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Funeral and Sinn Fein’s “Special” Rules

Funeral and Sinn Fein’s “Special” Rules

Funerals during the Covid-19 period have been exceptionally brutal! It is bad enough that a LOT of people died and many people suddenly lost their elderly family members, but it is just inhumane to ban the friends and relatives from saying their Good-byes.

During the peak times of Covid-19 only 10 people were allowed to attend a funeral. It is crazy that that rule was put out there and even worse that it was enforced (there is a good chance that there is NO law about it, but that is only a recommendation, but I didn’t check this out) by the churches and funeral locations.

Imagine a HUGE church where 2m distance is no problem even if 50 people are in it and after that a HUGE cemetery where even 10m distance would be no problem, but only 10 people are allowed. Total nonsense and in Ireland we have to thank the NPHET (National Public Health Emergency Team) for that brutal and unjustifiable rule!

On 29 June, in Phase 3 of the getting-back-to-normally plan, this 10 people limit had been removed, but a 2m physical distance rule is still in place.

In Northern Ireland the limitation were similar and for funerals the limits are depending on the size of the indoor venue and at the graveside a clear limit of 30 people is described on and a screen shot, taken on 03 July is included below.

Also, there is a physical distance requirement of 2m.

This is also described in the interim guidance notes for funeral directors from 02 July 2020 at

“It is permissible for funeral services to be conducted in a place of worship or in a funeral home. The size and circumstances of the venue will determine the maximum number that can attend the service safely whilst observing social distancing of at least 2 metres, wherever possible. It is recommended that Funeral Directors liaise with the relevant officiant, clergy or venue manager to determine the maximum number that can be accommodated at the venue. This information should be communicated to the bereaved family when making the normal funeral arrangements.”


“Whilst the number of mourners at a funeral service will be determined by the size of the venue following risk assessment, a maximum of only 30 are permitted to gather for the committal at the graveside or at the front of the City of Belfast Crematorium.”

I want to repeat that I think some aspects of all these rules are arbitrary and don’t make sense and I am not defending the rules in the slightest. But they are the rules made by the authorities and the rules are VERY VERY clear. Now, you would think that maybe you and me have a slightly more liberal interpretation of these rules or might even break some occasionally, but the people that make the rules, i.e. the people in power, should – nonsensical or not – stick to them STRICTLY.

But then a Sinn Fein member dies in Northern Ireland, where Sinn Fein is in the power sharing government with the Unionists with Arlene Foster as First Minister and Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill as deputy first minister.

That same Michelle O’Neill went to the funeral of the Sinn Fein member and got in a LOT of hot water – deservedly! Because the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland decided to ignore the rules her “Northern Ireland Executive” made the rest of the country stick to.

A classic case of “Do as I say, not as I do”!

O’Neill claims that she did not break any rules, but have a look at the pictures that emerged here

2m distance? Not a chance!
And it gets better! The same article on shows a picture of the graveside where a max of 30 people is allowed:

We can definitely see that O’Neill’s assurance

“If the regulations had prevented me from attending his funeral I would have obeyed those regulations, at the funeral and mass I kept to the regulations, as I have advised others to do.”

are correct. NOT!

Pubs, Ireland and the Coronavirus

Pubs, Ireland and the Coronavirus

Important news about the opening of pubs!

It seems that the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), which is part of the HSE, sort of offered a Covid-19 deal and we can only assume/hope that this was discussed with Mr Corona.

The deal is that from 29 June, you will be safe at a 1 meter distance in a pub, as long as you don’t stay longer than 90 minutes.

Indications are that from Minute 91 things get really dangerous!

If we don’t agree to the 90 min deal and we want to stay, say 120 minutes, then the 1 meter deal is off the table and all will go back to 2 metres.

It also seems that if you are not in a pub, you are still in severe danger if the distance to another person is less than 2 meters, no matter how long you meet. Even if you don’t even face the other person and your encounter only lasts a few seconds! Safety outside of pubs (for example in busses) can be achieved with face masks but the 1 meter distance is not applicable there. 2 metres is the minimum (in nearly empty busses.) The deal ONLY applies to pubs!

It also emerged that the Coronavirus can be kept at bay if you eat a meal in a pub for at least EUR 9. If your meal is cheaper than that you are in danger and if you don’t order a meal in the pub at all, you are in mortal danger, so much so that you are not even allowed to enter the pub. It seems though, that there will be no meal supervision, so you are not forced to EAT the meal, you just need to order it. Once ordered (for more than EUR 9!), the virus will know that and will leave you alone.

P.S. Without a doubt, our authorities clearly know what they are doing and have thought it all through!

