It might feel like a 'fuck it' weekend, but we cannot quit because of politicians' arrogance
When they go low, we go high.
We are angry, we are upset and we deserve to be. We have been let down by the very people we trust to lead us through some of the toughest days this country has seen in many of our lifetimes. Worst of all, it has happened in a week when we have been asked to once again cut back, once again limit our lives, once again put others in front of ourselves.
But we cannot allow it to shake our resolve. We cannot allow this shameful act of ignorance, arrogance and selfishness to undo all of our hard work and sacrifice. We cannot point at what happened in Clifden on Wednesday as a reason for us to give up in this fight.
We must keep following public health advice, even if some in government believe it is beneath them.
When the news of the Oireachtas Golf Society's event on Wednesday broke on Thursday evening, it came during a Department of Health press conference. While our Acting Chief Medical Officer was telling the country that one more person has died from this virus, 136 new cases had been confirmed and was not able to comment about whether or not part of the country will remain in a partial lockdown, a wave of anger and fury was cresting above this island.
We have all made sacrifices. We stayed at home. We paused our lives. We limited our contacts. We flattened the curve. We gave our frontline workers a fighting chance. We lost out socially and financially. Some lost a lot more than that.
Those of us who grieved without being able to put an arm around each other, or shake the hands of those who wanted to pay their respects. Those of us who sat in cars, stood on paths or sat at home while hurried funeral services attempted to pay respects to lives lost. Those of us who could not hear the last words of a loved one, or did so on a phone.
We have heard for weeks about young people, and house parties. We saw how quick TDs were to slam events in a Dublin pub last weekend, the Taoiseach even referenced it while announcing the new restrictions on Tuesday of this week. Meanwhile, a two-day jolly was in full swing on the other side of the country, with even worse to come 24 hours later.
We watched with incredulity in late May when Dominic Cummings' lockdown breach became international news. How could someone at the heart of a government in the throes of a pandemic be so callous, so brazen?
Our Minister for Agriculture did the same. Our European Commissioner for Trade did the same. The Attorney General who wrote the legislation around the Covid restrictions, claims to have "ended up in a situation" that he was breaching them. You'd almost laugh, if it wasn't so serious.
Because cases continue to rise here in Ireland. Our schools are due to return next week. Community transmission is increasing. Worldwide, Covid-19 is continuing to spread at a frightening pace.
We cannot allow this rightfully felt anger and frustration alter our behaviours at such a crucial time. So much has been asked of us, and not of others, that it may feel like a "fuck it" weekend. But it's not.
For the students desperate to return to some semblance of normality next week. For the hospital staff who are tired and fearful of what is to come. For our parents and grandparents who may not survive this virus if it continues to spread. For the 18 people in hospital with this virus, and the 6 battling for their lives in ICU. For every other person who is asking "why did we bother?" today.
We must keep each other safe.