Up one day, down the next

Over the Easter weekend, there was much trumpeting by the HSE over how well it had done with its vaccination programme on Good Friday.

Paul Reid Twitter

Tweet from HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid

This was echoed by the politicians:

Donnelly Twitter

Tweet from Health Minister Stephen Donnelly

However the figures for the rest of the Easter weekend (Saturday 8,446/Sunday 3,763) were actually lower than the previous weekend (Saturday 15,933/Sunday 4,039), and the figure for Monday 5 April, 4,796, was the lowest Monday figure for three weeks, since Monday 15 March (3,530). This figure was likely to have been affected by the public holiday coming up on St Patrick’s Day, so you have to go back as far as 8 February to get a lower Monday figure (2,686):

Monday 29 March
Total: 819,676 (+ 13,135 in last 24 hours)

Monday 22 March
Total: 690,449 (+ 10,434 in last 24 hours)

Monday 15 March
Total: 620,580 (+ 3,530 in last 24 hours)

Monday 8 March
Total: 536,617 (+ 10,849 in last 24 hours)

Monday 1 March
Total: 446,474 (+ 6,692 in last 24 hours)

Monday 22 February
Total: 359,616 (+ 5,645 in last 24 hours)

Monday 15 February
Total: 280,581 (+ 8,639 in last 24 hours)

Monday 8 February
Total: 243,353 (+ 2,686 in last 24 hours)

Today we’ve have had another congratulatory tweet from Paul Reid, saying that we’ve now had reached the million vaccination mark. If this is so, the HSE must have done more than 76,000 in the last two days. That will be a record, but it is going to have to achieve those sort of figures daily if we are really going to get to the much-mentioned target of three million jabs by the end of June. We will see how it goes.

Some figures here from the excellent Shane Hastings website

Eating yourself to death

Pape Guardian

Pic: Pape family/The Guardian

If there were any justice then Rishi Sunak, Boris Johnson and the rest of the British government would face terrible condemnation for its disastrous Eat Out to Help Out policy from last summer. There’s absolutely no doubt that it was a major contributory factor in the acceleration of Covid-19 cases in the autumn, and led to thousands of deaths. One of these was a larger-than-life character called Bob Pape, who is recalled in a lovely 4,600 word article by Sirin Kale in Tuesday’s Guardian.

At first glance Pape was one of those life-and-soul-of-the-party types in a Hawaiian shirt you might try and avoid if you came across him in a public space but, as Kale makes clear, he was in fact much more. He was a lawyer with his own practice working on child support issues, dedicated to his clients and respected by opponents. He had started work in a firm of solicitors moving boxes and doing paperwork, but then he discovered he loved the law, and went on to study for a qualification.

He had met his wife Amanda online in 2008. Both had separated from long-term partners and had children from previous relationships. Kale writes:
Their first date was at a bar in Manchester. Bob wore a Hawaiian shirt, of course. Amanda asked him if he had lost a bet and he said no, he just liked Hawaiian shirts. He told Amanda he was a communist and she laughed and said: “How can you be a bloody communist when you’re a lawyer?” He said that he liked the idea of people sharing everything. “Bob and I just got each other,” says Amanda. “We were finishing each other’s sentences from the moment we met.”

What Kale then makes obvious is that his death was completely avoidable. Last August, Bob, Amanda, her daughter Jazzy and two other children had gone on a weekend break to Birmingham from their house in Altrincham, Cheshire. Amanda didn’t want to go on the mini holiday but Bob insisted. “Bob was convinced that the government would not allow people to travel if it wasn’t safe,” she told Kale. 

So set off they did, and had a great time. They ate out several times, at a Jamaican restaurant, a brewery, and local branches of Five Guys and Wetherspoons. And somewhere, in one of these public spaces, both Bob and Amanda contracted the virus. Within a fortnight he was in Wythenshawe Hospital, within seven weeks he was dead.

Kale says that the UK government was warned about the danger of aerosol infection before Sunak’s announcement of the Eat Out (EOTHO) scheme:

Prof Lidia Morawska of Queensland University of Technology published an open letter, warning the World Health Organization (WHO) and national healthcare authorities of the dangers of airborne transmission of Covid. Her letter was signed by 239 scientists from around the world. “We are 100% sure about this,” Morawska said at the time, warning governments that 1- or 2-metre social distancing rules in indoor settings did not protect people from infection via airborne Covid particles. “These rules are completely arbitrary,” Morawska says. “They just prevent people from inhaling very large particles. But very small particles, which come out of a person’s mouth or nose when they are speaking, can stay in the air for a very long time and go much further than 1 metre.”

