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Time for full-scale lockdown

De Facto

De Facto
Liamy MacNally

Last Friday, the Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr Brendan Mulroy, issued a Covid-19 statement on social media, calling for ‘a shutdown of our country and for people to stay indoors except for essential services’.
“This would ensure our emergency services and care workers along with the medical profession could carry out their work in a safer environment,” he said. “I am not trying to cause alarm or fear, but trying to be a realist. If we look at the shocking situation in Italy that should be our first clue. What we need now is leadership that will save the lives of our loved ones. We only get one chance at this life so let us try and preserve it. We need to act now.”
You cannot argue against that. Brendan Mulroy has consistently shown leadership, especially since Covid-19. Credit where it’s due. A lockdown is overdue. We need it to contain the virus.
While social distancing was a problem, especially among the younger set, it is becoming less so, thanks to repeated requests and the actual ‘mapping out’ of spaces in shops. Many people agree that the Irish authorities have responded well, if a little tardy. There are exceptions when you listen to the ‘salad sermon’ from Green leader Éamon Ryan, who has both feet planted firmly in the clouds.  
Archbishop Neary was also quick off the mark by stopping congregational Masses. Online Masses and services are providing vital spiritual support. Easter ceremonies might also be online.
Compare the Irish response to the Blond Bombshell and his Circus of Clowns over in Westminster. The use of the ‘herd immunity’ mentality by Boris and his Blunderbuss Party is arrogance personified, and Tories know how to do arrogance!
The ‘herd immunity’ concept means that you expose people to the virus in the hope that so many will get infected that a level of community immunity will be built up and the virus will eventually be resisted. It sounds great, but at what cost? The vulnerable and elderly whose immune systems are compromised will not survive. It has a high price.
Essentially, you are condemning some people to death. It is ‘survival of the fittest’ Boris-style. Adopting this practice borders on eugenics. To think that this was acceptable or even permitted in a so-called civilised world is astounding.
Boris’s stupidity in refusing to close schools was echoed in the North with support from Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill. The following day Michelle ‘Late Have I Loved Thee’ changed tack and called for closure while Arlene ‘No No’ backed Boris. Arlene will never learn, and Michelle has a lot to learn!
China and Italy should have provided adequate examples to all countries that a lockdown is what’s needed to tackle the virus effectively and quickly. Some villages in Italy have lost most of their older generation. Covid-19 testing in all communities is another urgent requirement.
We are an island nation. The easiest thing to do was a national shut down with screening at airports and ports. That wasn’t done because everyone was relying on ‘science’. Look at the difference in scientific advice between Ireland and Britain. Cheltenham ‘science’! Too often there is an economic response to a health problem.
The contradictory ‘scientific advice’ was always too late. Relying on it and constantly referencing it was a weakness of many political leaders. With the unfolding of time it is gradually dawning on people in power that more should have been done at an earlier stage. Common sense has been lost under the guise of science. Minister Michael Ring said social media companies have a moral responsibility to remove misinformation.
Very soon we will all have many regrets. When this pandemic really blows up we will wonder why we didn’t enter lockdown sooner and insist on people supporting social distancing. Good practices are preventive measures. They are easier and cheaper than treatment and less of a risk.
It’s important to remember that 80 percent of cases will be mild to moderate, 14 percent severe and 6 percent critical. Preventative measures can ensure that the numbers affected will be lessened. We all share that responsibility. Be safe, if not for yourself, for others.