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Relaxation of Restrictions, Part XII *Read OP For Mod Warnings*

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,551 ✭✭✭ corcaigh07
    Registered User


    If the HSE can go off and pretend masks are mandatory, maybe some schools will think they can do the same?



  • Registered Users Posts: 27,398 ✭✭✭✭ freshpopcorn
    Registered User


    Personally I'd question is it done to keep one or two parents or staff members quiet. I wonder what type of enforcement they'd have for it.



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,965 ✭✭✭✭ hotmail.com
    Registered User


    Also there's rogue principals. The principal of course will not be wearing a mask in their office.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 185 ✭✭ slystallone
    Registered User


    Is this still the case over there?



  • Registered Users Posts: 487 ✭✭ foxsake


    i agree - at least there is clarity and this should prevent this happening again.

    but what's done is done and sadly we all lost in the chaos. My only hope is for the future



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  • Registered Users Posts: 61 ✭✭ live4tkd


    Particularly striking extracts from the article which is probably repeated in this country and all the more reason we need a proper investigation and enquiry into this!

    This was the crux: no one really did. A cost-benefit calculation – a basic requirement for pretty much every public health intervention – was never made. ‘I wasn’t allowed to talk about the trade-off,’ says Sunak. Ministers were briefed by No. 10 on how to handle questions about the side-effects of lockdown. ‘The script was not to ever acknowledge them. The script was: oh, there’s no trade-off, because doing this for our health is good for the economy.’

    If frank discussion was being suppressed externally, Sunak thought it all the more important that it took place internally. But that was not his experience. ‘I felt like no one talked,’ he says. ‘We didn’t talk at all about missed [doctor’s] appointments, or the backlog building in the NHS in a massive way. That was never part of it.’ When he did try to raise concerns, he met a brick wall. ‘Those meetings were literally me around that table, just fighting. It was incredibly uncomfortable every single time.’ He recalls one meeting where he raised education. ‘I was very emotional about it. I was like: “Forget about the economy. Surely we can all agree that kids not being in school is a major nightmare” or something like that. There was a big silence afterwards. It was the first time someone had said it. I was so furious.’

    One of Sunak’s big concerns was about the fear messaging, which his Treasury team worried could have long-lasting effects. ‘In every brief, we tried to say: let’s stop the “fear” narrative. It was always wrong from the beginning. I constantly said it was wrong.’ The posters showing Covid patients on ventilators, he said, were the worst. ‘It was wrong to scare people like that.’ The closest he came to defying this was in a September 2020 speech saying that it was time to learn to ‘live without fear’ – a direct response to the Cabinet Office’s messaging. ‘They were very upset about that.’

    Lockdown – closing schools and much of the economy while sending the police after people who sat on park benches – was the most draconian policy introduced in peacetime. No. 10 wanted to present it as ‘following the science’ rather than a political decision, and this had implications for the wiring of government decision-making. It meant elevating Sage, a sprawling group of scientific advisers, into a committee that had the power to decide whether the country would lock down or not. There was no socioeconomic equivalent to Sage; no forum where other questions would be asked.

    So whoever wrote the minutes for the Sage meetings – condensing its discussions into guidance for government – would set the policy of the nation. No one, not even cabinet members, would know how these decisions were reached.

    In the early days, Sunak had an advantage. ‘The Sage people didn’t realise for a very long time that there was a Treasury person on all their calls. A lovely lady. She was great because it meant that she was sitting there, listening to their discussions.’

    It meant he was alerted early to the fact that these all-important minutes of Sage meetings often edited out dissenting voices. His mole, he says, would tell him: ‘“Well, actually, it turns out that lots of people disagreed with that conclusion”, or “Here are the reasons that they were not sure about it.” So at least I would be able to go into these meetings better armed.’

    But his victories were few and far between. One, he says, came in May 2020 when the first plans were being drawn to move out of lockdown in summer. ‘There’s some language in there that you will see because I fought for it,’ he says. ‘It talked about non-Covid health impact.’ Just a few sentences, he says, but he views the fact that lockdown side-effects were recognised at all at that point as a triumph.

    At the time, No. 10’s strategy was to create the impression that lockdown was a scientifically created policy which only crackpots dared question. If word leaked that the chancellor had grave reservations, or that a basic cost-benefit analysis had never been applied, it would have been politically unhelpful for No. 10.

    Only now can Sunak speak freely. He is opening up not just because he is running to be prime minister, he says, but because there are important lessons in all of this. Not who did what wrong, but how it came to pass that such important questions about lockdown’s profound knock-on effects – issues that will probably dominate politics for years to come – were never properly explored.

