Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

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iarmhiman
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by iarmhiman »

NPHET lost face when they got initial rebuke from Leo.

They knew though they had over 60% of the population behind their recommendations so could keep pushing the government for level 5. Tony was back as well and we all know his ego by now that he wasn't for turning. He knew eventually the government had to go with majority public opinion.

The government were in the shit had they done nothing and the numbers in hospitals and ICUs went the wrong away. The public wouldn't blame NPHET, they would blame Micheal and Donnelly.

The public opinion over time will go more and more against NPHET's advise as the fatigue becomes unbearable. When it does the media will reflect it. When the media reflect the public opinion, the government will take the power back from NPHET.
de_Selby
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by de_Selby »

paddyor wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:36 pm
Leinsterman wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 7:35 pm
paddyor wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:53 pm Tbh, this doesn't seem anything like the first lockdown. Lots of people out and about, meeting for a coffee in the park and as far as I can see no discernable increase in social distancing aside from the return of queing for supermarkets. We're in for a stern talking to tomorrow evening.
You're right. It's like the end of May again. However I had to go over to my mother with shopping earlier and the M50 was absolutely deserted. Local villages seem to have a bit of life around coffee shops etc but it's the connecting routes which are deserted. That means people aren't travelling between localities which, one would think, will limit the spread to an extent.
My own local village only had a grocer, butcher, baker, 2 coffee shops and the local Centra open now during the day. Once you shut all the barbers, beauticians and hairdressers, the locality seems to become a ghost town, even with the daily school traffic.
Yep. VEry much end of lockdown. It is bank holiday weekend mind, but I still think the mood is different than last time. Non where near the same level of fear and suspicion in the supermarket either. Which is good IMO but we'll be told we've sinned and need to do a few Hail Mary's.
This is pretty much why we are on level 5 IMO. Everyone was essentially behaving normally on level 2/3 so they bumped it to level 5 so that people might take it somewhat seriously (but they knew non one was going to behave anything close to the same as during the first lockdown). Everyone is just ignoring the travel restrictions completely as far as I can see.
If people took it any way seriously then we could be on level 2 and have pubs open etc.
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camroc1
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by camroc1 »

And the reason is that people aren't stupid. They see the hospitals are coping, they hear the death figures. They know this isn't a new plague.
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Mullet 2
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by Mullet 2 »

Gavin Duffy wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:20 pm
Mullet 2 wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:06 pm
Gavin Duffy U wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:02 pm Could you translate this into english please
So despite pages to the contrary the fall you all say they can't claim actually dates to when NPHET moved.
Can you learn English first
Have you got a brain tumor or summit?
You must see this in a lot of people who talk to you.
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Gavin Duffy
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by Gavin Duffy »

So despite pages to the contrary the fall you all say they can't claim actually dates to when NPHET moved.
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Mullet 2
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by Mullet 2 »

Gavin Duffy wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:12 pm So despite pages to the contrary the fall you all say they can't claim actually dates to when NPHET moved.
The sincerest form of flattery.

I shouldn’t be surprised, you haven’t posted an original thought in your entire posting history.
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Gavin Duffy
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by Gavin Duffy »

Mullet 2 wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:24 pm
Gavin Duffy wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:12 pm So despite pages to the contrary the fall you all say they can't claim actually dates to when NPHET moved.
The sincerest form of flattery.

I shouldn’t be surprised, you haven’t posted an original thought in your entire posting history.
:yawn:
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Mullet 2
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by Mullet 2 »

Devo reposte again

Rather a bitter sort
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Gavin Duffy
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by Gavin Duffy »

Mullet 2 wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:28 pm Devo reposte again

Rather a bitter sort
Devo reposte?
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Mullet 2
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by Mullet 2 »

:yawn:
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paddyor
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by paddyor »

Mullet 2 wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:28 pm Devo reposte again

Rather a bitter sort
"Wow just wow" and now "devo"...........Mullets bird has his phone.
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rfurlong
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by rfurlong »

The lads that were against level 3 are still going with the line that level 3 was the greatest decision ever and we don't need level 5?

