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To wear or not to wear... a face mask?

Mary Kenny



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Mary Kenny, writer and author. Photo: Tony Gavin

Mary Kenny, writer and author. Photo: Tony Gavin

Mary Kenny, writer and author. Photo: Tony Gavin

Here's a generalisation: the Irish are totally unsuited to social distancing. Ireland is a strongly social culture. Read any travel book about this country over the past hundred years and the conclusions are always this: whatever grumbles the visitor may have had about unreliable weather, reckless driving habits or inadequate food standards (the lack of imaginative vegetable dishes was a common complaint until recent years), on one point they were agreed: the Irish were consistently warm and friendly.

They'd always meet and greet you. There'd always be the open welcome and the hearty handshake. My late husband even said that the Kerry people were so emotionally effusive and quick to hug that it made him feel like "even more of a stuck-up Limey" than he actually was.

Still, what has to be, has to be, and as the nuns in my convent school used to say, "The rules are there to be obeyed." Most people have been doing what they have to do, however much it goes against the grain.