This is the “toothpaste” reopening. It’s a huge gamble by NPHET and Government to push on with the various stages of reopening businesses over the coming weeks. I am pessimistically optimistic.
With older people and the most vulnerable vaccinated, it reduces the risk of hospital overruns.
In recent weeks, I have taken to tracking the hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) numbers as opposed to the case numbers. From here on, hospital numbers – along with vaccination numbers – should be the key indicators to monitor our emergence from this absolute nightmare.
I met a colleague at her wits end because she had just witnessed heavy traffic heading south for the long weekend
There will continue to be a differing of public opinion. Last Thursday, I spoke to a colleague who has been at his wits end for 12 months out of work. He was hanging by a thread for some scintilla of good news, some signal of positivity coming from An Taoiseach Micheál Martin later that evening.
Then I met a colleague at her wits end because she had just witnessed heavy traffic heading south for the long weekend. She is somewhat medically vulnerable and is anxiously awaiting a vaccine.
While the mood is more upbeat than it has been for quite some time at the prospect of opening up and getting out, some experts are very cautious
She has followed all of the rules since day one and was expressing a profound fear that people had already given up Level 5 and were putting all our sacrifices (and her health) in jeopardy. Two diametrically opposed but heartfelt views. And I had sympathy for both.
While the mood is more upbeat than it has been for quite some time at the prospect of opening up and getting out, some experts are very cautious if not opposed to the gradual reopening pointing to another wave and another lockdown later in the summer.
This has been the dichotomy since the start, trying to keep multiple plates spinning at once. But there is no avoiding the situation where solving one problem then creates another in dealing with this pandemic. The law of unintended consequences has certainly been invoked more than once.
Trying to placate all our concerns at once has been nigh on impossible
And it has left politicians, decision makers and medics exposed to public anger and frustration. And there are so many cohorts from the elderly to the 20-somethings to frontline workers to small business owners who all have legitimate claims for special treatment. Trying to placate all our concerns at once has been nigh on impossible.
Save from a couple of reckless anti-lockdown marches, the vast majority have remained very compliant and steadfast in the national fight against COVID-19. But despite the air of hope, it is sobering to have to remind ourselves, that it is here to stay possibly for the rest of our lives. The vaccine is the key weapon in tackling its virulence but until I get the jab, I am as exposed to getting it now as I was 12 months ago. As we go about visiting the barbers, organising outdoor pints and mixing indoors once more, we will have to continually check ourselves and remind ourselves that the threat remains.
As the days get longer and warmer, it is exciting to think about the easing of restrictions
My parents have gotten their injections so, like all other families in similar situations, that has been a huge relief and a mighty burden lifted. Meanwhile, at the other end of the mood spectrum, my brother remains unclear as to when he can open his bar again and how that business will operate when he does.
As the days get longer and warmer, it is exciting to think about the easing of restrictions. But we have been here before. Let’s hope we don’t have to consider trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube. Just keep reminding ourselves, it hasn’t gone away you know!
I began reading a new book by Dr Sabina Brennan, Beating Brain Fog. No fault of the book and I am not kidding but I was only two pages in when my mind began to wander!