These Covid-19 particles range in size from less than a micrometre up to 100 micrometres, roughly the width of a strand of human hair. Even an asymptomatic person can shed them simply by breathing and talking; people with Covid are the most infectious in the first week of infection, often before the onset of symptoms. In an indoor restaurant setting, particularly one with poor ventilation or reliant on air-conditioning, these particles may circulate freely in the air, infecting people at tables metres away from the infected person. “Imagine you’re in a restaurant with a smoking area,” says Morawska. “There’s no one smoking in the area you’re in. But you can still smell the smoke from the other area. In the same way, the virus can travel with this air flow.”

The government is of course convinced that it did nothing wrong, and has refused to publish any epidemiological research to support its view that the scheme was designed in “a safe and responsible manner”, which is how it was described in January by junior minister Jesse Norman. It has dismissed research by credible academics such as University of Warwick economist Thiemo Fetzer (who found that areas with higher take-up of the scheme saw an increase in Covid infection rates, with between 8% and 17% of new Covid infection clusters attributable to EOTHO) and Professor Jonathan Portes of King’s College London. Even a ConservativeHome.com writer, Ryan Bourne of the Cato Institute, described EOTHO as “a costly economic and public health mistake … it is bizarre that Sunak has avoided more critical scrutiny of the policy”.

In hospital, just before he was put on a ventilator, Bob spoke to Amanda on the phone.
“He was crying,” she says. “He said: ‘I’m so sorry, I never should have taken us away.’ He never cried. He told me that he loved the children and our life together so much. I’d never heard him so frightened.”

Sirin Kale has written a heartbreaking article, which has convinced me that I shouldn’t go to a pub or restaurant until I’m fully vaccinated. Read it and pass it on.

Daily statistics for COVID-19 vaccinations in Ireland


First posted Tuesday 9 March 2021 and updated daily since. Final figures recorded on Tuesday 20 April, the day of my first vaccination.

I am now eligible for a vaccination against COVID-19. Hooray! According to the Irish government’s official list I’m in Cohort 3, everyone over 70. This cohort is further divided into four sub-groups: ages 85+, ages 80-84, ages 75-79 and ages 70-74. So when will my invitation to get a vaccination arrive? [Answer: I got my first vaccination, administered by my GP, on Tuesday 20 April!]

Pfizer card

Searching online for the number of people in each cohort, I came across the table shown above, produced by junior minister Ossian Smyth TD in January and published on the website of that well-known journal of record the Irish Sun. This indicates that there are approximately 700,000 in the first three cohorts. Since that date, I haven’t been able to find any other published source which gives me any more detailed breakdown, such as how many people are in each cohort, which is why I am still relying on this.

The government publishes a daily list of vaccination statistics. There’s even an online calculator for you to play with. On the day I originally published this post, Tuesday 9 March, this informed me that I should expect to receive a first dose between 19 March and 11 April. However, I took this with a very large pinch of salt, since this RTE report on Thursday 4 March had already told me that there were 450,000 in Cohort 3 still to receive a jab.

A little more information about how many vaccines are getting to each of the individual Cohort 3 sub-groups appeared in this report from the Irish Times on Monday 8 March. Paul Cullen wrote that, so far: “92,000 vaccines [had been] administered by GPs, most of them to over-85s and about 10,000 to people in the 80 to 84 year age-group.” This would appear to tie in with the official figure for Friday 5 March, which was 92,122.

A more recent article in the Irish Times on 26 March by Jack Power gave a few more updates. This stated: “The Health Service Executive (HSE) said it is still on track to administer the first dose to all those aged 70 and older by mid-April, and the second doses by mid-May. General practitioners have been moving through their lists of older patients at different rates, with some already vaccinating those in their 70s. In a bulletin sent to GPs on Wednesday, the HSE said it planned to deliver more than 89,000 doses to 540 practices next week, and supplies would increase in ‘early April’.”

This being Ireland, I have to wait until my GP contacts me to arrange an appointment. An easier and quicker system would be if the Irish Health Service Executive had a simple self-booking website, such as the one set up by the UK NHS. There, on 9 March, the age criterion was down to 55. No wonder that the previous day’s figures showed that the NHS has now done more than 22 million first vaccinations.

The HSE doesn’t maintain an archive of the number of vaccinations done each day. If you want to see these figures go to the excellent Shane Hastings site.

However, even Shane can’t supply the figures for the daily increase in vaccinations for each cohort, so I made my own bar chart. I am updating this each day for the rest of March (or until I get my own vaccination). Please note that the official vaccination figures are released two days after the current date, so for, example, the latest on the day I originally published this post, Tuesday 9 March, were for Sunday 7 March.

