Northern Ireland and Coronavirus

raetsel

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It’s now a calendar month since the first case was reported here, and eight days since the first fatality. Yet in that time no thread dedicated to the subject has been created until this one. Considering that this is easily going to be the most life-transforming world-wide event of our lifetimes, that is truly remarkable. It is all the more remarkable because cracks are beginning to appear between the two main parties in their approach to containment, and yet no discussion has yet commenced about that.
The DUP are rigidly (slavishly?) following the UK’s exceptionalist policy line, while Sinn Fein want an all-island approach. Differences have already arisen over school closures and most recently, business restrictions, specifically whether a carpet manufacturer should close, as recently as yesterday. To their credit both party leaders have resisted the temptation to allow it to develop into open warfare, which is a pleasant change, but undoubtedly the issue is beginning to divide the community.
At grassroots level, anecdotally, I have even heard of a case of a quasi-sectarian row breaking out among staff of a mixed school over the closing of schools in the Republic, which was triggered by a unionist-background staff teacher calling the southern government “stupid”.
So it seems that even when we are locked in our homes in mortal fear of an invisible enemy, some of our people still think the biggest threat we face comes from our neighbours.
I take the view in the long run, the DUP’s approach to this will further damage them. I say that for the simple reason that they will be shown to have been slower to react to this than SF, and that the insistence on following the UK line will be seen as pig-headed and idiotic in retrospect, particularly after Downing Street’s humiliating u-turn on the bafflingly stupid “herd immunity” approach. Meanwhile in the Republic, the government have been following WHO guidelines as closely as resources will allow, particularly in the areas of testing and contact tracing. This is borne out by the strikingly different “deaths to confirmed cases” ratio now emerging in each jurisdiction. As of yesterday NI had 13 deaths and 275 confirmed cases. The respective figures for the RoI were 22 and 2,121. Although to be fair, I'm not sure how much the lack of testing in the north is as a result of a lack of resources, as opposed to policy driven.
In short, it comes down to a test between the efficacy of the WHO's recommendations and UK government policy. One thing is sure, this pandemic, and the political decisions taken to combat it will still be argued about by historians everywhere in a century's time. So decisions being taken now in NI will have a profound influence on our local debate in the crucial coming decades.
 
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D

Deleted member 57056

There is no debate.
The Westminster Government are paying the bills therefore we follow there directives.
NI is now much more rigidly locked down than the Republic and the die has been cast for good or ill.
Given the new laws in NI the border is effectively closed. It’s for the people of NI to sort this out for ourselves from here on in.
The time for political axe grinding is not now,it will be ignored anyway.
 

raetsel

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There is no debate.
No debate? Tell that to Michelle O'Neill, who is without any doubt privately arguing with Arlene Foster about it. There is a debate among my friends and I think we are not untypical.
Ironically this hiatus gives people a lot more time to discuss things over the phone with their friends than any other time in modern history. Of course there is a debate, and because of our dysfunctional schizophrenic society, it is emerging along the usual battlelines. Sticking your head in the sand and pretending that there isn't one is rather typical of the "unionist malaise", quite frankly.
Banning a legitimate NICRA march in Derry, and telling the RUC to crack the skulls of those who participated was Bill Craig's way of saying "there is no debate". Guess how that worked out?
The Westminster Government are paying the bills therefore we follow there directives.
NI is now much more rigidly locked down than the Republic and the die has been cast for good or ill.
We do not have to follow their directives on this. The NI Executive had sufficient autonomy to close schools earlier had the DUP minister decided to.
Given the new laws in NI the border is effectively closed. It’s for the people of NI to sort this out for ourselves from here on in.
Not really relevant here, but Jesus, you are now engaging in the ultimate wet dream fantasy.
And of course, it is utter nonsense to claim it. We are all effectively in lockdown except for legitimate reasons. Thousands of people cross the border every day in both directions for work in normal times and some of them work in essential services. I haven't seen any reports about checks on the border. Thankfully the people who make decisions have better things to do than to indulge your fantasies.

The time for political axe grinding is not now,it will be ignored anyway.
Time will tell. :)
 

raetsel

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To add to the above, the idea that there could be no debate about this when the "deaths to confirmed cases" ratios in each jurisdiction are so startlingly different, and in itself calls for one.
For the record that stands one death for every 21 deaths in the north as opposed to one in ninety six in the south. What does that tell you?
Lives are saved by having debates, not suppressing them, as was so obvious from the early suppression of truth in China about this disease.
 

between the bridges

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Shin Flake have behaved appallingly during coronavirus...
 

blinding

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The Orange Order are stuck in their Orange Groves !

