Living In Each Other’s Shadows


This morning.

Via Irish Time letters:

The motivations of the anti-vaccination members of our communities are difficult to understand.

To more than 90 per cent of us the opportunity to protect ourselves from getting sick or worse, through availing of the vaccines, was an opportunity we took, once we had assessed the risks and benefits.

Those we knew that did not avail of the vaccine seemed prone to convoluted and often extreme theories of vaccines, science, and even basic maths. Persuasive arguments on vaccine benefits for the elimination of diseases like smallpox and polio, were countered with inane conspiracy theories.

However, given the low instance of Covid disease in the outdoor, regulated summer, most of the 90 per cent were tolerant of their unvaccinated friends and avoided pointing out to them that they were often repeating nonsensical jargon that lacked any scrutiny.

In hindsight it was ill-judged to let the conspiracy theories, anti-science and anti-vaccination go unchallenged.

It is difficult now for the 90 per cent to remain tolerant, however, as the unvaccinated get infected at roughly 10 times the rate of the vaccinated and the resources for dealing with infected people are now stretched to breaking.

Now the 10 per cent are needing 50 per cent of the hospital Covid beds; the 10 per cent are needing 50 per cent of the precious ICU Covid facilities to stop them from dying.

Frontline staff, who have now worked flat out for 20 months, are treating the 10 per cent who had a choice to protect themselves through vaccination but chose not to.

There is a much used saying “ar scáth a cheile a mhaireann na daoine”, it is worth emphasising that this is true not alone for the unvaccinated “na daoine” but also the 90 per cent in the community.

Berniann Condon,

Dingle, county Kerry

Irish Times letters


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89 thoughts on “Living In Each Other’s Shadows

  1. Jim

    This is from Saturday’s Irish Times.

    She suggests that if people who have chosen not to be vaccinated “could see what we see in the hospital, if the unvaccinated people could see how sick young people are getting – and not people with significant underlying health concerns – it would really open up their eyes.”
    She describes two patients presenting with similar respiratory symptoms; one vaccinated, the other not. Unless they have a major illness, the vaccinated person will “feel like they’ve had a head cold, they have a cough, they’ve got aches and pains”. Almost always, they can go home for rest, fluids and paracetamol.
    The unvaccinated person is “going to be straight on oxygen. Sometimes their oxygen saturation is so low you’re looking at them and you’re thinking, Are their oxygen levels really that low? And then some will need oxygen via a noninvasive mask. Maybe a line in their neck, to give them certain medications, and a line into the artery in their wrists to keep a constant record of their oxygen and blood pressure. A proportion of those will go to intensive care and need intubation.
    “And if you get to that stage, where they have a really bad X-ray” showing “Covid pneumonitis, they’re going to be in ICU for 10 days at a minimum, and sometimes much longer. They’ll get better. But after you’ve had a prolonged ICU stay there are lots of complications. You have to learn to do everything again.”

    This is from the Guardian on the same day:

      1. f_lawless

        My advice would be don’t let your opinion be formed by anonymous sources who aren’t providing any information other than anecdotes – particularly in a publication that has a track record of producing some outrageous propaganda in recent years (eg. the Assange-Manafort story).

        ” If everyone got vaccinated, hospitals would be under much less pressure; this is beyond debate”

        Does that sound credible to you? You only have to look to somewhere like Gibraltar to see that this isn’t the case at all.

        “I have not heard of any who have been hospitalised with Covid (after being vaccinated) or who have had severe side-effects”.

        That’s laying it on a bit thick. Again, you only have to look to official UK data to see that this anecdote doesn’t hold up.

        “I have never heard a reason not to take the vaccine that I have agreed with..even now we have nurses on our Covid ward who have not been vaccinated”

        The anonymous “NHS respiratory consultant” doesn’t seem to believe in naturally acquired immunity – now shown to be more robust and wide ranging than immunity acquired from the Covid vaccines.

        Here’s some recent input from a non-anonymous NHS consultant, Dr Clare Craig:

        ‘Intensive care data is being totally corrupted:
        “Vaccination status assessed at 14 days prior to the positive COVID-19 test.”

        If you believe vaccines have no impact in the first 14 days then make another category. Calling them unvaccinated is a lie…Including people who have been vaccinated as unvaccinated is outrageous. I really didn’t think it would happen in the UK but it has now.’

        (link to document from UK’s ‘Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre’ is included in her tweet)

  2. Sara

    I think most of the people who don’t get vaccinated are chronic attention seekers. The rest are rightwing nutjobs.

    1. Jim

      Agree. And it appears most of them are on Broadsheet reading the anti-vaxx nonsense that’s been peddled for months.

