What a difference a few weeks make? We are truly living through history. It’s hard to believe that this virus has effectively brought to a halt much of the world.
Here in Ireland we are not too many weeks into it. We watched in dismay as it took hold in China and Italy and for the most part we seem to have learned many lessons, with the shock announcement last week that all schools and colleges were to close immediately and a couple of days later all pubs. Never before and hopefully, never again, will we see such measures taken. We are a small country of just under 5 million people and in the past week over 140,000 have lost their jobs with more to follow, yet people are not complaining… yet anyway, as the government have introduced payment benefits for those affected, a reduction of income for everyone, but better than nothing. Banks have also put a hold on mortgages and loan repayments for three months.
Currently our numbers affected are low, at 541, but it was shocking to hear that there might be as many as 15,000 by the end of the month, although it is important to note that everyone presenting with symptoms is being tested in this country, so numbers may eventually seem high but will be accurate.
While there is much to be upset and anxious over about this virus and it’s effects on our everyday life, it seems to have brought out the best in us. With such a rise in numbers expected, a call was put out to those who have retired and others who might be in a position to help to please come forward, which resulted in 24,000 signing up in one day. Supermarkets have designated special hours every day for the elderly and at risk to shop. Villages and sports clubs are doing shopping and checking in on those who are vulnerable and as we walk, socially distant from one another, there are smiles and hellos as we pass.
Here, in my own home it has meant that all my family have returned home, two because they are student’s, one because she is a teacher and one because he has been asked to work from home. Yer man is on reduced hours and I’m trying to get my head around all the changes and continue to write my book. We are not going out, except to shop or go for a walk. My ‘kids’ have rediscovered the WII and are playing board games, which is almost as dangerous as the virus. I have discovered I am too competitive to enjoy either, especially since, despite my best efforts, I have not been on winning form!
I hope you and your families stay safe in the months ahead. I’m sure some of us will be hugely tested, but fingers crossed we will all get through and return to our normal lives once more.