Focus needs to remain on protecting vulnerable as we move to Christmas
Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy has appealed to the public to dig deep for two more weeks and not to become immune to public health regulations.
In a return to the weekly statements at the end of Sunday Mass that Bishop Brendan Leahy gave during the height of COVID last spring and into the summer, he said that weariness has understandably set in but we must keep our eye on the prize of saving people’s lives.
“It is said that you never come out of a crisis the same as before. That is, you come out either better or worse.
The Covid-19 crisis has hit us out of the blue. We didn’t cause it. And, if we’re honest, at this stage many are weary of it. It’s like a nagging presence always there, day in, day out. And because of it, almost annoyingly we are hearing the reminders over and over again: social distancing, handwashing, mask-wearing and as much isolation as possible.
“Yes, we’re getting tired of it. But this is when we really need to be careful. When we’re tired, we can easily end up falling into the temptation of slacking off in our efforts. We begin to let the guard down.”
Bishop Leahy said we need to encourage each other to keep on trying to keep our guard up and do our part.
“We can hope that in less than 10 days we might get out of level 5 restrictions. We can hope that things will look up a little more in December.
“Of course, understandably many are now thinking about Christmas and how we can enable family and friends to gather. Christmas is a season of hope. And undeniably for many too, Christmas is about shopping, about keeping businesses open. All of this is important but our main concern now has to be fundamentally about our health and, going back to the very first days of this crisis; protecting the health of those who are vulnerable, those we love.
“If we focus on that for just ten more days, even two weeks and prevent the loss of more people from this dreadful virus, we will have succeeded in this vital battle in the wider war against COVID. That is the great prize.”
He added: “For now, let’s decide, no matter how tired we might feel of this COVID menace, that we’re going to come out of this crisis better not worse. We’re going to exercise the virtue of diligence. We’re going to really persist in doing our best to follow the public health guidelines for the sake of the common good that will be to the benefit of us all. We’re going to win that prize.
“And when, thanks to the intervention of science – where so much progress is being made now with vaccine – we ultimately overcome COVID, we can look back and say that when it mattered most we dug deep, we persevered, we did the right thing and we saved lives. Let’s encourage each other: no to slacking off, yes to diligence.”