Mark Dolan: It’s only a mask, it's only the next three weeks, it's only next year, it's only forever - except it’s only one life

And only one chance to live it

Published Last updated

It's only a mask, they said.

It's only three weeks to flatten the curve, they said.

It’s only until Easter.

It’s only until summer, it’s only until winter.

It’s only Joe Wickes, Netflix, podcasts and Zoom drinks parties at 5 in the afternoon.

It's only a restaurant, a pub, a museum, an art gallery, a library.

It's only a school, it's only children.

It's only an office, it's only an office party.

It's only a school nativity, a sports day.

It's only the vulnerable.

It's only one injection.

It's only two, it's only three.

It's only furlough.

It’s only borrowing, it's only half a trillion.

It's only mental health, it's only cancer, dementia, heart disease, Type II diabetes.

It's only a lump, it's only a bad back, it's only a headache.

It’s only a funeral.

It's only Christmas.

It's only a gym, it's only a family business, it's only a job, it's only a marriage, it's only a roof over your head.

It's only your bills, it's only your past, your present and your future.

It’s only your degree.

It’s only your family abroad.

It’s only teenagers.

It’s only young people.

It’s only the old.

It's only arrows in the supermarket, it's only a squirt of hand sanitiser, as you go in.

It's only a Perspex screen, it's only a one in, one out, policy.

It's only a nightclub, it's only a football match, it's only a mask.

It's only proof that you've been vaccinated.

It’s only a health pass, it’s only temporary, it’s only permanent.

It's only essential shops, it's only the difference between travelling the world and not.

It's only a request, it's only a mandate, it's only the law.

It's only for your own good, it's only for the best.

It’s only for you.

It’s only for others.

It's only three weeks, it's only a mask.

It's only a Zoom meeting, rather than face-to-face, it's only a zoom lesson, rather than being in the classroom.

It’s only a playground, a tennis court, a swimming pool.

It’s only a cup of coffee on a park bench.

It's only a cancelled event.

It's only your opinion, it's only the science, it's only advice, it's only an order.

It's only a small march, it's only a conspiracy theory, it's only a journalist, it's only a troublemaker.

It's only democracy, it's only a vote, it's only your rights, it's only the Nuremberg code, it's only freedom.

It's only history, it's only our values, it's only what others fought for.

It’s only the next three weeks, it's only next year, it's only forever.

Except, it’s only one life.

And only one chance to live it.