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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EverReady
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by EverReady »

That's not what's happening. We are a broad church. Mullet I watched the Six Days War one which turned.out to be a history of middle Eastern conflict involving Israel from the 40's to the 80's. Had the American narrator problem of COMING 26TH OF DECEMBER IS ISRAEL IN REVENGE OF THE FALLEN. However he actually doesn't speak too much as there are so many brilliant interviews. Most important figures in the states, Israel and various Arab countries are interviewed. Watched the Sherman one as well. Was class. Which one is the Serbia one? I see a death of Yugoslavia and Fall of Milosovic
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Mullet 2
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by Mullet 2 »

paddyor wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 2:39 am
Mullet 2 wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:28 pm Devo reposte again

Rather a bitter sort
"Wow just wow" and now "devo"...........Mullets bird has his phone.
Not a problem you'll ever confront
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Mullet 2
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by Mullet 2 »

EverReady wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:08 am That's not what's happening. We are a broad church. Mullet I watched the Six Days War one which turned.out to be a history of middle Eastern conflict involving Israel from the 40's to the 80's. Had the American narrator problem of COMING 26TH OF DECEMBER IS ISRAEL IN REVENGE OF THE FALLEN. However he actually doesn't speak too much as there are so many brilliant interviews. Most important figures in the states, Israel and various Arab countries are interviewed. Watched the Sherman one as well. Was class. Which one is the Serbia one? I see a death of Yugoslavia and Fall of Milosovic
Watch both.

Death of Yugoslavia is the one I meant though.
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EverReady
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Post by EverReady »

Cool. I am off this week as well so I'll wipe them out
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CM11
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Post by CM11 »

This signals, however, that a major public education campaign may be needed to reassure people about the safety of the vaccine. Taoiseach Micheál Martin and senior doctors may need to be photographed getting the jab
I think we can all guess what the reaction will be if that happens.
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Conspicuous
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by Conspicuous »

EverReady wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:55 am Cool. I am off this week as well so I'll wipe them out
I’d second “The Death of Yugoslavia “ as recommended viewing and one of the most detailed and comprehensive war documentaries you’re ever likely to see . I actually watched the whole series twice , when it came out and again before I visited the Balkans last year . I haven’t seen “The Fall of Milosevic “ might give it a go today.
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EverReady
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by EverReady »

Great. I read a few books on the war as it what preceded it and the consequences but that was a long time ago
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Duff Paddy
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Post by Duff Paddy »

EverReady wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:55 am Cool. I am off this week as well so I'll wipe them out
I think its actually shit being off right now, especially with the clocks going back f**king with sleep. I don’t recall a period of my life with such a prolonged feeling of creeping anxiety all that’s to a needless and ill judged policy of perpetual lockdowns. I’ve been focusing on exercise but too much time at home is a real headfuck for me.
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Duff Paddy
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Post by Duff Paddy »

CM11 wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:07 am
This signals, however, that a major public education campaign may be needed to reassure people about the safety of the vaccine. Taoiseach Micheál Martin and senior doctors may need to be photographed getting the jab
I think we can all guess what the reaction will be if that happens.
The media as usual playing recklessly
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EverReady
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Post by EverReady »

Duff Paddy wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:13 am
EverReady wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:55 am Cool. I am off this week as well so I'll wipe them out
I think its actually shit being off right now, especially with the clocks going back f**king with sleep. I don’t recall a period of my life with such a prolonged feeling of creeping anxiety all that’s to a needless and ill judged policy of perpetual lockdowns. I’ve been focusing on exercise but too much time at home is a real headfuck for me.
It's very monotonous alright but as I was saying yesterday the clock suits me and the madra. I think they will open up early sometimes and then Leo comes out with the mad shit about people selling knickers and I am not so sure
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by Nolanator »

I'm kinda banking on the idea that numbers will have seriously improved after 4 weeks and they'll ease things a little. Maybe not fully back to level 2/3, but it'll be less restrictive.

The effects of going to level 3 are presumably beginning to be felt, another few weeks and the serious drop from 5 will kick in.

* Crosses fingers


I'm glad I'm still working. Gets me out of the house and somewhere else.
Last edited by Nolanator on Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Duff Paddy
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Post by Duff Paddy »

EverReady wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:26 am
Duff Paddy wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:13 am
EverReady wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:55 am Cool. I am off this week as well so I'll wipe them out
I think its actually shit being off right now, especially with the clocks going back f**king with sleep. I don’t recall a period of my life with such a prolonged feeling of creeping anxiety all that’s to a needless and ill judged policy of perpetual lockdowns. I’ve been focusing on exercise but too much time at home is a real headfuck for me.
It's very monotonous alright but as I was saying yesterday the clock suits me and the madra. I think they will open up early sometimes and then Leo comes out with the mad shit about people selling knickers and I am not so sure
I think there’s a mental health timebomb coming, it has already started but people deprived of their usual social and physical outlets, combined with being stuck indoors in bad weather, inevitable fights with family, and anxiety over health and finances - it’s not going to end well.
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Duff Paddy
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by Duff Paddy »

Nolanator wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:28 am I'm kinda banking on the idea that numbers will have seriously improved after 4 weeks and they'll ease things a little. Maybe not fully back to level 2/3, but it'll be less restrictive.

