A month is a long time, an advert on the February 27th Naked Scientists podcast was run by the Local Enterprise Office here in Ireland for “Local Enterprise Week” at the beginning of March to “help local business grow in 2020”. I wonder will people become wary of meeting others after this pandemic is over? I’m slowly catching up on my podcast backlog. Many are being recorded at home or even on a park bench as happened with the March 16th episode of Planet Money.
Schools in Ireland closed on March 12th, so we’ve been at home since then. New restrictions were introduced on March 27th, as summarised by Gavin Sheridan:
Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced:
1. For two weeks, to April 12, everyone to stay at home in all circumstances (except essential services, shopping, medicines, care for relatives, brief exercise)
2. All public and private gatherings of any number of people banned.
3. All non-essential shops closed.
4. All community centres closed.
5. Shielding introduced to all over 70s.
6. All visits to offshore islands banned.
7. No travel outside of 2km of your home (except reasons above), for any reason.
It has made a noticeable difference. I haven’t left Blarney since then. Even before that I had curtailed how much I walk but now it’s a quick walk around the park with the dog in the morning and evening. Pokemon Go gyms have been relatively stable. There’s one by the River Martin that hadn’t been attacked for over 100 days until mid-March but because more people were staying “close by” they were walking down there. That has stopped now and the gym hasn’t been touched in 7 days.
Blarney Woollen Mills is blocked off, but you could still get in to the grounds there if you hopped over a low wall. One of the gyms in there remains untouched after 15 days!
Blarney Castle Garden was open until a few days ago, but the new restrictions closed them.
Dave Bolger created a site called 2kmfromhome.com where you can find out how far you can exercise. Simply launch it on your phone and allow it access to your location. It will then display a map around you with a circle where you can go.
Work on the construction site across the road from my home has ground to a halt which we’re grateful for. The road outside is still clogged with dust and of course they never clean it up properly.
PPE, Personal Protective Equipment, is a phrase that has entered everyday language. Every country has shortages of it but Aer Lingus are flying to China to pick up PPE worth millions of Euro.
If I remember correctly the Government expects to buy €225 million of it over the next months. Unfortunately the latest flight had to return and make an emergency landing after a bird strike.
People are queuing outside shops because the stores have limited how many people are allowed in at one time. Going shopping is stressful. People jump back from you if you get too close. This thread on Reddit compares it to a survival game.
Last Week Tonight was filmed at home. Other American talk shows are too. Ryan Tubridy presented a couple of episodes of The Late Late Show without a studio audience but a few days ago it was reported he had tested positive for Covid-19. Miriam O’Callaghan took over last week’s show. Irish radio shows are being recorded at home. My wife rang the bank this morning. The woman she spoke to is working from home and thought it was weird. She’ll get used to it.
In a sure sign that people are getting used to this new normal some on Twitter were worried that bots were congratulating and supporting the government on everything they do. I somehow doubt that’s happening and others have pointed out that it’s really hard to get a Twitter username without trailing numbers unless you come up with something unusual. I bet there are a whole lot of new Twitter users now looking for the latest news.
Fine Gael are no saints and they’ve made lots of mistakes in the past but they deserve our support at this time.
Even Jim Corr, he who fights the New World Order and the evils of 5G had choice words for Paddy Cosgrave who is repeating all sorts of nonsense and lies. Quite a moment.
There are two many cases where people have spat at Gardai and told them they are infected. A father and son in Cork did this and were arrested. A woman in Dublin did the same.
I saw on Twitter this morning that a 13 year old boy died of Covid-19 in London. Heartbreaking. 🙁
If you have a few minutes write a letter to Andrew McGinley. In January he found his 3 children dead in the family home. His wife was found nearby and has been charged with their murders. Andrew is feeling the effects of isolation.
He is getting lots of post but this one just breaks my heart.
Amidst all that WordPress 5.4 was released. Yay!
FYI – the first case of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland was reported in late February, with the first case in the Republic two days later on February 29th.
News from Italy is still dire but they seem to be slowly flattening the curve there. 17 more died in Ireland yesterday from the virus. 🙁