A Shared Burden

The success of the initial lockdown was due almost exclusively to the sacrifices made by the Irish people. Sadly, that success was partial and temporary. After several months of harsh restrictions on every aspect of our lives, society was reopened without a coherent plan, cases began to rise again, and the people of Ireland watched as their hard-earned gains were squandered.

The people know that the sacrifices they made in the first half of the year were sufficient for this problem to be solved. Given that it has not been solved, the people know that the fault must therefore lie with the policymakers in government, in the National Public Health Emergency Team (‘NPHET’), and in other state agencies and bodies. The responsibility therefore lies with the policymakers to provide a coherent and comprehensive plan that will end this national emergency, and that will do so without placing an undue burden on the people or risking further civil disorder.

This goal is achievable, but it places huge responsibility on Ireland's policymakers. It will require engagement with all stakeholders, the sourcing of essential medical resources from abroad, and the cultivation of a 'whole-of-society' approach to elimination. Ireland’s leaders are responsible for making these and all other necessary preparations, as well as implementing and managing the plan from start to finish. The burden of adjustment cannot be left to the people again; Ireland’s leaders must lead.