Ok, ok, but the UK has a ginormous population, right? Especially compared to Ireland.
So we adjust per capita - how many deaths per 100,000 people?
There have been 14.81 deaths per 100,000 people in the UK.
Guys, people have been dying at more than *twice the rate* in the UK.
I mean, it'd be a huge angle for the UK media, surely?
Not saying Ireland's a paragon of virtue! Loads to discuss & critique & make better!
Nothing. At least, not much that I can see.
Because if you compare the per capita death rate between Ireland and *England*, rather than the UK as a whole, England has almost *2.5* times the number of deaths as Ireland (14.81 deaths per 100,000 vs 6.5 deaths per 100,000)
But England has more than 2.5 times the deaths? Why?
You have a real-time A/B test happening *right in front of you*.
Because Ireland closed down earlier. Much earlier.
While Cheltenham was going ahead, and over 250,000 people were gathering in what would have been a massive super-spreader event, Ireland had *cancelled St Patrick's Day*.
Because our Irish TV news was filled with very direct, serious pronouncements about what was coming. But when we switched to the British TV channels... *crickets*.
Rolling restrictions in Ireland, so no groups > 100, but pubs not yet closed. Video emerged of people singing in a pub in Temple Bar => public outcry, #shutthepubs trended, Health Minister comments, voluntary closure ensued.
The seriousness of the situation was very, very clear in Ireland, and there was massive public buy-in.
And that cost lives.
The people *they* infected will start dying next week.
By staying home *this week* rather than *next week*, one person could prevent an extra 1800 infections. One person!
18 lives saved, by the choices of one person to stay home for the week starting 13 March, rather than the following week.
And I'll say again: those figures were based on US infection numbers at that point, with 30% growth rate per day. It's not the UK.
It was precise, clearly communicated, controlled.
Full lockdown came to the UK on 23 March.
Technically, the UK went into lockdown *before* Ireland; but that's not a fair comparison, as we were already operating our 'Delay Phase' from 12-27 March.
And now, the UK has over twice the number of deaths per capita than Ireland.
HOW how HOW can it be worse.
That sentence has a whole pile of clauses and commas, doesn't it? Let's break it down.
... and they wouldn't be included in UK figures
And you have to have a positive test, before death, to be counted in the UK deaths.
And Ireland is testing a *lot* more. We have a drive-through testing centre in the sacred sporting grounds of Croke Park - think turning Wembley Station into a testing centre, and you get somewhere close.
15,000 tests is about 7 months of flu testing for Ireland – and we're planning this, every day, for months and months.
And: we ARE building this testing network.
You're testing at half the rate that Ireland is, and your loved ones, your family, your friends are dying over twice as fast.
I lived for long periods of time in the UK, and I have loved ones still living there, people whose safety I'm desperately afraid for.
I say this because: you are being failed.
Failed, by news reports that (correctly!) talk about how horrific the death toll is in NYC, while eliding the horrors of nearly 1000 people dying in a single day at home.
Because your media didn't report on the contrast between Boris' choices and ours.
And it breaks my heart.
Time to flatten your curve. Time to build testing. Time to develop a robust contact tracing system.
Time to *use* your lockdown as it should be used, while we do the same.
Time to be our partners in this, as we all must be, in a globalised pandemic.
The best time to stop this pandemic was last January. The second-best time is now.