My business life mostly revolves around this book. It contains dates, names, locations, prices, directions, phone numbers, eircodes and lots of other randomness. Yes, there are some blank pages but lately, less so – until this date.
The first time I became aware of the impending impact of the Covid19 virus was in Tesco on the day before this date. We decided to pop into the shop to pick up a few things – it should have been a regular Thursday, but it wasn’t.
The shop was packed and people had their trollies piled high. The fruit and veg section looked like a stampede had just passed through. I never realised that onions were so popular. 🙂
Many of the shelves were emptied. I wouldn’t describe it as panic buying – more like people were getting that little bit extra – just in case.
Especially in the toilet roll section – why there was a run on this is beyond me. (Insert joke about bodily functions here)
Thankfully, the wine counter was still well stocked but with the bars closed now, it may not remain so. Where there’s a wine, there’s a way. (apologies for the crap joke)
Over the following few days, these signs started appearing on most bars, restaurants and hotels. It reminded me how during the 17th century, a plague cross was painted on the door of a house infected with the Black Death. But that’s probably a bit morbid.
The streets got quieter …
Public buildings and spaces closed …
Some business that remained open introduced measures to keep people apart. A local butcher shop had a line of ticker tape to keep customers away from the staff and are only allowing 2 people in at a time.
Social media was full of inaccurate and scaremongering news but trustworthy and up to date info can be got from RTE and the HSE. These organisations kept the public advised on what was happening and what they could do to help each other out.
Proper hand washing, personal hygiene and social distancing was promoted. It was great to see many adhere to this new normal but there are still some that don’t. I think it’s only right if we have to remind each other of this whenever we feel the need.
The leisure complex at Lough Lannagh was repurposed as a test centre for the virus. Our thoughts and support go to those health care workers on the frontline. I imagine in time, we may all need to visit one of these places.
Another new normal for many is applying for a social welfare payment. From Friday, March 13th my appointments book is mostly empty. As it stands, hundreds of thousands have and will lose their jobs.
I was made redundant once before – about 10 years ago. One thing I learned from that experience is that things have a way of coming around again – and often, in a better way. I’ve no doubt that there will be many more good days in the future but for now, we will all have to pull together to make it happen.