Ireland's Response to the Virus

scolairebocht

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Its certainly possible that we will get on top of this by the 29th of March, which is the government deadline for their crackdown, so I am not trying to add to any alarm but for what its worth I think there are least three genuine criticisms that can be made about the Coronavirus response in Ireland to date:

Low Amount of Testing
1. As of last weekend the total number of people tested for Coronavirus, the cumulative figure throughout this whole emergency, was only about 400 ( Coronavirus testing to rise sharply in Ireland as treatment streamlined ). In fact it seems there are serious restrictions on the amount of testing that the Irish state will agree to do, even that seriously ill patients are denied tests requested by their doctors: .
Obviously this is a tiny number of people in a country of our size. Look at it this way, if we were to compare that to politics, would you make much out of an Irish opinion poll which only asked 400 people their opinions across the whole of Ireland over about a month or so?

How does anybody know anything solid about the extent of the virus in Ireland on the basis of such a tiny amount of testing? And why is this so, considering that South Korea is testing something like 20,000 people a day is it not possible to seriously ramp up the amount of testing to Ireland to give us something like a true picture of what's going on?

Bad advice on transmission method
2. Secondly it is very widely distributed advice in Ireland, that the virus is spread via droplets that land on surfaces which you then pick up on your hands and from hands to your mouth or eyes etc if you touch them. That thats how you get it is broadcast high and low morning noon and night in Ireland (as you can see here: Protect yourself and others ). But its strikes me as a rather long winded and not all that plausible a way of transmitting it, the virus cannot stay live on your hands for long, somebody said 10 minutes or so, and do people really stick their hands in their mouth in a way that would transmit it all that often?

The point is that actually it seems its just transmitted over the air, and this hand washing over emphasis etc, is actually just bad advice or at least leading to too much complacency:

"In a paper published this week, American scientists said that airborne transmission was “plausible” as the virus can remain viable for several hours in the air.
...
“Airborne transmission has been my hunch for a while,” said Dr Bharat Pankhania, a senior clinical lecturer at the University of Exeter. “Droplet transmission is the general wisdom, but for such extensive transmission of infection to have occurred it’s incredibly like that there’s an additional mode of transmission too.”"
( Coronavirus could live in air for hours and on surfaces for days, study suggests .)
"Besides elaborating on the new changes in diagnostic criteria, Dr Wang said that the new clinical guidelines accepts that not only can the coronavirus be airborne but also that the virus can be transmitted if someone was exposed to high concentrations of aerosol in a relatively closed environment for a long time.

Dr Wang stressed that "The aerosol transmission happens conditionally." He stressed however that it is very important to know that aerosol transmission is not always possible.

The aerosol transmission refers to the mixing of the virus with droplets in the air to form aerosols, which can float for long distances and cause infection after inhalation.

This is an about turn when China had refuted this in the first week of February when a leading Shanghai virologists had announced that the coronavirus was airborne. He was also reprimanded by Chinese government authorities.

Many social media platforms and also governments have deemed anyone saying that the coronavirus is airborne is tantamounting to spreading fake news and misinformation.

However, on the 11th Of February, the WHO Director -general, Dr Tedros himself announced that the new coronavirus is airborne..."
( China Officially Announces That The Coronavirus Can Be Airborne And Can Be Conditionally Spread Via Aerosol Transmission. - Thailand Medical News .)
Also, if you read up on this, you can see that it can spread across the air by people who show no symptoms, including for example children who have no symptoms usually but can spread it. The normal face masks by the way will not stop that aerosol with the virus in it, its too small and will get through the fabric in the mask (except for special expensive ones that you cannot get now anyway).

So therefore the government's crackdown on indoor meetings of 100 people or more and outdoor meetings of 500 or more is probably a good idea for the few weeks before the 29th of March.

Public Transport must be included in lockdown
3. But, I don't understand why that crackdown does not extend to public transport? If you think of stagnant air where that aerosol could linger I respectfully submit that a Dublin Bus rush hour commute, and the other trains and buses, has got to be the real way that the virus will spread? The maximum capacity of those buses is about 125 (and in rush hour they routinely if anything exceed that) yet a simple meeting you cannot hold in Ireland, until the 29th of March, if there is more than 100 people? And look at the amount of air circulating in a bus like that for that number of people, its a vastly more likely way to transmit the virus than say a Church with its, sometimes, very high ceiling and dispersed people?

So I think that this crackdown looks like a waste of time if it doesn't include the mass public transport systems (I suppose private cars and taxis could spread it to some degree, but to a vast degree less than crowded buses and trains and indeed aeroplanes).

Such are my thoughts anyway on what looks like some genuinely difficult few weeks ahead of us in Ireland.
 
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Lumpy Talbot

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No
Some positive thoughts to add would be that Ireland has some advantages in its wild spring weather that would inibit the spread of the virus more than it would do in the Mediterranean or southern European region.

Ireland, outside of Dublin, is relatively sparsely populated in comparison to much of Europe with the possible exception of France. It is an island so shutting the schools and colleges is an inhibitor to the virus spreading successfully so it seems a sensible move. We're getting plenty of information from elsewhere on the best ways to fight the spread.

