AS THE country takes its tentative first steps this week with the lifting of some of the restrictions imposed on our economic and social lives in order to slow the spread of Covid-19, continued care and attention to public health requirements are still needed. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said last weekend, when confirming that Phase 1 of five to gradually lift the restrictions was going ahead this week, that the coronavirus may be in retreat, but it has definitely not gone away – which is why it should be a case of steady as we go.
People need to understand that progress needs to be slow, deliberate and considered, and that we cannot move on to the next phase if things backfire during the current one and Covid-19 regains lost ground. Getting back to some form of normality is the overall goal, but this cannot happen overnight and what we previously regarded as normal will not necessarily be the case.
Social distancing will be central to the much talked-about ‘new normal’ that – like it or not – we are going to have to get used to for the foreseeable future. It will be difficult to get used to this when we increasingly start mixing with one another in the coming months, but it has to be the case for the greater good.
Economically, it is great to see the construction sector back at work and some more shops open, while socially we have non-contact sports like golf and tennis resuming. Please, let’s not blow this progress.