Learning to live with Covid

Sir, – Covid-19 is a preventable disease, not a medical mystery. The virus spread is overwhelmingly due to inhaling infected air in certain conditions in buildings and vehicles. These environmental conditions of airborne viral transmission are readily measurable and preventable. The tools of prevention are well understood and available, many at no cost.

There are no "acceptable deaths" (Business, October 22nd) from a preventable disease. What is needed is a Covid Safety Authority, on the model of the Road Safety Authority, Food Safety Authority, Health and Safety Authority, and the fire and water safety authorities.

Target interventions prevent harms by using a scientific and evidenced approach, public information, standards, inspections and enforcement. We have the knowledge, tools and resources. It is long past time to put them to use.

Nobody has yet been infected in November, never mind December or January. There is nothing inevitable about any adult or child being infected or dying from Covid this winter. In the words of Florence Nightingale, “infection is not inevitable, but simply the result of carelessness or ignorance”.


– Yours, etc,


School of Architecture,

University College Dublin.

Sir, – Mary Jennings (Letters, October 27th) suggests that we should financially reward the unvaccinated with a €300 bribe if they proceed to vaccination.

My view is that, contrary to offering any reward, we should continue to exclude unvaccinated people from restaurants, pubs and cinemas, and that we should also start excluding them from all public buildings and public transport.

However the tiny minority of people who can’t be vaccinated for genuine medical reasons should be given special passes to enable them to fully partake in society.

– Yours, etc,


Piercestown, Co Wexford.