Letters to the Editor: Medical card plea from exhausted mum/carer

Letters to the Editor: Medical card plea from exhausted mum/carer

I’m writing because I received a letter from the HSE on Saturday, December 19. It is a letter looking to review my medical card.

I’m a lone parent of two children, a full-time carer to one of them who is home from school since early March last year. He has a severe/ profound intellectual disability and has complex medical issues. He is immunosuppressed, a wheelchair user, and requires around the clock care.

I have no home nursing at present because I have been too afraid to have anyone in the house in case they bring in Covid.

From March to September Jack had no respite either but started attending Lauralynn again from the end of September. He gets two nights respite every six weeks. It’s a lifeline, especially now.

My situation hasn’t changed. I’m still a full time carer, still a lone parent. Why are they reviewing my medical card during a pandemic when I have no time or energy to go around gathering documents and filling in forms?

I’m on carer’s allowance which is means tested, surely they can share my information.

I also found out recently that I should have been in receipt of lone parent allowance and half-rate carer’s allowance which means my income would have been better and I would have been entitled to fuel allowance every year.

I have struggled so much over the years to heat the house in winter. My son will turn 16 in July so I feel there is no point in changing now, especially with all the paperwork etc. I just don’t have the time or the energy.

People in social welfare know that I’m a lone parent and full time carer yet nobody has ever advised me. The only way to find out anything in this country is from other parents/ fellow carers. It’s a disgrace.

Aisling McNiffe

Straffan

Co Kildare

Dismayed at how much Covid will cost

I am in dismay at the amount of focus that this Government is giving to cases of Covid at the detriment of everything else in society.

In March, when the first lockdown happened, it was a great call as we needed time to understand Covid. Nine months later, it does not seem like we had addressed any of the shortcomings in our hospitals.

The only statistic that really matters is deaths and ICU beds in use due to Covid. Instead we continue to furlough people, fund them to stay at home, with some (not all) happy not to return to work. Never mind the precedent this is setting for the future of our welfare state.

Closing the schools is another poor decision in a litany of failings.

As Nphet calls the shots, has there been any thought given to all the things that are being ignored while we enter yet another lockdown?

Small business closures that only benefit the bigger companies that can afford to have delivery services. And now the ban on click and
collect. Mental health problems, including suicide, increasing.

The astronomical cost of paying for all of this over the coming decades will be a burden on our children’s children and to what end?

Cathal O’Dowd

Ballincollig, Cork

Now will Government listen to Nphet?

Now that we have had our meaningful Christmas and the country is back, and worse off as regards Covid than where we were last March, is it too much to ask the following questions of politicians and lobby groups?

Will the Government now follow Nphet’s ongoing expert advice, without the continual ritual of challenging chief medical officer Tony Holohan, and pandering to lobby groups.

Last March, then-taoiseach Leo Varadakar proclaimed on a number of occasions that this had to be the case. He subsequently went
on national TV and scornfully admonished Nphet. Enough is enough. Get on with it. Wipe this plague out and cut out the double speak.

Nicholas Parker

Youghal

Co Cork

Race, inequality contrast laid bare

As the dust settles on the remarkable events on Capitol Hill this week, many questions are being raised regarding the ease at which the Trump mob gained access to the Capitol buildings, and in particular the delayed and relatively passive response of the police and military to the attack.

Many questions are being raised regarding the ease at which the Trump mob gained access to the Capitol buildings.
Many questions are being raised regarding the ease at which the Trump mob gained access to the Capitol buildings.

Footage has emerged of police officers opening the final barrier to the building when not under any apparent pressure, but this may have been a tactical decision based on the numbers of police officers present. The slow and methodical response could also be seen as a well thought out, non-confrontational tactic to minimise violence that seems to have worked once reinforcements arrived on the scene.

The elephant in the room, however, is the contrast between this situation, in which a mob threatened the very seat of government in a bid to overturn an election result, and the reaction to the Black Lives Matters protests of last year, when there was no such threat to the seat of power.

