NewsAre we headed for another lockdown Christmas?
Are we headed for another lockdown Christmas?

Are we headed for another lockdown Christmas?

Many European states are heading back into lockdown. Austria started with restrictions on the unvaccinated but has now extended them to everyone. Netherlands is in partial lockdown while Germany is considering following. Anti-lockdown riots are a daily occurrence in affected cities. Meanwhile Sweden wants to stick to its same strategy of never using lockdowns. As cases are rising again in Ireland, what will happen here?

Some countries are mandating by law that everyone must be vaccinated. Austria has done so already. But that approach might not help us much as we are already 90% vaccinated compared to 65% in Austria.

So what tools are available to us given that we are one of the most vaccinated countries in the world? Are more lockdowns the only answer?

The problem as always is not to overburden the HSE, but when is it going to be overburdened? Remember the HSE 1700 bed emergency facility set up in CityWest? It was never used throughout the whole pandemic; it could be argued that emergency facilities be brought on stream before we lockdown for a second winter (and third spring) in a row.

If we do lockdown this winter, it seems very possible that we will do so again next winter and every winter. Covid is now endemic and is unfortunately never going away. In fact, it is becoming more and more like the normal winter flu in that regard. It is estimated that before covid up to 500 people died every winter due to flu. While every death is to be avoided and a great tragedy for each family involved, we never locked down for the annual flu epidemic. We didn’t stop going to work or school or pubs. Our society for many years and decades found that 500 deaths per year were acceptable and no further action was required.

What has changed now with covid? Most importantly the level of deaths is still higher, last winter there were over 2600 deaths with vaccines just coming on stream. At the moment we are seeing 43 tragic deaths per week and if we extrapolate forward that would mean close to 700 deaths by St. Patrick’s Day 2022. Booster shots, better treatments and self-isolation by vulnerable people might help lower that figure closer to the normal flu rate of 500 deaths per winter.

So the question becomes what is the acceptable level of deaths before we lockdown society again, with all its impacts on mental health, the economy and the normal working of society?

What do you think? Should we go to extreme measures to save every life possible? Or is there an acceptable level of deaths under which lockdowns are no longer acceptable?

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Someone from G commented:

Gibraltar 100% vaccinated and a surge of covid cases this week. Pandemic of the vaccinated too it seems. It's time to reconsider strategy, and the storyline, around covid control measures. The hospitals in Ireland were in trouble long before this crisis. The staff are all going to strike soon but haven't yet out of decency to the public. Covid is not the root issue here, or the hospitals, the root of the health system and health crisis (there's a clue in the name) is health. Are we looking after our health, or waiting for it to all go wrong, waiting for the miracle drug, before we go back to this simple and basic truth. Is your health ready for covid? Are there things you can do to prepare? (Hint: Eat well, sleep well, balance work life, have fun, be in community, nature, meditate, take deep breaths etc.etc) 

Someone from WX commented:

We cannot reach a 100% vaccination rate. Those unable to take a jab for medical reasons are being ignored & discriminated against.. GP’s, HSE, politicians , HPRA unable to access route to exemptions in Ireland adding to mental stress of those individuals. Other countries have clear information in place but here it’s head in the sand, ignore & hope the person tires of asking or just allude to them as anti vax. 

Michael from CE commented:

I think we will get through this without a lockdown this time. Unlike last Christmas we now have the vaccine and 3.8 million are fully vaccinated. The problem with Hospital admissions is that 55% of worst Covid cases in ICU beds are taken up by the 6% of the population that are unvaccinated. Like the German Minister said everyone will get the virus so the population will be " vaccinated, recovered or dead". The booster vaccine will diminish infection on the most vulnerable in the over 60s age group by Christmas (the 50s after Christmas) so that and reducing contacts should avoid another lockdown. 

Someone from RN commented:

Like everyone else no one wants lock down but do you want to lose a loved one just for a trip to the shops, or a quick pint? Do you want the health care professionals exhausted and no beds left for anything but covid? Let's try thinking of others not just our liberty, yes covid is here to stay but until we have the infrastructer to cope let's all do our bit for others not just ourselves. Ask anyone who has lost a loved one if we should have a lockdown and most will say yes! 

caroline from D commented:

Every other country nips it in the bud early and goes into a week lockdown.. our Government wait till its too late and go into a 2month lockdown.. go into lockdown now so we can open for Christmas. 

Brendan from D commented:

Unless there is a reduction in cases I think there will be a lockdown. 

Someone from C commented:

Of course we cannot save everyone - not from Covid ´nor the "Regular" flu that we´ve all been exposed to. There is no answer to the question of how many people can we save by lockdown or any other intervention. HOWEVER I do feel that the unvaccinated may, just may be treated as social pariahs. OPPORTUNITY As we are “The most vaccinated people on the planet” perhaps Science should be glad of the 5% that are unvaccinated and study those people explicitly their natural resilience/resistance to this virus! SCIENCE is excellent because it looks at the many facets of what is presented. Now get let the Scientists look at this 5% otherwise we have a GAPING SPECIFIC KNOWLEDGE DEFICIENCY 

Elizabeth from CW commented:

No to lockdowns. What nonsense. We were told if we took the vacine we would all be safe. Rubbish. Its all about control. I will wash my hands, wear the stupid mask, and take care of my health. I will eat healthy and live as long as I can. I will not tolerate another lock down. Neither will most of my peers. I am not going anywhere much as I work from home. My shopping is done for me by my partner. But if I want to go somewhere I have a right to do so. I have a large family so they consume my time, only one person has chosen not to be vaccinated. I am so sorry I got the vaccine. I did it in the thought that my own children would not have to get it as if we had the older, 'vulnerable' population vaccinated then our younger people would be free to live their life and only the vulnerable amoung them would need a vacination. But that was a misleading lie too. They all wanted to be able to go out and live their lives, meet their future partners etc. so they took the dam vaccine. Now they are pushing it on the children. This has not been tested, there is no recompense if you become ill or die from it. So we may live with covid and get on with our lives, wash our hands, take our vitamin c and d and live as best we can. We will all die some day. But better to have lived than to be locked up in a box. 

Sean from RN commented:

This is never going to end unless Government frees itself from Pfizer's legal stranglehold ( which they signed up for ) and introduces early treatment with Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin. I acknowledge that the chances of this happening are zero due to the entrenched vested interests in keeping this "pandemic" going. Question arises how many of these hospitalised cases are suffering from the Flu. CDC says the PCR test can't differentiate between Covid and the Flu. 

Someone from SO commented:

We need 100% Vaccination and less Social Gathering. The Politicians need to stand up to Lobby Groups such as Publicans and others in the Entertainment Business. 

Someone from G commented:

Great plan, let's all live longer by not living at all. 

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