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Watch final at home, pleads GP


Leading GP says All-Ireland and Christmas could be ‘highly dangerous’ for Covid spread

Edwin McGreal

A leading Mayo GP has appealed for people in the county to watch Saturday week’s All-Ireland football final at home to help to keep Covid-19 case numbers in the county down.
Mulranny-based Dr Jerry Cowley, a former TD for Mayo, said the coming weeks have the potential to be ‘highly dangerous’ for the county and urged people ‘not to lower their guard’.
“The arrival of Christmas and Mayo’s wonderful step into the All-Ireland final has the capacity to be a highly dangerous time for us in Mayo. We could end up winning the battle and losing the war,” he told The Mayo News last night (Monday).
“I’ve seen that alcohol and social gatherings can be a lethal combination in spreading the virus. People lower their guard.
“People might think they will get away with it but it might be their neighbours or a family member who will suffer. People need to be so wary.”
He asked people to consider watching the All-Ireland final between Mayo and Dublin at home, rather than going to a pub or hotel.
“We can enjoy watching Mayo just as much at home in our own sitting rooms as compared to pubs.
“I think for the sake of these few weeks and months, I think it is important people do the very best they can. I can understand completely where people are coming from but I think if people could do that within their own homes it would be all the better for the future of Mayo.
“I think the Mayo team have done so well and we wish them every success and I’m sure they wouldn’t want to see a surge of coronavirus overshadow their magnificent efforts to get Sam.

Match celebrations
“You’ve seen a lot of celebrations after matches over the course of the last few months and that’s where the trouble has started with outbreaks. The potential for that with Mayo in the final is very high.
“We need to mind ourselves and mind our neighbours and be so cogniscant about how a little bit of ill thought or forgetfulness could have dire consequences for those whom we would not wish to hurt in any way. I think there’s a major responsibility on all of us to do our very best in this regard,” he said.
Dr Cowley said this year has been ‘very challenging’ but said people were ‘very quick to learn what they needed to do’ but said now was ‘no time for complacency’.
“We’ve done very well in Mayo all things considered.
“But we could go into a very serious situation if we’re not careful in the coming weeks.
“There is a danger people will get complacent, thinking the vaccine is just around the corner but it won’t be an overnight thing.  People learned very quickly to be very wary of the virus and how lethal it can be. It has caused a lot of heartache, particularly for older people and vulnerable people and their families.”