FOR reasons best known to themselves, the members of the Democratic Unionist Party never seem to want to align – even if it is for the common good – with the south, a bit like I say black and you say white. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, their determination to have less restrictions north of the border at a time when the incidence of deaths and new cases of the virus is significantly greater than the situation down south is baffling.
While the Republic of Ireland remains under Level 5 restrictions until December 1st at least, at the time of writing, hair and beauty salons and cafés without an alcohol licence were due to re-open in the North this weekend, followed in a week’s time by restaurants, pubs and hotels, going back to the ‘old normal’ that people don’t seem to want to let go of. The almost unavoidable ‘spill-over effect’ will impact further on our border counties, especially Donegal, which runs the risk of being left on Level 5 for longer if the incidence of Covid-19 does not reduce there to the same extent as the rest of the country.
Doctors in places along the border are rightly concerned that the North’s less-restrictive regulations will prove another setback to efforts to suppress the virus in the Republic, as a lot of people just cannot seem to modify their behaviour and act responsibly.
The DUP likes to look to Westminster for guidance yet it seems to have a blind spot when it comes to the pandemic. How many more lives must be lost before they realise the necessity for an all-island approach?