I have come to the rather sobering realisation of what is going on here regarding the Coronavirus.
It was never about trying to prevent the virus from coming into the country. That simply isn’t possible.
Even if we had locked the country down a few weeks ago and stopped flights to every country on the planet, all it would have taken was one case of the virus to get through somehow for the virus to be here.
This was always going to happen with a porous land border with the United Kingdom.
This is all about flattening the curve as we are constantly being told.
Maybe 60% of us will ultimately get the virus irrespective of what we do as a country.
However, what’s important is when that actually happens.
If that happens suddenly over the course of a few short weeks our hospitals will be overwhelmed and the death toll will be high, mostly among the elderly and/or those with underlying health conditions.
However, if we as a nation largely adhere to the advice we are being given of washing our hands, keeping social distance etc., progress of the virus will be slowed, not stopped.
The hospitals will be able to cope better and many more lives will be saved.
This is an exercise in collective action in a way we have been never asked to do before.
If for instance you are young and feel that even if you get the virus you will get through it relatively unscathed, that may be true but if you are even more reckless and continue to ignore the advice, you will infect many people.
The actions of each and every member of society affects everyone else in a way we have never seen before.
I have heard the phrase used of putting on the green jersey in relation to how we behave.
That is exactly what each of us is being asked to do.
We are all playing for Ireland now.
This readers' opinion will be published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner print edition on March 19, 2020