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Questionable Hotel Quarantine in Ireland – The mess gets worse!

The Irish government getting into this deeper and deeper and the mess is getting worse and worse. The 12-day Hotel Quarantine from Level 2 countries (Countries with high-risk status because of Covid infections) is allegedly to protect Ireland from travellers who are carrying the virus into Ireland.

Oddly it was decided that no testing is enough, people from 33 countries have to quarantine even if they had negative PCR tests from before they left and from after arriving in Ireland. The 33 countries are a weird collection of mainly poorer countries with only one single European country among them. Austria seemed to get little love from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, because they found themselves on this strange list.

But it is getting worse and worse. On Thursday 01 April (allegedly not April Fool’s joke!) another 26 countries were added to the list. The countries are
Albania, Andorra, Aruba, Bahrain, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Ethiopia, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Oman, Palestine, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Serbia, Somalia and Wallis and Futuna Islands.

Isn’t that a strange list again? Bonaire? Sint Eustatius and Saba (I don’t even have a clue where that is!) or Wallis and Futuna Islands??

For a moment, let’s assume that they are super dangerous Covid countries. A silly idea, but let’s assume:
I am not sure if you have learned the arrivals information of Dublin airport off by heart, but I BET that you will have never seen Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba or Wallis and Futuna Islands on the arrivals screen. And if there is no direct flight then every passenger coming from there might or might not actually come from there and definitely will have to pass through some other country which is then the actual country the passenger is deemed to have come from. So without direct flights, the inclusion of these countries already doesn’t make sense.

But now let’s have a look at their population and Covid situation.
Bonaire has 20,100 inhabitants, Sint Eustatius and Saba have 3,138 and 1,933 inhabitants and the Wallis and Futuna Islands have 11,500 inhabitants.

Well, it turns out that Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba are three different islands that are together called “Caribbean Netherlands” and together they 1,462 cases and 12 deaths. That is 54,112 cases per 1 mio population and 417 deaths per 1mil population. Interestingly, the Netherlands, which are NOT on the list, have 75867 cases per 1 mio and they have 968 deaths per 1 mio. (All figures are from the start of the pandemic.) Ireland has 946 deaths per 1 mio.

So Caribbean Netherlands are on the quarantine list, but the Netherlands are not?  Why would that be? Ohhh, the Netherlands are in the EU and Caribbean Netherlands not!?

And you probably guessed that Wallis and Futuna are not looking too bad either. 37,000 cases per 1 mio and 361 deaths per 1 mio. (Their total number of deaths is actually just 4.) A THIRD of the deaths per 1 mio than Ireland, but Wallis and Futuna are a danger zone!!! VERY odd!

So how do they compare with some of the European countries? In all cases, the first number is the cases per 1 mio and the second number is the deaths per 1 mio.
France        72,523 / 1,473
Italy            60,088 / 1,827
Germany   34,200 / 922
Spain        70,376 / 1,615
UK              63,878 / 1,861

and just for comparison again:

Caribbean Netherlands 54,112 / 454
Wallis and Futuna 37,000 / 361

That quarantine list makes sense, right??? NOT!!!!!!!!

There is a slight weakness in the numbers above: I used total number of cases and total number of deaths since March 2020 as provided by www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries and it is possible that the Covid activity right now appears to be a lot higher and it was averaged out over the year. But if there is a TOTAL of 4 deaths it doesn’t look MADLY dangerous.

An interesting article here www.rte.ie/news/coronavirus/2021/0401/1207372-quarantine-donnelly/ describes that Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney got France, Germany and Italy taken off the list for POLITICAL reasons.

So if anyone claims that the hotel quarantine measures are there to protect Ireland, they are wrong. IF that was the intention then every country that currently has any Covid cases should be on the list. No matter where this country is! And then country by country should be checked and taken off the list if the cases/deaths numbers are below a clearly defined and publicised threshold.

The list is a purely political list that shows even a degree of xenophobia and discrimination towards poorer countries and countries we have less contact with. The UK should DEFINITELY be on the list. The USA should be! Estonia and a few other Eastern European countries seem to struggle with Covid in a bad way right now and that would justify putting them on it.

And then the RTE article adds another component:
“Speaking on Highland Radio today, Mr Coveney said: “This is primarily about Irish people coming home … should we be putting them into a hotel and charging them for the privilege?””

Ohh, so the list is NOT to protect against a virus, but it really is just to keep foreigners out? Or rather: If it affects our own, then we can’t expect them to pay for a stupid hotel quarantine that won’t make any difference anyway. But if it is foreigners from Wallis and Futuna or from Brazil or South Africa, then we let them bleed?

And finally: The first thing that should have been done IF it was about a virus, is to close the border to Northern Ireland, because you can STILL fly into Belfast and drive to Dublin to avoid the Hotel Quarantine completely.

