They should really have extended this invitation to the Taoiseach, too, since he’s the one who made the decision:
Following this evening’s unexpected announcement the GAA invites Dr Ronan Glynn and NPHET to present the empirical evidence which informed the requirement for the Association to curtail its activities.
The Association will tonight be issuing an invitation to Dr Glynn to meet with its Covid Advisory Group in this regard without delay.
The GAA and its members remain at all times committed to protecting public health.
Some on social media, naturally, are calling the GAA “arrogant” for seeking something as simple as an explanation for the reason that 30 people can play a close contact sport on a field, but 50 more people cannot stand, socially distant, on the sidelines and watch.
But it’s not arrogant, is it? The new restrictions just don’t make any sense, so it’s worth finding out if that is because the politicians have failed to explain NPHET’s reasoning correctly, or if it’s because NPHET don’t know what they’re doing, any longer.
Social Democrat TD Holly Cairns raised some hackles amongst religious people last night for a typically on-brand “get the priests” tweet, for example, but there’s a point here:
I don’t understand why mass is an exception? pic.twitter.com/HhfQONuO14
— Holly Cairns TD (@HollyCairnsTD) August 18, 2020
Obviously, the churches should not be closed, since they’ve made huge efforts in terms of social distancing, and are more than capable of continuing at low risk – but if you accept that, then how on earth can you say that 50 people at mass is less dangerous than 50 people in the stands at a GAA ground? The people at the GAA match are outside, after all – they’re not sitting on top of each other breathing into each other’s nostrils.
If Mass is an important social outlet for people, then surely so is going to a match.
As for the remainder of the restrictions, riddle yourself this: How on earth is it too dangerous for more than six people from different households to congregate indoors, as the restrictions say, but for 600 teenagers to congregate in schools, starting in less than two weeks time?
One of the things about getting so-called “public buy in” for the measures deemed necessary to limit the spread of the coronavirus is that the measures taken should make sense to the public. Whether you agreed with the first lockdown or not, the measures were easy enough to understand, and made sense to the man and woman on the street: stay away from other people, and we’re closing things that lead to you having close contact with other people.
You may be one of those people who thought that was tyranny, or whatever, but even the most committed “plandemic” believer could at least see the logic of the instructions, even if they disagreed with it.
This time? Nah.
The Government now expects us to believe that it’s too dangerous for politicians to sit next to each other in the Dáil, but safe enough for students to sit next to each other in classrooms. They expect us to believe that Mass is perfectly safe, but shouting “for f**k’s sake ref” from the stands is inherently dangerous. Pubs are lethal hubs of viral doom, but hairdressers are safe as houses.
When policy makes no sense, and the average person can see that it makes no sense, doubts will naturally be raised.
There’s another point here, too, though, which is worth addressing directly to those who continue to believe that the Covid restrictions amount to some kind of conspiracy against society: This proves how impossible that idea always was. There are too many organisations, like the GAA, with too much to lose from endless, perpetual, lockdown. No Government can implement such sweeping measures without the co-operation of the public – not Fianna Fáil, or Fine Gael, or even the most totalitarian repressive state.
When Government policy stops making sense, Governments lose their authority. This present Government would want to be very careful, so, because these restrictions don’t make any sense.
If Dr. Glynn does go before the GAA, the organisation could do everyone a favour and live-stream the meeting. Because the explanation for this will surely be worth hearing.