Coronavirus – necessary steps


Sir, – Here I am at the park. I had to come out for a walk. Life goes on as normal. People running, sirens blaring (a signature London sound), birds singing, trees rustling in the wind, the constant hum of traffic, people walking their dogs, trains passing in the distance – life! It helps me to feel less alone and isolated. Life goes on – when I am alone in the flat it can seem like the whole world has stopped. But no, it goes on.

Robert Frost’s famous quote comes to me: “In three words I can some up everything I have learned about life: it goes on.”

This virus cannot be completely stopped or controlled, but what can be controlled is how we choose to react to it. Hopefully that reaction will and has involved us all coming together as friends and family, neighbours, communities, counties, regions, countries and finally as a human race.

This time in our lives will probably go down in history so I hope it is an event which we look back on as reuniting people, encouraging the spread of love and kindness, as, Lord knows, we will all need every little bit of these that we can get.

Yes, the physical threat is very real; however, the mental health and wellbeing implications have the potential to cause serious harm to people, especially those already isolated and alone.

Let’s fight this unseen threat with the best of our human qualities – care, kindness, empathy, and, most importantly, love.




A chara, – A word for the clergy. Most are over 70, and many over 80, and most are still serving their God and communities. They care pastorally for the sick and the bereaved. They are at high risk. Yet still they care, and still they serve. Their devotion to their duty is as selfless as it is silent . – Is mise,



Dublin 2.

Sir, – As one of the “high-risk” over-70s in ”lockdown” because of the coronavirus, I have to praise the Government which has been working hard to protect us and many of the other vulnerable people in our society.

I feel fortunate and privileged to be retired and in receipt of a good pension (after 40 years of full-time work) and to have a lovely home in which to self-isolate, wash my hands regularly, practise social distancing and learn the new coughing etiquette (after 70 years of automatically coughing into my hands!).

But I do now worry about all the less fortunate and very vulnerable members of our society who live in crowded conditions – those in homeless hostels or in direct-provision centres. Will we ever solve the problems that they face?

The Government is doing well in dealing with the coronavirus crisis, but surely we must still deal with the other major social and economic problems with which we are now confronted. – Yours, etc,




Co Dublin.

Sir , – Am I the only one to notice the king and queen of Spain linking arms? Should linking arms be added to the list of Covid-19 etiquette, given we are coughing and sneezing into our elbows! – Yours, etc,



Dublin 13.

Sir, – I have held off writing this for as long as I could but the British government’s decision to allow Cheltenham to proceed will, I fear, prove catastrophic with a spike in cases in the UK and here in two to four weeks, all being traced back to this event.

I urge all Irish attendees to self-isolate for two weeks on return and would hope our Government can give that same advice.

I hope I am wrong. – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.

Sir, – As I listened to the news of the decisive action the Government is taking in relation to Covid-19, I felt relieved that there is such experienced leadership still in place. – Yours, etc,



Co Tipperary.

Sir, – I have an online subscription to the e-paper version of your newspaper. I have to say that I was very surprised to see the large photo of empty shelves on your front page (March 13th). I thought I had downloaded a tabloid newspaper by mistake! But no, it was The Irish Times sensationalising the run on some food products with this image. That’s how unnecessary fear is being spread. To say I’m very disappointed with your presentation would be an understatement. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.

Sir, – Your excellent front-page photograph was worth a thousand words. Now that we’ve got the initial panic out of the way, we all really do need to calm down a little. – Yours, etc,


Bray, Co Wicklow.

Sir, – A ban on travel from Europe to the Americas could have had real public-health benefits – but the time to do it was in 1492. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 4.

Sir, – I’m sure I am not alone in being relieved that, following President Trump’s decision banning flights from most of Europe, American golfers can still play Doonbeg. – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.

A chara, – The panic buying in Fallon & Byrne is like the organic apocalypse! For the many, it’s lining up in Lidl to buy pasta, bread and toilet roll; for the few, it’ll be a marinated Clare lobster lockdown!

A tale of two Dublins! – Is mise,



Dublin 12.