It’s the weekend, a time when we should relax and recuperate from our efforts during the preceding week. It’s when we recharge our batteries and switch off a little from the trials and tribulations of work. Saturday morning should be good news. Yet, when I checked my social media accounts this morning and watched the television news I saw nothing of the sort. Rather, the opposite. Where is the good news?
It was dire viewing and reading, on both a national and an international level. Yesterday, Northern Ireland recorded a record high of 934 positive cases for coronavirus. Two months ago, we were consistently recording single digit figures. The numbers have risen astronomically in the last fortnight despite our government introducing further localised and national restrictions. All the good work of earlier in the years seems undone and I ask myself…Why?…How?
Some of it is obviously due to the easing of restrictions from the start of the summer onwards. We were encouraged to ‘eat out and help out’ by being offered half price meals in cafes and restaurants. Schools and offices have reopened and leisure activities commenced again. Did we reopen the nation too soon? Possibly. Yet, the politicians and business owners argued the economy was dying.
That’s not the whole story though. On social media I see a growing movement against the government advice. Yes, people are fatigued and fed up but there’s also an arrogance, a selfishness that beggars belief. The ‘I’ll do what I want to do, the government won’t tell me what to do’ attitude. I see it on the streets. Those who refuse to wear masks in shops, who don’t wash their hands, who fail to socially distance. They don’t see the pandemic as their problem.
They will learn. When they turn up for work at their construction sites to find the gates chained and realise they’re out of work. When their local football team can’t play games anymore and their favourite pub closes its doors for the final time. When their loved ones are hospitalised and die lonely, horrendous deaths. Not your problem? Hmmm…think you might want to rethink that one, chum. This ones on you I’m afraid. Welcome to the real world.