| 6.3°C Dublin


'Physical distancing' a clearer and far less anti-social term

Letters to the Editor


People follow social distancing guidelines as they go for a run in Dublin's city centre. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

People follow social distancing guidelines as they go for a run in Dublin's city centre. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire


People follow social distancing guidelines as they go for a run in Dublin's city centre. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

We need to change the misconceived narrative of the term ‘social distancing’, which is profoundly anti-social and actually quite unclear.

The more apt term is ‘physical distancing’ – as in two metres apart.

In fact, as we move farther apart physically, we need – emotionally, psychologically and culturally – to become much closer as a community.

And using our phones, social media and the internet provides all the opportunities to achieve this.

Beir Bua.

Liam Ó Gógáin

Gaoth Dobhair, Co Dhún na nGall


JFK’s wisdom can helps us weather infectious tsunami

I write to your newspaper to ask you to publish this letter which appeals to the whole of humanity and the world’s political leaders to unite to fight the Covid-19 war.

We need to fight this viral war unilaterally for the betterment of the whole of the human race.

All the mechanisms of the world’s political and economic systems now need to be allied and mobilised to put pay to this awful contagion.

Unfortunately, the mortality rate from this sinister infection is currently 4pc of confirmed infected cases.

Around 80pc of those infected will get flu-like or cold-like symptoms and make a full recovery. Children also fare very well.

We universally need to observe the precautionary measures of handwashing and social distancing – both measures are not options and need to become part of all of our daily observances.

Together we can sanitise the world of the wickedness of the viral pandemic that is Covid-19 and eventually, when a vaccine is developed, eradicate the contagion.

Industry needs to refocus and retool to produce personal productive equipment – the new armour of war in our time.

Universities globally need to refocus their research and development activities to find a vaccine and a range of other treatments to tackle and eradicate Covid-19.

At this time all of humanity who can need to step up and action the call of the assassinated American president John Fitzgerald Kennedy when he said: “Ask not what your country can do for you – but what you can do for your country, community and world.”

JFK offers a number of prophetic quotes and potential lessons for our time.

“Our problems right now, it would seem, are man-made; therefore, they may be solved by man,” he said.

In the eye of this storm, we must take comfort from JFK’s suggestion that “the one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is unchangeable or certain”.

Together we will prevail to overcome the plague that is Covid-19.

We will weather this horrifying infectious tsunami which we will eventually exterminate, but only if we accept the unerring wisdom and hope of JFK’s suggestion that “no problem of human destiny is beyond human beings”.

Paul Horan

Assistant Professor, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin


At times like this, believers need to revise concept of God

At crises like this people of faith are challenged to explain if or where God exists in this reality.

We cannot fall back on the medievalist interventionist God when the belief prevailed that if enough people prayed, fasted and offered sacrifice for relief then God would answer their prayers.

Surprisingly, Pope Francis fell back into

this belief last week when he prayed in front of a medieval miraculous crucifix asking God to intervene and stop this coronavirus plague.

Maybe believers need to revise their concept of God from one of intervention into one of finding his presence in human affairs among those who have dedicated themselves to protecting and promoting the good of humanity and especially among the marginalised in whom God especially exists.

Brendan Butler

Malahide, Co Dublin


Crisis will give bees chance to regroup for the good of us all

I walked into the back garden this morning and was mentally lifted to see several bees flitting among the flowers.

I felt it was sad that Albert Einstein wasn’t alive today to give his unique opinion on the Covid-19 crisis and its long-term consequence on our planet.

After all, it was he who said that the destruction of the bees would mean the end of human life.

And I believe with the temporary closure of factories and cleaner air, etc, it gives the insect world a chance to regroup and repopulate.

Dr Aidan Hampson

Artane, Dublin 5

Irish Independent