IT has been a long, hard road during this latest lockdown. What was something new, almost a novelty, a year ago, has become tedious and painful at best, and a major challenge to our mental health at worst.
But, as NPHET’s Philip Nolan said last week, now is not the time to squander it all.
People are getting weary, disillusioned and very, very tired. And now that is being reflected in the figures. The case numbers have been stubbornly stuck around the 400-600 mark for many weeks, and in fact, started to creep up once more, before last weekend.
There have been reports of significant breaches of the regulations, from shebeens, to crowded beauty spots, to big funerals and huge weddings.
There even seems to be something of a reluctance to shut down these situations when they arise, as the authorities know that people are at breaking point.
But the last thing we want now is to find ourselves back in that post-Christmas crisis, where all the hard work of the previous few months was lost, as case numbers rose, the hospitals came under huge pressure, and our medics were left making hugely upsetting ‘life or death’ decisions as staff and equipment were stretched beyond their limits.
If we have done this for over a year now, what’s another few months?
The vaccines – however slow the rollouts – are the light at the end of the tunnel we have all been seeking.
Although the government may have to stall any relaxing of restrictions in April, there may be some small concessions to be made – like an extension of the 5km rule, which is very limiting in rural areas – or a slight increase in the numbers of people that can exercise outdoors together.
Any small incentive may help keep this show on the road just a while longer.