Public health measures are not being implemented rigorously enough.

What is the mad rush to school when older chidren can spread the disease and vaccines are on the horizon?

And some were prepared to downgrade students who had worked hard at school.

There will be no good grades or jobs in the cemeteries.

Teachers are being expected to risk assess.


In Dublin the recently appointed Minister of Agriculture has resigned over attending a function In Clifden and a Leas-Cathaoirleach has also resigned after attending the same golf dinner.

With haemorrhage in Fianna Fail, the northern minister has tightened regulations restricting gatherings to 15 with police to enforce in known ‘hotspots’.

The news that Public Health England is to be replaced because of issues in the pandemic may raise concerns for those who slavishly follow John Bull as Peter Weir of the DUP did in the examinations fiasco.

Some of the concerns are around the decision by SAGE (or not so sage) to abandon testing on 12 March, a meeting that our Chief ‘Scientific’ adviser was unable to attend due to illness.

COVID-19: Let science lead our response
COVID-19: Let science lead our response

Our public health needs to be decentralised to deal with outbreaks at county level with no big buildings in Belfast to hide in.

It must be independently-led by fully-trained doctors in public health supported by adequate resources, public health nurses, epidemiologists, biostatisticians and underpinned by a new public health act of the Assembly which guarantees no interference from politicians so as to truly follow the science and not the ‘scientists’.


We are in the second wave of the pandemic with more cases but fewer deaths and a new strain of the virus in Malaysia which may cause problems for the vaccine makers of which there are Russian, Chinese, British, Belgian, French and six American known of.

The vaccine due in October may be dynamite (one dose) or ‘pipe bomb’ (many frequent smaller doses) but it should stimulate immunity to work with our T cells and humonal immunity to fight off the worst of the infection.

Like the exams debacle we need to audit where we went wrong; following Britain too slowly and not other successful countries more rapidly; not securing the care homes, other foodplants and vulnerable groupings and not ruthlessly tracking down the virus with test and trace as WHO had recommended.

We relaxed too soon and did not keep to the regime that had kept us safe.

And now we are too eager to return to school for a matter of a few weeks more.

There is to be reflection on 100 years of Northern Ireland. One thing is clear, these have not been our finest hours.
 
p.s. Research conducted from Liverpool has shown that countries lead by women have done best...come on Arlene agus Michelle?

Dr Micheal Donnelly is an epidemiologist.