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Messages - whitegoodman

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General discussion / Re: China Coronavirus
« on: May 21, 2020, 10:52:45 AM »
Is there a link to the 0.25 rate ?

General discussion / Re: China Coronavirus
« on: May 13, 2020, 08:20:10 AM »
Interesting comparison of figures between Ireland and Sweden

 It can be very tricky to compare the Covid-19 experiences of different countries. Populations are not evenly distributed in terms of age, location, ethnicity, social class, or culture. Different groups and regions are not equally susceptible to the virus.

Then there is the fact that countries measure the impact of the coronavirus differently. For instance, Ireland is one of only a very small number of European countries that includes both nursing homes and suspected or probable Covid-19 cases in official numbers.

This doesn't stop people making international comparisons though. With so many people straining at the leash to break out of lockdown, many point to the different experience in Sweden with no lockdown. It raises questions about whether Ireland’s social, travel, and work restrictions needed to be so tough here after all.

For anyone who asks that question of Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan, he has a very sharp and succinct answer: "Have you seen the intensive care admissions figures for Sweden?"

Well actually, no, not really. We haven’t seen those figures. Sweden’s ICU caseload is hardly headline news here. Perhaps it should be. Because there is something important that Sweden’s critical care experience can tell us. It is this: there never was any realistic alternative strategy that Ireland could have pursued.

Our healthcare system simply could not have coped with the more relaxed approach taken by Sweden. This graph showing the number of people treated in intensive care in Ireland and in Sweden shows why.

There are two striking observations about the graph. The first is that the underlying level of Covid-19 disease in Sweden, as evidenced by the numbers in intensive care, is running very significantly above the levels of disease in Ireland and has been doing so since the start.

In fact, the level of disease in Sweden is three times higher than in Ireland if the ICU occupancy rates are any guide. If anything, the gap between both countries appears to be widening, as Ireland continues to strangle the spread of the virus by retaining the lockdown while Sweden pursues its more relaxed approach.

The second striking observation is that while the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in intensive care in Ireland was down to 72 by 10 May, on a like-for-like basis the number for Sweden was 233. That is more than three times the level of disease in Ireland.

This is a huge gap. It suggests that if Ireland had followed the Swedish more relaxed approach to social distancing, we would have required at least another 161 beds in intensive care for confirmed Covid-19 patients alone. 

Add to that the additional beds required for three times as many "presumed or suspected" Covid-19 cases - which have always been a significant and constant feature in intensive care. The number of extra beds required for Covid-19 patients would then be above 200 by now.

We just do not have that capacity in intensive care. Notwithstanding the issue about where in the country those vacant beds might have been required, by 10 May we could accommodate, at a push, about 150 additional patients in fully-staffed ICU beds nationwide.

Before this crisis began, Ireland only had about 225 intensive care beds nationally. By 10 May, including non-Covid-19 patients, there were 257 people receiving critical care in Irish hospitals. That means even with the lockdown, if the HSE had not scrambled to expand critical care capacity, hospitals in Ireland would have been in serious trouble by now with medics having to make torturous decisions about who to allow into critical care units and who to turn away.

Our health system could not have coped. Fortunately, that did not happen because of the extra critical care capacity that was put in place.

But what if our National Public Health Emergency Team had advised the Government to follow the Swedes? What if the level of Covid-19 illness was more than three times as high in Ireland as it is now? Because that is precisely what the Swedish intensive care numbers tell us would have happened.

It would have been a disaster. It would have put Ireland right up there with Italy and Spain, in terms of the horrific scenes and experiences that we would have had to endure and witness. The European Centre for Disease Control highlighted that Ireland started into the crisis with the lowest number of intensive care beds per capita in Europe.

Our healthcare system was simply never strong enough to endure the journey that the Swedes embarked on. It just could not have coped and it is hard to imagine how Irish society would have coped.

In an interview with the Financial Times last Friday, Sweden's state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, who masterminded Sweden's no-lockdown approach, claimed his country will have an advantage over other countries in the autumn. That is when he expects a second wave of coronavirus to hit.

Mr Tegnell says that a very high proportion of Sweden’s population, particularly in Stockholm, will have had the virus by then and so have developed some form of immunity. That will bring Sweden closer to so-called herd immunity, which is quite a horrible term when you consider we are talking about real people and the sickness, anguish, fear and grief many have to suffer to achieve such immunity.

