On Wednesday Ireland recorded over 2000 covid cases, in the past this would alarm the government and the country would be put into some sort of lockdown. But since the vaccine programme has started to speed up, the idea of further restrictions has not crossed the minds of any government official, instead restrictions seem to be slowly easing.

 

Katherine Zappone’s get-together, resulted in outdoor gatherings increasing to 200 people. Some might say, the reason this was given the green light, was because some politicians were caught at this event, such as Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Labour’s Deputy Ivana Bacik. While restrictions ease for more “covid spreading” events, people are still not able to accompany their partners as they give birth, for fear that covid might spread.

 

Vaccines are seen as the ticket to freedom; however, it must be noted that even if you are fully vaccinated, you still have to be cautious as you can still get covid, but with less symptoms. NPHET’s Tony Holohan, has said that events such as Electric Picnic and indoor dining should go ahead for the fully vaccinated. Over 3 million people have already been fully vaccinated, but yet covid cases are still high, perhaps we should be more cautious before we allow large events such as Electric Picnic to go ahead.

 

However, the Tánaiste is very keen to allow Electric Picnic to take place, despite Laois County Council cancelling it this year. So much so, Varadkar will be pressuring his colleagues. Is this just populism? Electric Picnic, is not an ordinary concert, it’s a 3-day event with a campsite. It just screams danger.

 

It is very clear that we are not ready for a “Freedom Day”, just like the UK planned. Ministers are looking to drop all restrictions by Christmas, but there is doubt that this will happen even if the majority of the country is fully vaccinated by then.

 

The scenes at the Hurling match at Croke Park, which was attended by the Taoiseach, just shows what can happen when we let our guard down. If we are allowing big events like this, why are we ignoring the other industries, such as the music industry that could perform small, socially distanced events.

 

It is time that the government allows safe events to go ahead, so people can enjoy their “freedoms”, while cracking down on massive events which can be seen as a kick in the teeth to health care workers and other industries which have been waiting desperately to get back to work. The pandemic is still pretty much around.