Smoke, screen and mirrors!!! Do not trust any politician or any NPHET member. There are hidden agendas everywhere.

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!

Father’s Day Presents Without Imagination

Father’s Day Presents Without Imagination

Father’s Day is ahead! I don’t really rate Father’s Day and think it is equality-triggered nonsense to have a Father’s Day as a counterbalance to Mother’s Day. This is not because father’s in general don’t do a great job with kids, but it is because no matter what we tell ourselves, mothers will ALWAYS do much more and give up a huge amount more than father’s in connection with raring kids.

But let’s park that for now and let’s have a look at the Father’s Day presents in super markets. Without question, you will find Slippers (preferably with Star Wars, Simpsons or Batman symbol on it), Pyjama’s, Shavers and then the absolute favourite of any man (I assume), the “Nose & Ear Hair Trimmer”. I mean, come on, if you got any of these presents wouldn’t you be ecstatic? The supermarkets think you should be! Shame on you if you expect more imagination! ;-)

And just to make sure that this doesn’t seem like a one-sided post. ;-) Yes, I also think that Mother’s Day presents are outrageously unimaginative. How about a hand mixer or a blender? Or a weighing scale? Or if you are lucky, you might get a footspa or an acrylic nail starter kit. :-O

Dublin: Soooo expensive!

Dublin: Soooo expensive!

If you live in Dublin, this is NO surprise to you: Dublin is crazily expensive and there is no proper justification for it.

Now even knowing that and being exposed to it every single day, sometimes you just come across something that puts it right in your face again. Today it was an e-mail from Riu Hotels. Riu Hotels is an international hotel chain founded by the Spanish Riu family in 1953 in Mallorca and now owned by TUI.

Not tooo long ago, the Riu Hotels group bought the Gresham Hotel in Dublin’s O’Connell Street and today I got an e-mail from them because I signed up as a “Riu Class” loyalty scheme member. (Don’t ask me why I signed up! :-) Yes, I stayed once in Riu Hotel, but it is not that I often stay in hotels and I have no specific preference for any chain anyway, but I am digressing.)

So that e-mail lists some special offers for Riu Hotels and the list goes:

Hotel Riu Plaza The Gresham Dublin — From EUR 178
Hotel Riu Plaza New York Times Square — From EUR 141
Hotel Riu Plaza Berlin — From EUR 69
Hotel Riu Plaza Miami Beach — From EUR 157
Hotel Riu Plaza Espana Madrid — From EUR 162

I didn’t look into details and conditions of these special offers, so there could be some differences, but isn’t it just typical that out of five hotels worldwide, the MOST expensive one is the one in Dublin!?

Failte Ireland lies to International Media!?

Failte Ireland lies to International Media!?

I love Dublin! I am living here for ages and for more than 11 years I wrote a online publication about cultural events in Dublin, but during that time I also have seen how the official groups responsible for tourism (especially in Dublin!) do less and less and expect more and more money to be dropped by tourists.

New Year’s Eve is not the most exciting day of the year in Dublin and if anyone asked me, I would strongly recommend that potential visitors stay far away between 24 December and 02/03 January. It is just sooo disappointing if you go to a city for these celebrated days and there is NOTHING happening.

In previous years some attempts were made to make Dublin a little more interesting at least over New Year with the New Year’s Festival Dublin. It consisted of some events on New Year’s eve (many years ago we even had fireworks!) and then more events and activities on New Year’s Day. But in 2018 all this changed again and it is the poorest and most disappointing events programme for the New Year’s Festival in at least 5, maybe 10 years!

There are just two light shows at Customs House. They are free, but needed tickets (which are all gone) and then there is a gig (not free!!) in the 3Arena. Apart from that there is not a single official event and NO events on New Year’s Day. Private Fireworks are forbidden in Ireland, nobody pays fro public Fireworks, so New Year’s Eve is a Non-Event!

That’s the facts!! But Failte Ireland is of the opinion that the facts shouldn’t get in the way of their “Fake news” marketing!

900 media representatives from 20 countries were invited to come to Ireland just before New Year’s and Failte Ireland is trying to convince them of something that is clearly untrue.

A RTE News article here says:

“The New Year’s Festival in Dublin is set to showcase tourism in the capital, and encourage more people to visit the capital and Ireland in 2019, according to tourism groups.”

“Liam Campbell from Fáilte Ireland’s International Publicity team said this year’s New Year’s Festival promises to be the most impressive end of year celebration Dublin has ever seen.”

What an amount of codswallop!

Do I think people should come to Dublin? Absolutely YES! It is a great place with lots of free and non free events during the year. This is mostly not thanks to Failte Ireland or Dublin City, but luckily we have lots of great people and businesses in Ireland that do a great job. But PLEASE tell people that they should avoid the Christmas and New Year’s period if they don’t want to be disappointed.

 
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