When all the garden fences have been painted, the space under the stairs cleaned, when Netflix looses its attraction, some people turn to quizzes.

I did a personality test helping me to find out: “Which Derry Girl are you?” – I hear you…

Apparently, I am like the character Orla: I “love life and live it whatever way” I want. “Independent, fun, and completely carefree”. To tell you the truth: I never had much faith in these kind of tests.

Whatever about personality tests… If you don’t know the “Derry Girls”, they are well worth watching and can easily be found on YouTube and other platforms. Even if you have watched the series – you can watch them again. They will still be funny even after many times of watching.

So I moved on swiftly to something a bit more serious: “How much do you know about the Coronavirus?

Turned out, I knew less than I thought. Having been exposed to non-stop news about the virus, you will probably feel, like myself, an expert on any aspect of the virus. But no. Turns out there is more to it than the news tell us. Maybe I’m too carefree?

Pádraig did a few quizzes this week. Although he finds the “Derry Girls” very funny too, we skipped that one. And even we might not know everything about COVID-19, we gave that a miss as well.

For the first set of questions, we went for the DIY approach and made up the questions ourselves. They were short and not really difficult, but addressing different fields of interest and ability.

He answered them using his bleeper. One bleep for Answer (1), Two for Answer (2), and Three for (3). He answered all the questions correctly.

Except the last one, where he bleeped just once, when we were sure that Carrick-on-Shannon is in Leitrim. Knowing Pádraig, we double-checked. It turned out that this was, not by design but by accident, a trick question. The Shannon runs through Carrick and divides Leitrim from Roscommon. The town might be best known for being the biggest town in Leitrim, but it is also in Roscommon – which was the answer Pádraig went for- just for the fun of it and to make it less obvious…

The next day, we decided to make the questions a bit longer, slightly more complex. Actually, not making them up ourselves but copying them (except the maths question) from the Irish Times “Irishology” Quiz.

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Again, he got all the answers right. For the maths, he first bleeps the tens, than the single digits.

I kept the best and most amazing aspect of the quizzes for last: We never read any of the questions out, but typed them out on his iPad before showing them to Pádraig.

The fact that he could see the questions, read them, process them (the short simple and the longer more complex ones), pick or calculate the right answer, and communicate it to us with his bleeper blew my mind.

For Pádraig it was fun and carefree – most of all because he was able to demonstrate to us his abilities. Which we still tend to underestimate. After all these years, we should know better.

Pádraig shares his birthday with the mother of one of his closest friends. She decided to undertake an 85k walk over 29 days – which will bring her right to her’s and Pádraig’s birthday. – What a brilliant idea for a fundraiser and thank you, Raphael, from Pádraig and all of us!

On “Saturday with Cormac Ó hEadhra” yesterday, there was the first honest discussion, with an academic from the University of Maynooth who very openly questioned the effectiveness of lockdown if the vast majority of COVID-19 cases happened in certain places, and that tests were effectively useless if results are received a week or several weeks later. (The recording of that programme is not yet available but will be in the coming days, I am sure.)

Yesterday, there also was a very interesting letter in the Irish Time by Dr Irwin Gill, Consultant Paediatrician, “Rehabilitation services are crucial

A bit earlier last week, a University of Cambridge based research group published an article in the world-famous magazine “Nature”:Olfactory sniffing signals consciousness in unresponsive patients with brain injuries. In their article, the authors state that there is an

“error rate of up to 40% in determining the state of consciousness in patients with brain injuries – These diagnoses and prognoses are crucial, as they determine therapeutic strategies such as pain management, and can underlie end-of-life decisions.”

Imagine the uproar if there was a 40% error rate in #Cancer or #covid19 diagnosis that would inform end-of-life decisions.

(Reports on this article and the astonishing results presented by the research group were published in several news media, including Science Daily and Technology Networks.)

If you are interested in the topic in general, you might want to read an article by Helen Thomson published in November of 2019. It was headlined: “Why the line between life and death is now more blurred than ever – Brains resurrected after death, communications with people in comas and advances in cryogenics all suggest that life’s end is less final than we thought.”