Opinion: Exiting lockdown is a delicate process - if one domino falls, they all fall

A view of daily life in Donegal through coronavirus by Siobhán McNamara

Dominoes

If one domino falls, they all fall

When An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar made the inevitable announcement back on Thursday, March 12 that schools would close that day, this coronavirus crisis took on a whole new level of seriousness.

Here in Donegal, the days that followed were a blur of cancelled events and business and services shutting down. At first we were sharing the news of each individual closure or event cancellation here on DonegalLive.ie but it soon became impossible to keep up. 

A childhood memory came to me at that time, of watching a television report about someone lining up dominoes - it may have been a world record attempt, I’m not clear on the details. What I do remember is watching, mesmerised, as they fell through lines and curves and figures of eight, thousands of them, one after another, the gentlest nudge from each one enough to tumble the next. 

The rapid closing down in that first week, starting with the schools and ending with pubs felt exactly like that. Many more people were laid off and others adapted to working from home, educating children remotely and finding this new normal that we talk about.

We are now standing the dominoes up again. Not all at once, that would be inviting trouble. Instead, we are adding a few a time to see if they hold, and taking a little break before adding more. 

Unfortunately, leaving a space in between each section that we add isn’t an option. In other words, if one domino falls, they all fall and we are back to square one.

It is a delicate process, and while the decisions are being made at government level, it remains the responsibility of each of us to move cautiously, to only venture out if we must, and to remember what it is all for - to stop the spread of an untreatable virus that has already claimed more than 1,500 lives here in Ireland.

Read next: The joy of being back on the water and hope for what is to come

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Live editorial team any time. To contact Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press, email editorial@donegaldemocrat.ie To contact Donegal Post, email editor@donegalpost.com To contact Inish Times, email editor@inishtimes.com.

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