      1. Rosette of Sirius

        Personally, I’d direct them to their nearest vet for a box or two of their de-wormer of choice and leave them to their fate. No vax, no bed.

        1. SOQ

          And the same rule should apply to people who smoke, heavy drink or are obese surely?

          Or is that somehow different?

          1. Johnny

            …or just have a well run private system,survival of the fittest…works great until oh say a wodwide pandemic,ain’t that right FFG?
            Why is Ireland’s health service a shambles,cause it’s FFG’s policy,just like housing,how’s that working out,relying only on private capital to build irish homes ?

          2. Rosette of Sirius

            Yeah it is. However, if those who smoke, drink too much and / or obese are unvaxxed, well, the chances that they’ll make it as far as an ICU is slimmer.

          3. SOQ

            Just to be clear- you advocate the refusal of treatments to anyone who has not had appropriate vaccines, smokes, drinks or eats too much?

          4. J9

            Yeah it is very different – smoking, obesity and alcoholism are not contagious diseases. There is no vaccine to prevent smoking, obesity or alcoholism. Smoking has been banned in indoor public spaces to mitigate the damage that passive smoking does to non smokers. Did you disagree with that public health measure?

          5. SOQ

            These vaccines do not prevent infectivity, at this stage that much is crystal clear- so the comparison is very valid.

            Once you go down the road of making judgements on people’s lifestyle choices, you are on a very slippery slope.

          6. jungleman

            As you can see he ignored your question as to whether he opposed the smoking ban. You can be sure he did oppose it though. A contrarian crank never changes their spots.

          7. J9

            @SOQ You ignore deflections? LOL – You’re the one who brought up smoking, drinking and obesity. Vaccines are mitigating hospitalisations and the smoking ban mitigates damage to non smokers from passive smoking. Both are public health measures. My question was a valid one which you’ve chosen not to answer. I wonder why? Bye.

          8. SOQ

            I brought up smoking, drinking and obesity because it is directly relevant to your argument that unvaccinated from CoVid-19 should be refused treatments- and you appear to think they should.

            It has nothing to with public health measures. CoVid-19 vaccines do not reduce infectivity.

          9. Micko

            Hang on lads. Smoking and regular McDonalds infusions aside

            Does anyone else here think ‘no vax = no bed 4U”?

            And if so – why?

            Same question to you Rosette

          10. J9

            @SOQ that is NOT my argument. It is not my view either. Nowhere have I ever made that argument. I don’t agree that unvaccinated people should not be treated and I never said that. Please do not misrepresent me. You are still refusing to answer my question.

          11. Cian

            If people are refusing any vaccinations for spurious reasons and they end up in hospital with said disease…. their refusal to get the vaccine should be taken into consideration when prioritising patients. Yes they should be treated, but after those that at least tried to do the right thing.

          12. SOQ

            So if someone refuses say statins because of side effect concerns and then present with heart issues- should they too be refused treatment?

            Are non smoking lung cancer patients to be given priority over smokers? Slim over obese? Where does the judgements end?

          13. Cian

            I didn’t say “refused treatment”.
            I said “[it] should be taken into consideration when prioritising patients. Yes they should be treated, but after those that at least tried to do the right thing.”

          14. Micko

            “but after those that at least tried to do the right thing.”

            That’s an interesting point you make Cian.

            If it is true as we are constantly told, that anti-vexers are stupid.

            Is that not punishing people for their lack of intelligence?

            And what if some (as we are also told) are “victims of misinformation?”

            Do those people deserve to receive inadequate hospital care?
            Are they not victims?

            Surely every die-hard ‘anti-vaxer’ was once a poor victim of misinformation? They didn’t start out that way I’m sure.

            So at what point does someone stop being a victim of misinformation and become a dangerous threat to others? How is that even quantifiable?

            VERY dangerous territory to be in.

            Also, most Anti- vaxxer’s believe they ARE doing ” the right thing”.

            Ideology and medicine – a very dangerous combo indeed

          15. benblack


            What if the patient is unvaccinated but has private health insurance?

            Do the right thing – go private.

          16. Cian

            I dunno do you thin that yourself, SOQ, f_lawless, the others are stupid? your words.

            I’d say yiz are all above average intelligence.

          17. Micko

            ” are stupid? your words..”

            Are ye 12 or what?

            Poor response Cian.

            But given that I’m correct – it’s the only one you could make…

  3. Mr.T

    “To more than 90 per cent of us the opportunity to protect ourselves from getting sick or worse, through availing of the vaccines, was an opportunity we took, once we had assessed the risks and benefits.”

