Newry and Armagh Alliance representative Jackie Coade has reaffirmed the message to stay at home during the Covid pandemic and only make journeys if absolutely necessary.
Speaking on the issue Ms Coade said:
“I was talking to a member of the public recently about all the things we were looking forward to post covid. Birthdays, hugs, seeing loved ones and just being out for coffee with friends were amongst the things we said we missed.
I’m sure like me, you seen the horrendous posts from staff of our local Daisy Hill and Craigavon Area Hospitals make a plea for staff to come forward to help with the covid crisis. Our hospitals in the Southern Trust Area are under extreme pressure from people with the virus needing emergency support.
You will also remember it wasn’t so long ago that we fought hard for the reopening of Daisy Hill. A hospital we said we couldn’t be without in the Southern Trust Area. Here lies my dismay…we have the highest levels of Covid across the Southern Trust area. Our little part of the country. Why? Well, we know this virus spreads via human contact…person to person.
I was hugely disappointed to hear there are a number of premises and private homes who have been operating illegal drinking over the past few weeks and we know these have contributed to the spread of the virus which has in turn put huge pressure on our health service…the very health service we fought so fiercely for in recent years’
Ms Coade has expressed her determination to get the message out there in an attepmt to save lives following the extension of covid regulations until the 5th of March. Ms Coade has stated that now is the time to drive down the R rate otherwise we will find ourselves in this never ending cycle of lockdowns.
Ms Coade added:
“I am pleading with the public, if you are one of those people operating one of these drinking establishments or someone who is having house parties, please stop. The sooner we get rid of this virus the better. Your actions are keeping us in this cycle of repeated lockdown. It’s selfish and it’s dangerous. It is putting lives at risk. I know there has been a steady police presence across the borough. I hope there will continue to be until our numbers are much lower.
If you are someone who thinks this is just a flu and people will get over it then here is my message to you…I personally know and have met several people who have lost loved ones. They are dead. They’re not coming back. In many cases these people never got to say goodbye to their loved ones. They’ve just gone. There is still a sense of disbelief they haven’t come home for tea, they have missed Christmas, birthdays, births, and hugs…they are desperately missed and were loved by those who are missing them. Why would you want to contribute to that? You might think this doesn’t impact you, but you could be the person who brings the virus into the home of someone vulnerable which could contribute to their death.
I am pleading with the public, and I know there are many who are complying, please stay at home. Please stop organising social gatherings and events. Your actions are selfish, illegal and you are contributing to the pressure our health service is feeling. So don’t be surprised if you get that knock on the door and are given a fine. Don’t be shocked if you or someone you love arrives at A&E in CAH or Daisy hill and can’t get the medical attention you or your loved one need. I know this is difficult, I get it. I know people are fed up, I get it. I’m fed up too. I’m sick of this too, but I go to work and home again. I too must protect the children I teach as well as my own family.
I would like to thank our amazing Drs, Nurses, Ambulance personnel and all NHS staff are doing an amazing job. They are exhausted. They are frightened. They are concerned not just for their own families, but for yours also. Please help them by staying at home. Last week I listened to Shane Devlin from the Southern Trust deliver a very frightening to Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon borough council in which he pleads with us all to follow the public health message.
The current guidance says you must only leave your home if you need medical assistance, buying food or going to work because you are a key worker.
Please help protect our hospitals and those amazing men and women we fought so desperately to keep. For those who are flouting the rules, you are putting our services at great risk of collapsing. Why would you want to contribute to that?! “