Enniscorthy Guardian

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The tunnel is long but at last we can see there's a light at the end of it

Editorial Comment

There is now light at the end of the tunnel. There is a roadmap - a five phase exit strategy to follow that will lead us out of the darkness and into the light.

While there is disappointment that more restrictions were not lifted by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Friday night, we have to remember that this is not a political decision, it is a health one, and he is guided by what best to do for the people of Ireland.

There are rumblings and criticisms of the exit strategy, and the lack of detail contained therein, but political leaders - including the Taoiseach - have been clear in stating that this is not just a guidance document but one that will help us get back to where we once were, although life may never be the same.

The country has been asked to stay in lock-down for two more weeks and the count-down has begun to May 18 when the first phase of the roadmap will be implemented.

The people have been asked to make many sacrifices since a full lock-down was first imposed on March 27 and there is still a long road to go until the final phase, pending an appropriate reduction in cases, begins on August 10.

The people deserve a plan and the government has given them a five phase roadmap.

As Taoiseach Leo Varadkar put it on his address to the nation, 'there is now hope'.

The roadmap will help our country return to some semblance of a normal life, albeit a life that is rather different than it was before, a new normal as outlined by the Fine Gael leader.

However, this road map, in time, must become more detailed, more clear.

This is just the beginning.

The social implications for many have been the most difficult as families are apart, but over the coming months more and more families will be finally able to see other again.

May 18 will allow outdoor meetings with people from different households and from June 8 up to four people can visit a household for short visits.

It is, however, also an economic challenge and while criticism has been voiced concerning the order in which businesses will be allowed to open, all these decisions are based solely on what is best for public health.

There has also been criticism that the roadmap is too long but we have been asked to remember this is just a roadmap, and may change for the better or for the worse depending on the battle with the deadly virus.

We are still a long way off from winning the battle, we have flattened the curve but each re-opening phase will have to be analysed to see it's effect on the virus and thus on the health of the nation.

While the document may not be perfect and concerns should be raised and debated, what is most important is that we have a plan - a plan to get back our lives even if they are somewhat different and for that we must take hope in whatever shape it comes.

Enniscorthy Guardian