Is it selfish to continue to engage in social activity at this time?

Shauna Power

Last weekend, the guards were called to a 21st house party in Longford over social distancing concerns. Despite repeated calls from the government and HSE chiefs for the public to refrain from holding large gatherings, up to 80 young people attended this house party.

As it stands, the death toll from coronavirus is over 17,000 worldwide. In Ireland, six have died so far. With cases on the rise here and people ignoring social distancing measures, this figure will undoubtedly rise in the coming weeks.

A crowded party, airport or restaurant is the last place anybody should be right now. Our own health is beside the point. It’s not about yourself, but the many people you are putting at risk.

The threat of a complete lockdown in Ireland continues to grow as people continue business as usual and it seems for most, the impact this virus could have on their loved ones remains a foreign concept.

The situation in Spain and Italy sounds bad but why should we be worried? According to the World Health Organisation, Italy has one of the best health care systems on Earth and they are overwhelmed and struggling to cope with this pandemic.

What happens when the situation worsens here? Ireland already struggles to facilitate our population with standard health facilities. When the crisis increases here, it will undoubtedly be worse than in mainland Europe. So why aren’t we taking self-distancing measures seriously?

Why aren’t we willing to put public health above personal convenience? It’s a moral issue that nobody seems to be taking seriously.

For once, humans have little to no control over something and it’s frightening. But as a society, we have the ability to minimise the long term impact of the virus through social distancing.

Covid-19 can spread to anyone and whilst symptoms may not be as severe in some people, if we contract the virus we can easily and needlessly spread the disease to more vulnerable people.

We are being asked to make big changes in a short amount of time and it’s not surprising that some people are struggling to adjust, it’s human nature. However, ignoring medical advice and leaving the house with no necessary purpose is pure selfishness.

It is evident that the differing level of threat to each individual is influencing the behaviour of those in less vulnerable categories.

You may not be worried about yourself but we need to start thinking of the frontline workers and those most vulnerable. We need to take full responsibility and limit our movements.

Isolation is hard for everyone. However, we are luckier than previous generations have been. We have access to television, broadband and we can FaceTime/Skype friends. Although we are isolated physically, keeping in touch with friends has never been easier with current technology.

Having daily social contact with people doesn’t have to mean meeting up in person. The sooner people realise this the better.

At the moment we are our own enemy. We can’t put the blame on one age demographic. We all have to take responsibility before it’s too late.

Image: PublicDomainPictures

By Shauna Power