Those who predicted swamped ICUs, scandalous shortages of equipment and overflowing morgues in Ireland were utterly wrong. If you haven’t realised that, you’re not following.
The Irish Times, Irish Independent, RTÉ and other media in Ireland have failed their democratic duty to keep the public aware of the significance of the evolving pattern of Coronavirus cases in Ireland over the last three weeks.
There may indeed be “the darkest days ahead” as the Taoiseach intoned, to media head-nodding, on Easter Sunday, but there is no evidence for it.
I am not saying this to be provocative but because it is the truth.
There is a pattern of reported cases, it is just that the media have not followed it, or conveyed what the pattern indicates as the probable outcome of at least the first wave of Coronavirus cases and deaths in Ireland.
Their job was not to convey this as a certainty but as the probability, based on the curves – the data.
Instead they have plied, and continue hour after hour to ply, pictures of improvised morgues, invitations to submit stories about deceased love ones, pieces about our non-existent devastating shortages of PPE and ventilators, and of rockstars still organising emergency imports of it, and po-faced pieces about how funerals, so central of course to Irish life, will never be the same again….
…The Department of Health oversaw a system underprepared for a pandemic and then specifically underestimated the dangers from China – on 20 February the Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan ineptly faced a camera and said: “We don’t expect to see anything more than individual cases occurring that we believe we’ll be well-positioned to manage within the next couple of months”.
Within a few weeks, however, the official view had flipped the other way and by 8 March Paul Reid, CEO of the Health Service Executive (HSE), was endorsing a report in the Business Post which quoted the health authorities massively overestimating cases.
The lead story in that newspaper on that day five weeks ago predicted 1.9 million infected cases for Ireland which would have implied 68,000 deaths, since the death rate given by the WHO at the time was 3.4%.
The report did not say there “might” or “would probably” be 1.9 million cases.
Its best-selling headline on March 8, a date on which there had been no deaths in Ireland, was “Irish health authorities predict 1.9m people will fall ill with coronavirus”; the subheadline was “Up to 50 per cent of cases projected in a three-week period, while the new figures raise fears of intense pressure on health service”. The premise was that we would see 30% daily increases in cases. The smaller print of the report clarified that the prognosis depended on there being no lockdown measures….[more at link below]