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To enjoy a little and endure much was Hazlitt's formula for a full life.  But he didn't have to contend with the constraints of Level 5 lockdown, total lack of summer and a guaranteed long dark winter. Yet seeing as the object of the tightest possible restrictions is to elicit change, surely more openness and clarity from Government might have been in order to get people to better accept another protracted passage on the open-ended journey we have been compelled to take.

Tolerance, acceptance and compliance for the severe suite of measures suffers when the end game or exit strategy remains so undefined.

The explanation by chief medical officer Tony Holohan on RT yesterday, that if the country was down to fewer than 100 cases a day by December 1 "we will have achieved what we set out to do", might have been better delivered by Taoiseach Michel Martin 24 hours earlier to lessen the blow.

As demands get tougher, the need to show why they are necessary intensifies.

Tolerance suffers when endgame is still undefined
Tolerance suffers when endgame is still undefined

Finding a non-disruptive formula for curbing infections and averting the collapse of medical services with only a limited scope of regulations, all aimed at containing damage to the economy, is complex. But this does not give the Government a free pass.

Focus has rightly fallen on the missed opportunity to accept Nphet's initial appeal for a shutdown two weeks ago.

The situation has demonstrably deteriorated since.

Not taking the expert medical advice and then being forced to bow to it when figures went out of control has again dented confidence and trust which are so crucial in bringing the public onboard.

Credibility suffers when something which was so very wrong and was dismissed out of hand a fortnight ago suddenly became the solution, without explanation.

Tolerance suffers when endgame is still undefined
Tolerance suffers when endgame is still undefined

Personal agency and the managing of individual risk is still at the core of battling the pandemic.

The Government has to step up in its role in delivering guidance and direction to build social solidarity.

Its latest volte-face over the numbers permitted to attend funerals suggests more consideration needs to be given to how people are affected.

New powers for garda to end house parties and to fine people who stray beyond their 5km limits must be put on a solid legal basis if they are to have effect.

Conspicuous house parties have to be curtailed.  If such powers are co-ordinated, they must be legally enforceable.

Tolerance suffers when endgame is still undefined
Tolerance suffers when endgame is still undefined

With 13 further deaths and 1,269 new cases of Covid-19 recorded in the Republic, and three deaths and 913 new cases in the North, all our choices are stark.

It may seem like Covid-19 has a chokehold on all our lives, but we know it can be broken.

It's a hard road: but how often is it the pebble in the shoe, not the mountain ahead, that defeats us?

Irish Independent

Tolerance suffers when endgame is still undefined
Tolerance suffers when endgame is still undefined
Tolerance suffers when endgame is still undefined
Tolerance suffers when endgame is still undefined