It’s almost 11 months since the covid 19 virus came to dominate the world, and our lives and there is not much sign of respite. In fact since 2021 started things have got much worse.

First of all and most important of all, the people who have got very ill and remain so, and the families who have lost loved ones have paid the ultimate price in this pandemic. Our hearts go out to them.

The people in our health service who are trying to look after the ill and very ill in our hospitals and care homes are under the most incredible pressure. They are tired and burnt out from the relentless number of very sick people that they have had to deal with every day over the past couple of months. I can only imagine the strain that they are under and my prayers are with them every day.

Hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel. The Level 5 restrictions seem to be working, if slowly, and hopefully that will result in reduced numbers and deaths.

The vaccination roll out is a worry. It would appear that there is going to be a problem with supply and I have to say my confidence in the HSE to implement a successful roll out programme is not great given the failures that they have presided over in the past two decades.

It is certainly true that the failure of people to adhere to the guidelines has cost livelehoods and lives, but it is also true to say that any failure or delay in the vaccination programme will also cost livelehoods and lives. It’s that important.

I have a certain sympathy for the politicians. Before I say anything about this I have no political affiliations at all to any party. There is no doubt that the decision to ease restrictions before Christmas was a mistake, but the politicians were in a complete no win situation. Two weeks before Christmas a national newspaper ran a poll in which 68% of those questioned said they favoured an easing of restrictions. Three weeks later the same paper did a poll which found that 68% of those questioned wanted tougher restrictions!
The advent of the more infectious strains of the disease that have come from the UK and South Africa have also led to the massive increases in cases, illness and deaths. So in many ways we have the ‘perfect storm’ with regard to this virus. It’s not all the fault of the politicians. The failure of personal responsibility has also been a huge factor.

I totally agree that we need the level five restrictions at the moment as we have to bring the numbers down. But those who comment on this situation in the national media need to realise the responsibility that they have and what they are saying.

There are many people who are hanging on every word that is said about this virus in the national media. The situation is very serious for certain but there is an onus on people not to make it worse than it is. In the past two weeks I have heard one qualified medical person say that no one should go outside their homes AT ALL. Another so called expert said over the weekend that it will be two years before the restrictions will be lifted. One of the celebrity doctors who never leaves the national airwaves, Sam McConkey, predicted at the start of this crisis that we would have between 80,000 and 120,000 deaths from the virus.

There are so many people whose mental health has been affected by the restrictions, isolation, unemployment and loss of their businesses, never mind the loss of loved ones. The last thing they need to hear are these ‘experts’ with their ‘worst case scenarios’. The news is bad enough as it it. There is no need for people to be making it worse.

I want to get back to work. I want things to return to normal but for the moment we must follow the guidelines. It is our only hope until we are vaccinated.

Stay Safe People