Friday 3 April 2020


The Blob is getting ~1,000 page-views a day and they cannot all be from within Ireland. But wherever you are, Coronarama will be all around you . . . unless you're in Mongolia where there are 3 million people and 14 confirmed cases of covid-19 and 2 recovered - now there's a flat curve from a neighbour of the PRoChina. Iceland in contrast has 1/10th the people but 100x the cases. Dau.II [and I] has been getting annoyed that the data comes through to us disproportionate: reporting cases and deaths in raw numbers rather than as /100,000 population. Well duh! of course there are more cases in Italy than in San Marino. The good news in Ireland is that there has been steady decrease in the rate of infection:
On the 19th March there was 50% increase day-on-day of confirmed cases. That was the up-spike in the brown line. Last night on the 6 o'clock news, they noted 402 new cases "the LARGEST daily increase" since the start of the epidemic. Well duh! of course there are more new cases being infected by 3,000 sick people than by 30. But the rate is still low 8% 11% 11% 7% 12% for the last 5 days. And likewise of course there are more cases in the USA [pop 320 million] than in Spain [45 million] or Italy [60 million] . . .  all other things being equal. In some cases, as we are seeing, things are not equal.
+ve Rate
A bit of hay has been made about the incompetence of the TN administration compared to neighboring KY because the number of cases is 4x greater but that could be a function of testing: how many, when, where. In Ireland we are grossly under-recording cases because we have been short on planning, lab-space and reagents. Death is more definitive innit? And on that measure, if anything, KY has the worse epidemic on its hands.

But how did I get to hear the 6 o'clock news on RTE telly? Because we are now cocooning on the Waterford with Pat the Salt my elderly father-in-law. The Beloved and I had been in lock-down together up the mountain for the previous 20 days. Three weeks without a shop! Three weeks of eating the lettuce before the cabbage. Three weeks of being careful with matches when it turned out we only had one box. Since we were last off-site the government has sent all but essential services home to minimise the number of contacts among potentially infected people and flatten the curve. As shut-ins often get to experience, the outside world develops as unexpectedly threatening and potentially hostile.

Looking after elderly relatives is one of the allowable exceptions from staying at home and wringing washing your hands. Nevertheless, we were full of trepidation about getting arrested stopped on the journey and have to justify our existence out on the public road more than 2km from home.

As I said last Monday: Good manners is making things easier for others people; making them feel comfortable. If you want to sail through a Garda checkpoint it helps to be either a stout bloke in a three-piece suit or a pretty young woman with glasses and an earnest demeanour.  Being neither of those things we nevertheless wanted to convey that we were not the droids they were looking for. Accordingly I made a passport which I hoped would prevent me from getting banged up in chokey for breaking curfew:

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