The effects of going to level 3 are presumably beginning to be felt, another few weeks and the serious drop from 5 will kick in.

* Crosses fingers


I'm glad I'm still working. Gets me out of the house and somewhere else.
Philip Nolan was quite clear that they want fewer than 100 cases per day for some reason known only to himself. Unless the politicians wrestle back control of the country, we ain’t coming out of lockdown any time soon.
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by Nolanator »

Duff Paddy wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:30 am
Nolanator wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:28 am I'm kinda banking on the idea that numbers will have seriously improved after 4 weeks and they'll ease things a little. Maybe not fully back to level 2/3, but it'll be less restrictive.

The effects of going to level 3 are presumably beginning to be felt, another few weeks and the serious drop from 5 will kick in.

* Crosses fingers


I'm glad I'm still working. Gets me out of the house and somewhere else.
Philip Nolan was quite clear that they want fewer than 100 cases per day for some reason known only to himself. Unless the politicians wrestle back control of the country, we ain’t coming out of lockdown any time soon.
Hence crossing fingers and toes!
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CM11
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Post by CM11 »

I'm guessing they have sold the 'fewer than 100 cases' thing as meaning we can drop our guard somewhat for a few weeks to have some semblance of a normal Christmas but they expect cases to be well up by end of Dec, hence the rolling lockdowns.

More than 1-200 cases a day and we might not even make it to Christmas before it hits the 1000/day. Again, my guess at their thinking.
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by Ulsters Red Hand »

Duff Paddy wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:29 am
EverReady wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:26 am
Duff Paddy wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:13 am
EverReady wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:55 am Cool. I am off this week as well so I'll wipe them out
I think its actually shit being off right now, especially with the clocks going back f**king with sleep. I don’t recall a period of my life with such a prolonged feeling of creeping anxiety all that’s to a needless and ill judged policy of perpetual lockdowns. I’ve been focusing on exercise but too much time at home is a real headfuck for me.
It's very monotonous alright but as I was saying yesterday the clock suits me and the madra. I think they will open up early sometimes and then Leo comes out with the mad shit about people selling knickers and I am not so sure
I think there’s a mental health timebomb coming, it has already started but people deprived of their usual social and physical outlets, combined with being stuck indoors in bad weather, inevitable fights with family, and anxiety over health and finances - it’s not going to end well.
I agree, schools have closed here so we are off this week, lots of talk we will be off next week and then throughout the year all calendared holidays get extended, but i'd far rather be in all day working. Productivity is off the cliff too :thumbdown:
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by Blackrock Bullet »

Obesity might stop the vaccine working on some people, one of the key at risk groups

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586- ... 39158651=1
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EverReady
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Post by EverReady »

If say heart health is key. People can be obese and have decent tickers as they maintain some fitness. Prop types
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HighKingLeinster
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Post by HighKingLeinster »

EverReady wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:19 am If say heart health is key. People can be obese and have decent tickers as they maintain some fitness. Prop types
Props, is there anything they cant do :smug:
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Post by EverReady »

HighKingLeinster wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:23 am
EverReady wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:19 am If say heart health is key. People can be obese and have decent tickers as they maintain some fitness. Prop types
Props, is there anything they cant do :smug:
See their nob when having a wank
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HighKingLeinster
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Post by HighKingLeinster »

EverReady wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:25 am
HighKingLeinster wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:23 am
EverReady wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:19 am If say heart health is key. People can be obese and have decent tickers as they maintain some fitness. Prop types
Props, is there anything they cant do :smug:
See their nob when having a wank
Depends on the size of the knob :thumbup:
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Mullet 2
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by Mullet 2 »

Conspicuous wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:10 am
EverReady wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:55 am Cool. I am off this week as well so I'll wipe them out
I’d second “The Death of Yugoslavia “ as recommended viewing and one of the most detailed and comprehensive war documentaries you’re ever likely to see . I actually watched the whole series twice , when it came out and again before I visited the Balkans last year . I haven’t seen “The Fall of Milosevic “ might give it a go today.

