As Fintan Moore touched on in his column of this issue, soccer star Ronaldo made a spontaneous and unexpected gesture at a press conference during the European championships by removing two bottles of Coca-Cola from the desk in front of him before holding up a bottle of water and exclaiming in his native Portuguese, “Agua!” With a tip of the cap to Fintan, I’d like to expand on that a little.

Coca-Cola was one of the top-tier sponsors of the tournament. I can’t be the only one who allowed themselves a broad grin when it was revealed that this simple gesture by Ronaldo wiped-out over $4 billion from Coca-Cola’s shares — overnight. To put it into context, and to reflect the mind-bending enormity of the Coca-Cola machine, this meant an approximate drop in its share price from $56.17 to $55.22, so redundancies are unlikely, as are boardroom resignations.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that Ronaldo has ‘zero f***s given’ type of wealth; he is at the point in life where he doesn’t need to kiss anybody’s backside to boost his popularity or bank balance. But he is passionate about fitness, which is evidenced by the fact that the 36-year-old is still in peak physical shape and has a few years at the top left in him yet. He also set a great example for the millions of kids who were surely watching the press conference.

I was encouraged to see French star Paul Pogba follow Ronaldo’s lead with a similar gesture following a game against Germany, this time with a bottle of Heineken, although he cited religious reasons. Next was Italy’s Manuel Locatelli, who also removed some Coca-Cola bottles in favour of a bottle of water, instantly wiping 1.6 per cent from the drinks giant’s shares.

This was followed by a knee-jerk reaction from a panicky UEFA, which moved swiftly to ask players not to remove
sponsors’ products from the press conference desk. Let’s hope no-one pays any attention to them. I have a foolish pipe-dream of families pulling-up at the McDonald’s drive-through hatch and the following
exchange ensues:


McDonald’s employee: ‘Hi, what would you like to order?’
Customer: ‘Two Happy Meals please.’
McDonald’s employee: ‘And what drinks would you like with that?’
Two kids in the car returning from their match: ‘Agua!’

Vaccination nation

Not enabling pharmacists to vaccinate sooner than last month was a missed opportunity that caused untold unnecessary journeys for people who had to visit vaccination hubs or GP surgeries. In addition, last month the IPU highlighted an inexplicable delay in second-dose vaccinations for pharmacists and their staff. At the beginning of last month, many of these essential healthcare workers had gone well beyond the recommended 12-week dosing schedule for the Vaxzevria jab, with some waiting 14 weeks without the health authorities making them any the wiser.

It’s typical of the kind of issue that pharmacists have to deal with on a number of fronts and no doubt will be on the radar of incoming President of the Union, Cloyne-based pharmacist Mr Dermot Twomey, who takes over from Mr Eoghan Hanley, who, with his colleagues, has steered the ship through some choppy waters. So well done Eoghan and good luck Dermot. Your work, as they say, is cut out for you.

Pat Kelly, Editor
Pat Kelly, Editor

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