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Editor's Viewpoint

Selfish and reckless need to wise up now

Editor's Viewpoint


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Nutts Corner Sunday Market Crumlin, Antrim, Northern Ireland pictured Sunday March - 22 - 2020. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker.

Nutts Corner Sunday Market Crumlin, Antrim, Northern Ireland pictured Sunday March - 22 - 2020. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker.

Nutts Corner Sunday Market Crumlin, Antrim, Northern Ireland pictured Sunday March - 22 - 2020. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker.

With 128 coronavirus cases confirmed, 20 new cases announced here yesterday, and the sad news that a second person in Northern Ireland has died from the virus, it is no surprise that pressure is mounting for stronger preventative measures, especially as people are still not following the advice on social distancing.

Only yesterday Nutts Corner Market was open, attracting crowds, and also deserved criticism about the lack of discipline on social distancing.

There are warning signs everywhere, including the 'Wash Your Hands' messages on motorways, and others widely reported through the media, and yet there are still people who are not getting - or perhaps don't want to get - the message.

Against the challenging background, this year's Mother's Day may be remembered for a very long time, but for different reasons. In normal times there would be joyful visits to mothers from their children and grandchildren, but this was not possible because of the dangers of spreading the coronavirus.

Most families had to make do with phone calls or messages on social media, leaving their gifts on doorsteps, or talking to loved ones through windows. All of this underlined the close ties that bind families, but it was not quite the same as in previous years.

Our social behaviour is also being changed radically in other ways. For example, shopping has become a very different experience. Instead of the usual freedom to shop in stores, the floors are marked with signs telling people where to stand, and shop assistants are wearing gloves. All these measures are necessary, and it is good to see people accepting these new developments.

While some people are recklessly ignoring advice, it is good to see that so many others are keen to do the right thing and to keep the proper physical distance from one another. One of the many significant dimensions to the current crisis is the harsh reality that we are all in this together.

This is not a time for selfish, reckless behaviour, and we must all work responsibly together to face up to and eventually overcome the grave dangers that affect all of us. However, if enough people continue to ignore the advice they are given, and in so doing they give the authorities no option but to bring in stronger legislation to force people to behave better, they have no one else to blame but themselves.

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