Across Britian and Northern Ireland to date, over 200 health workers’ lives have been lost to Covid-19. However, Westminster and the Stormont Executive have manipulated the figures, so this will be grossly under-estimated. Grotesquely, the overwhelming majority of these deaths were preventable. The Assembly followed the Tory plan, prioritising profit before people to protect the interests of big business and capitalism. Sinn Féin and the DUP disgracefully used the pandemic as an opportunity to pursue their own sectarian agendas, throwing the Executive into paralysis. This can only be described as criminally negligent in the extreme.
US billionaires saw their collective wealth increase by $282 billion in the first twenty-three days of lockdown.
Over the course of the pandemic, there has been speculation about what impact the lockdown and other measures have had on people’s mental health. While some services have seen a reduction in referrals, with life’s ordinary pressures eased for some, certain groups have been left vulnerable by the lockdown.
Those who took part did so despite provocative police harassment. In the days leading up to the protests, the PSNI issued threats of fines and court appearances for breaking Covid-19 regulations. This led to protests in Omagh, Newry and Portadown being formally cancelled, although small and socially-distanced gatherings did go ahead. Protest organisers were visited at home and cautioned. Checkpoints were set up and public transport hubs were policed to prevent people attending.