Una Mullally: We are good at denial and now must pay the price

People who should know better broke Covid-19 guidelines, but messaging came from the top

Micheál Martin’s populist insistence that people could be ‘given’ a Christmas reprieve  led to actions that people previously would have avoided. Photograph: Julien Behal

Micheál Martin’s populist insistence that people could be ‘given’ a Christmas reprieve led to actions that people previously would have avoided. Photograph: Julien Behal

Resilience isn’t something that arrives, it’s something that’s built. Now, instead of turning away from the worry of the current context, we will have to draw on our reserves, on what we have learned over the past year and the new tools we have acquired, to traverse this darkest month. We aren’t less able to deal with harsh times having already experienced them, we are better able, even if the accumulation of stress and difficulty feels ever more grinding.

If your head is spinning right now, I don’t blame you. Among mixed messages, information vacuums, unclear figures and muted politicians, a crisis is escalating. There is a sense of a scramble in the background, that things are spiralling out of control, that systems are overwhelmed and that people are numbed by confusion, unable to properly engage with the situation. 

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