    This is so untrue it hurts – most people got vaccinated so they could go to the pub!
    And now quite a lot of younger people seem to be expressing regret – “why did I bother getting vaccinated if we would still end up in lockdowns”

  4. SOQ

    Amazing how these characters always attempt to divide people into the two groups of vaccinated and unvaccinated as though all of those who have been coerced, bullied or threatened have somehow miraculously changed their minds- they have not.

    It is glaringly obvious at this stage that there is no communitarian argument for these vaccines. Even Boris Johnson admitted that vaccine status makes no difference to infectivity. It is a personal choice only and should be weighed up against your individual CoVid-19 risk profile.

    As for the Pfizer Times, I’ll take them a little more serious when they start attempting to present a more balance picture, rather than being a government mouthpiece. Still, it is a good sign when they are publishing so many articles / letters in this direction- they must be worried about the booster 1 uptake.

        1. Johnny

          ..the only time you reference SF in the north us to allege pedos run amok or corruption or young fellas in wheelchairs from kneecapping…..
          But sure what’s the tool BoJo doing these days,any more graft and corruption layered on top incompetence….

          Like really ?

          ‘Even Boris Johnson admitted that vaccine status makes no difference to infectivity.‘

          There ya have it,how’s your Queen doing,poorly I hope.

    1. North Gay George's Treat

      50% of those in ICU are from the less than 10% who made the personal decision to remain unvaccinated.
      They range in ages, mostly from 45 years old and up. Many have underlying health conditions and many are elderly. Why do you think they refused vaccination?

      1. SOQ

        Some if not most of the unvaccinated in ICU probably could not take the vaccines in the first place I expect- but sure why let facts get in the way of a good spin eh?

        1. LiveLine

          You have literally just tried to rebut solid facts with guesses and conjecture! Everything NGGS said is factual. You would be hilarious if you weren’t so dangerous!

          1. SOQ

            That you regard someone who doesn’t swallow the bs narrative as dangerous says way more about you than anyone else- as you sit there under yet ANOTHER username.

          2. LiveLine

            What about what NGGS said is “BS narrative”? Everything they stated is empirical fact, at the risk of repeating myself, all you came back with (in the most hilariously ironic way) was supposition and guessing, but doubled down with an accusation of spin and ignoring facts! Like I say, hilarious, but dangerous, as some people are sadly naive enough to give you, a bored chancer, credence.

          3. SOQ

            Tell you what LiveLine- come back under your usual username and we will see who the bored chancer is eh?


        2. Cian

          Some if not most of the unvaccinated in ICU probably could not take the vaccines in the first place I expect
          who, exactly, can’t get the vaccine?

          If anything, they are pushing the vaccine (and early booster doses) explicitly to those most vulnerable. Provide evidence, or withdraw your comment.

          People who need an additional dose
          People with the following conditions or treatments should get an additional dose:
          – Cancer patients
          – Kidney disease
          – HIV
          – Transplants
          – Genetic diseases
          – Other conditions
          – Treatments
          – High dose systemic steroids
          – Other systemic medications potentially associated with immunocompromise

          1. SOQ

            Who are ‘they’? The HSE? The HSE do not dispense medical advice to patients, General Practitioners who know the patients history do.

            They will take into account the HSE guidance but ultimately advise what is best for the patient.

          2. SOQ

            Yes dear- I have recorded evidence from every single GP visit in Ireland.

            Is Paul Reid willing to take a pay cut?

            Disgusting individual.

    2. Jim

      So, let me get this straight – you think the report from the Irish TImes is a lie?
      You also think the doctors that are interviewed are lying?

        1. Bitnboxy

          To be fair – you think everyone except your dysfunctional self is a charlatan. The “against everyone and everything” attitude you have perfected mad auld lad GiggidyGums.

          Look in the mirror.



          1. GiggidyGoo

            Scan the code, Narcissist. Is the kellys baby waiting to be collected from the kiddies klub then? There there there, you angry little mite.

    3. jungleman

      Well if Boris Johnson said it… lol

      A bit of advice, whatever Boris Johnson says, the opposite is true.

  5. Frank

    Dear Berniann Condon,
    of Dingle, county Kerry

    Stop worrying over hospital ICU capacity. It is pointless and will give you an ulcer. People will be people. With their own hopes, dreams, and their own immune systems which you, Berniann, cannot control. I know you wish for some type of ‘komplete state kontrol’ but it won’t end great Ber. Remember what happened last time!! mother of God! sure you thought that fella Hitler was the bees knees. You were always going on ‘Hitler this and Josef Mengele that’. Storming around the kitchen in your riding boots, spittle flying from your mouth. Jesus Berniann you were up to 99!! Please don’t get all NAZI-ish on us again.

