There’s no time left for debating. It’s past the point of discussion. Stay inside or risk having other people’s lives on your conscience.

When self-isolation videos of Irish natives now living in China were shared online in January, the feeling at home was that the virus wouldn’t make it to the Island, let alone provoke such extreme isolation measures.

Let me make this clear, this isn’t virtue signalling or one-upmanship for the sake of inflating anyone’s sense of moral superiority. This is a matter of life and death. If we don’t adhere to the guidelines we’ll be indirectly responsible for the deaths of hundreds if not thousands.

The government has now implemented clear messages and advice: Stay inside when possible, keep a distance of 2m between you and others, avoid large crowds and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

social distancing dos and donts

For young people reading this bear this in mind: the guidelines are in place to not only protect you, but also the others around you.

While you may be fit, healthy and have no underlying health concerns you could transmit the virus to someone who could unknowingly infect a vulnerable person.

Without doubt we all know someone that could be at risk. Whether it be an elderly grandparent, a friend on immunosuppressant drugs or a college with asthma. Do you want to have someone’s death on your conscience ?

via GIPHY

What not to do

Moreover, gathering in large numbers not only increases the rate of infections – putting thousands at risk, but puts more pressure on the health service’s capacity to cope with demand.

Hospitals will be over capacity, healthcare staff will die, thousands of ordinary people will say goodbye to loved ones.

This is our reality now, stemming from indecision and pure recklessness.

Our only chance at decreasing infections and relieving pressure is by following guidelines. This can’t be done half-heartedly and requires  a united approach. For every 10 people staying at home there’s someone else ignoring advice and putting people at risk.

And it isn’t these imaginary, distant people causing problems. It’s those closest to home. While we all like to mock the behaviour of reckless Americans, like those heading to party in their droves at Spring Break, we too have our own contingency of selfish idiots going to large house parties and queuing up yards from each other outside a chipper. These are all unnecessary risks that don’t need to be taken. 

Don’t get it twisted – going outside is necessary, fresh air and sunlight is good for not only your physical, but mental health. Unless there is new government rules stating otherwise – get your necessary time outside, but do it safely.

Don’t head somewhere that will inevitably have hoards of people, as illustrated in this picture from this weekend at Balscadden Lane at the mouth of the walk to Howth Head. People were inadvertently playing car park tetris and doing literally the exact opposite of what they’ve been told to do. If you have a car drive to somewhere remote, keep your distance and enjoy the freedom, space and fresh air you need.

If you are still unconvinced then look at Italy and their situation, that could be us very soon if things don’t change.

If you continue to go out, hang around with numerous friends and ignore advice the implications are simple: You probably won’t die, you might not even get ill in the first place and even if you do have it you may not show any symptoms. That’s good news for you.

But it’s not all about you. It’s about the vulnerable people you’ll that’ll be infected, the health care staff pushed to their limit, the nurses put in unfamiliar roles because there’s simply no one else that can do it and the families torn apart. Do you really want that all on your conscience just because you wanted to meet up with the boys for some cans?

Cop on and leave your selfish desires at the door, it will kill someone.

Words: Dylan Murphy 
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