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Editor's Viewpoint

No room for complacency over virus and restrictions we live under or we risk a second wave of invisible killer

Editor's Viewpoint


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Members of the public in Belfast City centre during the outbreak. Credit: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Members of the public in Belfast City centre during the outbreak. Credit: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Members of the public in Belfast City centre during the outbreak. Credit: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

The past week has seen a limited relaxation of the rules to deal with Covid-19 and these have been outlined in advertisements placed by the Stormont Executive and signed by the First and Deputy First Ministers.

Even though this bank holiday weekend may have some inclement weather, many people will welcome the opportunity to move from lockdown to playing golf or tennis, or to pay a visit to a garden centre. Gardening is well-known for its mental health and relaxation benefits, and after a surreal and frightening few months, and a period marred by personal tragedy for many, a large number of people will enjoy a green-fingered project.

There has been much comment about drive-in cinemas and churches, and while we do not have many of these at present, it will be interesting to see how these plans will work out as part of the "new normal", as well as the easing of the restrictions to allow up to six people to meet outdoors with proper spacing. Evidence of the lessening of restrictions is obvious, with more cars on the roads and more people on the streets.

There is a sense that many people, especially those who regard themselves as low-risk, are wanting out, and some are irresponsibly throwing caution to the wind, like the young people partying furiously at the Obel 64 building last weekend.

There is also the risk that getting back to normal is encouraging some people to take chances, but they may be doing this at their peril.

The continuing risk was underlined by the Northern Ireland chief scientific adviser Professor Ian Young, who warned of a high likelihood of further waves of the virus and that "it is going to remain with us for a long time".

First Minister Arlene Foster also warned us not to become complacent. We are all taking steps towards finding a better way of living together again, but we should realise that we could come to an abrupt halt, if not a tragic reversal, if we fail to apply common sense and discipline regarding the current restrictions.

Belfast Telegraph