In the doco thread
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Mullet 2
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Post by Mullet 2 »

Actually there is supposedly an excellent 30 for 30 on the Yugoslavia basketball team.
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EverReady
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Post by EverReady »

HighKingLeinster wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:25 am
EverReady wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:25 am
HighKingLeinster wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:23 am
EverReady wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:19 am If say heart health is key. People can be obese and have decent tickers as they maintain some fitness. Prop types
Props, is there anything they cant do :smug:
See their nob when having a wank
Depends on the size of the knob :thumbup:
Fair point. Duff the mental health stuff is such a slow burner. I know a lad out of work now a while, doing the odd bit but nothing worthwhile, and he is super Covid. Loves it. Anyway he was posting madly in it for months: facebag, WhatsApp, you name it. Anyway a few weeks ago he stopped and started inexplicably going around facebag and finding cycling related stories. He had taken a very militant pro cyclist position and is getting in arguments all over the place. The lad doesn't cycle. He lives in the middle of nowhere and drives all over the place. A few days ago he decided to throw the Mother and Baby thing in the mix. Really heartfelt stuff about adoption etc. He ain't adopted and let's be clear until recently wouldn't have given a tupenny fück about anything like that. I genuinely think he is losing it
Last edited by EverReady on Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Conspicuous
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Post by Conspicuous »

Mullet 2 wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:29 am Actually there is supposedly an excellent 30 for 30 on the Yugoslavia basketball team.
Yeah I watched that too , it’s excellent :thumbup:
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

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https://unherd.com/2020/10/how-the-expe ... -on-covid/
Masks work? NO.” Scott Atlas, a member of Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, wrote a tweet the Saturday before last that opened with these words — only to find it deleted by Twitter a day later. In the offending tweet, Atlas had written that the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had both recommended against mask-wearing, and had in fact argued that it could cause “many harms”.

This violated Twitter’s policy against Covid-19 misinformation, so it had to go. As the New York Times noted, both the WHO and the CDC do recommend wearing masks to protect against the coronavirus.

The only problem is this: mere months ago, both the WHO and the CDC both had argued — in fact, argued very confidently — against the use of masks, just as Atlas said. It won’t do to ignore this rather inconvenient fact, as the New York Times did, or to pretend the statements were never made. That’s because the Atlas affair provides an object lesson in how overconfident claims by experts, especially on issues as fraught as Covid-19, can come back to bite them.

Throughout the pandemic, experts have been all too willing to make claims about the virus that bordered on the hubristic. It’s easy to forget, for example, that the first months of 2020 saw widespread and confident scepticism of any risk from the novel disease that was sweeping Wuhan. As an infamous (and since updated) BuzzFeed article advised readers not to worry about the coronavirus, but instead to worry about the flu, leading political figures found it difficult to resile from their initial “don’t panic!” stance, even as the pandemic began to take hold.

As late as 3 March, New York mayor Bill de Blasio, supported by his health commissioner, told residents to “go on with your lives + get out on the town despite coronavirus”. This plea for normalcy was made on the day that global coronavirus cases reached 90,000, and a mere month before the total Covid deaths in New York City exceeded those of 9/11.

It shouldn’t be damning to make a bad call — nobody gets every prediction right; any professional forecaster will tell you that the best you can hope for is to be wrong less often. But the fundamental problem is the high degree of confidence with which the bad calls were expressed. Stating a position without the attendant uncertainty makes it very difficult, should the situation change, to update your views without losing face. In a crisis, slowing down that view-updating process could cost time, money, and even lives. Even after the update is made, those who heard your original, dogmatically-expressed view might have lingering doubts — or might even use it against you.

Few areas better illustrate the pitfalls of expert overconfidence than the question of facemasks.

The initial messaging on masks from the WHO emphasised that masks were needed in medical settings where infected patients were likely to be coughing directly on or near healthcare workers. The message was echoed by the US Surgeon General on Twitter, who exhorted citizens to “STOP BUYING MASKS!”, since they “are NOT effective in preventing [the] general public from catching #Coronavirus”. Both emphasised the need to preserve mask supplies for healthcare workers.