The Corona Files: Covid Nonsense – Part 1

The Corona Files: Covid Nonsense – Part 1

The amount of nonsense that is communicated about Covid-19 and what should be done with or against it is just astonishing. And interestingly that is not limited to Social Media channels, or people’s own opinions but includes other media and even Government announcements and policies.

In this post I will attempt to analyse a few of the misconceptions, misinterpretations and confusing nonsense, but I expect that this is only one of a few posts. There sis just too much dodgy information out there to pack all in one post.

Social Distancing – Where do the 2 meters come from?

The concept of social distancing was created to avoid infection by droplet. As long as experts thought that the main infection route is through droplets that are more or less spat out while sneezing, coughing or talking, they also thought that staying away from each other would reduce the risk sufficiently to be save.

But bit by bit, we found out that an additional infection route is through aerosolised virus in the air in enclosed spaces. And now the expectation is that around 10% (only!) of infections happen through touch and then transfer of the virus to the nose, mouth or eyes. 40-45% through droplets and the rest aerosol. So in comparison to the beginning, we now have a completely changed understanding of the transfer. And it also looks like our mad washing of your hands, might have been a little over the top!

The distance between two people protects against droplets because these droplets fly a certain distance before they drop down on the ground. But it is very very strange that in different countries the droplets seem to travel different distances!

Here are the distance rules for different countries:

WHO: 1m
Hongkong: 1m
Austria: 1m
Italy: 1m
Spain: 1.5m
Germany: 1.5m
USA: 6ft (1.82m)
UK: 6ft (1.82m)
Ireland: 2m

Do you see anything odd? Yep, Hongkong and Austria (and as far as I know also Norway and Sweden), who all had relatively low death rates followed the WHO advise and the 1m distance was perfectly fine. Germany, also with a low death rate, pushed it to 1.5m. But for some inexplicable reason the droplets seem to fly MUCH further in Ireland.

Can we trust our scientists and doctors and politicians if they overexaggerate already with that simple issue?

Ireland got away lightly

Not so! Don’t be fooled by a relatively low number of deaths in Ireland. You always have to compare the number of deaths with the amount of people in a country. (Not with the number of infections, because that number depends on how good you test!). And compared to the population, Ireland is at the time of writing this No. 8 in the list of European states. Sure, that is better than in the top 5, but 8th is much higher than many – who just look at comparison of the Irish 1500 death with maybe the UK’s 34,000 – would expect.

Ireland did actually not do too well. And definitely not as well as DOUBLE the distance for Social Distancing in comparison, should have achieved.

Temperature Check in future

One of the ideas for the re-opening of society is that every time you enter your work place or an restaurant or other enclosed spaces, your temperature should be checked and if it is below 37.5 degrees you are good to go in and if it is above that, you will be rejected.

The HSE on their current website “A high temperature or fever, for most people, is when your body temperature is 38C or higher. This can be a sign that you are unwell. It usually means you have an infection such as a cold.” The NHS in the UK says “A fever is usually when your body temperature is 37.8C or higher. You may feel warm, cold or shivery.”

So going by this, both assume that 37.5 is not fever yet. We also know that some people never have a raised temperature even when they are sick and other people have temperature fluctuations even when they are not sick.

As a result the “cold” people would be allowed in even if they were Covid-19 infected and the “hot” people would be rejected even if they are perfectly healthy.

But even worse: The people with a temperature of 37.5 degrees of above will just get rejected at that place they wanted to enter. Nobody will tell them, hey, you should go home immediately and stay there for the next 2 weeks. No, they are free to try the next restaurant and the next one again and so on.

Temperature tests are an extremely weak route to “diagnose” infected people.

Flatten the curve vs “Let’s finish the job”

In one of his many not-so-succesful attempts to motivate people to believe or trust him, The Health Minister Simon Harris said on 10 May “We got this – let’s finish the job.” This statement is in the face of a pandemic total nonsense. We can not “finish the job”, because that implies that ‘we can kill that virus’. That is not the case and interestingly was never planned! All the government wanted to achieve was to “flatten the curve”. And THAT was achieved. This graph gives an indication and it is also in a tweet by Simon Harris.
Now that the curve is flat and ICU beds are available, we have to allow new infections, not panic when they happen.

There are even people at the moment that wait for the day when the number of deaths that is still announced on daily basis will got to ZERO. People, that can’t happen! Every day people will die and some will die of pneumonia.

The Corona Files: It wasn’t me, says the Pangolin!

The Corona Files: It wasn’t me, says the Pangolin!

One of the most asked questions about the Coronavirus is where it came from and there are a number of theories that have various degrees of plausibility. One of them is really interesting because it introduces something new.

One of the theories is the official Chinese series of events, the other one is the one that the CIA has now adopted and that Trump will use to put penalty taxes on Chinese goods again and then there is the third one, an interesting one that thinks a little outside the box.

