Posted on 9th May 2020

Slane Castle

The deeper we move through this Covid-19 crisis the more I find myself questioning the fundamentals of life.  Let me start with America.  What is so shocking is President Trump viewing  those who contract the virus as collateral damage in his quest to re-open the economy and thus he thinks secure his re-election to the Presidency.  Contrast that with the views of the Governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo, who regards human life as “priceless”.  Wish to God he were President.  How crazy is it when you have the Governor of Georgia seeking to open up the State and yet the Mayor of Atlanta, the State’s major city, taking a much more cautious approach.  She values human life.  She also recognises that Covid-19 seems disproportionally to attack people from an Afro-American background, which forms a high percentage of Atlanta’s citizens.  Do you think Trump gives a damn about that – I think not.  I have to shake my head in disbelief at what is happening.  Different States applying different rules and no moral leadership in the centre.  No other American President in living memory would have allowed such a set of circumstances to unfold.  The death toll in the States continues to rise.  Already it has claimed more lives than were lost during the Vietnam War.  The White House has blocked their Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Fauci, from appearing before Congress, no doubt because they are terrified he will tell the truth.  America is heading for disaster in the Autumn as it is clear they will be hit by a new wave of Covid deaths.  The only thing that will save them is a vaccine, but that will come too late for thousands.

So I for one thank God I live in a country that values human life.  It is, as Andrew Cuomo says, “priceless”.  We should as a people take pride in the fact that we have got the “R” rate down to 0.5 and now it is essential that we keep it that way.  The key to this, apart from personal hygiene, is almost certainly social distancing, as this is such a highly transmissible disease.  The difficulty with this, of course, is it comes with a severe economic cost.  Just think of the hospitality sector.  Some of the best pubs command a crowd – it is the atmosphere one savours.  I like to think all of that is not lost but it will take a widely available vaccine for it to return.  However, by the end of the year we could be closer to that and let’s hope that in the meantime those establishments have found a way to survive.

In the meantime, we now urgently need a government and to be honest I’m becoming somewhat impatient with the Greens.  At an almost transformative point in the nation’s history they have an opportunity to help us find a way to restructure our economy to face the greatest threat to mankind – climate change.  It is almost as if this terrible virus is a wake-up call.  It is the strangest thing –  I walk every day and this year I swear the bird song is sweeter.  A few days ago, somebody told me they had heard a cuckoo.  I think it was a sign.

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