Longford Leader Editorial: We must adopt new behaviours to stay alive

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Longford Leader Editorial: We must adopt new behaviours to stay alive

So we have passed the first signpost on the roadmap out of the lockdown paralysis. Some shops can open, some builders and other workers can go back to work and some other restrictions have been eased.

But it is not really a relaxation.The next three weeks are the first of five phases which could be completed by August 10.

Phase one will be the key test period. It will measure how increased movement and social interaction will impact on trying to keep the virus suppressed.

When the restrictions were introduced in March and April, we were told that it would take two weeks for the impact to be felt to see if they were working.

The HSE's Chief Clinician, Dr Colm Henry, reminded us of this again last Sunday. He said we will know in a week to 14 days if the virus is spreading again at a rate where it will make a lot of people sick and kill bigger numbers.

By and large the restrictions worked in stemming the spread in the community.

However, nursing homes and meat factories showed us that where there is close contact, the virus will spread rapidly.

The factories and nursing homes must be to the forefront of the minds of anyone who is back at work this week. These workers have a big responsibility. It is not just one of self-preservation but they also must not spread this killer.

Because, let's remember and remind ourselves of some stark facts.

No major breakthrough has been made in treating the virus since it hit China. There is no vaccine. Nothing fundamentally has changed in managing this virus from a medical perspective that will allow us to go back working and living as we had before March.

There has been a lot of talk of a new normal. If we were able to adapt to the lockdown then we must adopt new behaviours to stay alive in the new normal.