The Chinese Version

The Chinese Version that the communist party of China peddled as the official story from the beginning talks about a Coronavirus that came from a horseshoe bat (their face looks a little like a horseshoe). From that bat, the virus jumped to an intermediate animal and the Chinese said it was a Pangolin and from there it was transferred to humans in a wet market in Wuhan where Pangolin meat was sold. Apart from bats, Pangolins are the only mammals reported to date that have been found to be infected with a coronavirus that is related to Sars-Cov-2.

The problem with this story is that no virus was isolated from the wet market in Wuhan, instead the Chinese authorities destroyed all evidence as quickly as possible and refused to let any external (or internal) experts to check the evidence before they closed the market and disinfected it. This is like going to a murder scene with barrels of bleach before you let the crime scene investigator have a look.

Interestingly the Chinese authorities seemingly didn’t even let their own experts from the “Wuhan Institute of Virology” look for the virus on the market. The “Wuhan Institute of Virology” is one of the top experts in Coronaviruses.

The Lab Version

But the presence of the “Wuhan Institute of Virology” that explicitly was researching the Coronaviruses in the same city where the first recorded Coronavirus case was discovered raises huge suspicions and many, including US President Trump and the CIA, are certain that the virus came from this institute and either was “freed” intentionally or accidentally. The institute particularly researched into the possibility of bat to human transfer without an intermediate host. The head of the Coronavirus research at the institute, Shi Zhengli, was talking about Coronaviruses and this possible direct transfer not too long ago and in addition one of the researchers from the “Wuhan Institute of Virology”, Huang Yan Ling, who some think might have been Patient Zero, has disappeared since the start of the pandemic. She could have died and her name was removed from the Institute’s website.

Here is a story that appeared in the Scientific American about what happened regarding the virus outbreak and the Institute:

It outlines that the genomic sequence of the virus that was found in the first patients didn’t match the sequences of the viruses Shi Zhengli’s team had sampled from bat caves. But at the same time, it was confirmed that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was 96% identical to that of a coronavirus the researchers had found in horseshoe bats in Yunnan.

But oddly Yunnan about 1800km away from Wuhan! So how did this virus make it from the Yunann province to Wuhan without causing the same havoc as it caused in the city of Wuhan or the province of Hubei?

Nobody seemingly has a good answer! Maybe it was a traveling Pangolin?? :-O

Why is the Pangolin in this story?

The intermediary host is not absolutely required, it could be possible that the virus from the bat directly went to human beings. But bats and human beings are quite different and this virus was particularly “prepared” to transmit fast between human beings, so virologists think that it had to adjust to mammals that are closer to us before it could be so infectious. The poor Pangolin gets the blame, because the SARS-CoV-2 virus was found in some Pangolins, but they might not at all have been the intermediary.

Was the virus man-made?

A number of virologists who have analysed the genomic sequence have excluded that possibility. They said there are certain unusual features in the genomic sequence that would be odd for man-made viruses and they are therefore convinced that it was a natural transmission. But everything is still possible. We just don’t know enough yet.

An argument for the man-made nature was the spike protein that can be found in the virus. It was said that that HAS to be man-made, but in the meantime that spike protein concept was found in natural viruses., which reduced the small probability further.

What other intermediary host is possible?

If it wasn’t the Pangolin, another intermediary host could have been the environment in which the SARS-CoV-2 virus got ready for its damage in humans and it is possible that over a few weeks or months it jumped a number of times between the host animal and human beings to fine tune the mechanism, so to speak. A suitable animal would be either a pig OR a dog or cat, because they are a) living close to us and b) are genetically closer to us than Pangolins.

And one specific animal that could have been involved is a Racoon Dog that is bred in China for its fur and the biggest breeding location is Wuhan! :-O The Racoon Dog and the dog keepers/breeders could have swapped the the virus a few times giving the virus time to adjust to human beings, before it then started spreading between human beings.

Here is an outline of the Racoon Dog theory (in German)

What do we know?

We know the virus is from bats. We know it made it to human beings and we know that it either was transferred directly or via a host animal.
We also know that the Chinese authorities were anything else but upfront and honest. We know that they wanted to suppress information and do not want to take any blame.
But we also know that the CIA is highly untrustworthy and has an agenda in all actions and that Trump would very much appreciate a new reason to harass China with.

Interestingly the Australian and the British secret services do not agree with the CIA’s story about the Wuhan Institute of Virology as the source of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. They seem to think that the USA is as motivated to change the truth as China is.

We also know that virologists are scientists and are not necessarily experts in Secret Service politics and also do not necessarily know everything about how a virus could have been made to look like it has been made by nature instead of being man-made.

Where does that leave us?

It leaves us very much in the dark! We know we can’t trust nobody and we know that we can’t find out ourselves.

