Irish Examiner view: Coronavirus requires us to stay focused

Even if it is a glass-half-empty view of humanity, it is hard not to be disappointed, even if unsurprised, that less than half of those who, on arrival in the country, offered phone numbers so they might be tracked to help contain Covid-19 could not be contacted.
Irish Examiner view: Coronavirus requires us to stay focused
A man wearing a protective face mask in the departures area of terminal one at Dublin Airport last February. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
A man wearing a protective face mask in the departures area of terminal one at Dublin Airport last February. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Even if it is a glass-half-empty view of humanity, it is hard not to be disappointed, even if unsurprised, that less than half of those who, on arrival in the country, offered phone numbers so they might be tracked to help contain Covid-19 could not be contacted.

This adds to the frustration of the great majority of people, especially health workers, who have done so much and risked so much to try to contain the pandemic.

That majority must be frustrated by those advocating a resumption of non-essential international travel. That we get, in a normal year, over 6m visitors from the US or Britain — plague hot spots — adds to those concerns.

Health officials are “very concerned” that increased international travel will lead to a second wave of coronavirus in Ireland; that concern would be decisive in most other societies.

Record US figures this week — 52,000 new cases on Wednesday — immediately offer an example of what happens when a society drops its guard and indulges in denial. We need to have the confidence to ensure we do not do the same.

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