I can’t lie. For a nation of drunken, abusive husbands, terrorists, gangsters and filthy rotten cops, I am actually not too proud this coming St. Patrick’s Day. It marks the first time since 2001 that the annual parade and public celebrations are cancelled in the name of health and safety. It’s a blow to the Irish economy, to be sure, but more importantly a blow to people’s hearts and minds. Paddy’s day is a release valve, an ice-breaker where anyone can cut loose and act like a fiend, with most sins forgiven.
This year is shrouded in sickness and fear. Panic buying hasn’t ruined us quite yet, but a fear of others has definitely taken hold. In my work, three people actually went out to their cars and ate their lunch in the car park. Being the youngest and healthiest in the company, the taste of disgust was felt by all onlookers. They made zero friends today.
And yet, it’s important to distance ourselves socially. We are all transmitters. While I actually support the cancellation of the Paddy’s Day Parade, I regret that it is under the veil of no-close contact between anyone. The pubs are closed, and the craic is far less than mighty. It’s only when general interaction becomes a threat that you realise how much your society depends on people being around other people.
This St. Patricks Day is a grim realisation of how fragile our lifestyles really are.
The institutions and events we revolve our lives around don’t hold much weight against
Mother Nature or Force Majeure.