“Providing Gardaí with the power to shut pubs for up to a month will help pave the way to reopen all bars the Justice Minister Helen McEntee has said.”
The bold Helen is, of course, referring to the new sweeping powers given to the Gardai that will allow them to raid any pub currently open and if they aren’t happy that the place is serving €9.00 meals with the pints, then they can shut the business for a month. This, according to the Gospel of Saint Helen, is the recipe for the boozers opening all over the land, (‘Praise be the Lord’).
Well really? How does shutting pubs open them? How thick does the Minister think we are? In fact, how thick is the Minister? The current preposterous notion is that a €9.00 piazza in your local pub offers complete protection against all known disease and this Covid-19 virus in particular. I’m having trouble following that logic, never mind believing such obvious bullshit.
But if we give Helen the benefit of the doubt, perhaps she means that when the naughty pubs who are currently just serving booze without a €9.00 meal are all caught and closed then the time would be ripe to em, …….. em, ah, open all the wet pubs who will only serve booze with no food. I see! Would you just run that past me again Minister?
While I am on the subject of incredible nonsense a Scottish spokesperson for their Public Health outfit was on the radio this morning and she said that now, months into it, they had learned many lessons in treating virus sufferers. She then listed three of them, the last of which was that they’d learned to keep Covid-19 patients separate from non-coved patients in their hospitals, (I swear to God, that’s what she said). So Scottish hospitals full of doctors who know that this virus is highly contagious, took five months to come to the conclusion that it would probably be best if Covid and non-Covid sufferers should be kept apart. Were they sharing beds prior to this? But isn’t that just grand then? I wonder how long it took our white coated paranoiacs to reach the same conclusion here? None of it gives you that warm secure feeling does it?
All of the restrictions being imposed on us are based on the collection of the daily numbers of infections by NPHET. So how’s the testing going? Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Chair of NPHET’s Irish Epidemiological Modelling Group Professor Philip Nolan defended the turnaround test time after it emerged that it took more than 72 hours in one weekend. He said that while the team is “anxious” to bring the testing time down, the delay was caused by a large outbreak. “The vast majority of tests right now are coming back in 24 to 48 hours,” he added. Now, I can only speak of my own experience locally but I do know that for a few weeks last May a team from the HSE were operating out of a sports ground down by the river but this operation ceased when they ran out of some basic materials necessary to continue and it hasn’t restarted since. In fact there is no Covid-19 test centre anywhere on the North side of Cork City to my knowledge.
But anyway, Professor Nolan says there is testing going on so who am I to argue. However, let’s be clear here, we are just talking about some medical test that determines whether you have the virus or you don’t. This is not a treatment or, perish the thought, a cure. It’s merely a test. So why does it take between a day and three days to get the results? I did a preliminary check and discovered that, “COVID-19 screening can be conducted directly at various testing stations, and patients can get their test results in about an hour from the time they get a nasal swab.” Check it yourself. Mind you, that is in the US.
Something feels wrong about this pandemic. This morning Australia declared itself to be in a recession, to which you can only add, “Of course you fucking are. What did you think would happen when you shut down the economy for six months?” We are in a recession too we just haven’t been told yet. Get out your austerity knickers because cutbacks are coming down the line and there’s no money for anything. If you end up freezing and hungry in your home this winter just be glad the Government stopped you getting this year’s flu. The virus was to be expected but the official reaction to it has been way over the top and will have done more damage than good before much longer.
So what is the real story? Since the start of March this year, nearly 1,800 have died from COVID-19 in Ireland. But our annual death rate from all causes translates into 80 deaths a day. So for the six months up to the yesterday, approx. 14,720 people died here from all causes during the same period. So nearly 15,000 dying on average every six months in Ireland does not bring down the economy, shut most businesses or divert our health system away from its daily routines but 300 added deaths a month from a virus does all of that and more. Where is the sense of proportion in that?
And to end, we face the winter without the usual herd immunity to the annual visit from a virus because we locked down this time and socially distanced. It is the first time we’ve ever done this so we have nothing to compare it to. The Vintners yesterday said that many of their members will have to default on their pub mortgages but I’m sure those kind humane bank people will understand and take it on the chin like gentlemen, (Ho, Ho). And to think, the smoking ban in pubs was brought in to protect barmen in their workplaces. Soon those workplaces will be no more!
But Professor Nolan will still have his highly paid position with all the entitlements.