    And the other lessons of lockdown? ‘We shouldn’t have empowered the scientists in the way we did,’ he says. ‘And you have to acknowledge trade-offs from the beginning. If we’d done all of that, we could be in a very different place.’ How different? ‘We’d probably have made different decisions on things like schools, for example.’ Could a more frank discussion have helped Britain avoid lockdown entirely, as Sweden did? ‘I don’t know, but it could have been shorter. Different. Quicker.’

    There’s one major factor he doesn’t raise: the opinion polls. Lockdowns were being imposed all over a terrified world in March 2020 and the Prime Minister was already being accused of having blood on his hands by failing to act earlier. Surely whoever was in No. 10 would have been forced to lock down by public opinion? But the public, Sunak says, was being scared witless, while being kept in the dark about lockdown’s -likely effects. ‘We helped shape that: with the fear messaging, empowering the scientists and not talking about the trade-offs.’

    To Sunak, this was the problem at the heart of the government’s Covid response: a lack of candour. There was a failure to raise difficult questions about where all this might lead – and a tendency to use fear messaging to stifle debate, instead of encouraging discussion. So in a sentence, how would he have handled the pandemic differently? ‘I would just have had a more grown-up conversation with the country.’



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,871 ✭✭✭ celt262
    Registered User




  • Registered Users Posts: 7,194 ✭✭✭ Penfailed
    Registered User


    Gigs '21 - Stendhal Festival (July), Stendhal Festival (August), [s]Liam Gallagher & Idles[/s], King Kong Company, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, The Undertones, And So I Watch You From Afar

    Gigs '22 - And So I Watch You From Afar, Teenage Fanclub, Mogwai, Stendhal Festival, The Fratellis, Clutch, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Electric Picnic, Vantastival, The Cure, And So I Watch You From Afar

    Gigs '23 - Stiff Little Fingers, Forest Fest, Stendhal Festival



  • Registered Users Posts: 185 ✭✭ slystallone
    Registered User


    In Portugal, requirement to wear masks in public transport and on the plane there?



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,194 ✭✭✭ Penfailed
    Registered User


    No clue. I had no idea what your question was about as you hadn't quoted anyone.

    Gigs '21 - Stendhal Festival (July), Stendhal Festival (August), [s]Liam Gallagher & Idles[/s], King Kong Company, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, The Undertones, And So I Watch You From Afar

    Gigs '22 - And So I Watch You From Afar, Teenage Fanclub, Mogwai, Stendhal Festival, The Fratellis, Clutch, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Electric Picnic, Vantastival, The Cure, And So I Watch You From Afar

    Gigs '23 - Stiff Little Fingers, Forest Fest, Stendhal Festival



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,231 ✭✭✭ VG31
    Registered User




  • Registered Users Posts: 3,130 ✭✭✭ TomSweeney
    Registered User


    Thats crazy!

    Is it by any chance an Educate together school ?



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,622 ✭✭✭ Red Silurian
    Registered User


    Not sure if anybody else has notice but I was feeling iffy earlier this week so said I'd see what the official guidance on testing currently is.

    As I am under 55 and self-proclaimed to be healthy it seems that the official advice is I shouldn't get tested at all and self isolate until I am 48 hours after symptoms are mostly or fully gone or wear a mask if I have to be around other people. That's a huge relaxation since the time that we were legally forced to isolate for 7 or 10 days following a positive test

    That "mostly or fully part" really suggests we should stop caring no?



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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,595 ✭✭✭✭ lawred2
    Registered User




  • Registered Users Posts: 23,595 ✭✭✭✭ lawred2
    Registered User




  • Registered Users Posts: 119 ✭✭ j2


    Wonder if there would be much support for an autumn lockdown in the coming weeks



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,540 ✭✭✭ dominatinMC
    Registered User


    What a stupid fckking question.

    Think before you type.



  • Registered Users Posts: 27,353 ✭✭✭✭ _Kaiser_
    Registered User


    Good and right result, but the cynic in me says there was a backlash from parents behind the scenes. How do you "accidentally" issue a letter from a year ago?



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,194 ✭✭✭ Penfailed
    Registered User


    Gigs '21 - Stendhal Festival (July), Stendhal Festival (August), [s]Liam Gallagher & Idles[/s], King Kong Company, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, The Undertones, And So I Watch You From Afar

    Gigs '22 - And So I Watch You From Afar, Teenage Fanclub, Mogwai, Stendhal Festival, The Fratellis, Clutch, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Electric Picnic, Vantastival, The Cure, And So I Watch You From Afar

    Gigs '23 - Stiff Little Fingers, Forest Fest, Stendhal Festival



  • Registered Users Posts: 119 ✭✭ j2




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  • Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭ thedart


    The curve is flattened, icu numbers are low. We are there.



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