Please forgive my rather aggressive title. After reading that Ireland’s cases have risen in the last few days and seeing the news that some cities in England have locked down again, along with the discovery of a flu virus with pandemic potential found in China, I’m growing anxious again. Anxious that we are going to be going around in circles of lockdown and freedom until a vaccine is produced. As I’ve said before I am finding lockdown fine for myself. I am lucky enough to be working from home and in a good environment. The constant of being indoors has spurred on my creativity and that’s a major plus. However, other people are not so lucky and may suffer with their lives if a second spike happens, which seems inevitable at this stage.
I appreciate that the local and national economies need to be up and running again but we can still combat the spread of the virus by listening to the government guidelines and wearing our masks! Now, I appreciate that the government directives have been inconsistent. For months they didn’t mention masks as mandatory and so their new push for covering our faces has left many bemused and confused.
Masks are now mandatory on public transport and some shops are implementing their own rules. Joan Lucey, owner of Vibes and Scribes, Cork’s most well-known bookshop, faced backlash from people who simply did not want to wear a face-covering. I don’t get what people are getting so angry about. You are not being asked to wear a mask in every facet of your life. Go home and cough and sneeze to your hearts content on every bloody surface you want. Most shops are not making you wear a mask. The one shop that is asking you to wear one should not be met with vitriol and hate, but with courteous congratulations and loyalty. Shop owners and staff are not trying to inconvenience you. They are trying to protect themselves and the people who are immunocompromised.
It reminds me of a quote from one of my favourite movies, V for Vendetta.
“Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea…”
By wearing the mask you are showing everyone else that you care about the collective good of the people. You care about the elderly, the infirm and the young. You care about our nurses and our doctors. You care about yourself and the people you come into contact with. You care about all of our essential workers. You care about this country as a whole and by wearing your mask you are helping us to get back on our feet and moving again. You are part of a noble group when you tie that mask around your ears and cover your mouth and nose. You are someone that I am proud to call a friend.
So, one last time, for everybody in the back.
Put on your f****ng masks!