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eltonioni wrote:
Flyin'Dutch' wrote:
eltonioni wrote: We're way off topic, but since you asked this article popped up on The Times' website.

I appreciate that's quite normal on much of the Continent, I just didn't appreciate that saying it was especially controversial.

The irony.............

I am sure you appreciate that your explanation brought out a laugh out loud moment.

:D :D

Did you have the laugh over a congenial cappuccino with your unvaccinated pals at the café?

No? There's the difference. Needlessly and cruelly eliminating the most basic civil liberties of a sub group has once again been normalised in some places. History repeats itself all too often and people think they are on the right side of it at the time, only for their decedents to be aghast at what they did to others.


You do remember posting this then

"You edited this bit out > :P . I might not have been entirely serious on that occasion. :thumright:

The thing is, if instead of a pointless and ineffective lock down of the entire nation back in March last year we had quarantined the elderly and vulnerable we would not have had the death toll we've seen.

It might feel unfair to those groups watching everyone else going to the pub while they stay indoors waiting for the next free Waitrose delivery, but life is unfair sometimes, and not half as unfair as a needless death. The upside is that the rest of the population would have got on with something that resembled normality with little to no effect on the NHS or the nation's finances and our children wouldn't have suffered what will be life-changing damaged education and social development... and we haven't even begun reaping the rewards of virtually shutting the NHS for everything but Covid for a year.. "

so locking up a subset of the population was good enough for you then
Flyin'Dutch' liked this
I think one can view it in different ways.

On the one hand, get your jab - it's no big deal and it's the sensible thing to do.

On the other hand, the rights of the French people to engage in many everyday activities are now dependent on them complying with an ongoing programme of state-mandated medical procedures and carrying with them proof of such compliance. Macron has publicly described the unvaccinated as 'not citizens' and has vowed to make their lives as difficult as possible.

Viewed that way, it's rather chilling.

Certain countries do have an historical tendency towards authoritarianism. The British and the Americans view things through the lens of a free representative democracy being the only valid option, but this is not the case everywhere. Most of mainland Europe has had authoritarian rule of some sort within living memory, and thus a free representative democracy is simply 'one of the options'.
Last edited by defcribed on Wed Jan 26, 2022 3:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Why, then, 'tis none to you, for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison. Well, then it isn't one to you, since nothing is really good or bad in itself—it's all what a person thinks about it.

Hamlet: Act 2 Scene 2
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By PeteSpencer
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JAFO wrote:@defcribed

Why, then, 'tis none to you, for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison. Well, then it isn't one to you, since nothing is really good or bad in itself—it's all what a person thinks about it.

Hamlet: Act 2 Scene 2

Hmmm: That would make a good film.......................... :roll:
@defcribed - you’ve landed smack bang in the middle of the “Napoleonic” versus “common law” dichotomy.

Former basically allows citizens/subjects to only do what the law says.

Latter is the inverse.

The French and many other European countries are used to their Glorious Leaders dictating to them - and most of the time ignoring or working around Their Dictates.

It is indeed perplexing to those of British or American backgrounds, but that culture clash is a big part (fundamentally) why the UK struggled in the EU and finally left.
Flyingfemme, JAFO, Flyin'Dutch' and 2 others liked this
Precisely. European law says what you are allowed to do and everything else is forbidden. UK law says what you are forbidden to do and everything else is permitted. I know which I prefer.

The shielding thing is getting problematic MiL is in a residentialhome and they have been locked down for over a month now - for sequential covid outbreaks. An “outbreak” is officially described as two positive tests. In a home with around 160 residents and at least that many staff (maybe up to double?) what is the chance of them ever being outbreak free? She calls her kids everyday (more than once) asking why she has no visitors and when they will be coming to see her. She is effectively imprisoned and being punished for something she has no control over. How much protection should people be forced to endure?
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By flybymike
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Paultheparaglider wrote:
Yes, restrictions have been imposed, but from a stance of well intentioned paternalism.

Allison Pearson of The Telegraph describes the results of some well intentioned paternalism.

Killers have more rights than care home residents – it's a scandal that shames us all
I cannot recognise the nation where such things are taking place, yet I know that heartless place is our country

On Saturday night, I raised a glass of Prosecco to an unlikely freedom fighter. Mario Finotti suffered a fatal injury after he made a rope out of bedsheets, tied it around his waist and dropped out of the first-floor window of the care home where he had lived for more than a year in Papozze, a town in northern Italy. Signor Finotti was 91 years old.

