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hampsterkahn last won the day on May 7 2019

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  1. To both tribes = Wear one, don’t wear one.Either is fine by me. Neither a virologist nor an epidemiologist, I am really out of my depth here. So many experts on MF- I simply don’t have a firm and definitive view, but which ever tribe you do belong to please, if we meet in the supermarket or elsewhere - just pass by me by quickly - with a fair good wee margin, and don’t stop to splutter your expert views and mucous at me.
  2. In more enlightened times ,It was common practice to sit down and write a letter to someone venting your anger about something you felt strongly about or felt aggrieved over. It helped get your thoughts together and the very act could be very therapeutic. It worked best though, if you tore it up when you’d finished writing it. Twitter is so dangerously hair-triggered.It lacks such a safety catch. There were also next level safeties - Looking for a stamp and envelope, leaving it to post in the morning, and the final fail-safe- the period of cool reflection that a stroll to the post box provided, probably saved many a career and relationship.
  3. The argument about smokers and their tax contribution v their personal cost the Health Service was satirized many, many years ago: Proud of the revenue paid on his tobacco, a fuming Alf Garnett takes his pipe from in his “ marth”, stands straight to attention to assert, “Listen, ma son, Oi am smokin’ for ENGland!”
  4. A long time ago, as a very young man,I probably made one of the very worst decisions in my life - to smoke. Every day I am thankful that a just few years later, I made probably one of the very best decisions in my life - to stop.
  5. I had the flu vacc and Covid booster same time. Afterwards - a (barely noticeable) slight tenderness at the injection sites for a day or so , otherwise nothing at all.
  6. Most drivers will claim or assume they are “ better “ than the average driver. Surprisingly,in a way it’s true. In terms of having accidents, most drivers are” better than the average” This isn’t as daft as it first appears. It is because there is a relatively small number of drivers who have a disproportionately very high number of accidents/ incidents ( what ever you wish to call them)-to the extent that most drivers are better than the “average” in terms of accidents per driver.
  7. A few of the people who are stopped are not caught because ‘tis the season to drink more, they drink a huge amount every day and night throughout the year.They are alcoholics.Because of increased surveillance they get noticed and stopped. Little in the way of publicity , campaigns or deterrents will alter their behaviour.Even if threatened with summary execution at the roadside if caught, they would still continue.
  8. In terms of accident prevention, the setting of blood alcohol at 80mg/100ml is a bit of a compromise: It was set a long time ago, based on the evidence that for what was called an “average drinker” and an “average driver,the risk of having an accident was seen to rise very sharply above 80g100ml.( see graph variation in accident risk, Road Safety, National Audit Office p.12 June 1988) For an inexperienced driver/young / infrequent drinker, the risk is higher at a level considerably lower than 80mg.For the older / experienced driver/ experienced drinker the accident risk is somewhat lower, but still rises very sharply after 100mg/100ml. There are “BAC calculators “ in which you can input your weight/ gender/ time since last drink etc and arrive at a rough idea where you might be in terms of your blood alcohol level but for most of us, the risk of an accident, being arrested, the serious inconvenience of losing your licence -and the the shame of being shown up for doing something dangerous and damn stupid, is sufficient to adopt a a zero drink and drive approach.
  9. Drink driving is a “ per se” law.ie someone can be guilty of having a certain alcohol level which increases their probability of having an accident, even though they have not been involved in an accident. This doesn’t extend to other areas of drinking - you won't be charged with having a blood alcohol level that makes it more probable that you will get into a brawl or go home and beat your wife ( though for many the correlation may be very sound). This has a lot do with public opinion rather than risk or probabilities.That has changed a lot in the last 2O years or so.From being something very undesirable to now something almost universally very unacceptable and shameful, almost more akin to a “sin” The relationship between a certain alcohol level and the probability of having an accident would seem “ common sense” but the relationship it isn’t really quite as clear- cut as assumed. However, cars are heavy things and the results of accidents can be truly nightmarish, so it seems reasonable that a level is set.. How you “measure” the “success” of a campaign in terms of “accidents prevented” rather than “arrests made” though, I don’t know.
  10. There is some evidence that masks do help - as do the other public health measures. ( see BMJ “Public Health Measures for Covid “ systemic review and meta analysis 20 Nov 2021 pp 314-315) Though the article does say there has’t been a lot to evaluate the effects of “public health measures”- masks , social distancing -and hand washing, they do seem to be significantly effective, remarking “ The hand washing finding is somewhat surprising, and at odds with the evidence that the predominant route of transmission is inhalation rather than fomites” For some, the way masks are used may negate the benefits. Those are the folk who for ever re-adjusting and pulling them up and down,, below their chin , even up on their forehead , rubbing their eyes and their nose with un- washed hands and then then stuffing the moistened mask somewhere for further use. Masks can be very annoying to wear, but perhaps we should reflect that in many situations such as in hospitals and care homes staff have had to wear these darned things every working hour on long shifts for many, many months now- is it so difficult for us to wear one nipping into Shoprite?
  11. The medics you have spoken to will probably also tell you that the problem isn’t entirely about difficulties in “recruitment” it is also about “retention ” - or rather “failing to retain “ staff. Over the years there have been some excellent consultants who have been appointed, but then leave. This has nothing to do with the Island as a place to live. Characteristically, initial enthusiasm fades as they discover they work in a system that appears to have a special ability to frustrate and discourage. They leave.The system continues as before. The medical world is a small world, though.Word gets around.
  12. I think the “ Civic amenity site” at Balladoole has been referred to as the “Harrods of the North” because of the extent and turnover of goods in the recycling shed. The old books are almost a library facility and there is usually a good selection of nearly new push-chairs, bicycles and toys. Unfortunately, there seems to be a view developing from the “Department” that the centre generally would run much better if people could be dissuaded from the notion that it is somewhere to get rid of rubbish.
  13. I did the survey. Yes, it is a bit ponderous. The topics and type of questions will,I suspect produce figures giving percentages who drink more than a certain amount, are overweight, eat little fruit and veg, walk or cycle little and and are socially isolated and unhappy and that Covid had a bad impact on everyone. There will be a comparison with other populations. The bottom line will be about “ healthy life choices “, or similar phraseology - Do less of these things - for they are bad things, and bad for you to do. -Do more of these things - for they are good things, and good for you to do.
  14. Approaching heresy to praise something on MF., but , The firework display in Ramsey was really superb! What about the noise? O.K., there was 30 minutes of noise. What about the climate?O.K., there was is burning of carbon with nitrates and chlorates etc .O.K., hundreds of vehicles used fuel to transport people there. Those undeniable negatives ( for half an hour per year! ) have to be seen against the large positives of enjoyment for thousands of people. Life for many during Covid has been very difficult and dreary.Something colourful, even and a bit just different as the winter advances is very not only very welcome it is something of therapeutic importance. We must not forget fun.A bit of fun is good for the mental health of people of all ages. Another heretical positive: People. Us. As I wondered about everyone I encountered were enjoying themselves, the tone was civilised and good humoured. I can’t think there are many places where thousands of people can quickly congregate, co-operatively move about in darkness and afterwards disperse without being marshaled and policed.
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