So thank God for Small Mercys!
 
D

Deleted member 57056

Michelle O’Neill and SF have rowed in behind the new powers Stormont have decided to implement based on those from Westminster.
The schools argument is done and dusted.
Essential workers can obviously travel North and South but you can’t head up from Dublin to shop in Newry or come from Donegal to visit your Granny in Omagh. Exactly the same as coming from Dungannon to Belfast to shop or going from Armagh to Omagh to see Granny.
As I said the medical policy is done and dusted if they decide to test more they will do that if not they won’t.
There will not be a republican agenda attached to this whatever you and your mates talk about on the phone.
It is time for republicans to finally do their best for all the people in NI and forget about their pipe dreams for the duration.
 

Dame_Enda

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Is NI pursuing contact-tracing, or are they in lockstop with the anti-contact-tracing policy as expressed by Sir Patrick Vallance on 27th March?
 

raetsel

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Is NI pursuing contact-tracing, or are they in lockstop with the anti-contact-tracing policy as expressed by Sir Patrick Vallance on 27th March?
Things are happening so quickly that I cannot answer definitely but to the best of my knowledge they are still not even bothering their arses to test everyone with symptoms. Last I heard about that aspect was a week ago, when a sixty year old woman who's a colleague of someone I know phoned 111 reporting symptoms. She was told simply to self isolate for a fortnight and because she was not over 70 or categorised as "vulnerable" that she wouldn't be tested.
As I say this is reflected in the huge disparity between the "deaths to confirmed cases" north and south.
As a policy it is utter madness not to test as many as possible, because we all know that it is obvious that many infected people will not heed the self-isolation advice, particularly if they are only slightly ill.
 

petaljam

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Things are happening so quickly that I cannot answer definitely but to the best of my knowledge they are still not even bothering their arses to test everyone with symptoms. Last I heard about that aspect was a week ago, when a sixty year old woman who's a colleague of someone I know phoned 111 reporting symptoms. She was told simply to self isolate for a fortnight and because she was not over 70 or categorised as "vulnerable" that she wouldn't be tested.
As I say this is reflected in the huge disparity between the "deaths to confirmed cases" north and south.
As a policy it is utter madness not to test as many as possible, because we all know that it is obvious that many infected people will not heed the self-isolation advice, particularly if they are only slightly ill.
Yep, same thing in my extended family last week - a child with fever, cough and shortness of breath, they were told no tests unless he required hospitalisation. The result is both parents don't know whether they are potentially infectious or not. One works in healthcare, so is off work at the moment. What could possibly be wrong with such a strategy.
 

blinding

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Things are happening so quickly that I cannot answer definitely but to the best of my knowledge they are still not even bothering their arses to test everyone with symptoms. Last I heard about that aspect was a week ago, when a sixty year old woman who's a colleague of someone I know phoned 111 reporting symptoms. She was told simply to self isolate for a fortnight and because she was not over 70 or categorised as "vulnerable" that she wouldn't be tested.
As I say this is reflected in the huge disparity between the "deaths to confirmed cases" north and south.
As a policy it is utter madness not to test as many as possible, because we all know that it is obvious that many infected people will not heed the self-isolation advice, particularly if they are only slightly ill.
If there are not enough tests for Health Workers on the frontline then surely this is the best policy.

If a person gets worse then they would need more interaction with their General Practitioner or the Health Service to work out what further action to take.
 

Dame_Enda

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Things are happening so quickly that I cannot answer definitely but to the best of my knowledge they are still not even bothering their arses to test everyone with symptoms. Last I heard about that aspect was a week ago, when a sixty year old woman who's a colleague of someone I know phoned 111 reporting symptoms. She was told simply to self isolate for a fortnight and because she was not over 70 or categorised as "vulnerable" that she wouldn't be tested.
As I say this is reflected in the huge disparity between the "deaths to confirmed cases" north and south.
As a policy it is utter madness not to test as many as possible, because we all know that it is obvious that many infected people will not heed the self-isolation advice, particularly if they are only slightly ill.
And is it any different to the criteria for tests in the South?

Update. Apparently 742 tests in NI since yesterday. 11.5% positive.

 

raetsel

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Michelle O’Neill and SF have rowed in behind the new powers Stormont have decided to implement based on those from Westminster.
The schools argument is done and dusted.
Essential workers can obviously travel North and South but you can’t head up from Dublin to shop in Newry or come from Donegal to visit your Granny in Omagh. Exactly the same as coming from Dungannon to Belfast to shop or going from Armagh to Omagh to see Granny.
As I said the medical policy is done and dusted if they decide to test more they will do that if not they won’t.
There will not be a republican agenda attached to this whatever you and your mates talk about on the phone.
It is time for republicans to finally do their best for all the people in NI and forget about their pipe dreams for the duration.
So the border isn't closed then? Phew! :)
We will do our best for all Irish people, north and south.

