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What is our plan?

  • 06-08-2020 2:48pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 4,343 ✭✭✭ jacdaniel2014


    Back in March/April, things were clear. We needed to flatten the curve, avoid hospitals getting overwhelmed, get our testing and tracing up to speed and get the R below 1. Once that was achieved, we needed a reopening plan that would allow us to live with the virus.

    The reopening plan was ridiculously long but at least we had some dates to mark off in our calendars. Unfortunately, as soon cases increased the slightest bit, we sh*t the bed and delayed stage 4. Now with 1 or 2 decent sized clusters, we are sh*tting the bed even more, implementing curfews on restaurants, pubs etc

    Unfortunately, I have very little confidence that we are going to get the schools right. The plan lacked any real substance. If one or two cases appear in schools, I think all schools will close again. That's if parents even send their kids back at all.

    In Ireland, we don't appear to be aiming for Covid zero. We also don't appear to be making much effort to live with the virus. We are just sort of floating along in limbo at the moment. Borrow billions and kick the can further and further down the road. Might not be the worst plan in the world if a vaccine arrives any minute now, but how likely is that?

    Since the change in government, things have actually gotten worse. MM doesn't seem to have a notion what to do and Leo is obviously happy enough that that is coming across.

    So what is our plan? Do you think we have one?
    What will burn out first, the virus or our money?
    How long do you think do you think we can carry on the way we are currently?
    How likely is it that we'll get a vaccine?
    How long can they keep the public onside?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,333 ✭✭✭✭ seamus


    What was criticised as a ridiculously long and needlessly restrictive reopening plan, now seems to have been our saving grace. While other countries that opened faster than we did are seeing a resurgence, we're not. Not in the same way anyway.

    Our plan is the same as it has been all the way through - get a grip on the virus, and then slowly reopen while monitoring the cases to ensure we keep a grip on it. Long-term we want everything reopened while also keeping a lid on virus numbers. Positive news notwithstanding, we cannot keep everything shut down and wait for a vaccine that may not arrive until next Autumn, but we also can't throw caution to the wind and let everyone fend for themselves.

    Saying we "**** the bed" when we saw an increase in virus numbers shows complete ignorance for the entire point of restrictions. It's a pandemic. Once numbers start rising in any statisically significant way, you need to get on top of it or it runs away from you very quickly. Say, "Ah it'll be grand" and bull on with opening pubs and before you know it, it's mid-September and we're registering 200 new cases a day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,737 ✭✭✭ touts


    Plan is reopen the economy and hope for the best. Unfortunately it has to be done. The economy can't continue half open. Schools reopening is key as that allows parents to go back to work. If there is a rise in cases there is a rise in cases. It's probably seen as the lesser of two evils now. Couple of symbolic things (e.g. leave the wet pubs closed a few weeks longer) will be done to make it seem like the lockdown is still a possibility but in reality the economy now takes priority


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,343 ✭✭✭ jacdaniel2014


    seamus wrote: »
    What was criticised as a ridiculously long and needlessly restrictive reopening plan, now seems to have been our saving grace. While other countries that opened faster than we did are seeing a resurgence, we're not. Not in the same way anyway.

    Our plan is the same as it has been all the way through - get a grip on the virus, and then slowly reopen while monitoring the cases to ensure we keep a grip on it. Long-term we want everything reopened while also keeping a lid on virus numbers. Positive news notwithstanding, we cannot keep everything shut down and wait for a vaccine that may not arrive until next Autumn, but we also can't throw caution to the wind and let everyone fend for themselves.

    Saying we "**** the bed" when we saw an increase in virus numbers shows complete ignorance for the entire point of restrictions. It's a pandemic. Once numbers start rising in any statisically significant way, you need to get on top of it or it runs away from you very quickly. Say, "Ah it'll be grand" and bull on with opening pubs and before you know it, it's mid-September and we're registering 200 new cases a day.

    I think everybody is in agreement on the bolded part.

    But without a vaccine, how can we ever get to a point were there are no increases in cases?

    Flights are still coming in from USA and other hotspot countries. Solve one cluster and another can easily pop up 2 weeks later. Rinse and repeat.