This might have made sense given the assumption that the coronavirus behaved like influenza — the model disease most countries were using to plan for a pandemic. If that was the case, it was thought, masks would likely be ineffective at preventing transmission outside of hospitals. Indeed, studies of facemask use for influenza had found mixed results. This, coupled with a norm that health organisations should require ultra-solid evidence before making recommendations, somewhat paradoxically meant that the “masks don’t work” message became ever-more-confidently projected — even as the evidence behind it looked shakier and shakier.

In the UK, the public health community embraced the anti-mask message more strongly than most. For example, in care homes, where around half of the UK’s Covid deaths have occurred, staff were informed by the government in February that “face masks do not provide protection from respiratory viruses such as Covid-19 and do not need to be worn by staff” (incidentally, the following statement from the same document — “t remains very unlikely that people receiving care in a care home or the community will be infected” — stands as one of the most tragic of the entire pandemic).

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The truth about vaccines
BY STUART RITCHIE
On 4 March, Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty argued masks would reduce the risks of the non-infected “almost not at all” and said he would not advise wearing them. The medical website patient.info noted that its readers might see people wearing masks out and about. “Don’t worry if you haven’t bought one”, they wrote. “The masks are fairly ineffective for the average person. Only people caring for infected people and the infected people themselves needs [sic] to wear masks.” Even volunteer sewing groups were asked to make morale-boosting patterned scrubs for NHS staff instead of using their skills to boost the mask supply.

The anti-mask campaign soon escalated beyond messaging. In early March, two businesses selling facemasks were banned from producing adverts that claimed their products offered protection from “viruses, bacteria, and other air pollutants”. The adverts, it was said, were “likely to cause fear”. This was on the advice of Public Health England, who didn’t just not recommend masks, but claimed they might raise the risk of transmission, since they were “likely to reduce compliance with good universal hygiene behaviours”. Professor Stephen Powis, the National Medical Director of NHS England, said that the firms selling facemasks who linked their product to the pandemic were “callous” and “outright dangerous”, and that advertising masks in this way had “rightly been banned”.

The campaign to keep British faces uncovered culminated in a video released by the UK Government on 11 March, where the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jenny Harries, told the Prime Minister in no uncertain terms that wearing a facemask was “not a good idea and doesn’t help”.

From the vantage point of mid-October, this seems more than a little odd. Masks are now mandated on public transport and in shops, are worn prominently in public by politicians and their public health advisers, and have become a normal part of life. The US Surgeon general who had so vehemently decried the buying of masks on Twitter now has a picture of himself wearing one at the top of his page. Once again, the issue was not necessarily that the original messaging was wrong — as we stated above, the evidence was patchy, and decisions still have to be made.

But the sheer effort undertaken to double down on what could only ever have been an uncertain message helped to narrow the range of options, and likely slowed the eventual change in policy as studies, models and reviews arrived to bolster the case for masks. Overall, whereas the data is far from knockdown, and there hasn’t yet been time to run and publish high-quality randomised trials, the observational and other evidence does point towards a protective effect of masks for this disease.

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Don’t trust the psychologists on coronavirus
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Had the evidence for the experts’ views been rock-solid, some impatience with public disagreement might have been justified — particularly given the emergency situation. As it was, though, those who even gently queried the evidence quickly became subject to ridicule.

In a difficult-to-watch clip from Jeremy Vine’s Channel 5 show in mid-March, the model and businesswoman Caprice Bourret was upbraided by the show’s medical expert, Dr. Sarah Jarvis, after suggesting that a country-wide lockdown might be helpful. Jarvis perfectly encapsulated the expert attitude with which we’re familiar, telling Caprice that “unless you have read every scientific paper… you cannot argue with me on that. You can have an opinion, but it’s not a fact.” Undeterred, Caprice went on to note that in some East Asian countries that had enjoyed (and still enjoy) a better Covid trajectory than the UK, a large proportion of citizens wore surgical masks. “…which make no difference at all”, Jarvis snapped in rebuttal, laughing at Caprice’s attempts to respond.

Other experts followed suit in suggesting that coronavirus worries — and in particular, disagreements with expert advice — were indications of ignorance, or of low-quality thinking. The American Psychological Association’s Senior Director of Practice, Research and Policy, Lynn Bufka, told Time magazine in March that mask-wearing was a “superstitious behaviour”: “Even if experts are saying it’s really not going to make a difference,” she argued, “a little [part of] people’s brains is thinking, well, it’s not going to hurt.”

