Virus restrictions should reflect local infection rate

THE hope is that by early next year we’ll have a vaccine to deal with the deadly coronavirus, coupled with better medical treatment for those who still contract the disease.

Until then we simply have to learn to live with Covid-19 in a manner that keeps the infection rate to a minimum and allows the health service to cope - while at the same time we restore our personal, social and economic lives to the maximum degree possible.

Finding the correct balance between lifestyles and livelihoods on the one hand, and lives and health on the other is exceptionally tricky. There will be advances and setbacks, good decision-making and terrible mistakes. Throughout, the endeavour must be to reduce those mistakes to the irreducible minimum.

The reopening of pubs next Monday, except in Dublin where the rate of infection is growing, is to be welcomed.

The current increase in infections in Kerry is a manner for concern and the hope is that this will stabilise and reduce in the next couple of weeks.

If that happens, there is a strong argument for the Government relaxing restrictions in Kerry still further.

More people at sports events and family gatherings, such as weddings, should be considered.

People are entitled to benefit if they live in areas of low infection. Restrictions should reflect that reality - and the curtailment of individual and group freedoms should be eased commensurately.

Why should wedding parties in Kerry, for instance, be limited to 50, the same as other parts of the country with much higher rates of infection?

For one reason or another, Kerry is doing relatively well (at the moment) in this long war against the coronavirus - though we should never take this for granted and lapse into complacency.

We need a more nuanced response from the Government. If public support is to be retained for voluntary observance of the rules then there is a need for a more reasonable restrictions regime.