Today is an anniversary not worth celebrating, but it has been a year exactly since the introduction of lockdown measures here in Ireland.
What a year of fear, confusion, loss and yet the world continues to turn on its by now quivering axis.
Its surprising to me how you can make some routine out of chaos. For those like myself who have been in lockdown essentially for years, the small openings of normality which we once had, are doubly hurtful to lose.
The fact that we are all undergoing the same conditions, does not make it easier.
I have not seen my neighbour in many months, since she showed up on our doorstep on Christmas day, bearing gifts while wearing a mask and reluctant to come into the house.
I seem to be surrounded by people with cancer and other conditions, whose lives this pandemic has upended and trodden on!
Speaking for myself, I had cataract surgery the week before the first lockdown last year. When the fluid at the back of the eyes started rupturing, everywhere was closed and no one, bar the desperate was going to visit a hospital.
No wonder that after a number of weeks, the HSE urged people to seek medical help, instead of trying to tolerate their broken bones or heart failures at home.
One of the nicest new protocols of these times has been when a person dies, neighbours and friends line the country roads as an expression of mourning and solidarity, as they cannot attend the funeral service.
I’ve seen this several times and it is inspiring to see people buffeted against the wind, but still determined to say a socially distant last goodbye.
With the new strains, we know that we are going to be living with this for a long time and I certainly cannot understand those demonstrators, urging people to take off their mask and end lockdown.
I would like to know just where their belief system is coming from. Are they religious nuts or devoted conspiracy theorist followers?
Either way these dangerous fantasists, should have been arrested for taking part in what could have been a virus super spreader event.
The roll out of the vaccine here in Ireland is embarrassingly slow. Our doctor still has not heard when it is coming.
A number of weeks ago I sent a text to a cousin, decrying the story in the news about the new deadly Brazil strain that had entered Ireland.
I wondered out loud, why 40,000 people were coming into the country every week.
I remember him saying that instead of blaming Brazilians who come into the country to work in our meat processing plants for minimum wage, we should be more concerned about the dumb Irish who are flying out to Lanzarote or Tenerife for some sun.
The penny will not drop for a certain section of society, but unfortunately they and their ignorance will be the last to die.
The numbers of deaths and infections have now gone down to before December figures, but we can safely say in hindsight that we should never have experienced these problems as bad as Ireland and the UK have.
One Island, but two jurisdictions was a remedy for disaster. We should never have been exposed to such an avalanche of misery.
In future I hope that lockdown means lockdown, if we have an outbreak, we close things down immediately. Sports and holidays abroad need to be the first things targeted.
As hard as it is to imagine, Irish people still go abroad to get their teeth and other body parts done, bringing back whatever virus with them. We are hearing about this less, but I’m sure it’s just gone deeper underground!
I know at Christmas a terrible mistake was made, allowing Irish people to return from England. They ended up bringing back untold misery with them.
All for the sake of one day and giving quarantine assurances which could and would never be fulfilled or enforced.
As far as I am concerned, the big lesson to be learned is that industry and commerce and chasing up monetary profit, has got to always play second fiddle to people’s health.
It seems the past year was especially difficult, as we were trying to cajole two racing horses of very different temperaments, so we could forget about winning the race.
All is not lost though, humanity may be battered and bruised, but that’s the price we have to pay for some common sense to be lodged in!
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