Daily vaccinations chart 22-4

Every Tuesday, when the Sunday figures arrive, I also publish the weekly total for Cohort 3.
Week 1: Monday 1–Sunday 7 March.  Total 46,243, an average of 6,606 vaccinations per day. Working from the figure of 450,000 given to RTE on 4 March mentioned above, by my reckoning on 7 March there were about 404,000 in Cohort 3 still to receive a first dose. At the daily rate on 7 March, it would therefore take 61 more days from then to complete the cohort’s first doses.
Week 2: Monday 8–Sunday 14 March. Total 41,487, an average of 5,927 vaccinations per day, almost all first doses. By my reckoning, on 14 March there were about 363,000 in Cohort 3 still to receive a first dose. Because the average number of vaccinations per day has decreased, at the daily rate on 14 March it would still take 61 more days from then to complete the cohort’s first doses.
Week 3: Monday 15–Sunday 21 March. Total 55,405, an average of 7,915 vaccinations per day. This is a significant and welcome improvement on recent weeks in the overall number of vaccinations. However, of this total, 14,212 were second doses, so during the week only 41,193 more people in Cohort 3 received a first vaccination, an average of 5,884 per day. By my reckoning, on 21 March there were about 322,000 in Cohort 3 still to receive a first dose. At the daily rate on 21 March it would therefore take 55 more days from then to complete the cohort’s first doses.
Week 4: Monday 22–Sunday 28 March. Total 82,322, an average of 11,760 vaccinations per day. Another welcome improvement in the overall number of vaccinations. However, of this total, 36,439 were second doses, so during the week only 45,883 more people in Cohort 3 received a first vaccination, an average of 6,554 per day. By my reckoning, on 28 March there were therefore about 276,000 in Cohort 3 still to receive a first dose. At the daily rate on 28 March it would therefore take 42 more days from then to complete the cohort’s first doses.
Week 5: Monday 29 March–Sunday 4 April. Total 89,687, an average of 12,812 vaccinations per day. Another welcome improvement in the overall number of vaccinations, and touted as such in the national press as part of the record 130,000+ overall figure. However, of this total in Cohort 3, 44,225 were second doses, so during the week only 45,462 more people in Cohort 3 received a first vaccination, an average of 6,495 per day. By my reckoning, on 4 April there were therefore about 230,000 in Cohort 3 still to receive a first dose. At the daily rate on 4 April it would therefore take 35 more days from then to complete the cohort’s first doses.
Week 6: Monday 5–Sunday 11 April. Total 90,717, an average of 12,960 vaccinations per day. A slight increase in the overall number of vaccinations. However, of this total in Cohort 3, 39,706 were second doses, so during the week 51,011 more people in Cohort 3 received a first vaccination, an average of 7,287 per day. By my reckoning, on 11 April there were therefore about 179,000 in Cohort 3 still to receive a first dose. At the daily rate on 11 April it would therefore take 25 more days from then to complete the cohort’s first doses.
Week 7: Monday 12–Sunday 18 April. Total 114,934, an average of 16,419 vaccinations per day. A very welcome large increase in the overall number of vaccinations. However, of this total in Cohort 3, 36,757 were second doses, so during the week 78,177 more people in Cohort 3 received a first vaccination, an average of 11,168 per day. By my reckoning, on 11 April there were therefore about 101,000 in Cohort 3 still to receive a first dose. At the daily rate on 11 April it would therefore take 9 more days from then to complete the cohort’s first doses.

Tuesday 20 April

Total: 1,240,965 (+ 21,478 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 878,823
Second Dose: 362,142

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 589,106 (+ 12,926 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 409,070 (+ 6,700 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 180,036 (+ 6,226 in last 24 hours)

Monday 19 April

Total: 1,219,487 (+ 11,028 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 863,958
Second Dose: 355,529

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 576,180 (+ 6,656 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 402,370 (+ 4,415 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 173,810 (+ 2,241 in last 24 hours)

Sunday 18 April

Total: 1,208,459 (+ 4,189 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 855,512
Second Dose: 352,947

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 569,524 (+ 3,292 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 397,955 (+ 2,294 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 171,569 (+ 998 in last 24 hours)

Saturday 17 April

Total: 1,204,063 (+ 15,709 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 852,189
Second Dose: 351,874

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 566,232 (+ 11,508 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 395,661 (+ 9,599 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 170,571 (+ 1,909 in last 24 hours)

Friday 16 April

Total: 1,188,354 (+ 32,755 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 838,644
Second Dose: 349,710

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 554,724 (+ 26,282 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 386,062 (+ 17,933 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 168,662 (+ 8,349 in last 24 hours)

Thursday 15 April

Total: 1,155,599 (+ 34,596 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 814,470
Second Dose: 341,129

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 528,442 (+ 27,641 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 368,129 (+ 18,417 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 160,313 (+ 9,224 in last 24 hours)

