Shop heroes are doing their best under trying conditions

In response to Ivor Short’s criticism of supermarket staff not wearing masks (‘Supermarket staff need to copy customers’ use of masks’, Letters, July 14), I think supermarket and other shop staff are the real heroes of Covid. Even if they do not wear masks, they are in the frontline trying to keep people fed and watered.

suggest that their “flitting in and out between the customers” might be better described as “run off their feet” trying to juggle different queues and keep customers in line, and observing social distance.
Supermarket staff are not medics and do not have the training or experience to take on the responsibility Covid placed on them.

They are doing their best and in fact are real heroes who have been overlooked. I have even heard of some people being abusive to them, which is a disgrace.
People should be shining a light in their windows for the supermarket and other shop staff. When you go home with your shopping they’re still there working under very trying conditions. Maybe Mr Short should venture back and spend a couple of months “flitting between customers” and packing shelves and trying to balance all the responsibilities and obligations they are not trained for. Then he could wear a mask to hide the fact that unlike the supermarket staff he would not, according to his attitude, be smiling.
John Williams
Clonmel, Co Tipperary

Greeting is a touchy subject that’s not to be sneezed at
We are advised to cough or sneeze into our elbow in the absence of a tissue or handkerchief. Why then is it suggested we elbow-touch when greeting friends?
Having seen and heard some people sneeze, even foot-touching should be avoided.

David Ryan
Co Meath

Military recruitment age limits need to be reviewed
Recently I was informed by the Defence Forces that 49 years of age was the limit for rejoining, as I had volunteered during the pandemic crisis when invited to by the then Taoiseach.
I’m aged 50.
If the State pension age is to be increased, shouldn’t recruitment ages be also increased in line with this?
Alan McKenna
Dundalk, Co Louth

Lives depend on us having mandatory quarantine here
I note that Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has ruled out mandatory quarantine for people arriving into Ireland. I believe this decision is a mistake.
If the right to travel within Ireland could be curtailed to slow the spread of Covid-19, the right to travel into Ireland can and should be modified to require that people, especially those arriving from high-risk Covid-19 countries, undergo mandatory quarantine.
Lives are depending on it.
Nicola Daveron
Athenry, Co Galway

Astrology’s unlucky No 13 was written in the stars
The world’s headlines seem to be full of gloom and doom at the moment, but a new sign of good times has appeared – Ophiuchus, the snake bearer.
Like most people with any education in science, I consider astrology to be in the same category as snake oil salespeople and it appears I was right, snakes do have an influence over our lives.
The only real concern is the mention of Nasa in an article about star signs, as many believers will seize on that and not read the rest of the article. The basic information from Nasa is that the constellations have slowly moved relative to the Earth and are now not where they should be in terms of the calendar. Astrology has not included the 13th constellation, perhaps because 13 is considered an unlucky number.
Nasa should probably have just laughed and not tried to convince the unscientific of the truth of science.
Like most people, I have glanced at the horoscopes and considered what the day holds for me and it is generally positive, non-specific and sometimes full of mumbo-jumbo. As a science teacher, I used a simple approach to show students the falsehood of these predictions by giving them a set of predictions without the star sign name, the apparent characteristics of the star signs and asked them to identify which was which – the students failed to do this correctly.
For interest, mine, Aries, says in the local paper that I seem to be in a castle under attack, but there is a rescue party on the way.
I’m not sure what to make of this but I think staying at home while the Covid pandemic is happening and waiting for a vaccine might be the only scientific reading of it and I didn’t really need to be told this again.
We’ll see if tomorrow is more positive.
Dennis Fitzgerald
Melbourne, Australia

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