The five lies we told ourselves about coronavirus

Jennifer O’Connell: Why we are losing faith in Project Flatten the Curve

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly arriving at the unveiling of the Irish Government’s blueprint for living with Covid-19 in Dublin on Tuesday, September 15th, 2020. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly arriving at the unveiling of the Irish Government’s blueprint for living with Covid-19 in Dublin on Tuesday, September 15th, 2020. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Six months into this crisis, we’re no longer talking about the better world waiting on the other side. The goalposts for our exit plan have shifted from six months, to a year or more, to the length of a piece of string. In fact, nobody is using the words “exit plan” anymore.

We’re slamming into the second wave, and this time around, no one is bulk-buying flour. Neighbours have stopped dropping cheery notes into one another’s letterboxes, and instead are suspiciously counting the cars parked in their driveways. We’ve replaced the aching nostalgia of Normal People with Netflix’s Selling Sunset, a mercenary anachronism of a show, whose only moral message is that if you try to pass your moissanite engagement ring off as a diamond, you’ll get caught.

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