Wednesday 14 April

Total: 1,121,003 (+ 26,039 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 789,526
Second Dose: 331,477

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 500,801 (+ 21,922 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 349,712 (+ 16,082 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 151,089 (+ 5,840 in last 24 hours)

Tuesday 13 April

Total: 1,094,964 (+ 18,748 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 769,721
Second Dose: 325,243

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 478,879 (+ 16,664 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 333,630 (+ 9,224 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 145,249 (+ 7,440 in last 24 hours)

Monday 12 April

Total: 1,076,216 (+ 12,550 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 758,763
Second Dose: 317,453

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 462,215 (+ 7,625 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 324,406 (+ 4,628 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 137,809 (+ 2,997 in last 24 hours)

Sunday 11 April

Total: 1,063,666 (+ 5,272 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 749,450
Second Dose: 314,216

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 454,590 (+ 3,225 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 319,778 (+ 2,123 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 134,812 (+ 1,102 in last 24 hours)

Saturday 10 April

Total: 1,058,394 (+ 12,475 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 745,363
Second Dose: 313,031

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 451,365 (+ 9,214 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 317,655 (+ 6,145 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 133,710 (+ 3,069 in last 24 hours)

Friday 9 April

Total: 1,045,919 (+ 27,655 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 735,997
Second Dose: 309,922

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 442,151 (+ 20,513 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 311,510 (+ 12,667 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 130,641 (+ 7,846 in last 24 hours)

Thursday 8 April

Total: 1,018,264 (+ 29,017 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 716,636
Second Dose: 301,628

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 421,638 (+ 40,988 in last 48 hours)
First Dose: 298,843 (+ 22,260 in last 48 hours)
Second Dose: 122,795 (+ 18,728 in last 48 hours)

Wednesday 7 April

Total: 989,247 (+ 27,360 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 697,368
Second Dose: 291,879

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: n/a
First Dose: n/a
Second Dose: n/a

Tuesday 6 April

Total: 961,887 (+ 21,004 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 679,844
Second Dose: 282,043

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 380,650 (+ 13,740 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 276,583 (+ 5,743 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 104,067 (+ 7,997 in last 24 hours)

Monday 5 April

Total: 940,883 (+ 4,796 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 667,182
Second Dose: 273,701

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 366,910 (+ 3,037 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 270,840 (+ 2,073 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 96,070 (+ 964 in last 24 hours)

Sunday 4 April

Total: 936,087 (+ 3,763 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 663,411
Second Dose: 272,676

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 363,873 (+ 2,514 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 268,767 (+ 1,453 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 95,106 (+ 1,061 in last 24 hours)

Saturday 3 April

Total: 932,324 (+ 8,446 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 660,800
Second Dose: 271,524

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 361,359 (+ 6,530 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 267,314 (+ 3,816 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 94,045 (+ 2,714 in last 24 hours)

Friday 2 April

Total: 923,878 (+ 30,503 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 655,292
Second Dose: 268,586

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 354,829 (+ 24,110 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 263,498 (+ 12,354 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 91,331 (+ 11,756 in last 24 hours)

Thursday 1 April

Total: 893,375 (+ 27,915 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 636,963
Second Dose: 256,412

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 330,719 (+ 19,155 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 251,144 (+ 9,956 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 79,575 (+ 9,199 in last 24 hours)

Wednesday 31 March

Total: 865,460 (+ 24,899 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 000,000
Second Dose: 000,000

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 311,564 (+ 16,810 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 241,188 (+ 7,686 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 70,376 (+ 9,124 in last 24 hours)

Tuesday 30 March

Total: 840,561 (+ 20,885 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 603,802
Second Dose: 236,759

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 294,754 (+ 13,645 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 233,502 (+ 6,295 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 61,252 (+ 7,350 in last 24 hours)

Monday 29 March

Total: 819,676 (+ 13,135 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 590,688
Second Dose: 228,988

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 281,109 (+ 6,914 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 227,207 (+ 3,893 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 53,902 (+ 3,021 in last 24 hours)

Sunday 28 March

Total: 806,541 (+ 4,039 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 580,857
Second Dose: 225,684

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 274,195 (+ 1,909 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 223,314 (+ 1,259 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 50,881 (+ 650 in last 24 hours)

Saturday 27 March

Total: 802,502 (+ 15,933 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 577,641
Second Dose: 224,861

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 272,286 (+ 12,106 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 222,055 (+ 7,037 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 50,231 (+ 5,069 in last 24 hours)

Friday 26 March

Total: 786,569 (+ 26,401 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 567,023
Second Dose: 219,546

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 260,180 (+ 17,871 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 215,018 (+ 10,393 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 45,162 (+ 7,478 in last 24 hours)

