The broader effects of pandemic


Sir, – By printing passport-sized photos of some of the Irish citizens who sadly died as a result of contracting Covid-19 on the front page of Thursday’s newspaper, The Irish Times resorted to sensationalism (News, November 19th).

Can I suggest The Irish Times publishes a front page of similar-sized photos of the thousands of Irish citizens who are seriously ill with, or have died from, cancer this year. Followed the next day, with photographs of our thousands of our citizens who are physically disabled and require daily care. Followed the next day with photos of our citizens who are mentally challenged and those suffering from clinical depression or substance abuse. Followed the next day with photographs of the thousands our citizens living with dementia and their carers.

Maybe the following day, The Irish Times might publish passport photos of the faces of the hundreds of thousands of our citizens who were suddenly made unemployed and who find it difficult to manage financially or who struggle to keep their businesses afloat due to the imposed restrictions.

Can I suggest on the sixth day that The Irish Times then publishes photos of the faces of the thousands and thousands of our young, healthy citizens, who are unable to study, play sports, play music, dance or laugh with their friends, but are forced to remain distant and live their youthful lives through a computer screen in their bedrooms.

Hopefully then The Irish Times might return its front-page headlines to reflect the daily realities of the millions of citizens living with the imposed restrictions caused by this virus. – Yours, etc,


Blackrock, Co Dublin.

Sir, – Stephen Collins (“Government must assert its authority over Nphet”, Opinion & Analysis, November 20th) argues that, instead of strict rules, the Government should allow a cautious easing with an emphasis on “individual responsibility”.

We tried that in July. The problem with individual responsibility is that not every individual is responsible. – Yours, etc.


Dublin 7.

Sir, – Listening to the morning news on the radio, the first report, that schools do not really account for the transmission of Covid-19, was followed by office workers being urged to work from home, with canteens highlighted as dangerous places for the spread of Covid-19.

Maybe it is time for Nphet to visit a few school staff rooms?

Let the teachers go online and limit their contacts before going home for Christmas. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 12.

Sir, – I agree with your letter writer Diane Cahill ( November 19th). We deserve to know what lies ahead of us for the month of December. Now, more than ever, we need clarity from our leaders.

I would also appreciate some clarity regarding today’s Lotto numbers. Then at least I could have some idea of what plans I can make for the family’s get-together for Christmas. – Yours, etc,


Greystones, Co Wicklow.

Sir, – Could I suggest that any commentary on Nphet’s relationship with the Government should be made in the light of their terms of reference, which start with: “Oversee and provide direction, guidance, support and expert advice across the health service and the wider public service, for the overall national response to Coronavirus, including national and regional and other outbreak control arrangements”.

It is the Government’s job to interpret that advice, and legislate or advise, taking in the wider impact of any restrictions Nphet suggests, on the economy, for example.

It’s not a battle between Nphet and the Government, and it is not helpful to describe it as such. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 3.

Sir, – Reading the exhaustive list of potential places where clusters of Covid-19 can occur and activities that could lead to its spread, one wonders what one should do? Oh yes, “stay at home”, but hold on, “clusters most commonly occur in a household setting”.

So, if I camp out alone on the top of Carrauntoohill, it might be the only place I can sing a Christmas carol to myself in safety. – Yours, etc,


New Ross,

Co Wexford.