In terms of dealing with economics and society, nobody and nothing can be above questioning. Sometimes those questions might be uncomfortable, sometimes the answers might be . Pulling on the Green PPE and accepting the veiews of the National Public Health Emergency Team as diktats from an omniscient power serves nobody well. We know in ireland where groupthink gets us.
In that context, here are 10+ questions for some enterprising journalist to pose to the NPHET. I am sure there are many more and I am sure that some of these can be easily answered
- What socioeconomic cost benefit analyses have been undertaken, and can they be published, on the relative costs and benefits in economic, social and health terms, of faster vs slower reopening of economic and social activities?
- Where organizations can show that they can open with little additional risk (think, hairdressers and barbers with PPE, distancing etc) to provide services, what medical and economic advice is there to counteract same?
- On what public health grounds were the 2-5-20km distances chosen, what alternatives were examined, and can those studies be published?
- Can you provide details of the advice, if any, given on the running of the leaving certificate examinations, including but not limited to advice on how to ensure the examination proceeded with physical distancing?
- What are the public health and economic analyses underlying the allocation of companies and activities per stage , eg why is activity X in stage Y, and can these be published.
- Has consideration been given, and if so what were the reasons behind the decision, to expand membership of the NPHET to include greater numbers of economic and social analysts versus a public health “heavy” membership?
- Where would R0 need to be, for how long, at each stage, for the next stage to commence?
- As exactly as possible, or for what range, would other metrics – ICU occupancy, deaths from COVID, new cases etc -need to be before each stage of the government reopening plan commences.
- If there is no range or metric from 8, what exactly are the criteria for a recommendation to move/not move to each new stage
- What options, if any, and if none why, were given to government regarding the timing number and duration of the stages for reopening, and can the analyses underlying the recommendations be published?
- What studies have been undertaken or commissioned or sought on the psycho-social impact on children and teens of removing them from their broader social and familial environment
- What public health or other rationale underlies the reccomendation to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival REGARDLESS of origin ?
- What estimates have been made of excess mortality from lower self and medical referral for investigation, from reduced inpatient procedures etc?
- What estimates and estimates of cost and effect, if any, of increased domestic voilence have been made and can they be published?