    At some point, we will have to accept it or change something to prevent it.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 11,205 Mod ✭✭✭✭ hmmm


    The 1918 pandemic lasted three years. The world survived, and forgot about it shortly afterwards - if anything the "roaring twenties" made up for it.

    We're about 6 months into this pandemic. We don't have a "plan", we're doing the best we can as a country to keep the virus numbers down while keeping as much of the economy going as we can, and the "plan" will change as the circumstances change. If we get a vaccine shortly that'll be great news, and we can start to plan for a recovery.

    I'm not sure however whether the country can put up with three more years of the moaning coming from some elements of society who seem unable to grasp the reality of the situation we are in.


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,333 ✭✭✭✭ seamus


    But without a vaccine, how can we ever get to a point were there are no increases in cases?
    No new cases, or no growth in new cases?

    Because the former is not a possibility for a our country. The latter is achieved through slow and careful reopening of the economy on a needs basis, and an aggressive testing and tracing regime.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,343 ✭✭✭ jacdaniel2014


    hmmm wrote: »
    The 1918 pandemic lasted three years. The world survived, and forgot about it shortly afterwards - if anything the "roaring twenties" made up for it.

    We're about 6 months into this pandemic. We don't have a "plan", we're doing the best we can as a country to keep the virus numbers down while keeping as much of the economy going as we can, and the "plan" will change as the circumstances change. If we get a vaccine shortly that'll be great news, and we can start to plan for a recovery.

    I'm not sure however whether the country can put up with three more years of the moaning coming from some elements of society who seem unable to grasp the reality of the situation we are in.

    How long can our money last though? Bearing in mind we are billions in deficit each month.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,508 ✭✭✭✭ Dempo1


    The plan was to reopen the economy but this new government just seem all over the place. This said, there's some worrying trends.

    Sky news reporting Northern Ireland R rate has jumped to 1.8

    We had 50 new cases yesterday, Aberdeen was locked down completely with 54 cases (no I'm not suggesting we do)

    Now HSE just reporting jump in the numbers in ICU

    Notwithstanding the increase in cases generally , thankfully few deaths.

    So, just not sure and to be honest I think the damage has already been done, retail and restaurants reporting low footfall, I just think 2020 is list, god knows what 2021 will hold.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.




  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 11,205 Mod ✭✭✭✭ hmmm


    How long can our money last though? Bearing in mind we are billions in deficit each month.
    We'll know if we have good vaccines by the end of this year, and hopefully by end of October. If that's the case I expect governments to borrow heavily to see us through to herd immunity sometime in 2021.

    If the vaccines don't work, we'll have to go to a plan B.

    So far the indications are good that we will have a vaccine, but even with the best efforts to manufacture it we are looking at well into 2021 before we start to return to normal (and a lot depends on how well the vaccine works, and how many people take it).


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,582 ✭✭✭✭ murpho999


    I don't get this idea of constantly putting down Ireland's actions or planning.

    The truth is that this crisis is developing and changing all the time and therefore you cannot just simply draw up a plan and stick to it rigidly.

    Blaming politicians for everything is unfair. They're not experienced in this and are following medical advice. I think it's fair to say they got some things wrong but have gotten most things right.

    When you look at the political decisions of the US leading to more deaths and Trump arguing that they're doing better than anybody and also compare it to the apathy and arrogance of the British government in early March then you can see how governments have gotten things wrong.

    Before the new government people were saying Harris & Varadkar hadn't a clue what they were doing and making it up as they go along (which is exactly what they were doing as they reacted to numbers and events) and now a few weeks into a new government that has had non-Covid related difficulties, it's being said that Martin hasn't a clue what he's at despite the government pretty much doing the same thing as the previous government.

    It's seen the increase in numbers in other countries and in Ireland and therefore decided to push back Phase IV.

    Other countries have opened schools, restaurants , bars etc ahead of us without restrictions and are seeing spikes in cases and reintroducing restrictions.

    Schools are a tough one. Evidence suggests that primary schools should not be an issue as it appears not to affect young children. However, teenagers in senior schools and adults in colleges are another issue altogether.
    They have said that schools will open and we should work to that and see what plans are drawn up at opening day.

