On The Edge
ISN’T it ironic that in certain ways it is easier for older people during these trepidatious days. We’ve got coronavirus cocooning in our daily DNA now and are ready to batten down the hatches again, tie down the thatch with sugáns, and take to our knitting and Netflix, books and podcasts, new flapjack recipes and projects to paint like Picasso and run up deserted hills like mountain goats.
Because we have had the time to experience the vulnerabilities and disappointments of the human life, we may feel more challenged because of our age – but we are also able to be more circumspect about the coronavirus and all its pesky prongs, which like some dangerous extra-terrestrial invaded our world last spring and changed everything utterly.
LAST March our younger people responded with a maturity that defied their ages. We were so proud of their grasp of the dangers and their willingness to comply with the slew of restrictions that closed down their lives.
In less than a week – remember Leo’s speech from Washington – the pandemic had upturned their plans, played havoc with their dreams, scuppered their holidays abroad, left dates for weddings in limbo.
Now six weary months later is it surprising that they want to dance again until dawn, throw caution to the wind, be spontaneous, light-hearted, full of joie de vivre?
But isn’t there a big, big, difference between how the revellers behaved in Meath farmer Darragh McCullough’s field earlier this month and those who congregated on the astro turf pitch at the Oliver Bond flats in Dublin on the same night?
McCullough said that when he approached the group shortly after 6am on Sunday, September 20, they immediately packed up their stuff, cleaned the area and left without any untoward interactions.
Identifying themselves as a group of Brazilians, they had set up a sound-system in an old ruin which faces out over the sea and far enough away from main roads to avoid detection.
McCullough good humouredly told reporters: “It’s not a bad spot to have a party, in fairness to them. I just thought: Oh my God, are you kidding me?
“This is going on all over the country. People are people; we’re social animals,” he said.
And isn’t he so correct? Younger people – in their late teens, 20s and 30s – want to move on from this pesky pandemic, they feel they have their penance done, their sacrifices made.
THAT doesn’t mean they should lose all sense of responsibility as was the case from pictures and videos emerging from the rave held in the south Dublin inner city. It is dreadful that local residents had to clean up the huge mess left by the revellers. Describing it as a ‘drug orgy’, councillor Mannix Flynn said it was attended by people in their 20s and it was obvious from the outset what was going to happen after they set up a tent and a sound system.
This rave was held in one of the Dublin constituencies with the highest rate of Covid-19 per population number. It is also an area that has been ghettoised over the decades whilst being very proximate to gentrified streets and leafy suburbs.
Coronavirus knows no boundaries or borders, as our politicians like to tell us. But it is clear that impoverished circumstances provide a breeding ground for this deadly disease. Notwithstanding that, younger citizens, no matter what their circumstances, owe it to their elders to act responsibly and, like the Brazilians, find a field and clean up after themselves.