According to reports, the director of the home said staff were shocked: “Mario Finotti was not suffering from any degenerative pathologies. It is not known what was going through his head because, from a psychological point of view, he was peaceful.”

Actually, it’s not terribly hard to imagine what was going through the elderly man’s head as he waited until dawn before lowering himself out of the window, summoning what strength remained to swing clear of the ledge. What else was it but one final act of daring, a bloody-minded refusal to accept Covid captivity? That same “lonely impulse of delight” that drove the poet WB Yeats’s Irish airman who, sensing that he will soon die, chooses, if only for one more day, one more minute, the exhilaration of flight.
The mayor of Papozze, Pierluigi Mosca, confirmed that “loneliness was a likely motive” for the attempted escape. A determined character who had never married, Mario was passionate about politics and would often drop in on Mosca in his office. Harsh Covid restrictions meant he was no longer able to leave the care home. Nor were family or friends allowed to visit. For the last three weeks of his life, the nonagenarian’s only contact with the outside world was via phone calls with his nephews and nieces.

Finotti’s great escape sounds like a crazy one-off, but it is symbolic of a universal predicament. Trapped inside our care homes, hospitals and institutions are men, women and young adults who languish, unvisited and isolated. Given the choice, they would choose hugs and reassurance from those they love (and who love them) over a sterile, zero-Covid bubble. The flesh may be weak, but the mind is out on that window ledge with Super Mario.

As I write what follows, I may struggle to contain my anger. Forget recriminations over No 10 parties, however thoughtless and hypocritical they may have been. What we are talking about is a vast, suppurating national scandal, a grievous wound to our shared humanity. Unimaginable barbarism is going on every hour of every single day in a land we once believed was kind and decent. Well, it isn’t. Not any more.
The suffering caused by puffed-up little public-health Hitlers, by safetyist care-home regulators, by Government ministers who look the other way in a shabby attempt to cover their backsides for the public inquiry, is despicable. This has to stop.

Louise’s mother has been in hospital for nearly four weeks. The hospital trust doesn’t permit visits. She caught Covid there and is now on oxygen. On Monday, Louise went to the ward and pleaded with the nurse to let her in to see her mum. Request refused.

“I watched 12 people entering and leaving the ward without any PPE, apart from blue paper masks, one of which was being worn below a porter’s chin. My poor mum is on her own, being fed through her vein, with no one able to see her. She’s now tested negative for Covid, as have I, and she’s in a side room on her own, so where’s the risk? My mum needs me. Allison, please can you write about this scandal? Please.” This has to stop.

Tim and Helen’s daughter was moved to a new residential home on October 1 last year. Since that date, she has endured 42 days of being locked in her bedroom with staff only visiting her periodically. “Our daughter is 36, a vulnerable, profoundly disabled but gregarious, fun-loving woman who enjoys being around people. So this must be torture for her.

“Her first isolation was after a stay in hospital with a urine infection. When she returned to the home, they followed government guidelines to the letter and kept her in her room for 14 days, despite the fact she provided two negative PCR tests in the 48 hours prior to hospital discharge and ongoing negative tests thereafter. They took over seven days to allow us to visit as essential care-givers. In the New Year, the home declared what the guidance calls an ‘outbreak’ – that is where two or more residents or staff test positive or have Covid symptoms. We understand it was one resident and seven staff testing positive without symptoms. All, we assume, are triple vaccinated.
“We were officially informed on December 31 that the home was going to prevent anybody other than staff leaving or entering, but that communal areas would remain open, with only the infected residents being isolated. (Government guidelines state that a home should get advice from the Health Protection Team and conduct a risk assessment.) However, on January 7, we had a video call with our daughter and discovered that all residents had been confined for the whole time in their rooms.

“We have complained to the care home provider. We have pointed out that our daughter is being held against her will, and they are in breach of her human rights unless a proportionate and justifiable case can be made for their action. To date, we have not received an answer. We were told that our daughter’s current period of solitary confinement would end on January 17, providing that there were no new cases.”

Let’s press pause for a second to consider this. The Supreme Court describes the “segregation” and “removal from association” of prisoners as “solitary confinement”. Segregation can be used as a punishment for adults who break the rules, although it is limited to 21 days. Prisoners can also be segregated if it “appears desirable, for the maintenance of good order or discipline or in his/her own interests”. There is no time limit for this, although after 42 days the governor of the prison must seek authorisation from the Secretary of State for it to continue.

