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The Medium Term Plan?

  • 22-11-2021 10:52pm
    Registered Users Posts: 127 ✭✭ funkyzeit100

    First, let's say medium term is roughly 1 to 3 years.

    If I'm up to speed, even if everyone in the country is vaccinated, it's still an impossibility to live a normal life going forward as the hospitals will still be overrun. And that's with masks, and with restrictions, and with work from home etc.

    People here and elsewhere are starting to get quite agitated with the situation. Understandable.

    I'd put a large part of that blame on the complete lack of a goal, or plan, that looks further than one month at a time.

    If you give people an endpoint, or significant objective, they will still complain but generally will get on with the task at hand, knowing that something is worth the effort eventually. For example, the vaccination development/campaign, it gave a focus but it's pretty much over now.

    Is there simply no plan? What kind of genuine objectives and goals are needed to convince people not to tear the place apart before Christmas 2022?

    This is sorely needed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,569 ✭✭✭ daheff

    I know many won't agree, but zero Covid is the only way for us to live a normal life again.

    We need to have a strict lockdown for a while, burn out the virus and strictly enforce quarantine for anyone entering the country. Otherwise we'll keep going through peaks and troughs of infection numbers for years.

  • Registered Users Posts: 127 ✭✭ funkyzeit100

    To add a little example of my own in terms of unsustainability, there are two relatives that are in college at the moment.

    The college's have been whippety quick taking fees, but neither of them have spent a single day on campus yet. But they are paying extortionate rents to essentially sit in bedrooms, isolated from everyone, no people interaction, no chance to make friends. It's all "online", and there's no sign of it changing.

    So that's unsustainable. Whats the message to them, for example? This is your college life for good?

    What's the plan, man?

  • Registered Users Posts: 127 ✭✭ funkyzeit100

    I'll tell you what, I'm having a very hard time seeing any other way out of this. I'd agree, hesitantly.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,913 ✭✭✭ Danno

    Natural herd immunity. Needs to be swift and in the summer for maximum effect with lowest casualties possible.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,999 ✭✭✭ Deeper Blue

    Zero covid is impossible with Delta, as demonstrated in New Zealand.

    That's before we talk about our border with the UK etc which has been discussed at length here in the past.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 127 ✭✭ funkyzeit100

    But what does that mean?

    Letting everyone get sick, nothing to do with vaccinations?

    I'd say the odds of that being followed through as a policy are somewhere between 0 and minus infinity.

    If people are still ending up in icu's with vaccinations, I doubt herd immunity is a runner.

  • Registered Users Posts: 127 ✭✭ funkyzeit100

    It's about the only idea I can conceive that has a chance of working. Doesn't have to be exactly the same, but somebody's gonna have to do something, whatever it is.

    It's all well and good people going mental about Christmas and what looks like an assured lockdown, but the day is going to come and go and before we know it it'll be January, and then February...

    Then what?

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,329 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble

    There's no way for any government to make plans for a disease for which the medium term behaviour is unknown.

    Most viruses get milder over time. Hopefully this one will too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 127 ✭✭ funkyzeit100

    I sincerely doubt there's much of that patience left in reserve now.

    I'm not saying people are stupid, but I am saying that people only have so much patience. "Sitting back and waiting for something unknown to maybe happen" has a very, very limited lifespan.

    There's already riots in some countries, and looking forward, to potentially the exact same set of circumstances come next March, next Christmas and beyond just isn't going to fly.

    Somebody better do something because it feels like time is running out very quickly here. A plan, any plan, is better than no plan.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,913 ✭✭✭ Danno

    No, the vaccines should allow us to contemplate herd immunity because the purpose of the vaccine is to stop serious illness - therefore we shouldn't see too much pressure on hospitals, especially during the quieter summer months.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 127 ✭✭ funkyzeit100

    But is that not what already is happening?

    We can still vaccinate a bit more, but if the vaccinations are not preventing ICU patients, then do you mean it's a case of just waiting longer to see if there's a different effect later through prolonged exposure?

    People are already getting mass exposure to the virus to the tune of thousands per day and it isn't showing any sign of slowing or decreasing effect.

    Separately, the longer we wait around twiddling our thumbs looking out the window, there is the chance of a better vaccine. Equally, however, there is also the chance new and more dangerous strains are going to waltz uninhibited into the country. I'm not a fan of this waiting thing, and I wouldn't like to imagine the state of this country a year from now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 788 ✭✭✭ JPup

    The medium term plan is that everybody in the country will soon have immunity either through vaccines or having contracted the virus. If and when the virus mutates, new vaccines will be produced but most likely this blows itself out pretty soon like the Spanish flu of 1918 and many similar pandemics in the past.

