The warnings not heeded about the virus

Carmen Gomez


Amongst the many cards and cuttings I keep; a habit I inherited from my Father who was forever being told off by mother when she was trying to dust around them; I came across a newspaper cutting of the photo of an eight year old boy; Martin Richard from Boston; who back in April 15th 2013, was killed by a bomb, as he waited for his father at a marathon finish line. For some reason I kept the cutting of his little face with his toothless smile; unawares that a year before, he had also held up a poster he’d made in school with the words “No more hurting people,” and below it, the word “Peace.” Ironical isn’t it and so tragic. 

I looked up his name in Google and as it turns out, a year after his demise, his family announced a charitable foundation in his name, to honour his message of peace and kindness.

This despite the overwhelming tragedy they had had to endure; as apart from his death, his sister Jane who was an Irish dancer, lost her leg, and his mother suffered brain injuries and blindness in one eye.

Out of a dark and most horrific experience, they found light and hope, and positivity. His mother wrote that kindness supported human dignity and was determined that her son’s foundation become a movement helping young people to learn, grow and lead through volunteerism, and community engagement.

I write about this today because this is exactly what is happening in our community, as we face the one of the most ever challenging of ordeals; an unknown virus which walks amongst us in disguise, and does not manifest itself until some time has gone by. A virus which the world, it appears, was not ready for.

This despite the many messages coming from scientists who predicted years ago that a pandemic of enormous proportions was in the making. Make of that what you will; but it is perfectly obvious that Governments were not prepared for it, and had made no provisions for such an outcome.