit from catastrophe exist, certainly, but the worst responses with the worst outcomes were in countries more concerned with their economies than with lives and public health. Hence the appallng ‘herd immunity’ approach in the UK, hastily reversed, and the non-response at a federal level in the US, now at 3,000 covid deaths a day. Preserving public health and thereby preserving the economy in the long-term is a perfectly laudable goal, so long as you support your citizens financially in the meantime. Providing funding for the creation and distribution of a vaccine is absolutely vital. We don’t currently live in a world that doesnt require money for things to work.

          7. SOQ

            3,000 deaths WITH covid a day but given the financial incentives US hospitals are paid for each patient- it is a wonder it is not 30 000.

          8. Nigel

            SOQ, in fairness, when you’ve run through selective science, motivated reasoning and YouTube videos, you don’t hesitate to lean on conjecture and speculation, not to mention slander of hospital staff. Thats commitment.

            blisted, you’ve spent the last four years moaning about her at the slightest opportunity, I’m glad you see no reason to stop now.

          9. bisted

            …Nigel, your constant attempts to deify the democrats I find quite sickening…crooked Hillary was merely the third leg of a stool with Obama and Biden that bombed eight countries, displaced millions and killed thousands of innocent children…more of the same now in prospect with Bidens finger on the button…sadly, my moaning nor your gloating will change the fate of many…

          10. Nigel

            Your straw man must be warm and cosy for you to keep clinging to him so tightly. Your lack of curiosity about death tolls that were current during the last four years has a sickening stench of its own, maybe that’s what’s upsetting your tummy?

          11. SOQ

            CoVid=19 financial incentives to US hospitals is a fact Nigel- and nothing to do with the average doctor or nurse- they are the ones raising the issue?

  3. Just Sayin

    Mostly we got where we are today by stupidity rather than a grand conspiracy.

    And it’s depressing rather than amazing.

    And as for the Swiss cheese model while it may be useful for looking at specific incidents resulting from multiple failures, it’s not at all appropriate for covid.

    That diagram is simply a method for reinforcing conditioned bahaviour as the new normal.

    Simply stated it’s a guilt trip.

    1. SOQ

      The question nobody wants to even ask is what political pressure was applied to WHO and by whom in order for them go against forty years of solid scientific research on the subject.

  4. bisted

    …I have to confess that I do have some sympathy with the pro-sickness lobby when it comes to the mask issue…while I do use a mask/face-covering when in shops and I agree that they are one of the methods to prevent spread of disease, it is not a black and white issue…masks not worn correctly are counter-productive…some are downright disgusting…the grubbiest one I’ve seen recently was dangled in front of me by someone demonstrating that it had a particular code number which gave the highest level of protection…yuch…

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