We actually have an underground social problem in the case of people getting on in years where their children have emigrated and who are self-isolated in a way by life. So there may not be as bad an effect on elderly Irish people as there may be in mainland Europe. An accident of circumstance, hopefully.
 

Marcos the black

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I was in SuperValu this morning and went to the ATM. A lad I was in school with came over for a chat. When I was finished he said "there's germs on that" pointing at the ATM... And took out hand sanitizer from his pocket and made me clean my hands... Bananas stuff...
 

Watcher2

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I was in SuperValu this morning and went to the ATM. A lad I was in school with came over for a chat. When I was finished he said "there's germs on that" pointing at the ATM... And took out hand sanitizer from his pocket and made me clean my hands... Bananas stuff...
He did the right thing. What was banans about it? It is well known (by some of us anyway) that the spread of the virus is carried by the hands in large part. It is possible that a person using the atm before you had the virus. Your attitude seems quite irresponsible.

Are you also arranging play dates for your kids if you have them?
 

shiel

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Merge with the other thread. No need for this thread.
Well not really.

It is an interesting and very serious issue.

The fact that the BBC cut an on the spot report from one of its reporters in Dublin in midstream is a symptom of the seriousness of the whole issue at the highest level.
 

tsarbomb

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Most of the cases are still coming from people who have been abroad recently. In that context, it's crazy not to close down all airports and ferry ports. I'd say that if we don't do that soon we'll be in Italy's shoes within two or three weeks.

On the other hand people are clearly overreacting in many cases.
 

Marcos the black

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He did the right thing. What was banans about it? It is well known (by some of us anyway) that the spread of the virus is carried by the hands in large part. It is possible that a person using the atm before you had the virus. Your attitude seems quite irresponsible.

Are you also arranging play dates for your kids if you have them?
I told them that they can have their mates over. Yes.
Every year, 464,000 people globally die from flu. 300-500 people in Ireland. And we don't shut up shop. People predicting that this will only peak in June. If that's the case we will be in lockdown until July. There won't be a business left in the country. Schools will be off until Sept.
 
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parentheses

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I told them that they can have their mates over. Yes.
Every year, 464,000 people globally die from flu. 300-500 people in Ireland. And we don't shut up shop. People predicting that this will only peak in June. If that's the case we will be in lockdown until July. There won't be a business left in the country. Schools will be off until Sept.
Vaccines are available for many flu strains. Covid is not a flu virus. It is at least 20 times more lethal than most flus and also more infectious. The fact it is not flu means developing an effective vaccine will be difficult.
 

Watcher2

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I told them that they can have their mates over. Yes.
Every year, 464,000 people globally die from flu. 300-500 people in Ireland. And we don't shut up shop. People predicting that this will only peak in June. If that's the case we will be in lockdown until July. There won't be a business left in the country. Schools will be off until Sept.
From where have you been taking your guidance, Trump?

But do tell, what was bananas about your mates hand sanitizer?

As for the play dates, this thing will continue longer than it should when you do not get in line with the social distancing. Do you think the schools were closed because kids and teachers need more holidays? Why on earth would you arrange play dates and have them mixing together? The schools were closed to prevent that kind of thing. But its ok, its just a flu.

:rolleyes: :(
 

scolairebocht

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Personally I think closing the schools but not closing the public transport system is perplexing to me. Many students are going to hop onto buses into town and so we could end up spreading it more than restricting it by that measure.

I agree too that I think they should have closed the airports, again its possibly not that people are getting the virus in Italy/Spain but rather that they are getting it on the plane on the way back, which is a great way to spread a virus.
 

Marcos the black

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From where have you been taking your guidance, Trump?

But do tell, what was bananas about your mates hand sanitizer?

As for the play dates, this thing will continue longer than it should when you do not get in line with the social distancing. Do you think the schools were closed because kids and teachers need more holidays? Why on earth would you arrange play dates and have them mixing together? The schools were closed to prevent that kind of thing. But its ok, its just a flu.

:rolleyes: :(
There's not going to be 500 over... Just 2 or 3 and they'll be outside in the garden. And they're not going to be licking each other either...
 

stopdoingstuff

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I was in SuperValu this morning and went to the ATM. A lad I was in school with came over for a chat. When I was finished he said "there's germs on that" pointing at the ATM... And took out hand sanitizer from his pocket and made me clean my hands... Bananas stuff...
Nope, you have a good friend.
 

Emily Davison

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I was in SuperValu this morning and went to the ATM. A lad I was in school with came over for a chat. When I was finished he said "there's germs on that" pointing at the ATM... And took out hand sanitizer from his pocket and made me clean my hands... Bananas stuff...
You’re wrong Marcos. It’s fine for you, it’s not you is the problem, it’s your parents and grandparents in a country without enough beds or equipment is the problem.
 

stopdoingstuff

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When I went to the supermarket earlier I made a mental note to take wipes for the trolly next time. And the scanner.
You see this is why you need a real man to go with you. I can do the whole shopping trip using only my lad but please don't tell the Pure in Heart people of any protective measures I may be using.
 


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