Something similar to martial law needs to be implemented because human nature is inherently selfish. All travel in / out of the country should have been stopped months ago. There must be border controls in the north, even if this disturbs the trivial political sensibility.
Our highly paid but incompetent politicians and medical experts really believe that someone would book a sun vacation this week just to get their entire vacation in a hotel? Can these wrongdoers be trusted to continue isolating themselves after returning to Ireland? I wouldn’t trust them to be so socially conscious. Such selfishness needs to be grasped by the throat instead of the usual impotent and shy “solutions”. In my experience, most gardaí just don’t care about overcrowded homes during the lockdown.
Also, vaccinating people here is too slow. I suspect there will be another lengthy lockdown soon after March 5th.
Even before Covid, thousands of families had tacitly suffered the loss of relatives due to the acceptance of MRSA in our hospitals. I am one of those people.
Finally, we need to stop all of this silly, sentimental handshake, insincere mental health concern, complaint of unnecessary death, and darkness into light mantras.
Covid has proven that it is better to prevent than to sue. My stubborn belief in fixed boundaries has grown all the more.
Dr. Florence Craven
Bracknagh, Co Offaly
“Nobody could have predicted it”. Our government likes that sentence very much. They used it when there was a very predictable influenza-related overcrowding of hospitals in winter. You have used it for recent surges in Covid cases.
Will they get it out again if variants of Covid spread from arriving travelers to Ireland? Will they use it when these variants make current vaccines ineffective and get us back to where we were in March 2020? But with thousands more deaths and billions of dollars spent with little long-term benefit? And with ongoing negative effects on physical and mental health?
Currently, the government is advising to protect strategies such as requiring a negative PCR-Covid test from arriving travelers. It is known that PCR testing does not have 100% sensitivity. This means that some people who are actually infected with Covid will have a negative PCR test – a false negative. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine cites sensitivity rates between 71% and 98% for PCR tests. Another calls sensitivity rates of 63% for Covid-PCR tests with nasal swabs. In short, travelers with a negative Covid PCR test do not keep Covid variants out of this country.
Managed quarantine of all arriving travelers for 14 days was a key strategy in New Zealand’s successful fight against Covid. Restricting mandatory quarantine in approved facilities to travelers from countries where variants occur will not keep variants out. Variants quickly spread far beyond geographic borders. A person doesn’t have to travel from South Africa or Brazil to get infected with a variant that originally appeared there.
Relying on travelers to quarantine themselves at home after the trip has proven a failure. Even if the government increases its previously pathetic controls on self-quarantine, there will still be numerous quarantine violations and quarantine failures, leading to the spread of variants in this country.
When we get back to first place, maybe the government could consider that someone predicted this. Unless they didn’t want to.
Dr. Emer O’Flynn
As Covid-19 breaks new records, one thing that will help us face hope and seeing good examples of that is important.
In this regard, one has to admire a country that has been at war for over 30 years, producing a team that strikes a different life in the luxury of peace in a challenging sport.
I am referring to Afghanistan, which this week beat the Irish cricket team three to zero.
Hope is really alive and well!
Sutton, Dublin 13
With the report on Mother and Baby Homes published, it is easy to understand how outraged the public is that such atrocities can occur in our communities in our country, coupled with seeking answers and vows of “never again”.
I believe what happened then and what is still happening in Ireland is a war against control of women, women’s bodies and women’s sexuality. With regard to then and now, who made the decisions, whether within the church, the state or the family? Who impregnated the imprisoned women?
The abuse took place in a dysfunctional system, a subtle system, a system that was and remains so “normalized” that it is difficult to see, the system of patriarchy.
During the time of mother and baby homes, men had power at all levels of society, women were invisible and had little or no access to the decision-making process in the public or private sector. As in all corrupt, unjust systems, whether of race, culture, or gender, there are those who knowingly cooperate with oppression, those who cooperate with oppression through ignorance, and those who cooperate with oppression through indifference.
Today women have access to more freedom and opportunities to participate in public life. Divorce, contraception, and abortion are readily available. However, like our secrets of the past, the war on women’s bodies continues. Over 236 women have been murdered since 1996. A greater awareness of domestic violence has arisen during Covid-19. However, when women try to escape to a refuge with their children for safety reasons, places are not always available due to a lack of funding.
Violence and humiliation can be found in pornography. The availability of women’s bodies in prostitution is widespread.
Terenure Road West, Dublin
As a practicing Catholic, I would like to express how appalled I am at the historical treatment of single mothers by the Church and State in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home. Some Catholic journalists have argued that any real discussion of the report must take into account the broader context of Irish society during the time the house was in operation.
However, as a Catholic, I think it is important to reflect on some of the reports in the report. especially the mockery of young women in the middle of the birth of a child with the callous remark “You should have thought about it nine months ago”. From such accounts it appears that these religious, like many other Catholics, had no relation to the Word of God or no sensitivity to the Scriptures. Wasn’t the Virgin Mary herself actually pregnant out of wedlock, as the Gospels tell us, albeit through the Holy Spirit? Wasn’t the Virgin herself about to emerge, but the intervention of an angelic dream and the faithful heart of Joseph? Have the nuns who run these institutions never stopped asking themselves these questions?
John O Riordan
Killarney, Co Kerry
Joyce Fegan did an excellent job on both articles in your article on a very sensitive subject – religion (Irish Examiner, January 25th and 26th).
It is really inspiring to read and know that every person has fulfilled their true potential in different ways. Many Thanks.
Hopefully special education will resume once it’s safe and practical. These children deserve the best. And that includes the ministers’ labor relations. You don’t get anywhere, which means that others are not on the side of these children. You get stuck calling a teacher’s union liars. All heat and no light. Experience is unbeatable.
Carrigart, Co Donegal
European Movement Ireland has awarded Michael Barnier the “European of the Year” award for his “outstanding contribution” to the most unsuccessful and failed negotiations in many long days. It will be hard to beat that the EU’s Brexit negotiations, out of naivety or silliness, have been as persistent and unproductive as can be over the past decade.
From a position of strength that only 4% more voted to leave than to stay, it is widely believed that a conciliatory approach with a few minor concessions could have persuaded British public opinion to stay. However, Gung-Ho’s determination to crush the lean Democratic vote for Brexit only succeeded in turning a chaotically divided British parliament into a majority of 80 seats for Boris Johnson. Such negotiations, which achieve exactly the opposite of what was intended, could in future be called a “barn”, just as exclusion is called a “boycott”.
It is to be hoped that the “European Movement Ireland” has little influence or authority. We cannot afford such stupidity.
Tubbercurry, Co Sligo