We were slow to start — and we have made some significant mistakes. But over the past seven days An Taoiseach and the Cabinet have been superb.
The numbers will worsen exponentially (literally) over the next eight weeks.
Flattening the curve is everything. Slowing this virus will not feel like success but it will save tens of thousands of lives. It is a difficult idea to “sell” because it can easily seem like a form of defeat.
But if we can continue to mobilise in the way that we are doing it will be like Dunkirk — and will go into the annals of national triumph over adversity. Something each and every one of us will be proud of in the years to come.
By the beginning of May the country will have large numbers of young recovered adults with acquired immunity. Many of them will not even realise they were infected.
These people will be as important to identify as the sick — because they will be able to perform all sorts of essential work. We must not underestimate the value of disseminating an antibodies test for the identification of recovered and newly immune people.
That cohort will be hugely important — and will be willing and able to help others.
Patriotism, until recently, was “the last refuge of the scoundrel”. I am very proud of my Government and my country.
The willingness of people up and down the country to totally rearrange their lives and fortunes for the protection of others is something we must dwell upon today and be inspired by tomorrow.
We must keep on keeping on. This virus wants to prey on demoralised people.
Let us disappoint it.
- This readers' view was published in the Irish Examiner on March 21, 2020