Tim and Helen’s gregarious, fun-loving daughter has been segregated for 42 days and counting. Although she was perfectly healthy, her freedom to associate with others was summarily removed. What right of appeal do her parents have, Secretary of State? A murderer or a rapist has more rights than their daughter. This has to stop.
Sue’s mother is in a care home. The care home manager’s husband has Covid. The manager tested negative so she can still go to work. Sue’s mother tested negative, Sue tested negative. “But we can’t visit Mum, and Mum cannot leave the home. She cannot even leave her bed for 14 days, because the manager’s husband has Covid!” This has to stop.

It’s a Monday nine weeks ago. Adam’s terminally ill father is in hospital on antibiotics. Adam and his sister are told he has about two days to live. But a nurse tells them they can’t visit their father until he qualifies for “end-of-life” care on Friday, when his course of antibiotics finishes. “But the doctor says Dad will be dead by Wednesday,” Adam protests. The brother and sister are told that, if they give permission to halt the treatment, they can say goodbye in person to their father. This has to stop.

Mathew writes: “My mum had a stroke. We were not allowed to see her in hospital when she most needed us. She was scared and alone. I wrote to the hospital management and, after three weeks, my dad was allowed to visit. Both Mum and Dad had to wear full PPE, mask, plastic pinny and gloves. They weren’t allowed to hug, kiss or touch. Barbaric. They had a nurse sitting there watching to make sure they didn’t touch. The window was wide open and they both got very cold. Dad is a bit deaf and he couldn’t hear Mum through the mask. I am sending you a photo, Allison, of the nurse keeping watch over my poor parents. I wasn’t allowed in to see my mother, but I took the photo from the corridor.” This has to stop.
And here’s Sally: “Last January, my husband, who has a diagnosis of young-onset Alzheimer’s, was admitted to a specialist hospital for dementia. At the time, he could talk, walk, use the toilet and eat independently. As it was high-Covid time, I was not allowed to go with him or visit for five weeks. They told me he was constantly looking for me. He became very agitated and aggressive with staff, resulting in him spending over 100 hours in a seclusion room on 11 occasions. He developed Covid, cellulitis in his legs, wouldn’t sleep in his bed, had a seizure, allergic reactions and two bad falls to his head, all of which resulted in four trips to A&E.

“When he left to go into a nursing home in May, he was doubly incontinent, couldn’t feed himself, had lost his speech, was bent forward with poor mobility and required 24-hour one-to-one care. At a ‘best interest’ meeting, I was denied the right to bring him home. Now he has poor health. He is currently in hospital and as I am Covid-free I hope to visit soon. I strongly feel that if I had been able to go with him into the hospital, the outcome would have been much better. I lost my husband. I feel deep regret that I let him go.”

Even after all of the horrors listed above, John’s Campaign – which fights for the right of people with dementia to be supported by family carers – had to battle for Sally to be “allowed” to visit her husband in the acute hospital when he was refusing to eat. “They were going to tube-feed him, rather than allow his wife to come in and do it,” recalls Julia Jones, co-founder of John’s Campaign.

Having read a hundred stories like Sally’s and Adam’s and Sue’s and Tim and Helen’s, I feel almost chemically altered. The sadness seeps into your cells like icy water dripping into a cave. I cannot recognise the nation where such things are taking place, yet I know that heartless place is our country.
Early in the pandemic, many rules were devised by Brains-from-Thunderbirds types at the Department of Health and in Whitehall’s “Nudge Unit”. They lacked compassion and basic common sense, but people were threatened and ostracised if they dared challenge them. Yes, there are lots of good, kind nurses, doctors and carers in the system, but they were intimidated and uncertain about what they were “allowed” to offer desperate relatives.

Tomorrow, as the Plan B restrictions are lifted, much of the country will mercifully go back to normal. But not for hospital patients or residents of care homes. As Simon, a former inspector for the Care Quality Commission, wrote to the Planet Normal podcast: “Care homes will be left behind in a morass of badly written and unduly restrictive government guidance. My concern is they will become clinical ‘protection’ facilities, with constant testing, isolation and mask-wearing.”
Although omicron and a successful vaccination campaign have vastly reduced the risk to elderly and vulnerable people, the tinpot dictators at PHE and local authorities still can’t get enough of enforcing guidance. Care homes are locked down if only two Covid cases (either staff or residents) are recorded. I was staggered to learn that roughly half of all care homes are currently in lockdown. Some older people have hardly seen a person’s face for two years.