    I just think the government should be given some slack and accept that their decisions are hugely affected by medical advice and also evidence in numbers of infections and deaths so I don't think it's right to demand a rigid plan as it's most likely not going to work.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,582 ✭✭✭✭ murpho999


    Dempo1 wrote: »
    The plan was to reopen the economy but this new government just seem all over the place. This said, there's some worrying trends.

    Sky news reporting Northern Ireland R rate has jumped to 1.8

    We had 50 new cases yesterday, Aberdeen was locked down completely with 54 cases (no I'm not suggesting we do)

    Now HSE just reporting jump in the numbers in ICU

    Notwithstanding the increase in cases generally , thankfully few deaths.

    So, just not sure and to be honest I think the damage has already been done, retail and restaurants reporting low footfall, I just think 2020 is list, god knows what 2021 will hold.

    How is the government all over the place? What have they done for you to say that?

    The economy is re-opened as planned but Phase IV that put back which keeps pubs closed but pubs are not the whole economy.

    Shops and businesses are open.

    Restrictions such as social distancing, mask wearing etc are going to remain in place until either the virus dies out or a vaccine is found and implemented.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 281 ✭✭ markjbloggs


    Back in March/April, things were clear. We needed to flatten the curve, avoid hospitals getting overwhelmed, get our testing and tracing up to speed and get the R below 1. Once that was achieved, we needed a reopening plan that would allow us to live with the virus.

    The reopening plan was ridiculously long but at least we had some dates to mark off in our calendars. Unfortunately, as soon cases increased the slightest bit, we sh*t the bed and delayed stage 4. Now with 1 or 2 decent sized clusters, we are sh*tting the bed even more, implementing curfews on restaurants, pubs etc

    Unfortunately, I have very little confidence that we are going to get the schools right. The plan lacked any real substance. If one or two cases appear in schools, I think all schools will close again. That's if parents even send their kids back at all.

    In Ireland, we don't appear to be aiming for Covid zero. We also don't appear to be making much effort to live with the virus. We are just sort of floating along in limbo at the moment. Borrow billions and kick the can further and further down the road. Might not be the worst plan in the world if a vaccine arrives any minute now, but how likely is that?

    Since the change in government, things have actually gotten worse. MM doesn't seem to have a notion what to do and Leo is obviously happy enough that that is coming across.

    So what is our plan? Do you think we have one?
    What will burn out first, the virus or our money?
    How long do you think do you think we can carry on the way we are currently?
    How likely is it that we'll get a vaccine?
    How long can they keep the public onside?

    It stands to reason that the premise for the initial lockdown was a lie - something to make the bitter pill more palatable to the public. Bear in mind that these decisions are all being made by people in 100% secure employment, with little or no effect to their future living standards.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,093 i_surge


    How long can our money last though? Bearing in mind we are billions in deficit each month.

    You can't approach a complex problem from just one angle.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,948 ✭✭✭ Allinall


    It stands to reason that the premise for the initial lockdown was a lie - something to make the bitter pill more palatable to the public. Bear in mind that these decisions are all being made by people in 100% secure employment, with little or no effect to their future living standards.

    That’s a lame and tired argument.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,582 ✭✭✭✭ murpho999


    It stands to reason that the premise for the initial lockdown was a lie - something to make the bitter pill more palatable to the public. Bear in mind that these decisions are all being made by people in 100% secure employment, with little or no effect to their future living standards.

    What sort of argument is that? Of course they're in employment.

    I'll indulge you by asking what lies were there? But no doubt you'll come up some weird answer, probably edging into conspiracy theory territory.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 336 ✭✭ Carter Fit Trance


    It stands to reason that the premise for the initial lockdown was a lie - something to make the bitter pill more palatable to the public. Bear in mind that these decisions are all being made by people in 100% secure employment, with little or no effect to their future living standards.

    I do believe the initial lock down was taken with the best of intentions since nobody knew how bad it would or wouldn't be.
    The problem then is to roll back you are open to the accusation that you don't care about people dying. Who would want that as their legacy?

