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Politicians must not think of taking a backward step

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The scale of demand for the Covid-19 payment demonstrated the "once-in-a-century nature of the emergency facing the country", Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty said. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The scale of demand for the Covid-19 payment demonstrated the "once-in-a-century nature of the emergency facing the country", Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty said. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The scale of demand for the Covid-19 payment demonstrated the "once-in-a-century nature of the emergency facing the country", Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty said. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Numbers are not great storytellers. They don't betray emotion, so from time to time it is no harm to recall that behind the epidemiological and economic figures a human tragedy is also unfolding.

Lives and jobs are being fought for in a way like never before. All around the country extraordinary examples of personal sacrifice are being witnessed in an emergency response.

But this sense of national crisis is still conspicuously absent in some political quarters. The clock did not stop on democracy when the coronavirus lockdown was enforced.