Thursday 25 March

Total: 760,168 (+ 27,490 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 548,945
Second Dose: 211,223

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 242,309 (+ 18,044 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 204,625 (+ 10,312 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 37,684 (+ 7,732 in last 24 hours)

Wednesday 24 March

Total: 732,678 (+ 23,330 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 529,984
Second Dose: 202,694

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 224,265 (+ 17,354 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 194,313 (+ 9,233 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 29,952 (+ 8,121 in last 24 hours)

Tuesday 23 March

Total: 709,348 (+ 18,899 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 515,800
Second Dose: 193,548

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 206,911 (+ 11,055 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 185,080 (+ 5,162 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 21,831 (+ 5,893 in last 24 hours)

Monday 22 March

Total: 690,449 (+ 10,434 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 503,796
Second Dose: 186,653

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 195,856 (+ 3,983 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 179,918 (+ 2,487 in last 24 hours)
Second Dose: 15,938 (+ 1,496 in last 24 hours)

Sunday 21 March

Total: 680,015 (+ 4,069 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 495,824
Second Dose: 184,191

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 191,873 (+ 1,238 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 177,431
Second Dose: 14,442

Saturday 20 March

Total: 675,946 (+ 7,417 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 492,106
Second Dose: 183,140

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 190,635 (+ 6,042 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 176,343
Second Dose: 14,292

Friday 19 March

Total: 668,529 (+ 14,278 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 487,466
Second Dose: 181,063

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 184,593 (+ 12,473 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 172,728
Second Dose: 11,865

Thursday 18 March

Total: 654,251 (+ 14,665 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 478,725
Second Dose: 175,526

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 172,120 (+ 13,258 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 164,444
Second Dose: 7,676

Wednesday 17 March

Total: 639,586 (+ 7,227 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 468,328
Second Dose: 171,258

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 158,862 (+ 6,732 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 154,465
Second Dose: 4,397

Tuesday 16 March

Total: 632,359 (+ 11,779 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 463,500
Second Dose: 168,859

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 152,130 (+ 9,824 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 149,931
Second Dose: 2,199

Monday 15 March

Total: 620,580 (+ 3,530 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 455,182
Second Dose: 165,398

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 142,306 (+ 2,626 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 142,076
Second Dose: 230

Sunday 14 March

Total: 617,050 (+ 1,116 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 452,554
Second Dose: 164,496

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 139,680 (+ 653 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 139,634
Second Dose: 46

Saturday 13 March

Total: 615,934 (+ 9,030 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 451,589
Second Dose: 164,345

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 139,027 (+ 3,956 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 138,982
Second Dose: 45

Friday 12 March

Total: 606,904 (+ 17,392 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 443,092
Second Dose: 163,812

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 135,109 (+ 8,748 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 135,071
Second Dose: 38

Thursday 11 March

Total: 589,512 (+ 19,121 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 426,819
Second Dose: 162,693

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 126,361 (+ 8,546 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 126,327
Second Dose: 34

Wednesday 10 March

Total: 570,391 (+ 17,230 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 409,662
Second Dose: 160,729

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 117,815 (+ 8,883 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 117,782
Second Dose: 33

Tuesday 9 March

Total: 553,161 (+ 16,544 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 396,089
Second Dose: 157,072

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 108,932 (+ 8,319 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 108,901
Second Dose: 31

Monday 8 March

Total: 536,617 (+ 10,849 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 382,528
Second Dose: 154,089

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 100,613 (+ 2,382 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 100,603
Second Dose: 10

Sunday 7 March

Total: 525,768 (+ 2,699 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 375,521
Second Dose: 150,247

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 98,231 (+ 550 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 98,222
Second Dose: 9

Saturday 6 March

Total: 523,069 (+ 9,747 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 373,149
Second Dose: 149,920

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 97,681 (+ 5,559 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 97,672
Second Dose: 9

Friday 5 March

Total: 513,322 (+ 19,449 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 363,601
Second Dose: 149,721

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 92,122 (+ 10,035 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 92,113
Second Dose: 9

Thursday 4 March

Total: 493,873 (+ 19,228 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 346,256
Second Dose: 147,617

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 82,093 (+ 10,106 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 82,087
Second Dose: 6

Wednesday 3 March

Total: 474,645 (+ 14,008 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 328,598
Second Dose: 146,047

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 71,927 (+ 8,898 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 71,922
Second Dose: 5

Tuesday 2 March

Total: 460,637 (+ 14,163 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 316,056
Second Dose: 144,581

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 63,029 (+ 8,338 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 63,024
Second Dose: 5

Monday 1 March

Total: 446,474 (+ 6,692 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 303,550
Second Dose: 142,924