    Public opinion supported this lock down initially because of fear. Also large sections of the workforce were paid the same or even more to stay at home and do very little or nothing. Other sections of the population have secure income either directly from the government or through their pensions and are not in the slightest afraid of losing this.
    Then there are the genuinely fearful for their health, portion of the population.
    The young are ignoring the whole thing.

    Leaving, only those who are afraid of losing their jobs or businesses.

    So what plan gets you out of this?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,093 i_surge



    So what plan gets you out of this?

    Have the balls to go hard on all out eradication.

    Anything else is a long slow and painful path.

    Suck it up and get it done.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 17,827 Mod ✭✭✭✭ peasant


    I would say the plan is to continue to shimmy between the rock and the hard place without getting too close to either for as long as possible.

    Not a plan you say?

    No, it isn't. Simply because you can't put timelines and lovely predictive graphs on an ever changing situation.

    The one thing that could and should be improved however is the regionalisation of the "plan". Don't know however if we have the manpower and means to implement taylor-made measures on a regional level or if we are forced to stick with the one size fits all approach that leads to all these arbitrary red lines that make the whole approach look so ridiculous sometimes.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 336 ✭✭ Carter Fit Trance


    i_surge wrote: »
    Have the balls to go hard on all out eradication.

    Anything else is a long slow and painful path.

    Suck it up and get it done.

    Ok and then shut the border? Anybody arriving into Ireland is locked down in a hotel for two weeks? The truckers, the pilots and the sailors. No tourists, no foreign travel and no Australian security.
    Everybody who interacts with these people only does so in a hazmat suit.

    We ask the DUP to do the same with travel from NI to Britain. They won't mind that for health reasons.

    If they say no, we just lock the six counties down like the British army did during the troubles.

    Sounds like a plan alright!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,093 i_surge


    Ok and then shut the border? Anybody arriving into Ireland is locked down in a hotel for two weeks? The truckers, the pilots and the sailors. No tourists, no foreign travel and no Australian security.
    Everybody who interacts with these people only does so in a hazmat suit.

    We ask the DUP to do the same with travel from NI to Britain. They won't mind that for health reasons.

    If they say no, we just lock the six counties down like the British army did during the troubles.

    Sounds like a plan alright!

    Why not?

    Have you and others not talked endlessly about the grave risks to the economy and mental health. Do we not want to get back to normal?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 336 ✭✭ Carter Fit Trance


    i_surge wrote: »
    Why not?

    Have you and others not talked endlessly about the grave risks to the economy and mental health. Do we not want to get back to normal?

    I agree it's a better plan than what we are doing.

    Problem is the border. Its not possible to close it.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,586 ✭✭✭ Marco Ashy Sarsaparilla


    Health: Jab the obese/sick or over 50's. But let all us young uns (slowly) build up controlled immunity, ideally a weaker strain will evolve and spread, or a cheap fast treatment technique will develop.
    Economy: Tax the rich (the only real winners so far) and pay the (new)poor using UBI, to kickstart a new, dynamic, emmerging, flexi-gig-economy.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 336 ✭✭ Carter Fit Trance


    Health: Jab the obese/sick or over 50's. But let all us young uns (slowly) build up controlled immunity, ideally a weaker strain will evolve and spread, or a cheap fast treatment technique will develop.
    Economy: Tax the rich (the only real winners so far) and pay the (new)poor using UBI, to kickstart a new, dynamic, emmerging, flexi-gig-economy.
    Again, a better plan but I wouldn't do so well out of it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,093 i_surge


    Again, a better plan but I wouldn't do so well out of it.

    Except that it will never happen without serious political unrest and Covid will be gone by the time the bill is signed.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,586 ✭✭✭ Marco Ashy Sarsaparilla


    Again, a better plan but I wouldn't do so well out of it.
    Ah sure if you have any aul lumps of gold sitting about as door stops and so on, that's now headed for $2,000. One forecast was it to top 3,500 before too long <24ths. That's a no loose position for any richy richies out there, investment rolexs and even old classic hothatches (also investments) are skyrocketing.

    Majority of billionaires are booming e.g. Bezzos is +bns this year so far. Along with the google-book-tw-insta-tok owners and tech/pharma stocks.

