Talk of Mandatory Masks and Restrictions is Grossly Disproportionate -Tóibín
Commenting on the growing chorus seeking the return of mandatory mask wearing and possible restrictions Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has stated;
“The talk of mandatory masks and restrictions is grossly disproportionate now. Covid is a real illness and we must first and foremost ensure that older people and those who are immunocompromised are protected. Despite all the tragic mistakes made by the government in Nursing Homes and Hospitals, there has been no investigation into what happened to ensure that the same mistakes will not be made again. A key weakness during Covid was the absence of Health Care Capacity and despite spending €30 billion in taxpayers money the dial has hardly been turned on extra capacity. Indeed the Government are actively trying to close Navan A&E along with its 5 ICU beds. Commentators are blaming Covid for hospital overcrowding. Cuts in 6,000 hospitals, 200 too few ICU beds and health care professions emigrating en masse are the reasons our hospitals are overcrowded. Little or nothing has been done on ventilation, indeed cuts in areas such as Dublin Airport are pushing people into crowded spaces”.
“While the latest variants are highly transmissible, thankfully they are neither virulent nor aggressive. For many of those in hospital, Covid is thankfully incidental. There is as massive cost to restrictions and even to masks. Isolation, poor mental health, arrested social development are all issues that have affected hundreds of thousands of young people. Ireland was an outlier during the last two years in terms of the severity and length of the restrictions that were imposed here. This has led to untreated advanced cancers and broken supply chains adding to the cost of living crisis. Ireland was the only country in the whole of Europe to ban the building of houses during Covid and yet we have the worst housing crisis. We need to think long and hard about the steps we take. We need to weigh up all of the costs up, learn from the mistakes made and critically we need to invest in Health capacity.