    Aiding and abetting the above, new treatments are very close to being widely available that can effectively treat people who are sick with Covid e.g.

    Those treatments combined with the herd immunity mean that the crisis is almost at an end.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,913 ✭✭✭ Danno

    Interesting points you make.

    It is to some extent already happening now, but the timing is woeful. We've waning vaccine protection coming into Winter when hospitals are traditionally bolloxed anyway.

    I don't think there is much more of the unvaccinated coming forward for the jab, and that small pool will soon have been infected anyways.

    In my opinion, infections are not going to slow much for the winter anyways unless restrictions/lockdown are implemented - this will turn into a pandemic of the vaccinated soon.

    This virus wins, in every single scenario I contemplate. Lets hope the booster helps the O65s to weather this winter.

    As for another strain, lets hope not.

  • Registered Users Posts: 127 ✭✭ funkyzeit100

    I'm not criticising you personally, but that particular thinking seems to be quite common, but it's all way too airy fairy for me.

    The immunity imparted from the vaccines is "okay". It's not correct to call it immunity because there are a steady stream of vaccinated people ending up in ICU anyway. And that's with current restrictions and masks.

    Waiting for it to "blow itself out," well, how long is a bit of string?

    As for new vaccines, it's easy to say they're on the way, but you could be talking long periods of time apiece. 6 months here, 11 months there. It's not exactly inspiring in terms of normality.

    It doesn't seem like a plan at all, in fact. More like wishful thinking.

    This is the scenario playing out in a lot of places now, and wait till the January blues arrive...

    I dont fancy being tied to the couch next Christmas and beyond

  • Registered Users Posts: 127 ✭✭ funkyzeit100

    Yeah, not feeling too blissful with this trajectory, and not to sound like a smart arse, I think it's time some initiative is shown to deal with this situation given what we know now. Some proaction instead of reaction going forward.

    If someone wants to try and sell the idea (government wise) on a zero-covid approach, or similar, I'm all ears. I'm just about done with sitting around waiting for something that may or may not happen at some indefinable point in the far flung future, and as the riots and growing unrest show elsewhere, so are an increasing amount of others.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,913 ✭✭✭ Danno

    This virus wins, there is no other outcome. You're probably best off blanking out all news on Covid and wait your turn for infection if you haven't already been. If you feel you need a vaccine/booster take one.

  • Registered Users Posts: 30,668 ✭✭✭✭ Lumen

    I know a couple of people who've had Covid at least twice, so coupled with differing interpretations of scientific evidence there's no compelling reason for me to think that infection-acquired immunity is better than vaccine-induced immunity in terms of preventing transmission.

    Empirically, Czechia, Slovakia and Slovenia had the highest cumulative cases in Europe by this summer, and currently have the highest 7-day case rates. Where is their "natural" herd immunity?

    We should offer boosters to adults who want them and encourage sensible precautions like spacing out social contacts and using antigen tests.

    I'm ambivalent about vaccinating kids but was happy mine were offered it, and it seems to have helped limit transmission in secondary schools.

    Hopefully the antiviral and antibody treatments will limit serious illness and death in the vulnerable.

    I am mildly irritated by ICU capacity taken up by the unvaxxed by choice, but don't see any ethical alternatives.

    Am happy enough with the current public health measures overall, despite some of it being theatre. I'd prefer to drop face coverings and provide clearer advice on masks for people who can better protect themselves, and possibly subsidise FFP2/3.

    Anecdotally I hear examples of older people getting infected from their younger relative's carelessness. Every family seems to have at least one idiot. Not sure public health advice is going to make any difference to those behaviours.

    I recently spent a couple of days in close contact with 20+ people at a work event outside Ireland. Everyone antigen tested beforehand and no-one got sick. A couple of people didn't go and that was fine. We have offices open for people that want them.

    It's possible that I'm suffering a bit of Stockholm syndrome but it seems to be that most people are quietly getting on with life. There is nothing like the grimness of late last winter when we had similar infection rates and everything closed.

    Plans are often overrated. It's often better to just do the most sensible thing at a given point in time. There is such a thing as "planning theatre" too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 788 ✭✭✭ JPup

    With respect funkyzeit I think you’ve gotten yourself into a panic here. Maybe switch off the news for a few days and try to look after your mental health?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,569 ✭✭✭ daheff