The racoon dog option would be a nice explanation, but it is just grasping for straws. I could easily see some sort of accidental escape of the virus from the Institute of Virology as plausible, but what do I know!

The total control aspect

One thing concerns me and it is in this context NOT Bill Gates or 5G or Anthony Fauci! The Chinese government and the communist party who is the government got under a lot of pressure towards the end of last year due to the protests in Hongkong and we know from the situation in East Germany that totalitarian governments have to be VERY afraid of civil unrest. So shutting that protest down and at the same time increasing the control of their own people would be extremely convenient for the Chinese government.

The introduction of the tracing app that became mandatory in China to enter public buildings and shops and even public transport is a brilliant tool to totally control their citizens and could not have been introduced for ANY other reason without some opposition. The RAPID introduction in a very efficient way despite the massive size of the country and the huge data and processing requirements could indicate that a LOT was prepared and ready to go. The relative regional limitation of the virus epidemic also is a little odd when you compare it to what happened in other countries.

So if you want to believe a scenario whereby the virus was intentionally used to cause havoc to introduce severe population control mechanism, you can find heaps of plausible indicators for this theory.

Either way, it seems that the Pangolin is definitely innocent!

[The title photo is from the Flickr stream of David Brossard shared under Creative Commons licensing:]

Bewley’s screwed up, it wasn’t the landlord

Bewley’s screwed up, it wasn’t the landlord

Bewley's Cafe

Bewley’s Cafe will close for good, we found out on 06 May and soon the chorus of “greedy landlord” started together with the wish to save Bewley’s cafe.

But as so often there are some facts that are not clearly obvious that need to be considered:

In a starring role, there is developer and landlord Johnny Ronan and the other main actors are the Campbell Family, who own the Bewley’s Cafes and Campbell Catering.

Johnny Ronan is a hugely successful developer, who has his fingers in nearly all relevant property pies in Dublin. He went down in 2008 and was bailed out by NAMA – or rather by all of us Irish tax payers – and he has recovered like Phoenix from the ashes afterwards. Kudos for his regained success, but it is difficult to “like” someone like that who is only able to make his huge personal gains again because we paid his significant debts. And I would also not be surprised if the tag “greedy” might be totally justified.

Johnny Ronan bought Bewley’s Cafe in Grafton Street from Royal Liver a few years ago and is renting it to the Campbell family for allegedly 1.5mio per year. And it is the public’s opinion that it is this massive rent cost that is the reason for the Bewley’s Cafe closure and because we all seem to love the national treasure that Bewley’s Cafe is seen as – although many of us would NEVER go there for their cofe and pastries! – the conclusion is Landlord = Bad, Tenant = Good!

Not exactly the truth, though!

So what is the real picture:

The Bewley’s family started the Bewley’s company in 1840 and they opened the Cafe in Grafton Street in 1927. They bought the building at some point and owned it. Campbell Catering bought struggling Bewley’s at the end of the 1980s and consequently they owned the building in Grafton Street then and that is where the trouble starts.

To get some money into the company, in their wisdom, the Campbell family decided to sell the Grafton St building and lease it back. It is a silly accounting “trick” that gets you cash in the short term, but ignores that you will pay a big rent over the years, especially if the location is such a prime spot in the main city centre shopping area.

In 2007 then there was a rent review and it seems that the Campbell family was ok with 1.5 mio, but the story continues. Just two years before the rent review Bewley’s closed for a while (they seemed to have done this a number of time in the last few years) and during that time allegedly Zara offered a yearly rent of EUR 2 mio. Not sure if they would have been allowed to do that, but Campbell could have continued paying the rent of 1.5 mio to the landlord and on the other side take 2 mio from Zara. BUT Campbell was not interested in that offer.

The landlord even offered them then 6 mio if they got out! But Campbell was still not interested.

In 2014 Bewley’s closed again for renovation and it remained closed for nearly three (!!) years and a whopping 12 mio was spent on the internal works to turn it from a 180 seat cafe to a 500 seat cafe. (I wrote about the challenge back then

So you see that the landlord (Johnny Ronan or his company Ickendel) doesn’t deserve any medals for anything they did, but they also are not really the reason why Campbell is closing the Cafe now. Campbell made a number of decisions over the years that could have helped them to leave the seemingly unmanageable burden behind, but they decided against it.

The final decision now is solely Campbell’s responsibility and there is no justification for a “Save Bewley’s campaign” or anything like that. It is pity that Bewley’s Cafe will close, it was an icon in Dublin and will be missed, but I haven’t been in there for many many years, so I didn’t help to keep it open and therefore I can’t complain. I just hope that no Starbucks will move in! We have more than enough of them! :-O

This article outlines some parts of the story:


(The title picture is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license and it was taken by Miguel Mendez.)

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