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Moral maze makes coronavirus exit strategy hard to plot

Ireland faces difficult questions and choices as we contemplate our vitally important next steps, writes Niamh Horan

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Martin Keane: 'I don't think business people should make the call. If it is to be that we have the worst recession or depression we
have seen, then we will have to do what we have always done but the decisions should be left to the medical experts'. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Martin Keane: 'I don't think business people should make the call. If it is to be that we have the worst recession or depression we have seen, then we will have to do what we have always done but the decisions should be left to the medical experts'. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Martin Keane: 'I don't think business people should make the call. If it is to be that we have the worst recession or depression we have seen, then we will have to do what we have always done but the decisions should be left to the medical experts'. Photo: Steve Humphreys

As the weeks go on, a moral dilemma in the coronavirus pandemic is emerging. Do we save lives — and continue to force everyone indoors — or save jobs, livelihoods and the economy? Officials in charge of Ireland’s exit strategy stand between the devil and the deep blue sea. Other countries are having the discussion before future waves hit. Shouldn’t we do the same?

‘We risk lives each day’

The International Monetary Fund predicts that this will be the worst economic crash since the 1930s. Unemployment stands at 500,000 — and is predicted to rise. Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan sent a chill through the country when he warned that we face restrictions for up to 18 months until a Covid-19 vaccine is mass-produced. So do we strike a balance between saving lives at all costs and avoiding an economic depression that will cost lives in countless other ways?


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