NEARLY seven hundred thousand people worldwide have died as a result of Covid-19. In the Republic of Ireland over fifteen hundred have died and in the North over five hundred have lost their lives, although these figures are questionable and could be much higher. These figures will continue to rise depending on how the general public react to the social distancing introduced as a result of this pandemic.

The NHS are providing a brilliant service in extreme circumstances. Community groups are out on a daily basis delivering emergency food parcels to the most vulnerable in our society.

The number of people who have lost their jobs as a result of this crisis is incredible but there is also a knock on affect with mortgages, rent, gas, electric and general bills.

This virus does not care about race, creed, colour or religion. Thankfully the majority of our people have responded in a positive way to save lives and communities.

The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, Easter Sunday and hunger strike commemorations were all cancelled.

How dismayed was I to walk through the lower Shankill Estate on the build-up to the VE Day anniversary to find the area covered in Union Jacks, loyalist paraphernalia and wood filling up for a 12th of July bonfire.

The street parties to remember VE Day were disgraceful and the clean-up is money that tax payers can’t afford, especially in this crisis.

The Union Jacks on lampposts with a thank you to the NHS stamped on there is the ultimate slap in the face to people risking their lives to save lives, all lives.

If our unionist neighbours have that much money and energy why not invest it to help your communities, local care homes or your nearest hospital.

A True Republican

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