Here, however, Chief Medical Officer Dr Holohan makes it very clear at his press briefings that Ireland is not going to go for herd immunity. He also makes no bones about the fact that he is going to be very cautious and conservative (his words) when it comes to easing social restrictions - the polar opposite of his Swedish counterpart.

 All the signs suggest that there is likely to be nothing coming from the Covid-19 numbers in Sweden that will cause him to change his mind.

Sweden Ireland details

1. The numbers in the graph for Ireland come from the HSE’s Covid-19 Daily Operations Update of Acute Hospitals. The numbers for Sweden are published daily on the Swedish Intensive Care Registry. But since Sweden has twice the population that Ireland has, 10 million people versus 5m here, the Swedish ICU daily total has been divided in two so that the graph shows the numbers receiving critical care for Covid-19 per 5m people in both countries.

2. Crude official figures show that Sweden, with double the population of Ireland, has 2.2 times the number of Covid-19 deaths, suggesting at first glance that Ireland and Sweden might be neck and neck in the international coronavirus league tables.

3. Sweden has been doing very poorly when it comes to Covid-19 in nursing homes, something that Anders Tegnell says he deeply regrets. Care home deaths in Sweden are not included in the official numbers but are in Ireland, where they account for about 60% of all Covid-19 deaths.

4. Sweden's numbers don't include "presumed or suspected" Covid-19 cases either. They are included in Ireland.

5. The level of admission to intensive care is a key international comparator for the underlying level of disease, accounting for about 2.4% of all diagnosed cases according to the European Centre for Disease Control.

6. In Sweden, most primary and secondary schools are still open. So too are restaurants, cafes and shops. Gatherings have to be greater than 50 people before they are banned. It is left to people themselves to voluntarily engage in social distancing, while working from home is a choice that is encouraged rather than enforced.

7. Google's weekly Covid-19 Community Mobility Report which uses big data gathered from mobile phone locations shows a 73% drop in activity in the retail and recreation sector in Ireland compared to a 9% drop in Sweden. Footfall in grocery and pharmacy sector is down 15% in Ireland, but up by 14% in Sweden. The use of public parks is down 27% in Ireland, but up a massive 44% in Sweden.
So much energy in the article  to downplay Ireland's shocking performance at protecting the elder citizens despite the lock down policy. It's as laughable as the UK's persistent efforts not to include around  10,000 deaths  onto their official death rate which would put it a country mile ahead of the rest.
The death rate between Ireland and Sweden is similar. Contrary to the info in the article, nursing home deaths in Sweden are added on to the official stats every week.
One big difference imo between the two is Ireland didn't have a scooby doo re the protection of the most vulnerable elder citizens in nursing homes and still haven't come to grips with testing and same day results.  Sweden from the very beginning proclaimed that protection of the elderly was their priority, they were fully aware of the needs of that priority. They not only failed miserably with implementing a protection policy which naturally exacerbated contagion, but also there's plenty of evidence that morphine instead of oxygen was/is being officially  prescribed as standard policy, as a form of euthanasia, denying selected intensive care patients a decent chance of survival. So definitely in my opinion, a deliberate official policy to sacrifice the elderly, vastly outweighs  the ignorance and inefficiency of Irish government's response.

At least it's being regarded as a scandal in Sweden and has led to much debate about the negative aspects of privatisation of nursing homes and has resulted in Eur250m immediate funding for nursing homes.
On another aspect, Sweden has separate hospitals for covid patients, so nobody has a fear of attending general hospitals to have a medical concern being attended to.  All  appointed medical procedures have been carried out as per schedule, there is no backlog, at least no more than their usual.

Have you a link where I can read about this ?

General discussion / Re: China Coronavirus
« on: April 22, 2020, 10:53:33 AM »
Any thoughts on the trials being started in Oxford on Friday ?  is it a shot in the dark and has it a real shot at success or somewhere in between. 

Irelands new cases have slowed for the 3rd day in a row.
Hopefully more successful than the Hydroxychloroquine touted by Trump got the past few weeks.
A trial does not guarantee success. Is it a vaccine, a cure or a test they are working on?

Its a vaccine, Oxford seem to think it has 80% of success but you would have to think that is pretty optimistic or else it is incredible work they are doing

General discussion / Re: China Coronavirus
« on: April 21, 2020, 08:17:23 PM »
Any thoughts on the trials being started in Oxford on Friday ?  is it a shot in the dark and has it a real shot at success or somewhere in between. 

