Coronavirus 2020


Half page ad dressed up as an article in the weekend indo


So the only person you know who has died without a pre-existing condition was 63 and living in Manhattan. That’s close enough to my age demographic to worry me (and I also live in an urban area) - I have absolutely no desire to die at 63 - I’d be looking for at least 20 years more. So it is ‘a big fucking deal’ to me.

You’re right to point out that there is no scientific evidence to back up what is being done. The studies you quote are summaries of years of research on one particular virus. We have months of data, and we have weeks of research on a new virus that may or may not behave like others in it’s family. There are enough differences (generally on the bad side) to suggest that it’s behaving differently. There’s enough there to convince me that discretion is the better part of valour - when you know nothing presume nothing. The empirical evidence is there in the form of an elevated death rate in a number of countries, and a decline in cases when lockdown type measures are put in place. Where these measures have not been taken (or taken too late or poorly implemented) health systems have broken down (Italy, Spain, Belgium, Brazil, New York) and been unable to cope. This is what the lockdown is trying to avoid, and quite simply this is about politics - politicians need to hide the fact they have underinvested in their health systems, ignored a decade of pandemic warnings and scrapped disaster planning mechanisms put in place for just such an eventuality. And as per my first paragraph I think a cautious approach is merited.

If anything the papers you cite show that social distancing is undercooked and that standing in a queue in a shopping centre for an hour waiting to get into a supermarket is probably the worst possible thing to do. So I’m not sure how they help your argument - any two of these papers would have sufficed - your approach reminded me of the legal counsel that rolls a trolley of folders in to the court.

You spend a lot of time on R0 - I’m sure you realise that R0 is a point-in-time measure that changes over time, but you choose to ignore that. It can only be assessed in a controlled regime where contact tracing is well implemented - that is only just starting to happen in Ireland. If it is declining it is doing so because of the measures put in place - it’s rather like saying that the Y2K work was a waste of time because nothing broke on 1/1/2000. If the base R0 had not been reduced by the measures taken then we would have had thousands rather than hundreds of cases.

Base R0 is not easily calculable except in retrospect, and assuming that you have accurate tracing data. What happened in Bergamo and New York suggests that given the opportunity this virus will rage through a susceptible population - and that susceptibility is not just about age or pre-existing conditions - it also appears to be about living conditions and race. I don’t know what your estimate of base R0 is but I have seen estimates as low as 1.6 and as high as five or six. But given a contagion interval of 48 hrs an eight week period at 1.6 would yield half a million cases from a single initial case. For comparison Italy had 156k cases after 8 weeks, Spain 166k, Ireland 19k

You also seem to quibble about whether people are actually dying of Covid - so what are they dying of? We certainly can see elevated death rates.

Quoting scientific literature is not a political act but the interpretation placed on it can be. It’s a scientific fact that bleach will kill coronavirus but drinking it is not a good idea.


I do not know what is worse, paying to have that published or paying to read it. :icon_neutral:


When you argue from anecdote, I guess that’s the way it goes I suppose but I like this unearthed tangent, and I wonder how others feel;

Thinking about this more - I can safely say I have never gotten sick mildly, midly or severely from going to the shops.

I can say I have my own anecdotal suspicions that I and what I know of others have gotten ill of one variety or another throughout life, after being in a restaurant, on a bus, bodily contact, flying or close familia quarters.

One sure vector channel, that has been a bone of contention over the years are short flying family visits, often leaving behind a trail of disease, and those visitors equally oblivious to the fact after they have flown, that others are left behind with a bad dose. This pattern became so predictable and anticipated, that avoidance or reduced contact in some instances was observed over the years.

You might include schools and maybe college in that list, but that is too far back to remember exactly and you are going to pick up your run of bugs been kept in close quarters without question, the mechanism here are not hard to understand. It is a socially accepted and embedded risk, i.e. fact of life as such and also partners as a rule generally keep their children off school when sick and that seems to work fine.

In summary. I have no anecdotal evidence within my own sphere of experience of ever coming down with something after popping out for a quick shop, or food shopping. Zero.

On my own personal list of exposure hot spots - Air Travel #1


Packed pubs, 3 deep at the bar
Meat packing plants - loud environment requires speaking loudly to one another
Nursing homes - old people hate drafts and sit in the same room for hours together - “Shut that window…”
Busses / subways
Queuing to board a Ryanair flight for 90 minutes in a cramped terminal hallway

Actual aircraft - thought I read most modern planes had advanced air filtration?


I think the problem with aircraft cabins is that the air is extracted in only a few places, so someone in seat 7C for example has the air from rows 1-7 passing then before being extracted into the filtration system.

Same is true of all public spaces, you would need personal air supplies to avoid this situation.


Or a ‘real’ N95 mask that seals against the skin at the edges and not a surgical mask which is really just a spatterguard


churches, conference rooms, elevators, large office buildings with aircon, cruise ships, hospitals, office bathrooms, choirs…


exposure time in elevators, office bathrooms might be too short if @jmc is correct about actual exhaled air as oppsoed to flugge drops. Open wards in hospitals are the worst I think, full of already sick susceptible people.

Is UV treatment of air in an A/C unit a thing? Seems it is:


A virus ripped through Europe, there can be no doubt from the graph. Something much more deadly than flu hit us and killed a lot more people than seasonal flu even though the whole continent was on lockdown for nearly 2 months. We do appear to be over the first wave. There will be no vaccine this year or next or indeed the year after that. The Irish deputy CMO was on the radio 1 this morning saying the quickest turn around for a vaccine was for Ebola which took 5 years, there is still no Hep C vaccine 23 years after one for A & B.

