Add Conor McGregor’s voice to those few in the MMA sphere who seem to really be taking the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic seriously. The former two-division champion and UFC superstar took to Instagram recently to deliver a video message, most specifically targeting the government and people of Ireland, but asking that the rest of the world take heed as well.
In it, McGregor is vociferous in his plea that Ireland go into a “full lockdown,” with cancellation of travel and a rallying of government forces and services. As of March 24th, the island nation has had 1,125 confirmed cases of the virus, resulting in six deaths. But, for those who feel these may be rather small numbers, McGregor is clearly hoping to stress the need to get out ahead of the problem rather than waiting for more people to fall ill.
“Hello everyone, hello Ireland,” McGregor began in a two-and-a-half minute video message delivered over social media. “I would like to address my nation. To the people of Ireland, to our President Michael D. Higgins, to Vice Admiral Mellett, to Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan… I respect you all greatly, and I would like to put forth some of my thinking.
“I want to say that while we are all currently debating a full lockdown, I feel that we must. Any time spent debating this is needless time from the clock. I know a good tough fight when I see one, and we have one on our hands now. I want to call upon my people, the great people of Ireland, this fight needs us all. We are all in the red corner together awaiting the bell. So, let’s gather together and ring the bell ourselves. Including the people of the rest of the world.
“True lockdown must begin, and it must begin now,” McGregor continued. “A lockdown together. A lockdown united. We must close our airports, we must close all non-essential business. We must quit all non-essential travel. Commissioner Harris and Vice Admiral Mellett, we must prepare to deploy our units to all and any known built up areas across our country now. President Higgins, you must give these great men and women the power to enforce this task if necessary.
“However, I know that when the true seriousness of this is understood, as it is becoming now, our great nation will oblige. And impeccably do so. It is time for a full lockdown, and we are ready. Powers that be, I am calling to you all, the fate of our great Ireland depends on it. This is my proposal, and I pray that we can make this happen.
“We need to take the same measures of some of the heavier affected countries, only we must do it in quicker time. We have the advantage here, in that we can see this coming. We can see this coming. We can see this coming, but if we do not act on our advantage then we cannot expect different results. We are not adhering to social distancing, at least not to the extent required to prevent exponential growth. A lockdown will facilitate this. It will reduce transmissions, it will take the pressure off of our frontline staff and it will allow us to identify all of our cases. These methods are stringent but necessary, and have worked in China and Hong Kong.
“Ireland, we have got this. Not only do we have the formula, we have it ahead of time. Let’s go Ireland! Let’s go rest of the world! Lockdown united. Together we stand. God bless us all.”
As of writing, more than 400,000 people have been infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus, resulting in over 18,000 deaths. In Italy alone, almost 7,000 people have died. Meanwhile an early robust government response from South Korea has kept the spread of the disease largely in check in that country. Hopefully that’s the path that Ireland, and other countries around the world just starting to grapple with this pandemic, can take.
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