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 54,691 (+ 2,757 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 54,687
Second Dose: 4

Sunday 28 February

Total: 439,782 (+ 3,887 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 297,899
Second Dose: 141,883

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 51,934 (+ 1,230 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 51,930
Second Dose: 4

Saturday 27 February

Total: 435,895 (+ 9,825 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 294,550
Second Dose: 141,345

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 50,704 (+ 4,930 in last 24 hours)
First Dose: 50,700
Second Dose: 4

Friday 26 February

Overall Total
Total: 426,070
First Dose: 285,780
Second Dose: 140,290

Cohort 3 Total (People aged 70 and older)
Total: 45,744
First Dose: 45,741
Second Dose: 3

Source: Ireland’s COVID19 Data Hub

Watch this space: “remap” to become new HR buzzword

How the BBC would like you to see how it imagines its new bright young things. 

I read about this concept first in Private Eye (No 1450) but the only online mention I could find is this post on Bill Rogers’s blog. Private Eye has a long history of picking up what it calls “Birtspeak” phrases used by BBC management, but this was a new one on me. The idea of “remapping” BBC journalists was announced in an email to local radio staff from Chris Burns, head of Audio and Digital, BBC England.

“In our new structure we plan that all existing Senior News Editors will be remapped to the role of Executive Editor from the Content Job Family … We have also looked at the roles and responsibilities of the rest of the management team  and are planning the following:
Assistant Editors to be remapped to the Content Job Family and become Executive Producers;
Every station will also have a Senior Journalist Team manager;
Our plan is to remap the Senior Journalists, Community to the Content Job Family.”

I predict a great future for the concept of remapping people, before it joins “talent acquisition”, “creative pool” and “onboarding” on a list of HR Buzzwords you really need to ditch.

 

How to paste up artwork: 1980s style

Pic: Hackney Radical History

A year or two ago I decided to donate a number of files relating to Hackney People’s Press to the London Borough of Hackney’s archives. These had been sitting in my attic for a long time. I’m now helping the good people who work for the archives go through the files, particularly the photographs, identifying subjects and providing key words. This is a precursor to annotating all the copies of the paper which are held in the archives, and making them available to the general public.

I’ve also recorded an interview for the oral history section, which will be published in due course. While doing this, I was asked about the production process and specifically about pasting up artwork. I gave a brief explanation, which will probably sound very confusing when it is replayed. Later, I went looking online for information about how this was done and couldn’t find anything very useful. However, I knew that I had written something about the subject in my book, Editing, Design and Book Production, which was published by Journeyman in 1993. I had written the first draft of this part of the text some five or six years before this date so, as it turned out, pasting up artwork had become almost an anachronism by the time the book was published.

I pulled a copy of the book down from the shelf, and read through the text. I thought about scanning the relevant pages and posting it as a PDF. But I recalled that Journeyman had once sent me the finished QuarkXPress files, and that I had them in an old archive on one of my back up external hard drives. They weren’t too hard to locate, but my InDesign CS4 software wouldn’t open them. So, no expense spared, I sent the files over to Markzware in Holland. A small sum of money changed hands and the very helpful David Dilling sent back an InDesign file an hour later.

You can see a converted spread from the book above. And I was able to import the text on paste up into a new post for the blog. It’s unchanged from the published text, so please follow all current health’n’safety guidelines.

Doing your own artwork: a 1980s guide

Equipment
If you decide to paste up your own artwork you will find it a lot easier with a small amount of specialist equipment, which you can find in any graphic or artist’s supplies shops. What people find most useful varies from person to person, but what I use is the following:

• Scalpel blades and blade holder. Swann-Morton 10a blades are the most useful shape. They fit into a No. 3 holder.
• Steel straightedge or ruler. It is worth buying a metal typescale which you can then use both for cutting against and for measuring type.
• Clear plastic ruler embossed with a parallel line grid. An 18 inch or 24 inch ruler is useful, since you may need to draw accurate lines longer than 12 inch.
• Suitable adhesive. The aerosol Spraymount is often used, but can be rather messy and is dangerous to health if your workplace is not well ventilated. Professional studios use hot wax, but the cheapest hand-held dispensers cost over £50. Cow Gum (a rubber solution, not made from cows!) is often regarded as old fashioned, but I find it the simplest substance to use, especially if it is applied from a tin, not a tube, with a thin metal artist’s palette knife rather than the plastic tool made by the manufacturer.
• Metal palette knife.
• Large set square. Either 45 or 60 degrees will do.
• Light-blue pencil. For drawing lines on artwork which will not show up when it is photographed by the printer. Do not go to the expense of buying special ‘non-reproducing’ pencils – any light-blue crayon will suffice.
• Very fine steel-tipped black pen, with a 0.1 or 0.2 mm point. There are plenty of inexpensive pens on the market which are just as good for occasional work as specialist refillable drawing pens. These are expensive, usually messy to fill and tiresome to keep‭ clean.‬
• White-out fluid. Preferably a new bottle with a nice fine brush!

