Stand up and stop any move to diminish the dignity of the elderly in the battle against Coronavirus – By David McNarry

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As the world confronts the fear of Coronavirus we are no different in dealing with uncertainty and the toll it is taking. It is true that when the going gets tough, the tough get going which is why we Northern Irelanders excel at caring and humour. We are brilliant and remarkable people and our fortitude is bringing out the best in us all. As many communities embracing the greater number of one community – Northern Ireland – we are rallying together.

Standing two metres apart on Thursdays clapping in appreciation of the wonderful teams of exceptional people working for the greater good is an expression of which to proud. Apart from one perverse corner of usual suspects, not a mention has there been of nationality. We are who we are – exclusively 100% Northern Irelanders and a thousand cheers for us all.

As for the humour, soon we will have many super stories to tell when normality returns. In my new found role as the McNarry procurements officer. A daunting experience in itself with my Wife never quiet knowing what I would bring back in the shopping bag. Queuing has brought in a platform for the best in quick wit and banter. Even in the posh part of Co. Down supermarket land the usually secretive and sedate luvvies are into the swing of things.

The problem arises with the 2 metre distancing. Particularly in a long line of trolley pushers where to be heard voices need to be raised. Especially by the wag milking laughter from the faux-fur coat brigade bellowing from 12 feet away , “what’s going on up the hill ? They aren’t up to it are they ? No body asks questions the way you did David ! Will Stormont survive ?

Enjoying the blether is one thing, taking it for granted is another. People are just about tolerating the hapless Executive’s exploits but for how much longer? It being tommyrot to send out a mixed message saying that they are all in this together when it is abundantly clear that the Ministers are miles apart.

Not all the establishment elitists in the queue were impressed needlessly to say when I said to the wag ‘what do you expect from Marxists pretending to be left wingers selling their whiter than white washing powder to clean up their dirty linen?‘ Still it was good natured with everyone including myself more interested in moving along the queue than in politics. The fun bit was on exiting the store this Lady came up to me at a distance saying huskily  ‘well, plenty of washing up liquid left in there’. Wonder what she meant ?

On a very serious issue with all the trauma and tragedies Covid-19 is causing, by common decency and consent we must not approve of pecking orders and numbers games being laid at the responsibility of the Consultants in choosing who receives resuscitation , ventilation and incubation. I was aghast, affronted and angered to learn that next of kin relatives are being pushed into indicating if their ‘elderly special needs’ siblings would require or not require incubation in hospital should they be admitted from their residential homes. What a question and who gave the authority to play at God?

That is the extreme end outcome when the answer becomes part of the report compiled by the home should an ‘elderly special need ‘ person be brought into hospital with Covid-19. Has it come to this that a special needs person is set aside for treatment in favour of someone else ?

Come on, if we allow this crisis to stoop so low that the Health Service cannot give every human being an equal chance of survival when they have no serious underlying illness, then we are allowing Covid- 19 to win. Should it transcend into some people attaining a better score rating than our special needs community – well folks then its curtains.

Forget the banter because the caring will have been forgotten. The damned virus will have beaten us ! We Northern Irelanders are better than that, much better, don’t let it win—make the ultimate victory ours and what we all stand for.


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  1. David, it is already happening. Homes are being told not to send suspected covid cases to hospital. Fact. Not only disabled or as you describe as special needs but our old. They are forced to die alone in an under staffed nursing home among strangers. One of the main reasons that visiting is not allowed. Too much to see. Homes are now unable to get sufficient staff because of years of mistreatment of nurses and auxiliary’s by no contracts, poor wages and terrible working conditions, while the owners lived it up in their mansions. Now we can suffer the consequences of their greed.

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