Irelands new cases have slowed for the 3rd day in a row.

General discussion / Re: China Coronavirus
« on: April 21, 2020, 11:47:51 AM »
Lads dare I say it but it has not been anywhere near as bad as first predicted
Now I say that with my upmost condolences with the family’s whose loved ones have passed away
Robbie Swann said this morning that his early predictions of close to 2000 deaths are massively off the mark
ICU beds are only 40% full
PPE seems well under control compared to the UK
Hospitals across the north are pretty much empty(a lot to do with no one going to A an E)
Now I know a lot of this has got to do with lockdown happening but has this been somewhat of an over reaction? How many of the 200 had underlying problems?
Now our biggest problem now is our care homes and not the general public
We have paralysed the economy which will result in deaths and bankruptcy for years
Just my thoughts don’t eat the head of me



I'd agree. The numbers are a mess right from the early predictions, to how many are actually infected and have died. The wife (a nurse) says the hospitals are empty and there's literally very little happening. Granted she's not on a Covid ward but some of her friends are and they say similar. I'd expect a controlled and gradual relaxation of restrictions shortly.

Altnagelvin is relatively quiet outside covid 19 wards, the 4 wards set aside for covid 19 have not seen a big increase in last 2 weeks, PPE is the big issue in there.

Has your wife always worked in ICU or has she been pulled into it for Covid ?  Are they likely to start pulling staff back out of there if numbers decrease in the coming weeks ?

General discussion / Re: China Coronavirus
« on: April 09, 2020, 09:09:20 PM »
I was at the shop this evening getting the weekly essentials and 2 PSNI officers were there buying a cup of coffee.  Hardly essential.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: April 09, 2020, 08:19:01 PM »
Not bad, great defence, just a pity 4 of them currently are not available.  Who knows if Darragh will ever be the same after 2 very serious injuries.

Feels like you are missing someone in forward line put cant put my finger on who. 

Maybe Niall McParland at 6 or midfield.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: April 09, 2020, 08:40:31 AM »
I don't think he could keep the same management team in place.  I think there were fundamental disagreements in that second half along the line as to who to bring off and when and I think some decisions were made without the approval of James, the taking off of McComiskey and bringing on of Brannigan spring to mind.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: April 08, 2020, 04:36:14 PM »
Here is one for yas;

For those who can remember, who was the better captain and leader (not player), DJ or POR ?

Maybe its an unfair question given there were so many leaders in that team.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: April 08, 2020, 01:36:39 PM »
Interesting, you have none of the 2010 half back line which was a mainstay of that team.

Not too many cleaned Garvey and Rooney that year and McKernan was immense going forward once he won his place back

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: April 08, 2020, 10:55:18 AM »
Imagine Benny and Mickey in their prime in the inside forward line together - Frightening

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: April 08, 2020, 10:54:20 AM »
Two class footballers and very difficult to chose but Breen edges it for me.

Difficult to comprehend that the best footballer we have had in the last 20 years cant get in anyone's team, all because of how good Mickey was

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: April 08, 2020, 10:13:25 AM »
Bit harsh on Brian Burns, thought he was decent at least through until 1996, did he not mark canavan in the beaten final against Tyrone that year ?  Dan had a decent year in 2010 at fullback but went by the wayside very quickly after that.

Don't see Laverty as a ball winner in the mould of Mason or Carr or wee James for that matter, wouldn't be picked ahead of any of those three in the half forward line imo but its all about opinion.

Maybe swap Marty with Hughes and play him at 15 like in 2010.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: April 08, 2020, 09:40:45 AM »

You reckon Dan Gordon was a better full back that Brian Burns in his prime ?

There isn't much breaking ball being won by your wing forwards.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: April 08, 2020, 08:04:23 AM »
Anyone have a go at picking a Down team from 1990 until present day with only one player per club, its going around twitter atm, not as easy as you would think;

M McVeigh
B Burns
D O Hagan
B Breen
G McCartan
J McCartan

Mickey over Benny
Assumed J McCartan was Tullylish and Greg was Ballymartin
Lack of Full Forward alternatives, possibly Ronan Murtagh
Thought of Liam Doyle at half back but didn't do it enough at senior level imo

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