Ireland is increasing its COVID lockdown rules because of an alarming spike in cases, and superstar Matt Damon is back filming scenes for a movie, just like he was when the country was in full lockdown in March.
*Editor's Note: This column first appeared in the October 7 edition of the Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.
Coincidence? Some Twitter users are having a bit of fun during these increasingly depressing times, joking that Matt is bad luck for the Irish when it comes to COVID.
You’ll remember that Damon and his family chose to remain in Dublin for quarantining instead of returning to the U.S. He was on location filming The Last Duel, and when production shut the Damons remained in their luxury home rental overlooking the Irish Sea until the end of May.
He was pictured out and about on numerous occasions, happily greeting fans and seeming to enjoy his downtime. He’s doing the same now that he’s back in Tipperary with the cast and crew. Production has just resumed on The Last Duel…and COVID has just spiked again.
“Both lockdown and Matt Damon are trending in Ireland. I feel like we've been here before...,” one Twitter user observed.
That person wasn’t alone in trying to have a bit of a laugh during a serious situation. “Matt Damon back in town and wreaking havoc,” wrote another, and another: “Matt Damon ye f***ing jinx.”
One Twitter user pointed to the return of both Damon and Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan as a sign that Ireland was heading back into lockdown.
Tony Holohan is back. Matt Damon is back. Threat of a full lockdown... Hello, March 2020! pic.twitter.com/gst9bN32cb— Wear a mask please (@ChrisLavery6) October 5, 2020
Another Twitter user blamed Damon for the impending second lockdown.
"Matt Damon comes to Ireland, then Lockdown 1 happens. Matt Damon comes back to Ireland, now #lockdown2 is on the way ..#blamedamon ..Just sayin," they said after NPHET recommended moving to Level 5 on Ireland's Living With COVID plan.
And one more for you: “Ok, Ireland - chill out! I know Matt Damon's back & we all love him & everything. But going into lockdown *every time* he shows up is just liiiittle Annie Wilkes, don't you think? Or are we trying to see if Tom Hanks & Ben Affleck'll mobilise Hollywood to get him back this time?”
Ok, Ireland - chill out! I know Matt Damon's back & we all love him & everything. But going into lockdown *every time* he shows up is just liiiittle Annie Wilkes, don't you think? Or are we trying to see if Tom Hanks & Ben Affleck'll mobilise Hollywood to get him back this time? pic.twitter.com/SFGayDCyiN— Ashi vs The Evil Dead (@AislinnOLoughli) October 5, 2020
The threat of Level 5 lockdown has been avoided for now, but we’ll have to see if the new Level Three lockdown Ireland affects production again and if Matt will stay in place again if that happens.