One of us has written previously about the overconfidence of experts in the realm of psychology — in particular, how many writers over-applied our shaky, laboratory-based evidence on how people deal with risk to this real-world, unprecedented pandemic situation. Harvard’s Cass Sunstein self-assuredly wrote in February about “probability neglect”, the tendency of people to exaggerate a threat that “triggers strong negative emotions”. This, Sunstein argued, explained people’s “excessive fear” about the coronavirus pandemic — essentially, they just couldn’t properly think it through.

Sunstein, for his part, soon performed an impressive volte-face, writing a month later about how “we can’t be too careful” about coronavirus — without once acknowledging his previous downplaying of the threat. Perhaps if he’d admitted how drastically wrong he’d been — that is, if he’d projected somewhat less confidence — he wouldn’t have subsequently been hired by the WHO to chair their “Technical Advisory Group on Behavioural Insights and Sciences for Health”.

Research that looks at people’s beliefs about Covid often bolsters the narrative of “the experts” versus “the unthinking”. A recent paper from academics at Cambridge surveyed people’s beliefs in Covid misinformation. Some of the beliefs they examined were bonkers conspiracy theories (“the new 5G network may be making us more susceptible to the virus”), and some were just daft (“breathing in hot air… (e.g. from a hair dryer) kills the coronavirus as it can only live in cool places”). They were all taken from the WHO’s Covid “Myth Busters” page, and they are all indeed myths that it would be silly to believe. But it can’t help but feel ironic that, at the time these academics accessed its website, the World Health Organisation was spreading its own confident misinformation: just one click away was the WHO’s page telling people not just that they shouldn’t wear masks if they weren’t directly looking after a Covid patient, but that it might actively be dangerous to do so.

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Will a vaccine stop Covid?
BY TOM CHIVERS
Imagine travelling back in time to various points in 2020, knowing everything we now know about the coronavirus and its spread. In February, as you warned the world of the grimness to come, some experts would have told you that you were suffering from “probability neglect”, and that you should be more worried about the flu. In March, your view that masks would be helpful in controlling the disease would have marked you down as an agent of misinformation — psychologists might have suggested techniques to cope with your superstitious thinking, while Public Health England and the WHO might have said you were increasing the risk of spreading the virus.

Equally, if a time-traveller with the approved public health opinions of March 2020 journeyed just seven months into the future to the present day, their mainstream anti-mask position would be viewed with similar derision: they would perhaps have their thinking explained with regard to their gender, or might even be labelled a likely sociopath.

Which brings us back to Scott Atlas and his “Masks work? NO!” tweet. Although his views might seem absurd with our October-2020 hindsight, it wasn’t difficult for Atlas to find a rich seam of recent, strongly worded expert quotes to back up his anti-mask case. This wasn’t inevitable: although being misinterpreted or misrepresented is an occupational hazard for any expert making public statements, if so many experts had avoided going so far beyond the evidence, Atlas and those like him would’ve had a harder job.

The “expert view” vs “the misinformation” is a false dichotomy. It can be tempting to offer only certainty in times of crisis — but part of being an expert is knowing when to be uncertain, and being strongly aware of the provisional nature of our knowledge. Trustworthiness doesn’t just come from being right, but from communicating the limits of the evidence, and regularly updating one’s view in light of new data and analysis.

Overconfidence from the experts, coupled with a willingness to denigrate and even pathologise those who publicly dissented, might have made it harder for us to change course during the pandemic, costing us precious time that we couldn’t afford. If experts fail to reckon with the inevitable uncertainties of our current times, we risk delaying the next crucial update — or worse, overlooking it altogether.
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camroc1
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by camroc1 »

It will be interesting if we have to treat NI patients in our ICUs, causing delays to patients whose routine operations are therefore postponed. Whilst I think it is only right and proper that any spare capacity we have should be used to assist our northern brothers and sisters, one of the justifications for lockdown is that normal hospital operations are not interfered with.
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CM11
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Re: Rugby NAMA thread Revisited Rugby

Post by CM11 »

camroc1 wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:47 am It will be interesting if we have to treat NI patients in our ICUs, causing delays to patients whose routine operations are therefore postponed. Whilst I think it is only right and proper that any spare capacity we have should be used to assist our northern brothers and sisters, one of the justifications for lockdown is that normal hospital operations are not interfered with.
That whole article was disingenuous. It's more likely we'll be using their surge capacity rather than us needing to compromise our health system.
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