Meanwhile just because there is a crisis we will not remain silent about the hopeless management of it currently coming from the DUP. Slavishly copying the hopelessly stupid policies coming out of Westminster is causing needless deaths, and whether you like it or not, more and more people will see it for what is - the same sort of crass, right-wing and insular exceptionalism which led to Brexit.
Your belief that you are inherently superior to everyone else is still proving to undermine you after all these years. And because you will never learn we will have to teach you.
 
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petaljam

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If there are not enough tests for Health Workers on the frontline then surely this is the best policy.

If a person gets worse then they would need more interaction with their General Practitioner or the Health Service to work out what further action to take.
TBH that's a bit like saying that if there aren't enough ventilators then leaving the over 60s to die is the best policy. It's not because it's not a policy at all, it's a sign the system is not coping. Different thing.

If there aren't enough tests for health workers - it seems there aren't - then the policy should be to make sure there are enough. And IMO testing everyone else with symptoms needs to be a close second to that, as the example I posted about indicates. People on the front line are in contact with others who aren't. Testing needs to be ramped up, for far more than just front line workers.
 

raetsel

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And is it any different to the criteria for tests in the South?

Update. Apparently 742 tests in NI since yesterday. 11.5% positive.

Yes, it most definitely is. My niece, who lives in Dublin, and is currently self isolating, has been feeling slightly unwell for about a fortnight with symptoms. She was tested the other day. As of yesterday she had not had the results.
 

blinding

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TBH that's a bit like saying that if there aren't enough ventilators then leaving the over 60s to die is the best policy. It's not because it's not a policy at all, it's a sign the system is not coping. Different thing.

If there aren't enough tests for health workers - it seems there aren't - then the policy should be to make sure there are enough. And IMO testing everyone else with symptoms needs to be a close second to that, as the example I posted about indicates. People on the front line are in contact with others who aren't. Testing needs to be ramped up, for far more than just front line workers.
Just magic up more tests with a click of your fingers then !

If there was enough tests then of course everyone one would be tested, but there isn’t.

And tests have to be accurate and reliable.
 
D

Deleted member 57056

So the border isn't closed then? Phew! :)
We will do our best for all Irish people, north and south.

Meanwhile just because there is a crisis we will not remain silent about the hopeless management of it currently coming from the DUP. Slavishly copying the hopelessly stupid policies coming out of Westminster is causing needless deaths, and whether you like it or not, more and more people will see it for what is - the same sort of crass, right-wing and insular exceptionalism which led to Brexit.
Your belief that you are inherently superior to everyone else is still proving to undermine you after all these years. And because you will never learn we will have to teach you.
Who is this “we” you refer to?
What are the South doing currently which the UK is not doing?

What are SF advocating ( they’ve disappeared completely of course),that they disagree with the DUP on?

What are the South doing for their fellow “citizens” in NI?

I keep hearing that they are the largest producer of ventilators in the World, but I haven’t heard of any being sent to NI.

If you get this virus you will be expecting the NHS to help you, not the HSE.

If you are in receipt of government funds, they will be coming from Westminster, not Dublin.

Stop living a fantasy and move into reality.
 

petaljam

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Just magic up more tests with a click of your fingers then !

If there was enough tests then of course everyone one would be tested, but there isn’t.

And tests have to be accurate and reliable.
Isn't that the point about having had a month to prepare? South Korea and the USA both had their first confirmed case the same day - one had prepared, the other blustered about how prepared they were.

Europe is somewhere in between - and NI seems to be less well prepared in terms of testing kits (despite having Randox there) than the RoI.

I'm all for supporting a government as far as possible in the crisis - but that has to include pointing out where they are clearly following the wrong strategy.

Some countries have used widespread testing, therefore it can be done. And crucially, it's been part of the strategy adopted by all those countries which seem to be having some success. Therefore it should be adopted in Ireland (north and south) too.
 
D

Deleted member 57056

Isn't that the point about having had a month to prepare? South Korea and the USA both had their first confirmed case the same day - one had prepared, the other blustered about how prepared they were.

Europe is somewhere in between - and NI seems to be less well prepared in terms of kits (despite having Randox there) than the RoI.

I'm all for supporting a government as far as possible in the crisis - but that has to include pointing out where they are clearly following the wrong strategy.
Where did the south’s tests come from?

Is it possible they are part of the faulty Chinese batch?
 


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