With these tools, a decent flat table, some plain white heavy card and scrap paper, you should be able to manage any paste-up. A specialist self-healing cutting mat is not essential but is quite useful, since it can be used as a base on which to work on your table.

Designers usually use a drawing board with a parallel motion in order to produce accurate squared-up artwork. You do not need to obtain such an expensive piece of equipment if you are only going to do small amounts of work, but you might want to consider it.

How to Paste Up
The most important thing about paste-up is to get everything straight and squared up. In order to ensure accuracy, professional designers will often get accurate grids preprinted in pale blue for them to paste onto. You might like to consider this if you have a large book to do. Alternatively you can purchase preprinted grids in standard formats such as A4 and A5 from some designers and printers. If you are going to use a standard grid, plan your design around it.

For a short book or pamphlet it will probably be sufficient to draw up your own grids in light-blue pencil on plain white card. You can also paste up onto heavy tracing paper (available in art shops) so you can draw up grids more quickly by tracing them off a master copy. The edge of the page should be signified by corner marks drawn in fine black pen.

Your paste-up can be done as spreads to appear the way they will appear in the final book or pamphlet – in other words, with p.2 facing p.3, and so on. The printers will make them up to the correct ‘imposition’ to fit their printing and binding machinery.

The typematter which you are going to paste up will probably be in galley form. Before beginning the paste-up of each spread, cut out the typematter for each page from the galley with a scalpel and steel rule, leaving a small margin (about 3 to 5mm) around the edges. Any other elements for the spread which have been set or supplied separately, such as headlines, chapter headings, subheadings, illustrations or figurative matter, should also be cut out.

Place all the matter down ‘dry’ on the grid, to check everything fits and then begin the paste-up from the top of the page. Place each piece to be pasted in turn upside down onto scrap paper and ensure the adhesive is spread evenly in a thin film up to each edge. Pick up the pasted piece carefully with the spreader and place it onto the grid in the correct position. Adhesives such as Cow Gum, Spraymount or wax do not solidify immediately, so the piece can be moved around for about 30 seconds, which gives you time to check whether it is positioned and squared up correctly with a ruler with a parallel line grid or a set square. When the piece is accurately positioned, place a piece of plain white paper over it and gently press it down to the surface.

If you make a mistake, don’t worry. You can lift pieces off the surface for up to about 10 minutes by prising them gently away with a palette knife. After this time, you may need to soften the adhesive by flooding the area with some petrol lighter fuel, which is sold for this purpose in art supply shops. Don’t smoke while doing this!

When you have finished each grid, clean up any marks either with a little lighter fuel on a tissue or with a little ball of solidified Cow Gum, which pulls any surplus gum off the surface. Use white-out fluid to cover anything that won’t clean off in this way.

This description of paste-up is rather brief. Once you have tried it, you will find that it is largely a mixture of practice and confidence – plus the ability to see whether what you have done looks both straight and squared up.

_______________________________________
© Charles Foster, 1993 and 2021. May be copied under a Creative Commons licence but please acknowledge source. 

It was sixty years ago today

Pic: Tony Booth/Thebeatlesposters.com

Sixty years ago this week The Beatles played a series of shows in Liverpool after several months away in Hamburg. The 27 December 1960 performance at Litherland Town Hall was a breakthrough – with over 1500 tickets sold – and cemented their name as Liverpool’s top live draw.

Just as sensational as the performance is this wonderful hand-drawn poster for the gig. The exuberant lettering for this and many other of their Liverpool concerts was done by a very talented signwriter, Tony Booth. The one above has been recreated from the original posters he did at the time for Brian Epstein. Booth’s story was told in a 2016 documentary for local BBC TV, which unfortunately I haven’t seen in full. It is previewed in this clip for BBC News, where you get a glimpse of Booth at work. Sadly, he died less than a year later, as this further clip tells us. His work lives on at this website, where you can buy the modern reproductions.

Tony Booth was just one of the many hundreds of poster artists (or poster writers, as they seem to have sometimes been called) who plied their trade in the first four-fifths of the twentieth century. Cinemas and department stores were major users of their work, but because of its nature very few examples seem to have survived. I would love to find out more about how these skilled tradesmen were trained and where they worked.

