‘It should be mandatory from the beginning’: Ireland says people should wear masks in stores to stop COVID-19 – but why did it take so long?



Dublin – Ireland is a nation of saints, scholars and status quo.

Situated on the northwestern periphery of Europe, this small island is ruled by two old enemies: the Southwest Republican Fianna Feil Party and fellow Christian-democratic Fine Gael, who had been in favor of political division since independence in 1922.

Under an agreement reached in June, Fianna Feil leader Michael Martin took the reins as Tennis, or Irish Prime Minister, from Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar by 2022. It is a play of musical chairs to maintain stability during a polite, if imperfect time. .
It was a minority coalition jointly with 43.1% of the vote, or formed an alliance with the leftist Sin Fen party, which garnered 24.5% of the vote in the February general election, and began life as a political branch and / or. Voice of the Irish Republican Army, a terrorist organization.

What has all this got to do with coronovirus? The nation’s lawmakers have, perhaps more than usual, not been eager to make this delicate balance of power and / or make any sudden moves or upset the public as the nation grows out of the economic effects of the epidemic.
Six months after the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Ireland, the government finally decided to implement face coverings in stores. As of Monday, people risk a prison sentence of € 2,500 ($ 2,947) or six months. Prior to that, the government had issued only one advisory.
Schools are opening again in September. The government has recommended that all teachers and high-school students can wear face coverings if they do not maintain a distance of 2 meters. However, this is an advice rather than an enforcement measure.
Martin said at a press conference in Dublin Castle of the new store policy: “As we have seen with face coverings on public transport and many other requests that have been made to citizens during the epidemic: when people are given a clear direction They follow it. ”
More on epidemic: If every American started wearing face masks today, it could save many lives.

Customers enjoyed a drink at the Murray pub on Grafton Street in Dublin. Photo: Getty.

‘Huge level of compliance’

Martin’s comments may suggest that his previous “mentor” was No A clear direction and people did No follow it. Yet Minister for Justice Helen McKenney congratulated the people on their “huge level of compliance”. But it depends which store you are visiting, and how you define “huge”.
In June, the government of Ireland advised people to wear masks in shops. Do you want to wear a mask? be our guest. knock yourself out. Help prevent the spread of coronavirus and protect the health of sales assistants in the store, but he may not be wearing a face mask either.
And if you don’t want to wear a mask? OK then. You risk a roll from a shopper wearing a disgruntled mask, depending on your point of view – suffering from “masked rage” or simply trying to get everyone to work as a team so that we Get through it without a spike in new cases.
And so life goes on in Ireland. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to notice that – or – a potentially deadly virus is going on. If you listen closely, you can also listen to music from a house party or two. Some people wear masks on the street. Some do in stores, but not all.
Even if there was “a huge level of compliance”, it does not account for the costs paid by those who are subject to other people’s lack of compliance. Face coverings are primarily worn to prevent asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic wear from unnaturally spread viruses.
For three decades, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. As Anthony Fauci and an infectious-pathologist for four decades, told this reporter in an interview last month, “If half the people don’t do it, it ignores the overall objective.”
More on the epidemic:Why are some people with coronovirus asymptomatic – and what makes them so contagious?

‘Life goes on in Ireland. In fact, you will have a hard time noticing that a potentially deadly virus is on the way. ‘Photo: Quentin Fotrell

‘Haven’t you worn a mask?’

“It should have been mandatory from the beginning, lives could have been saved,” Elizabeth O’Connor, a 40-something housewife in Dublin. “I think many people have had COVID without knowing it and may have spread it to others because they haven’t worn a mask.”
“A high percentage of our teenagers, 20-somethings and 30-somethings think they are bullet-proof and have little concern for their behavior and for the more vulnerable people in our society who are ill with COVID with serious consequences Can, ”he says. .
The mask consultant led to the strangeness, including this little vignette outside a pharmacy in Downeybrook, a rich and leafy suburb of Dublin. A masked senior woman asked a middle-aged father with his young daughter (both mask-free): “Haven’t you worn a mask?”
Unless he was doing some kind of black magic, it was 100% clear that this man was No Wearing a mask, and he was not happy when asked about the fact that he chose not to wear one. “I forgot it,” he replied, without making eye contact. The conversation did not end here.


‘It should have been compulsory from the beginning, life could have been saved.’


