Coronavirus fears - it's not over yet
The move to open pubs was always going to be contentious, even with the criteria of a substantial meal and 105 minute limit.
It is perfectly understandable that businesses want to get up and running again as soon as possible.
But there is no getting away from the plain and simple fact that alcohol impairs our judgement. This is not news. Anti drink driving campaigns have been trying to hammer this message home for years.
Fears that physical distancing would be completely forgotten after a few too many drinks have proved to be well founded. The scenes from the UK are very worrying, with revellers spilling into the streets in their thousands in celebration of the pubs being open.
While there were also worrying reports from our own cities, rural Ireland wasn’t anywhere near as bad. This was due largely to the limited opening of pubs and - one would hope - an element of social responsibility and common sense.
No-one begrudges anybody a night out with a few drinks and maybe a long-awaited catch-up with friends. But we all have a responsibility to maintain enough self-control to remember why it is so important to keep our distance.
I am in no way pointing the finger at businesses. They are doing everything they can to keep customers and staff safe, from sanitiser stations to number restrictions and removal of seats.
But with so many businesses open, combined with a mass return to sporting activities and freedom to travel anywhere in the country, there are a lot more people around us.
We are no longer moving within our own bubbles. Instead we are coming into contact with people who have in turn been in contact with others from God knows where. That is why it is more important than ever to adhere to physical distancing.
Covid-19 has not gone away. It is as serious, as incurable and as deadly as ever.
I read a post doing the rounds on social media over the weekend that summed up our current situation quite well. While I don’t remember the exact words, the gist of it was that healthcare workers have done their bit and they are now our defence line. It is up to us, the wider community to take the baton and become the frontline soldiers in the fight against Covid-19.
It's in our own hands.
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