‘Crazy numbers’: rising Covid infections spark fear in Ireland

Rates climb back up to several hundred per day after dwindling in June and July

In the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, Ireland’s contact tracers often made calls to people who were very sick, with some struggling to breathe.

“In a lot of cases people were suffering extreme physical distress,” said Eamonn Gormley, a tracer at University College Dublin. “One person collapsed on the floor and we could hear them gasping for air. You got questions like: ‘Am I going to die?’ Some nights I had trouble sleeping.”

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