The Searchers of course had a number of national hits, but among the other support bands for The Beatles at Litherland Town Hall were The Deltones. It’s not clear whether this was the same Deltones as the band from Croydon which had Jeff Beck in their line-up although, according to this page, they had also played in Hamburg. The name seemed popular enough at about this time – there was another group called The Deltones in the US and a band called the Delltones in Australia. And of course later in the 1980s there was a British ska/reggae group with the same name. The other support act, The Delrenas (sometimes called The Del Renas) were another popular Merseybeat band, and some of their members had also played in Hamburg. It was obviously a popular career move at the time.

[Source: beatlesbible.com]

Got the memo

This bunch of ten fallow deer bucks in the Phoenix Park have got the memo: the rutting season is over, and it’s time for the male herd to regroup. Most days last week I spotted a few males in groups of two or three heading towards Acres Road, on the far side of which are the sports fields where the boys hang out for most of the year. Above is pictured the largest group I saw, ten in all. It was getting dark and they were quite a long way away so the picture quality is not too good.

In other deer-related news, the authorities are being more pro-active in trying to stop people getting selfies of themselves with the deer. The government’s Office of Public Works has taken up social media. It has posted a number of videos on Facebook and also now has an Instagram page, which it is trying to promote with a hashtag, #staysafedontselfie

A recent incident, witnessed by Dublin photographer Michael Keating shows how dangerous the deer can be. He told Dublin Live: “The poor family were panic stricken. They got too close to the deer however, and should not have been feeding them.” The man had been handing out carrots when an aggressive buck approached. His wife can be seen quickly bundling the two children away.

Pic: Michael Keating

Let’s be careful out there.

Joe Biden: my part in his victory

I’ve written before about how I got on Joe Biden’s email list, by signing up ten or more years ago for a personalised Christmas greeting from President Obama. Biden started his campaign a year and a half ago on Saturday, 23 April 2019, and the floodgates opened. By Election Day, Tuesday 3 November 2020, 556 days later, I had received 1641 emails from his people.

Despite the fact that I’ve never donated a single cent to the cause (which as a non-US resident would of course be contrary to election funding rules) the campaign has throughout treated me as though I am a fervent supporter. So I have been told many times how grateful Joe was for me “showing up right now” and “having his back”. Indeed, I was the “true heartbeat” of his campaign, and various writers at various times were “in awe” of me.

However, despite my exalted position, the computer fundraising program found it difficult to place me geographically. I had given my zip code as “00”, and so at first I would get emails saying that I was one of the best supporters in the 00 district. Later this became a generic “your state” so as each fundraising deadline approached I would be told that a certain amount was still needed. This would vary from email to email, which led to some inconsistency. For instance, at 22.58 on 30 October Kamala Harris was looking for $25 to meet the shortfall in my state of $67,391:

Three hours and six minutes later, at 02.04 on 31 October, Joe himself wanted my first donation to raise another $168,478 in my state before the midnight deadline.

Over the months, I’ve got used to unlikely names popping up in my inbox. Here’s one from Carole King:

Yes, the same person who had written Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? – at the age of 18! – wanted me to support Joe. How could I refuse?

It’s been a rollercoaster ride for Joe. In the first few weeks of the primary season, he looked old and tired and was a long way off the pace. He got a boost when a leading black Congressman, Jim Clyburn, supported him in South Carolina, and then somehow he swept most of the states on offer on Super Tuesday on 3 March. As the pandemic took hold everyone else dropped out and, with one bound, Joe was out of the telephone box and into the lead.

A thousand or so emails later, he’s made it. I confess that I spent two or three days madly refreshing the live count pages in both Georgia and Pennsylvania, Whatsapping friends and relations as Biden went into the lead in both states. And I stayed up to watch his declaration speech in Wilmington, which was a lot better than I expected it to be.

At the moment it looks as though Trump is determined to tough out the transition period. But he will have to face reality when the Electoral College makes its declaration, which is scheduled for “the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December”, i.e. 14 December. And the four year nightmare won’t be over until 12 noon on inauguration day, 20 January 2021. When it comes to Donald Trump, I don’t think the world will be singing Carole King’s first ever hit:
What shall I write
What can I say
How can I tell you how much I miss you?

[It Might As Well Rain Until September, 1962]

******

As a footnote, it’s worth pointing out that in all these thousands of emails the Biden and the wider Democratic campaign generally used language that was at least respectful. (“When they go low, we stay high”, as Michelle Obama is supposed to have said.) This can hardly be said of the opposition.

When Trump himself contracted “the Covid”, the official Democratic campaign announced that they would pause negative ads, at least for the duration. Barack Obama tweeted that he and Michelle Obama extended their best wishes, and were “hopeful that they and others who have been affected by COVID-19 around the country are getting the care that they need, that they are going to be on the path to a speedy recovery.”

At almost the same time, this email was sent to Republican supporters by the Trump/Pence campaign:

Thank God they’re on their way out.