In our battle against Covid-19 our greatest weapon was our island status.
The consequences of what we as individuals and as a government have done to this asset by delaying implementation of strict travel restrictions while maintaining open travel will be beyond comprehension.
Enfield, Co Meath
Covid-19 may be the undoing of germophobe US president
The Covid-19 outbreak is a deeply serious and tragic event which should never be trivialised or reduced to political considerations.
But there is something deeply ironic about the possibility that the coronavirus outbreak could be the undoing of US President Donald Trump.
Not only is he the science-denying congenital liar who fired and disbanded the White House anti-pandemic public health team, but he is a germophobe who uses hand sanitisers incessantly.
His cuts to public services have undermined public US medical services and made individual, insurance-led, privatised healthcare for those who can afford it the dominant model.
This means that American public services are unable to address a major pandemic or even provide test kits to test for the disease with the result that the disease may be present largely undetected in many communities.
He has had no concern for environmental degradation, clean water, sanitation and immunisation services and even decried the Covid-19 crisis as a Democratic Party hoax – until it became impossible to ignore.
He tried to lay off responsibility for managing the crisis on his hapless Vice President Mike Pence, but cannot bear to be left out of the limelight, with the result that he will own the consequences totally.
He frames every issue as a conflict between Americans and foreigners and even tried to imply that his Mexican border wall could have stopped the pandemic.
It will be interesting to see the political fall-out if the virus gradually eats into his older demographic support base.
Trump will not be defeated by an anaemic opponent such as Joe Biden in the November polls.
But he might just be beaten by this Covid-19 virus.
Blessington, Co Wicklow
UK delaying shutting schools to result in extra deaths here
The delay in closing schools in the UK is a threat to our sovereign Government’s ability to protect us.
No one wants the Border to be closed, even if it could be.
If Stormont first minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster cannot close the schools in Northern Ireland, she is frustrating our Government’s policy here.
She will also be responsible for hundreds or thousands of extra deaths on both sides of the Border.
What next after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar decided to close all bars and restaurants while discouraging parties.
This island has to act as one unit in this deadly world war.
Greystones, Co Wicklow
Media wrong to give festival the full pomp and ceremony
I appreciate that I am expressing this opinion after the horses have bolted, but it strikes me that amid the general recognition that going ahead with the Cheltenham festival was self-absorbed, foolish and reckless the various media outlets, both print and tv, might have boycotted the event rather than giving it the full pomp and ceremony to which it is accustomed, albeit with some caveats and criticisms. Approval in all but name.
Aodhagán Mac Coitir
Baile na nGabhar, B.Á.C. 14
Shakespeare not alone in his musings about sport’s ‘oafs’
Liam Power (Irish Independent, Letters, March 14) reminded me that William Shakespeare wasn’t the only writer to have words of wisdom about sport.
Patrick Kavanagh reminded us: “I have noted that in ‘Ulysses’, that compendium of common-place emotions and goings on, only the punter speculating on the result of the Ascot Gold Cup comes into the theme. So sport can’t have been very vital.”
Kavanagh would have been aware of Lao Tzu’s warning: “The way of the sage is to act but not compete.” While Kipling referred to the “flannelled fools at the wickets or the muddied oafs at the goals”.
George Orwell saw sport as having nothing to do with fair play but: “...bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness and disregard for all rules.”
Blessington, Co Wicklow