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‘We are all in this together’

September 13th, 2020 8:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

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SIR – I sincerely hope that NPHET and the Minister for Health will continue to report daily Covid-19 figures and pay no heed to the opinion of Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail and other doctors who say that we should be denied this information as it causing anxiety.

I thought that this patronising ‘doctor-knows-best’ attitude was a thing of the past. Leo Varadkar was right when he said, ‘Transparency is really important. If we want to keep the trust of the people, we need to be transparent.’ Sensible adults should be treated with respect and not as though we are toddlers.

We are being asked every day to co-operate in fighting the virus – ‘We are all in this together’ – and to make decisions about our behaviour in the interests of ourselves and others. To do this we need facts – information – and more of it, not less.

I, for instance, am a public transport user living in rural West Cork. I need to know how much virus is around in order to decide how safe I feel using the bus, so I want the daily case numbers.   

Dr Ó Tuathail says that, with no real context given, the figures are meaningless. Well then, give us the context! If the figures tend to be higher and lower on alternate days, I assume this is to do with how testing is carried out and reported.

Explain why the figures jump up and down – we aren’t stupid, we’ll understand it. And give us the five-day rolling average as well.

But please don’t patronise us and withhold information – that is what would make me most anxious.

Julia Fairlie,


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