At this time, when we are struggling with the ramifications of the vile and deadly virus that this is Covid-19, I take comfort from two facts. The first and most immediate is that we have the good fortune to have as our Taoiseach a medical doctor who clearly understands the science. He comes from a medical family and his partner is a doctor. The last time I talked to the Taoiseach was, ironically, at an event held at the Castle for the World Health Organisation. It was before the last election and I told him to be more empathetic. I think his recent direct re-engagement with the health service on a regular basis has been really positive in this respect. Fair play to him. At an incredibly difficult time in our nation’s history we have him at the helm. It is well to pose the question – whether it is appropriate to replace him with Micheal Martin at this critical juncture ? The Taoiseach holds the confidence of the majority of the electorate, which is essential in maintaining the lockdown and whatever modifications he thinks are safe. By all means continue with forming a government but please don’t change the captain when the boat is sailing safely. However, don’t think I am losing my critical facilities. Without contact tracing, comprehensive testing and controlling our borders, all this collective effort will be to no avail. Controlling our borders is really important. Remember cancelling the Italian match and yet letting all those Italian tourists in. As a result how many contacts were made by that, in Malahide, Howth, Dalkey and the centre of Dublin. Let’s hope this caretaker government and its successor will have learnt a lesson. We should look at South Korea, Taiwan and New Zealand. They have controlled their borders, and the virus.
I am optimistic by nature and I have been praying for a solution to this vile epidemic and the economic pandemonium it brings in its wake. It now transpires that a group of scientists at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute have stated that if they get emergency approval from regulators, the first few million doses of their vaccine could be ready by September. This is starting to look highly credible if it works. This could be transformative. If true I can start planning Slane 2021 – our 40th anniversary.