We saw a similar low-key reaction when armed militia stormed the Michigan capitol building last year. Aside from the obvious reflection on the insane delusions of Donald Trump, and how the Republican Party allowed him to unleash this violent assault, the events have shined more light on the contrasting attitudes to social unrest in the US.

It is now plainly obvious that unrest involving predominantly white protagonists is dealt with in a text book fashion, so as to lower potential for lethal confrontation, whereas in protests involving minorities, different rules apply and confrontation is the goal. Again the festering, unresolved issues of race and inequality in the US are laid bare.

The success of the Democrats in turning the Senate, and the increased influence of the progressive wing in that party, gives Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi an opportunity to put in place sustainable fixes to begin to repair the damage wrought by Trump. Finally the US may be able to fulfil its potential as a fully functioning harmonious state, and provide the global leadership needed to deal with the significant challenges facing humanity.

Barry Walsh

Blackrock, Cork

CNN chasing POTUS and ratings

CNN took the ratings cocaine with the best of them when Donald Trump was an outsider. They just didn’t think he could win. It’s a hard habit to break. Now they’re covering Trump after he’s lost with the same feverish fervour.

Michael Deasy

Carrigart, Co Donegal

Bring on January 21

In the normal world of Washington politics Wednesday was meant to be basically a day of boring bureaucratic vote counting but someone moved Washington into an alternative world of horror.

Supporters of President Donald Trump are confronted by US Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol.
Supporters of President Donald Trump are confronted by US Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol.

People attacked the Capitol building, people were killed, democracy was damaged but will recover, several (ex) presidents condemned the actions of the Make America Great Again-loving crowd and the US president’s Twitter and Facebook and Instagram accounts were blocked. Can we just turn off the TV, Twitter, and just wait until the afternoon of January 21 when the normal world returns?

Dennis Fitzgerald

Melbourne, Australia

Trump a threat to world peace

It’s not just that the continuing presence of Donald Trump in the White House is a threat to American democracy but more importantly, as the commander in chief of the American armed forces, and with his finger on America’s vast nuclear arsenal, his last few days in the US Presidency could pose a serious threat to world peace.

On January 1, the Pentagon ordered home the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and it’s accompanying strike group from the Middle East. However, two days later the order was rescinded and the flotilla is now stationed within striking distance of Iran, Trump’s arch enemy.

There is a moral obligation on the US Congress to immediately begin a second impeachment to remove this mentally unstable President for all our sakes.

Brendan Butler

Malahide, Co Dublin

Too little, too late

Trump now promising a peaceful handover of the presidency, after he incited his mob followers to attack the seat of democracy in the USA. One can never put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Paudie Moriarty

Kenmare, Co Kerry

RTÉ surprised!

It is telling that RTÉ appear to have been surprised at the public response to the Waterford Whispers’ skit, which not only mocked the terrible crime of rape, but God himself, which is far over the line.

How well we know that none of those involved would have dared to say anything remotely like that about Mohammed (not that this would have been tolerable either).

I am no witch hunter, and I don’t remember calling for someone’s resignation or dismissal, but I would support any move to identify the person or people responsible and to declare their position untenable.

Michael O’Farrell

Glanmire, Co Cork

Vaccine testing

Where vaccine deliveries can be confirmed three, two and one week ahead within the three-week time for the second jab, it makes no sense to withhold 50% of the previous delivery to be able to give the second jab. Yet another faux pas in simple scheduelling by this HSE Nphet quango.

Kevin T Finn

Mitchelstown, Co Cork

Farcical situation

It is alarming that so many members of the Air Corps’ tiny maritime patrol squadron have been struck down by Covid ( ‘At least 11 air corps members have Covid’, Irish Examiner, January 8). The Air Corps only has two CASA maritime patrol aircraft as it is. This force is supposed to patrol our vast marine territory of 880,000sq m, more than 10 times our land mass.

The Irish Examiner has previously reported that two ships from the Naval Service’s depleted fleet have been temporarily withdrawn from service due to Covid. Our seas are effectively unguarded while in New York our diplomats lecture the world about peace and security from their new seats on the UN Security Council. The Irish Examiner is doing Ireland and our Defence Forces a great service by exposing this farcical situation.

Karl Martin

Bayside, Dublin 13

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