There are a number of questions that need to be answered before the next wave.
If you catch it, what level of immunity does it afford you if any? Newspapers were saying that SK found that people who tested positive a second time were probably because of faulty testing, they then extrapolated it to mean they had immunity. The South Koreans didn’t say that.
How is it transmitted? Fomites, contact, airborne or all of them?
Is it Seasonal like other Coronaviruses?
Where are we with getting a better test? The present testing method seems unwieldy and inaccurate as it depends on a lot of things being done correctly. An anti-gen test is what we need.
What are the plans for the 2nd wave in September?
What are the plans for the next 5 years if there is no immunity and no vaccine. It will come every spring and autumn and kill a lot of older and vulnerable people and could considerably lower the life expectancy of the country. We can’t lock the country down for 5 years.


Eliminate it, best option. Daily Cases down around the hundred mark. It can be done.

Going by Australian stats which should be good now, about 1 in 70 die. Multiply the Irish deaths by 70. Thats how many were infected. Lockdown certainly stopped it spreading more widely. Just go another month and close borders at least introduce forced quarantine.

It’s simple, do what Australia and New Zealand did and you’ll get their results.


I meant queuing for a supermarket in an enclosed shopping centre as needing a different distancing measure to walking (or even queuing) out in the street i.e. ‘2 metres fits all’ doesn’t seem right if the influenza survival/ transmission distance figures are equivalent to those of coronavirus.

Obviously there are many more hotspots - my favourite is travelling by air with a hangover in winter - I always get something when I do that.

Apparently aircraft themselves are now much better so it’s only really people immediately around or across the aisle that will be infected by someone in an aisle seat. Of course if you go to the toilet all bets are off.

Those snaking queues at security seem designed to ensure that you spend the maximum amount of time surrounded by the maximum number of people


It goes without saying, but much of our way of life has been “designed” to ensure maximum efficiency at the lowest costs in everything we do, so those security queues were well designed to get the maximum number of people into a line without having more staff and a larger building to handle the volume. This is true of the entire public transport system.


Funnily enough the queues to enter countered many the major supermarkets for shoppers are now held in the long empty pavilions of the cathedral-like edifices formerly known as shopping centres or Malls in the US, where the cubic air capacity surrounding everyone is off the scale.


Without closing all internal and external EU borders? Even if you did that, then what? test at the borders forever?

Also, I don’t understand why 70x number of fatalities gives you the number of infections including asymptomatic. If Australian data says 1:70 die then that number is surely derived from the number of known infections, which would include some asymptomatic cases because of contact tracing but loads more would not be included simply because they are asymptomatic. Take testing criteria in Ireland as an example, my wife had it - three doctors told her it sounds like it including her GP who wouldn’t put her forward for a test because she didn’t have a temperature, she had most other symptoms. We can’t manage what we can’t measure.

A vaccine might never emerge, if one does it might not be very good, the anti-vaxxers might gain a lot of headspace if there are side effects. Planning on the basis of “Until we get a vaccine” will ruin all of us. A theraputic and or a quick antibody test is the only quick way out of this apart from herd immunity.


The internal and external borders are solvable except for the NI border. There is no way to close it. EU citizens can fly in IF they undergo 14 day quarantine. Ferries and long haul drivers are probably more of a concern.


In the US yes - great airy halls - but here not so - try Tesco at Nutgrove. Dundrum isn’t much better. I’m trying to think of one that is - possibly Jervis?


Why stop now when it’s clearly on such a downward trajectory?

Australia has some of the best data because it caught alot of asymptomatic cases through the forced quarantine.

The thinking seems to be that everyone else will have it so we must too. Yet nobody has a clue about what this does to you long term. as it is whether the lockdown was justified or not we’re too close to beating it to stop


I thought Dundrum was a high vaulted affair and Jervis too, you go into these places and nothing else is really open, so the standing is mainly done in empty shopping centres, the queue weaving it’s way around entire floor perimeters even at the busiest periods and yet still a virtually empty humongous srusture - there is also Swords Pavilions, Blanchardstown Centre and Liffey Valley (there are others too) to name but a few, these are very airy structures, some allow lots of light in (not sure if there the UV filtering in the glazing in place) and these huge shopping centres service big catchment areas, when you only have the anchor supermarkets, health stores and a few chemists open, again, it is virtually empty.

Local shops are providing useful too, short or no queues, in and out quick. Mostly standing outside in such instances and so far the weather has been the regimes uncanny friend in this respect. The shops also make a spatial mockery of “social distancing” conditioning.

One other thing related to shit are the retail staff in the supermarkets, where you still see the same faces, and these people are working longer shifts in the shop compared to your average shoppers time spent in store, no one appears to be getting sick - I know, this is the worst kind of anecdotally crude survey but I am almost sure another characteristic is less staff are wearing masks or even bothering at all anymore with mask and gloves, because I am almost sure it was more common a few weeks ago or at the start, especially before it was made a more recent media subject these last few weeks.

Maybe they are happy with the acrylic (plexiglass) sheets erected at the checkouts and the odd squib of hand sanitiser, and maybe they are doing shorter shifts with more positional rotating.

What I am thoroughly enjoying more and more is the sight of more wind strewn or discarded face masks along walking paths, heart warming stuff. I have not seen one caught and flapping in a gentle summer breeze on tree or roadside bush, like some metaphorical flag of the stubble, or even patriotically wrapped around some fouls neck or web feet, but I look forward to my first encounter though I won’t be doing a Tom Hanks on it.


Could be taking about Ireland. The issues and consequences are universal.