    The new poor (publicans, retail, cafes and all types of personal service industries) will need more than just temporary payments, UBI as a framework might tick the box while they find their feet.

    UBI is the one single ideally unified and global solution for economies.
    It would need to be a EU & brexitland plan, and would also need strong border reinforcement, due to the very attractive 'free money factor'.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,093 i_surge


    Ah sure if you have any aul lumps of gold sitting about as door stops and so on, that's now headed for $2,000. One forecast was it to top 3,500 before too long <24ths. That's a no loose position for any richy richies out there, investment rolexs and even old classic hothatches (also investments) are skyrocketing.

    Majority of billionaires are booming e.g. Bezzos is +bns this year so far. Along with the google-book-tw-insta-tok owners and tech/pharma stocks.

    The new poor (publicans, retail, cafes and all types of personal service industries) will need more than just temporary payments, UBI as a framework might tick the box while they find their feet.

    UBI is the one single ideally unified and global solution for economies.
    It would need to be a EU & brexitland plan, and would also need strong border reinforcement, due to the very attractive 'free money factor'.

    It is a nice idea, but does it work?

    If you give every 1 or 2k extra per month to everyone regardless of their working status will it not just drive inflation? More money chasing the same pool of goods and services. That is the risk. The other risk is a good chunk of that would still flow back to the Bezos monopoly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,603 ✭✭✭✭ MadYaker


    How could you not know what the plan is OP? Its been pretty much the same since March bar the speeding up of the reopening. I think a lot of people just don't understand whats happening and thats why they are frustrated.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,586 ✭✭✭ Marco Ashy Sarsaparilla


    i_surge wrote: »
    It is a nice idea, but does it work?

    If you give every 1 or 2k extra per month to everyone regardless of their working status will it not just drive inflation? More money chasing the same pool of goods and services. That is the risk. The other risk is a good chunk of that would still flow back to the Bezos monopoly.

    Certainly hyper-inflation is the single largest risk, but fiscal tools can be deployed to manage that.

    Also, even free money in a global pandemic might not be spent on big TVs from on Amzn, rather diverted towards savings and (ideally) no-risk enterprise, or to support suffering existing enterprises (private equity), along with food on the table.

    The push would be for new enterprises e.g. buy e.g. a delivery van (one big growth sector), or other 'tools for gigging'. Bonus is that there is no red tape and benefits fiasco.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,093 i_surge


    MadYaker wrote: »
    How could you not know what the plan is OP? Its been pretty much the same since March bar the speeding up of the reopening. I think a lot of people just don't understand whats happening and thats why they are frustrated.

    The protect the hospitals messaging was the problem. Now people are thinking, wtf, we did that, why are we still restricted?

    It boils down to treating like the population like infants in some ways. But then again some have a tendency to act like infants. Lots of tantrums here from those who want what they want with no regard for others.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,093 i_surge


    Certainly hyper-inflation is the single largest risk, but fiscal tools can be deployed to manage that.

    Also, even free money in a global pandemic might not be spent on big TVs from on Amzn, rather diverted towards savings and (ideally) no-risk enterprise, or to support suffering existing enterprises (private equity), along with food on the table.

    The push would be for new enterprises e.g. buy e.g. a delivery van (one big growth sector), or other 'tools for gigging'. Bonus is that there is no red tape and benefits fiasco.

    I like the idea but it requires planning and testing over 5+ years to get it right.

    We can improve border control in the morning.

    What is standard practice in Asia is too much trouble here. We are too mediocre.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,255 ✭✭✭ woody22


    i_surge wrote: »
    Have the balls to go hard on all out eradication.

    Anything else is a long slow and painful path.

    Suck it up and get it done.

    This plan only works if a 100% effective vaccine comes along soon, that can be administered to 60% + of the population straight away. It would be a huge gamble. Because the borders cant stay shut forever and if you lock down like this for, say, a couple of years, and then open up with the virus not totally eradicated globally, we will be back to where we are today. But with two years of economic destruction behind us.

    NZ will find this out soon enough if there is not an effective vaccine by next summer. And they do not have half of the cross border travel, and international interconnectivity that we do

    And the fact is that there no-one (except Trump) is saying that any vaccine is going to stop this thing in its tracks.


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