Divisions over how the pandemic was managed have erupted again in a UK public inquiry, so be thankful Ireland has shown a more united front

A mural in Dublin spells out a positive message during the Covid pandemic. Photo: Gareth Chaney

During lockdown, comedian Michael McIntyre wanted to do his best to mark his wife’s birthday. So the night before — as he told 30,000 of us in Dublin’s 3Arena last week — he filled the house with flowers and pink balloons.

The next day, feeling under the weather, he went for a Covid test: it came out positive and he returned home to isolate in his bedroom. But then he realised (spoiler alert) — the balloons. He had spent the previous night breathing into them. Every one of them was now a Covid bomb.

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