Statistics on deaths from Covid 19 that have been issued to Aontú leader and TD for Meath West, Peadar Tóibín show that over one quarter of the deaths officially confirmed as being due to the Covid virus since March 1, 2020, took place in nursing homes.
40% of all deaths were of nursing home residents and patients who had contracted the virus in hospital.
As Deputy Tóibín stated on Raidio na Gaeltachta this afternoon, most of those deaths were of elderly people who contracted the virus inside the nursing homes. He also pointed out that this took place at a time when the Irish health authorities, with the support of almost the entire political, medical and media establishment, were implementing ludicrous restrictions on people being able to travel for work and other reasons.
This happened at the same time that the authorities were effectively locking elderly people up in what proved to be the most unsafe environment of all; cut off from their families who were not permitted to visit them, allegedly for their own safety.
Tóibín has called for a full statutory enquiry into all of the circumstances which led to this, not least of all to try to discover what lessons might be learned should some similar crisis occur on the future.
Added to the unacceptable number of deaths in the nursing homes, the HSE also on February 14 supplied Deputy Tóibín with statistics in response to another question to the Minister for Health which had requested the number of people who had died from Covid-19 “having contracted it while in hospital for a non-Covid related condition.”
While the HSE stated that it was not possible to accurately categorise all such deaths, they said that if hospital outbreaks were used as a proxy that 1,121 deaths have been confirmed as deaths due to Covid. That number includes both patients and members of staff. The number of deaths means that almost 9% of those who contracted Covid during confirmed hospital outbreaks died.
This is a far higher figure than for the population at large, which was less than 0.2%, and raises considerable questions with regard to how the crisis was managed, and who were those most likely to contract Covid-19, to become seriously ill from the virus, and to even die as a consequence of contracting the virus.
It was evident at a fairly early stage, and acted upon in other jurisdictions, that the elderly and those with underlying conditions were far, far more likely to be badly impacted. The numbers of those who became seriously ill and who died from Covid-19 among younger age cohorts – and we are basically talking about all age groups below 70 – was very small. Gript and others here were among a small, censored and vilified minority who reported on these facts even at the height of the hysteria.
And yet, not only did the state and its cheerleaders here among the mass media, and the main opposition party Sinn Féin, and the other left opposition groups support this and indeed demand even more draconian measures, but they insisted on placing the most vulnerable into a kind of anti-quarantine. Far from the elderly and the vulnerable sick being safer in “care settings”, they were, in many thousands of cases, placed in danger.
Which again highlights the fact that the safest place to be during the virus outbreak was actually outside of any care setting, unless that care setting was among a person’s family. That, of course, was discouraged by everyone, other than those who were accused – let it be remembered – of placing people’s lives in danger by arguing that the level and nature of the restrictions in place were not only not proven to be efficacious but may indeed have had the opposite effect.
Taken in sum, the figures supplied to Deputy Tóibín show that 40.3% – 3,444 of a total of 8,545 – of all confirmed deaths from Covid-19 took place either in nursing homes or in hospitals.
Another sad statistic to emerge from all of the questions surrounding the manner in which the state handled the crisis is that of the 72,000 people who applied under the ‘Be On Call For Ireland’ issued on St. Patrick’s Day, 2020, many of them Irish health professionals living abroad, less than one tenth of those who applied were recruited.
All of this mess needs to be subject to an enquiry. If for no other reason than to remind us of why it is a bad idea to trust any of them with too much power, ever, in any circumstances.