While many fighters are using this sudden gap in the UFC schedule to work on their basketball games, take their training outdoors, or just generally goof around and have some fun (maybe too much fun in Jon Jones’ case), superstar Conor McGregor has taken this time to do some heavy campaigning. But, it’s not for a title shot against Khabib Nurmagomedov, or another multi-million dollar boxing payday. Instead he’s been releasing speeches directed at the Irish government, demanding that they deliver a swift and uncompromising response to the COVID-19 pandemic that’s currently sweeping the globe.
In his first video, McGregor asked that the nation be placed on lockdown immediately, with the closure of all non-essential businesses, and the halt of all non-essential travel. That lockdown is now currently underway. And while McGregor’s latest video praises those efforts, he’s now asking his country to go that much further. Namely, to mobilize the military to help prevent people from breaking lockdown guidelines. And he’s asking the country to close its airports to all but the most necessary delivery of medical personnel and supplies.
Backed by the words of MIT-trained scientist Yaneer Bar-Yam, McGregor is hoping that five weeks of intensive lockdown will essentially stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Ireland.
“Hello everyone, hello Ireland.
“We have now entered a more substantial lockdown, and I am pleased to see it.” Conor said in a new four-and-a-half minute video released on Instagram. “You see, if you do not enter a game, you cannot win it. We have now entered this game and, with strict adherence to the methods, we will win. To the Irish public, we must abide by the legislations put forth tonight by our leaders. No further than 2km from home, no unessential travel, and full closure of all non-essential business. Now more than ever we must abide by this, and I pray for the health and safety of our country that we do. The fate of our lives, and the lives of our loved ones, depends upon it.
“Together we must encourage home workouts, and we must encourage healthy, immune-boosting nutrition plans. We have incredible experts on this island to aid us here. And I urge all to come forward and promote their ways. We need meal plans, as well as the necessary vitamins we should be taking to boost our immune systems. We need small-space exercise programs available to the public, and we need it for all levels of fitness. I suggest body-weight work, the need for no equipment. There are amazing workouts to be had here. Plan your workout, put your music on, and give it your absolute all. While we remain distant, and in isolation, we must still remain active. We must remain active and we must equip our immune systems to be operating at their absolute best. Correct nutrition and good physical activity is how we do it.
“The ceasing of public transport and closure of all non-essential business has now taken place, and that is just what we need. I applaud,” McGregor continued. “However, I would like an understanding of our airports. Our airports must shut. The only flights to take place is to be for our essential medical equipment. Or to bring our medical staff abroad back home to support. The airports must be shut for everything else. For those attempting to get home, please make wherever you are your home. You will be doing your country an incredible deed by staying put. We will get past this. It is not forever, but it is for now.
“Tonight our defense forces have been mentioned as a possibility in assisting our 15,000 gardi available, but only if necessary. However, it is necessary. I urge our government to utilize our defense forces alongside an garda siochana and for full 24-hour patrol. We cannot go by chance here. Any less than full adherence to these newly put forth methods by any members of our society will not only be a mockery of what we are attempting to do here, it will put the rest of our great nation in danger. We just cannot take that chance. I know our nation will comply, but please use all of our available assets to assist with this. This latest lockdown measure has been announced for two weeks. If we do this fully, and correctly, in two week’s time we will have a massive drop in cases. And in two weeks time, we will likely need to endure more to get the ultimate victory.
“I am now going to quote Yaneer Bar-Yam,” McGregor added. “Yaneer is an MIT trained physicist and complexity scientist who studies pandemics. He warned about global pandemics due to increasing travel for 15 years and he recommended community based monitoring of symptoms to stop Ebola in west Africa in 2014, and it worked. ‘The fastest, and even the only, way to contain COVID-19 in Ireland, America, and around the world is a five week national lockdown. Lockdown would sharply reduce cases. During the first two weeks of a lockdown, infected individuals will either recover from a mild case of COVID-19 at home, or seek medical attention for the 14% of cases that are severe. During the third, fourth, and fifth weeks any newly infected family, or cohabitants of infected individuals will recover or seek medical attention. And their isolation will prevent further spreading. By the end of lockdown, the number of infections will be a small fraction of what they are now.’ This is from a skilled specialist with a winning record in stopping one of these viruses already.
“We have two weeks ahead now. I pray we adhere strictly to all these adjustments, and make our way into the final three week phase—where, after that, we will be moving out again into our new world.
“To President Higgens, to all of our leaders: close our airports, utilize our defense forces. To the nation: abide by these measures impeccably, and prepare for five weeks of it. After that, we are free. Five weeks to freedom. We can do this. The countdown begins now. Godspeed to us all.”
Alongside his video messages, McGregor has also pledged to donate more than $1-million to hospitals around the nation to help in their fight against the pandemic.
At the time of writing, there have been more than 650,000 recorded cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus globally, resulting in more than 30,000 deaths. So far, Ireland accounts for just 2,415 of those cases, and 36 deaths. However, the linear correlation between number of cases and number of deaths has remained strong even as the disease continues to spread exponentially. All evidence suggests that any nation that allows the virus to spread unchecked will risk a significant number of people who require hospitalization. Hopefully increasing self isolation and government lockdown can help stem the tide and avoid further disaster.
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