Letter to the editor: ‘New roads and buildings can wait; the spread of this virus won’t’

We need all non-essential shops and services to close immediately…in order to save lives. The spread of the Covid-19 virus will not cease until we do this.

Reports of sales at sports shops over recent days are hard to believe, at a time when people should be urged to stay at home and keep their distance – to slow down the rate of infection and to ‘flatten the curve’.

But – hard and all as it is to believe – it is happening. It needs to stop.

At extraordinary times, extraordinary measures are key to eventually returning to the ordinary.

The same goes for all infrastructure projects. New roads and buildings can wait; the spread of this virus won’t.

Thousands of workers are huddled together in countless canteens at break-times around the country. Social distancing is surely proving to be practically impossible for them.

‘What is essential and what is not?’

At this stage the Government needs to establish what is essential to our existence and what is not.

For those services that are essential, staff must be fully protected with masks, gloves, sanitisers, cashless payment, alongside rigorous enforcement of social distancing.

The Government then needs to do whatever it takes to make the closure of non-essential services happen immediately. We simply do not have time to waste.

Lives depend on the closure of these non-essential services. Let’s put the firebreak in place now, amidst this raging inferno. Let’s do it now!

From Mick Wallace (MEP), Clare Daly (MEP), Thomas Pringle (TD), Saoirse McHugh (candidate for Seanad Éireann), Michael FitzMaurice (TD), Catherine Connolly (TD) and Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan (MEP)