So what is essential?


Sir, – Our decision makers, both health experts and politicians, have decided that all non-essential businesses have to be closed down in order to fight the Covid-19 virus. It is of course in part a philosophical question, what is essential to our lives and many books have been written on that issue.

Last Saturday there was a long queue in front of a coffee shop just around the corner from Sandymount Green in Dublin 4 and while waiting people looked at the books in the window of the little book-shop called Books on the Green, which had been forced to close under the new regulations.

The Bible says that man does not live from bread alone. Is that no longer considered true? Does our cultural identity not include the creativity of our writers? Who is to say that books are not essential for Irish people, particularly during a lockdown as we experience it at present?

With all respect for our experts handling a difficult crisis, many of us worry about the zeal with which small businesses were closed down without any evidence that they are high on the list of the culprits disseminating the virus. Might it be possible to reconsider this aspect of the restrictions? – Yours, etc,


Dublin 4.