The arrival in GB, at least, of the French vaccine Valneva underlines that the pandemic and Brexit are inextricably intertwined when it comes to quarantine regulations, vaccine supply and more recently food on our shelves.
A sort of Pan-Brexit-demic, if you will.
How will the fusion of Brexit and pandemic affects the decisions of the politicians who are making the regulations which are supposed to be controlling the virus.
We have a solicitor in charge currently as First Minister who, according to the RHI Inquiry, did not always read her briefs.
DUP MPs at Westminister seem to be able to go on solo runs and say outlandlish things without rebuke from the leader.
Edwin Poots is saying that we will soon have no Bisto Gravy and that sherry trifle will be in short supply — after saying last week that there would be food shortages in the hospitals.
Peter Robinson is writing that Northern Ireland was only a temporary arrangement and Gavin writes that he is preparing for a border poll. Maybe he is also preparing a bid to wrest the leadership from Arlene who, to be fair, seems to be trying to do her best to keep a stable relationship with Michelle O’Neill and Sinn Féin.
The Secretary of State does not want to be drawn on many issues, not least a border poll.
We are expecting a surge of cases and hospital spokespersons are raising the spectre of the health system being overrun and of already over-stressed doctors having to make life-and-death decisions.
It would seem that the need for ventilators may have been overestimated at the start in relation to supplying oxygen under pressure by CPAP. But doctors now face the dilemma of rationing these managements and trying to predict who might benefit most from each management. Think of these dilemmas when you try to go through your front door. That door is, in fact, one of our best protectors in this pandemic.
Another management is the use of ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenators), ‘kidney machines’ for when the lungs fail.
The Chair of the Health Committee Colm Gildernew wrote to the Health Minister Robin Swann about their use and, at the last meeting, with Paula Bradshaw in the chair, the minister alluded to patients being ‘flown to Newcastle for ECMO’.
But he did not say when and in which epidemic. One gets the impression that officials talk up the issues that they want you to know about but say little about issues which they prefer not to discuss in depth.
Doctors are concerned enough to call for immunity.