Ryan Tubridy used his opening monologue on Friday's Late Late Show to rally people around the country - and the world - in the fight against Covid-19.

He said: "If I may, to ask you to just maybe park all of the noise, and park all of the chaos of the week just over here, and let me for a minute just say this... Because essentially, we're at a crossroads. We're at a crossroads in this country tonight, and the plain fact is we're going to go one way or the other. It's a very simple choice.

"Covid will either run out of control in the coming days, or Covid will be suppressed. That's the choice. It's grim, I know. And, if I'm honest with you, I'm as fed up with it all as you are, believe me.

"But here's the thing: all of you watching tonight, from every home, in every townland, in every village, in every city, in every county and in every province of Ireland has the power to decide where we go, and where we go from here.

"You did it once before, don't forget that. You decided that you didn't want Covid to savage any more of our beautiful grandparents, or to overwhelm our hospital wards. You decided that you didn't want Covid to play Russian roulette with the lives of our healthcare workers. You decided that you didn't want the schools to stay shut in September. And they didn't. A million children went back to school because you decided that was the priority. And you made that happen by your choices and by your actions.

"And now, as the saying goes, winter is coming. And the graph is going in the wrong direction. And really badly. At the rate that Covid's currently spreading in our communities, we're facing into the spectre of days and nights on hard chairs in A&Es across the country because the hospital beds are full with Covid patients. The spectre of intensive care beds filling up with the sick and the vulnerable. The spectre of more friendless funerals, more needless goodbyes, more hurt and more sadness.

"So what I'm saying is, please don't catch it. Please don't pass it on. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Wear the wretched mask, for God's sake. I'm saying this, not because I read a press release, or because I watched a news report or any of this. I'm saying this because... Being frank about it, right? I got the phone call, I got that horrible phone call that says, 'Bad news, Ryan, you're Covid positive'. It freaked me out. It was awful. 

"Now, I'm not trying to be a hero there; I'm simply telling you I was one of the people. And Covid is a lottery, I've discovered this. Because I had it and I didn't need to be hospitalised. I was really lucky. But another Irishman [Dr Syed Waqqar Ali], pretty much my age, who caught it not long after me, suffered horribly for three months. And he died on a ventilator with his wife and his children crying at his bedside. And his daughter [Dr Samar Fatima Ali] sat on that couch two weeks ago and she told us how he suffered as Covid ravaged him. Her family are broken. Absolutely devastated by his death. And I can't help asking, 'What was the difference between him and me?' And the answer, I realise, is nothing. And until we understand how Covid works, it's a lottery. So why would you take the risk? 

"This thing has driven a stake through the heart of who we are and how we live our lives for over six months now. And we're all putting a brave face on it. But allow yourself to smile when I tell you that this will end. It doesn't feel like it sometimes - it's exasperating. It's existential. It's challenging. But it will end, I promise you. 

"Until then, I beseech you: please don't let those early sacrifices that we all made so willingly - with pride, with humour and with honour - to be in vain. And don't let the over 2,000 [sic] lives already lost from this desperate, desperate thing on this island be in vain. Don't stop washing your hands. Don't stop keeping your distance. Don't stop wearing the masks. Don't throw in the towel. Don't give up on it.

"The vaccine is coming. We're almost there, I'm sure of it. It's a case of... hold."  

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