In the middle of June, just as we were beginning to enjoy the freedom of emerging from lockdown, it was predicted on this page that Ireland would re-enter a national debate on the wisdom of economic reopening in “about one month’s time”. And here we are, bang on schedule, pressing the pause button.
There has not been a major spike in infection rates and Ireland’s 14-day incidence of the virus remains among the lowest in Europe, according to the latest country data from European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. But there has been a noticeable spike in national anxiety over the past fortnight, centred on the risks associated with the fun economy: travel and hospitality.
All of this was predictable by anyone who reads foreign newspapers. Literally, it was written. The earlier experience of other countries suggested there would be some uptick in infection rates after reopening, accompanied by harried calls to backtrack. The anxiety is understandable. The virus affects the minds of the healthy just as it ravages the lungs of the sick. Nobody wants to get sick.
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