Lockdown ‘probably necessary so everyone can have a nice Christmas’

Lockdown ‘probably necessary so everyone can have a nice Christmas’

Members of the public walk past a mural in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

A second lockdown is looming over Ireland, and there is disagreement among the public over the right way forward.

But there is a prevalence of hope, that suffering in the short term might allow for some semblance of normality for Christmas.

Kevin Ball, from Firhouse in Dublin, is one of those taking the optimistic view.

“Christmas can be a sad and a depressing time, but if it’s opened up a little bit, it will help” he told the PA News agency.

“I think if the six weeks makes a difference and people knuckle down, I would be hopeful that there will be some loosening of the rigours and the reins and that will allow us to get some kind of a Christmas done.

“Which is a very, very important time. Better now maybe so we can get it.”

Kevin Ball, from Firhouse, hopes the new lockdown measures will help save Christmas (James Ward/PA)

Em Cooke and John McAndrews, both drama students in Dublin, took a similar view.

Em said: “I feel like it’s probably necessary, before Christmas especially, to try to bring down the numbers so everyone can have a nice Christmas.

“But you need to be so aware that for people’s health there needs to be maybe a bit of flexibility in it.”

John added: “It’s upsetting at the end of the day. But I think it’s for the better and we will come out stronger for it.”

Of course, not everyone agrees. Phil Keegan, a retiree from Stillorgan, thinks the decision could backfire.

She said: “I’m not sure there’s an easy answer to it. But I do think that retail has suffered hugely in the first lockdown.

“I think they’re going to suffer in the run-up to Christmas. I think they’re going to cause a massive surge in the shops in the three weeks in December up to Christmas. That isn’t going to help, from a virus perspective.”

Sean Curran, a student athlete from Dungarvan, Co Waterford, said his training will be disrupted by a second lockdown.

But with his mother working as a nurse, he knows first-hand the dangers of coronavirus, and has backed the Government’s decision.

He said: ” Obviously something needs to be done drastically to stop the cases.

“That decision is tough enough. For the economy it’s obviously not the best decision, but if we want Covid to be gotten rid of then yeah, it probably is the best decision.

“We just need people to realise how bad it is getting. So I think measures need to be taken to stop cases rising.”

But among the younger generation, there is also a sense of fear for the future.

John McAndrews said: “Two weeks ago I couldn’t tell if I was angry or upset.

“Because, just thinking of the short-term and the long-term effects on employment and debt, that’s also something I’m beginning to worry about. Finding a job after college.

“Part of me is going more jobs and more industry could be saved had the decision been taken two weeks ago.

“But my mindset then as well was like keep the economy going. I don’t know what the right decision was. I can understand why they didn’t make it two weeks ago.”

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