I certainly don’t want to see another lockdown, but…

It seems like so long ago that I was heading out to Kardinge for what would be the first of my three anti-Covid power-ups, courtesy of Pfizer and the GGD. In truth, that was only twelve months ago, and so much has changed since then. Talk of curfews and heavy Corona restrictions has vanished and while Covid is not gone altogether, it seems the world is a much freer place for many of us.

By the end of that same summer, I just about managed to squeeze in a trip to one of my favourite festivals in the UK. Honestly, after such a long time locked inside, it almost felt like I had stolen that 4-day trip to Bloodstock from under the nose of some grand authority. Now, a trip out all night and sometimes even into the following morning is once again par for the course. A welcome change.

Yet, there are signs of trouble still brewing. Both in the Netherlands and back home in Ireland, cases are once again on the rise. Just recently the BSS faculty even announced they will go online over Christmas for Covid reasons. Now, I don’t think there’s any need to panic or go into lockdown soon (or ever), but surely rising cases both here and back home deserve some thought and even a little action.

it’s shocking we have so quickly forgotten how horrible lockdown was

This week, while visiting my parents in Ireland, I caught a popular radio show on RTÉ (Ireland’s national broadcaster). An Irish public health expert was firmly stating that case numbers arriving at hospitals in Ireland and Europe must be reduced. When the presenter asked if mask-wearing would help, the expert replied that he ‘wouldn’t say anything like that because [he] didn’t want to be subjected to a torrent of abuse for weeks’.

That statement reminded me of the anti-lockdown riots here. While riots were misguided; people’s frustrations at such restrictions on their freedom were understandable. But to me it’s shocking that we have so quickly forgotten how horrible lockdown was and how deadly Covid can be. Surely some mask-wearing in shops or on public transport when cases rise shouldn’t be controversial now?

I certainly don’t want to see another lockdown and I don’t imagine we will, but if people are being hospitalised and some schools are already planning to close in winter, then we should help. A little mask on the bus or train is the least we can do to help out.

Or perhaps a riot would be more effective?

NIALL TORRIS

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