After major failures at Christmas with a premature reopening and the slow rollout of vaccines, now Ireland's battle with Covid finally seems to be coming to an end. And not before time too!
Exist in the mediocre middle if you wish, but if you claim a success that later turns into a failure in Ireland then lookout. Such was the story during the pandemic in Ireland when the country all pulled together at the beginning and a wonderful national spirit was engendered. When a man deliberately coughed on the Minister for Health Simon Harris the whole country wished they could help wipe his face off.
Then as the virus lingered and success seemed less certain and the long day’s journeys into winter nights with no end of lockdown in sight, the mood changed. The government had no clue and the medics hedged everything so you never got a clear sense.
For instance, suddenly there was a clamor to open up for Christmas to let the drink-starved customers have their nightly pint, or two or three, and welcome family back home.
Lord God, there was some Christmas with men and women hopping off the walls all over Ireland, with more drink than Saint Patrick’s Day celebrators imbibed.
But behind the hilarity, the sober men and women in white coats shook their heads and knew what was coming.
The high priests of human behavior reported regularly on the house parties, that a hundred attended, the neighbor who sneaked off to Tenerife for a holiday. Everyone was watching just like in that classic Irish tale, by Brinsley McNamara the, “Valley of the Squinting Windows”.
And then came waves of Covid sweeping the land as citizens suddenly realized that taking a break for a drinking binge in the middle of a pandemic was no solution at all.
So it was back to lockdown, a lot of smirking and scolding from the lab coat crowd and a country getting madder and madder at itself. Restrictions of two miles either way were the toughest. A golf mad brother lives 2.25 miles away from his course and could not play.
It didn't help, then, that the government ballsed up the first batch of vaccines or that the government as an entity seemed to be clueless, as Northern Ireland and Britain vaccinated away.
Safe to say the stock in politicians sunk lower than a Wall Street crash.
Now the country is getting it half right and opening slowly with the lesson of Yuletide at the front on everyone’s minds. They may be overcautious but better safe than sorry,
My brother no longer watches Netflix, my sister has taken up strange seminars from the BBC Open University, my other brother has developed a fascination with the horses as racing is still going on there.
All to their own and when it ends it will be a bad memory for a hundred years for some. But life has triumphed and the virus is on the run chased by the vaccine. Let’s hope that the vaccine catches up everywhere. Another wildfire of Covid would be impossible to withstand.