– Elizabeth O’Connor, housewife in Dublin

Three minutes later, he was still being reunited with anecdotes of how people were not wearing masks in the supermarket, and by not doing so what cheeked them. “I can’t believe some people!” The woman said from behind her mask. (If he is reading you by “some people,” you mean.)
Johns Hopkins University ranks Ireland as number 15 in the world in the list of COVID-related deaths per capita: 36,000 per 100,000 with a case-fatality rate of 6.7%. For comparison, the US is ranked 12th with a fatality rate of 49.6 per 100,000 and a case-fatality rate of 3.2%.
On Sunday evening, the government said there were 1,772 COVID-related deaths in Ireland, with 68 additional cases confirmed, bringing the total number of infections to at least 26,712. He, as with all heights, is not responsible for most asymptomatic cases.
According to a report released in June, Ireland has recorded one of the highest rates of COVID-related nursing home deaths in the world. Some 62% of fatalities from the virus in nursing homes outnumber COVID-related nursing-home deaths in Canada alone.
More on the epidemic:Fauci asks Americans to beware of these important limitations about the future coronovirus vaccine

Former Ireland’s Taosich Leo Varadkar asked the country to come together to deal with the epidemic. Photo: Getty.

‘Never ask of so many’

And it all seemed to start so well. Former Taoisech, Varadkar gave a loud call for weapons on 17 March. “Never will ask so few people so much,” he said on a TV address, paying tribute to a speech by Britain’s war Prime Minister Winston Churchill. .
To help the public perform their patriotic duty, Varadkar used 17 March to house the people of Ireland. March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day, a national holiday to commemorate the country’s patron saint who, according to legend, drove all snakes out of Ireland at some point during the 5th century.
St. Patrick, a Christian missionary, was himself on some of the lockdowns at the time. He was on a 40-day fast when he was attacked by snakes. Because he was so rudely interrupted, he followed them into the sea. (This is Apocryphal, of course. Snakes have never lived on this island.)
Back in summer 2020: Varadkar selected No To begin nationwide lockout by 27 March. People were allowed to go to the grocery store and exercise within 2 kilometers from the house, and the Irish – not always known to play by the rules – were the most compliant.
Why a 10-day delay between the March 17 speech and the lockout? This may be the only reason why it took six months to introduce a mandatory face-mask policy: political oscillations. Skilled politicians are quick to take the public’s temperature, and are notorious for shaking the proverbial boat.
But leveling the curve of new cases does not mean that you have beaten the virus. Ireland, which is currently in Phase 3 of the country’s reopening, imposed travel restrictions in Kildare, Offaly and Laos last Saturday, three counted in the country’s heartland, due to an increase in cases there.

Speaking Taosich Michael Martin in Dublin Castle. Photo: AFP / Getty.

‘This will be a shock to pub owners’

Lessons from this reluctance for everyone to take stern action? Listen to the scientists – not the politicians. COVID-19 is highly contagious. That’s why about 20 million people worldwide have tested positive, a figure that does not account for the number of people who are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic.
On the other side of the Atlantic, New York’s Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, who has been the epicenter of the virus in the US, handed power into the hands of business owners by issuing an executive order in May to allow businesses. Denying entry to anyone without a face mask.
The New Yorker – like St. Patrick’s – peered into the animal’s proverbial stomach, and remembers how scary it was now to let each other place on the street and yes, stand six feet apart in the supermarket. Even in Central Park, most people walking around wear masks.
To be fair, the Irish government has made other decisions: In his speech announcing the compulsory-facade store policy, Martin stated that pubs, bars, hotel bars and nightclubs would remain closed. “I know it will be a shock to pub owners,” he said.
Pubs serving food in Ireland – less than half of them – are currently open with only table service: the bar does not have to stand in line or socialize away from your table. You should make a booking ahead of time, drink food along with food and leave after exactly one to three hours.
The balancing enforcement of this Irish-New York-born Martin facade is still welcome. Fer agus manne na hriyan Men and women of Ireland – wake up for another rule on Monday. The mysterious masked woman outside that pharmacy in Donybrook should be delighted.
Meanwhile, Martin reveals the spirit of the discovery of Santo Patrick in his recent speech about the dangers of coronovirus. “It is as viral as ever,” he said, “as dangerous as we are, we have shown that we can beat it. Each of us has the power to suppress it.”
This essay is part of a marketwatch series, ‘Dispatch from an epidemic.’

MarketWatch photo illustration / iStockphoto

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