    Tell Micheal I was asking for him and hope all the gang are ready for the Christmas!!

    ps. Do you have Mammys recipe for the pork stuffing? remember she use to keep it in the back of her copy of Mein Kampf.

    pps. please go back on the tablets

    Up Yours, Frank

  6. SOQ

    No they are not. The HSE knows rightly that all indications point to natural immunity being for a prolonged period of time (years) and that is is far superior to any vaccine.

    1. jungleman

      False. There is ample evidence of people being reinfected within months of having Covid. This has been widely reported.

        1. SOQ

          That paper is about the reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 not CoVid-19. You can be re infected with many viruses many many times but never develop symptoms?

  7. GiggidyGoo

    The Irish Times would know all about tolerance. Tolerance, that is, of readers, that has seen their sales decimated. They survive on scraps thrown from the Government table.

  8. D-troll

    discussion on this is futile. the publics mood is intolerance towards the unvaxinated similar to xenophobes, racists, bigamists. not sure what the solution is. if i was an icu doctor/nurse and an anti vaxer came in on a stretcher not being able to breathe…..i dont know if i would be bothered. people should live with the consequences of their own actions/inactions.

    there was a great book written by a doctor called Bodies. and apartently its not called the ICU, but the NCU (nobody cares unit)

    1. f_lawless

      I think you’re being a bit unfair to the general public. They’re certainly not all behaving like xenophobes, racists, etc. ;)

      I think that while there’s been a sustained media campaign to incite division and demonise the unvaccinated, only a minority are buying in to it. When I went to a protest against vaccine coercion on O’Connell street last month, I saw no signs of hostility coming from the general public, which one might’ve expected if some of the more vitriolic commenters on here were a genuine reflection of the wider public mood.

      1. SOQ

        A lot of people who got vaccinated did so because they felt they had no choice- they are still anti vaccine mandates, which is what counts

  9. Fell, ass, yo!

    Spoke to a family member yesterday, was anti-vax, got covid, almost died, mid-early 40s, had to get remdevesir and plasma antibodies, now getting vaccine (next week or as soon as able), afraid to tell Mom (also anti-vax nut), described scenes in ICU as like being in hell especially the old folks literally dying by the hour – I guess our resident skeptics here have no care as to these kind of first hand accounts, but prefer to believe what some guy looking for internet fame would put out there. My challenge to all our in house team of experts, go and work/stay in ER – report back

    pretty cowardly not to publish this first time – broadsheet

    1. Thetruthhurts

      My goodness – what a shocking story.

      People dying by the hour. Literally.

      Let’s see. There are 24 hours a day. There are about 20 hospitals with ICU beds. My God – that’s 480 deaths a day.

      Which is complete nonsense as is your scary story at bedtime.

      Current average daily deaths from covid is 6 per day.

      About 100 people die every day in Ireland at this time of year.

      My challenge to you is to stop spreading fear and propaganda.

  10. Shitferbrains

    It’s always been obvious to what I suppose could be called people of a certain age that anti- vaccination is a minority sport, relying as it does on the fact that usually 90% + of the population IS vaccinated.

  11. White Dove

    I strongly suspect Bernieann would have been writing to the IT complaining about single mothers in the 1970s.

    The difference is – the IT probably wouldn’t have been as ready to publish her letter.

    When did the IT change from supporting individual freedom to promoting authoritarianism?

  12. Sailor Jerry

    That was some rather devicive, fact free drivel in the gutter press.
    I can only speak for myself, as to why I will never take the clot shot.

    It is not safe and effective. This is a lie. There is a mass of injury data that shows it does not give immunity or stop transmission, whilst having massive side affect issues.

    It is a productive of the use of murdered babies and those that benefit from that deserve eternal damnation.

    There are a myriad of other reasons, but those two are enough for me.

    I will trust the combination of innate God given immunity combined with a life of acquired immunity. Coupled with good health choices and a few supplements to boost the immune system. I feel comfortable that I will be in the 99.7% that survive the new flu.

    The all cause mortality in the Uk is trending above the 5 year moving average, and the fully jabbed are leading that charge.

  13. Sailor Gerry

    A vaccine so safe and effective Mariah Carey faked it for the press and Fauci could not remember which arm hurt.

    A vaccine so safe, they need 50 years to report the ingredients to the public.

    A vaccine so safe, athletes keep falling over clutching their chest, about 80 or so in the last 6 months.

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