Residents are heartily sick of it, but they are treated as possible units of infection not as human beings with needs and desires. Most directors of care providers privately agree that testing should be stopped immediately and things allowed to return to the “old normal”. But, as a group, care providers are not well organised. Individual companies are reluctant to go against the guidance for fear of being picked off by the authorities. At some point, the social-care sector needs to take a stand against the patent madness of a PHE-mandated lockdown of an entire care home on the basis of just two asymptomatic cases.

In our hospitals, other monstrosities continue unchecked. A paediatrician tells me how much she hates the “widely adopted one-parent rule”, which means she has to break difficult news to either a mother or a father on their own, with parents unable to comfort each other or be together with their sick child. “Did the risks to staff wearing PPE (who were more likely to catch Covid outside the hospital) outweigh the harm of this brutal policy, which is still in place? I don’t think managers ever asked themselves the question,” she says.

Why didn’t they ask the question? What manner of society stipulates that a mother must hear the news that her child has cancer alone? Or that an 88-year-old grandfather must depart this life, also alone, in the name of keeping him “safe”?
The safetyism-gone-mad public health scientists will point out that 30,000 care home residents died of Covid (or, just as likely, “with” Covid). Perfectly true – but a third of care home residents die every single year. Sons and daughters, wives and husbands, will always feel sorrow that the person they love has dementia or is soon about to leave them. Now to sorrow is added fear. Fear of separation, fear of not being allowed to hold your dying parent’s hand, fear that no one will ever care for them as you would.
The Secretary of State can end this nation-shaming nightmare with a few keystrokes. Into the Health and Social Care Bill, which is currently going through Parliament, Sajid Javid could insert a clause which says that anyone who is disabled, be it by dementia, physical or mental frailty or sickness, should have an inalienable right to direct personal support from someone they love. As Julia Jones puts it: “In very simple terms, think of this as the right for a sight-disabled person to be accompanied by a guide dog.” In our darkest hours, love is the salve to all hurts, our truest salvation.

I hope that putting an inalienable right to direct, personal support from a loved one onto the the statute books will command wide, cross-party support. Please lobby your MP. Tell them that, when Covid restrictions are lifted, they must be lifted for everyone. These are our fellow citizens. Their imprisonment in perpetuity shames us.

When Mario Finotti made his bid to escape from the care home, he was saying that, at 91 years of age, he wasn’t merely a potential Covid statistic – he was a man who still had the right to choose. Stepping off that windowsill, he fell to his life.

Signor Finotti, Super Mario, we salute you.
eltonioni liked this
@flybymike , I agree that the whole issue of care homes has been managed very badly. It is possibly the most significant area where lessons need to be learned so we do things differently if we ever find ourselves in a new pandemic going forward.

On a slightly positive note, it has been announced this morning that restrictions are being rolled back from Monday.
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By Flyin'Dutch'
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An interesting article by Pearson, and I was surprised to find out it was written yesterday as some of the practise described in there would lead me to think that it was reflective of what the status was 2 years ago.

If the cases she describes are all happening in the present time then that would be very difficult to understand and some of those would be outdated and inappropriate to say the least.

A one parent rule to break bad news about a child's serious health problem is inhumane and I cannot fathom what can be the rationale for that; not something I think we have ever had here.

(Despite us being in continental Europe and in the EU)
flybymike liked this
@FD the care home situation is still exactly as described. The hospital situation is strictly one vistor, named, for the duration of the stay. So only that visitor gets to speak with the nursing and medical staff. We are “lucky”, I suppose, that my mother is disabled and requires a carer to push her wheelchair. It means that somebody with better reasoning and power of recall gets the situation updates..................on her own she can recall nothing of use.
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By Flyin'Dutch'
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One visitor per visiting session is not great but of course a lot better than what is described no visitors.

Nursing homes - vaccinated and test on the day and then there can be more than one visitor too. Tests can be done here FOC at a host of test centrums or at the care home by staff there - again FOC.
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By PeteSpencer
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JAFO wrote:
PeteSpencer wrote:Hmmm: That would make a good film.......................... :roll:

Sorry, Pete, I've missed something. What's that got to do with films and why the rolling eyes?

Apols for my irreverent off-the-wall humour:

I had just come to this thread from the 'What book would make a good movie' thread. :wink:
JAFO liked this
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