The nationwide move to level 5 “defies all logic” according to a Roscommon doctor.
“Put simply, a nationwide lockdown at the present time defies all logic. The WHO has publicly proclaimed that there is no role for lockdowns except in dire situations when the entire health service is completely overwhelmed,” the former clinical director of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group and Lecarrow native Dr Martin Feeley, a high-profile critic of the government’s approach to the pandemic, told the Roscommon herald.
“In Ireland at the present time, there is a slight increase in numbers. However, ICU occupancy is less than 25% of what it was at the peak and the number admitted to hospital is about 35% of what it was at the peak.”
The pandemic was not just a medical matter but something for society to engage in very serious discussion about, he said.
“Nature has sent along a virus which thankfully largely spares the young and the healthy. We have an enlightened well-educated population who can see the heavy price being paid to deal with this act of Nature. All death is sad and some death is tragic. My concern is that when we talk of cost-benefit, people think the only cost is euros,” he said. “The truth is very different in that the euro cost to the exchequer is the least of the price on the debit side of the ledger.
“The major costs are in seriously impaired quality of life for all; this is not a war and there is no justification for depriving our youth of any of what should be the most exciting, enjoyable, and adventurous time of their lives. The other well-documented costs include, delayed treatments for serious disease, the despair and its consequences caused by closed and lost businesses, lost salaries, and mortgage repayment difficulties. These were foretold and are now all too evident in our communities. Estimates of the consequent effects in lives lost suggest a cost completely disproportionate to the gains of Level 5 and other restrictions.”
He said we were being led by a Government which is in “a state of terror, not of Covid-19 but of the next election”.
Dr Feeley also said there was “no basis at all” to ban outdoor sport and competition.
“The evidence tells us that the risk of transmitting the virus and disease outdoors is almost twenty times less than indoors. Banning outdoor activity for healthy young people and indeed even banning spectating for non-at-risk people makes no sense whatsoever,” he said.
“We need to understand the pressure Covid-19 is putting on the medical profession and they are all wholly occupied in dealing with the day to day difficulties,” he said. “Therefore it is easy to understand why there may be reluctance in the profession to speak out, particularly when you look at how others who have spoken out have been treated.”
He believed that Sweden has managed the pandemic best. “In relation to what we should do, we should protect the vulnerable, and the not at-risk groups should get on with life,” he said.
“Unfortunately, we are, I believe, a country which is almost terrorised on the one hand and then, on the other hand, led to believe that there is a vaccine or treatment around the corner. This is the perfect Santa Claus philosophy. The sad truth is, that the chances of a vaccine or treatment in the next six months are slight.”
If the current strategies are followed it could take years for the virus to be brought under control, he said, describing the present policies as futile, completely lacking foresight, and “focus as to what the end game actually is”.