Letter to the Editor: Anti-racism protesters risk spreading the coronavirus

Letter to the Editor: Anti-racism protesters risk spreading the coronavirus
An anti-racism protest in Dublin.

I unequivocally condemn the murder of George Floyd because a police officer pressed a knee into his neck in Minneapolis resulting in his death by homicide witnessed by millions globally.

But I ask should we really be protesting in Dublin about police brutality and racism in the USA at the risk of widespread noncompliance with Covid-19 prevention regulations in Ireland? Why didn’t the gardaí intervene? Why did the gardaí fail to enforce Covid- 19 regulations on public gatherings? Who gave permission for this demonstration to take place?

I think before we start protesting about racism and police brutality in the USA, we need to get our own house in order and stop putting the lives of Irish citizens at risk with large public gatherings that threaten to assist the spread of the viral menace plaguing our times.

We seriously need to reflect. Do we have regulations to keep us safe during a pandemic? Are we all to abide with these regulations? If the regulations are not enforced equitably what’s the point in having them?

If this type of disregard for the current efforts to restrain Covid- 19 is to continue we might as well just let the virus take its natural course and dispense with the regulations with the catastrophic consequences that that may bring.

We absolutely need to continue to unambiguously condemn racism. There is a certain incongruity at play here however. Let’s all protest about one rancid social issue racism, whilst risking the health and wellbeing of many citizens at the same time. 

We have all worked so hard showing incredible solidarity to restrain Covid-19 in Ireland. Now is not the time to risk a second surge with large unregulated gatherings.

It was such gatherings in 1919 that contributed largely to the second wave of Spanish Flu with widespread global fatal consequences.

Paul Horan

Assistant Professor

School of Nursing & Midwifery

Trinity College Dublin

24 D’Olier St

Dublin 2

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