Are we a joke to you?

This is an open letter to the people who are mocking this country and the people who sacrificed everything for her over the last six months through their actions.

When front line professionals (our nurses, doctors, care assistants, delivery workers, supermarket employees and anyone else I have forgotten) get up and get ready for another tough shift in the trenches trying to keep people safe, healthy and happy, do you think that they put clown makeup on? Do you think that they carefully place their mask over their faces so as not to smudge the white cheeks and red lips and nose that they have carefully applied while trying to psych themselves up for a potentially traumatising day at work?

When elderly people cocooned and the rest of us self-isolated for four months so that we would stop the spread of the virus here and hopefully stop the constant death that was being livestreamed into our homes, do you think that we looked at ourselves in the mirror and laughed at how stupid we were being? How could we make a difference at all?

When local businesses like pubs and small shops closed down, possibly for good, do you think they didn’t care? Sure how could they be expected to keep a small place like that open for good? They might as well close down now and just get on with the rest of their lives.

When young people were forced to move back home to their parents house after losing their job due to the pandemic, potentially plunging themselves into an existential depression, not sure if they were grown up or not, do you think that they just got up one morning and said, ‘Ah sure look, it’ll all be grand. I’ll move out in a few months, rent again and start from the bottom of the pile,”?

So then, to our government, people attending houseparties in West Cork, Killarney and all over the country, American tourists flying in to Belfast, renting cars and travelling to your county of choice, English holidaymakers and European toursits: Why are we such a joke to you?

I appreciate that Micheál Martin is barely in the Taoiseach job a wet week. Varadkar has snaked his way out of another tight situation and will be riding high on the coattails of his admittedly brilliant handling of the media side of announcing Ireland’s Covid situation. However, the government need to be enforcing the two week self-isolation/quarantine recommendations to American, British and European tourists. New Zealand has exhibited the most superb handling of a pandemic that we will ever see. Jacinda Ardern will go down in history as one of the most proactive and brilliant leaders the modern world will ever see. Why, then, are we letting people from two of the worst affected countries in the world holiday freely on our shores? Why are there multiple news articles citing American tourists in Ireland saying that the coronavirus has been ‘blown out of proprotion’?

I will not pin this all on our ‘friends’ from across the water. There has been many reports of house parties all over Ireland that have resulted in different spreads of the virus. Why are people attending such house parties if they know they will be in close proximity to others? There will inevitably be a second wave but the least we can do is not stoke the fire? The least we can do is just knuckle down and do what we are allowed. Go out to a pub with some friends, order a meal and leave after an hour and a half. Do not wedge yourself into a house in West Cork and contract a deadly virus that you will most likely survive but the infirm and the elderly that you do pass it on to will meet their end.

Do we have the words, ‘Gullible, Stupid and Happy’ tattooed on our foreheads? No. So stop treating us as if we can’t see what is going on. Profit before people can not continue.


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