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Just follow the science

But the new covid surge has no rules, regulations or science.

7 April 2022

Mask wearing requirements, along with most remaining restrictions,
were removed in Ireland in February.

There is a general perception that the covid pandemic is over, yet the number of cases in Ireland, both North and South of the border, increases every day. The medical profession are expressing alarm. The president of the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine, said: “We have patients arriving in larger and larger numbers and we have fewer and fewer staff to deal with them"

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) has been closed down. a new, smaller version was promised but has not been assembled.

In February the Dublin government dumped all mitigation procedures. The legal basis for enforcing mitigation procedures went out of date, and the Government did not renew it.

The BA.2 variant is far more contagious than earlier versions, and all that is left is vaccination. That's holding up, but it will wear off and there is the possibility of further variants

The hospitals are full and staff are exhausted, but they haven't yet collapsed. However, people are still dying and treatment of other conditions such as cancer is in many cases not available.

So, what's going on?

The reality is, science doesn't set policy. It can tell our rules the likely outcome of various policies, but it can't dictate - ask the climate scientists.

What we are following is class rule. The capitalists set rules in their own interests. They can use science as cover, pack committees with the right scientists to reassure us, or just ignore the science altogether

They are ably supported by the media. Does anyone remember the daily "R" number? Or even when the issue was top of the news?

So, what is the policy of the capitalist class? Essentially it is herd immunity. If enough people get ill eventually, they hope, everyone will be immune and the pandemic will go away. Vaccination was a lucky break and a distraction from the need for common global action and for strict application of the test, trace, isolate programme of the World health organisation.

The foundational need has been for profit, so vaccine licences remain in the hands of the companies and the mass of the world's population do without. Billions are handed out to cronies for health supplies, privatised health care for the elderly sees lives destroyed. In the background, there is yet another lurch towards the full privatisation of medical care.

That's not enough. A just in time economy can't slow down for long, so now it's back to work and increased austerity to pay the bills for the pandemic.

How does the government get away with this? The answer is that there is little opposition. All the major parties are in coalition or soon hope to be. Decades of partnership see the unions in secret committees offering advice and constructing deals. Many put hope in Sinn Fein, but in the North the covid policy was whatever the DUP would go along with, even when the pandemic raged out of control.

What's the alternative? It's not follow the science, its follow the material interests of the working class: Mass testing, isolation where required, no profit on vaccines, international coordination, compensation for workers.

Coincidentally, that’s where following the science would put us if it were ever applied.

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