Personal

Let’s Go The Social Distance

The good weather and bad-example are putting the lockdown — and us — in-danger

Jesus wept — tell me social distancing and the lockdown aren’t screwed.

And thousands, even millions of us are not in more danger than ever.

Say hello, second wave goodbye!

We who have managed to escape the Covid-19 thing and maybe will not be as lucky this time, beseech you!

Tell us … me … we’re not going to muck it all up now.

A blue-sky bank holiday weekend had them leaping and frolicking all over our Irish beaches, and boisterous crowds swaggering, arm in arm down our summer villages …

Second wave … third wave … how many waves building as we twitter and tweet in indignation at the scientists supposedly holding back the tide of a return to pre-pandemic bliss, or in the warm post-coital glow of self-regarding post-George-Floyd-protest sanctimony?

G Floyd protest Trafalgar
George Floyd protest meeting on Trafalgar Square in London

Just in case, let me virtue signal my disgust at all police violence and the endemic racism relating to the brutally cruel killing of George Floyd.

I’m talking, rather, about the social distancing disaster that was the organising and marshalling of these protests.

But it was happening anyway. The push against the lockdown, and the easily observable flouting of social distancing.

A blue-sky bank holiday weekend had them leaping and frolicking all over our Irish beaches, and boisterous crowds swaggering, arm in arm down our summer villages …

And the pictures from abroad didn’t look so good either.

Wonder were they turning them away in their droves from Barnard Castle now that Dominic Cummings has put it on the map?

Barnard Castle Cummings
Cartoonist Pugh of the Daily Mail has a go at cartoonish Cummings

Or is it only those with defective vision who are allowed to drive there now?

What idiot would wish another spike in the figures just to say we told you so?

Nonetheless, the lockdown has been looking pretty shaky in these here parts for some time.

And this was well before those Floyd marches drew the recklessly righteous out in global numbers that dwarfed the infamous Cheltenham Festival throngs, or the misguided Liverpool-Atletico Madrid match hordes.

The weather was stunning all over Ireland this Bank Holiday weekend gone, and social media was lepping with videos of the sweltering multitudes in full-on holiday mode.

Salthill
Salthill beach near Galway city at the weekend

But well before that, just walking around our own town, there were the packs of teenagers messing around in the local park, jumping off the pier in the harbour, and plenty of adults bursting the two-metre rule wide open.

I had a real gallows laugh to myself early this morning as I walked out with Lily and Bella under yet another clear blue sky, me in T-shirt and shorts already.

The Cummings fiasco hardly helped people to take the government lead on things seriously, when key figures can flout the rules, and their leader stands by him.

Walking back towards the house, up the narrow, fenced walkway, I noticed our friendly neighbour from across the way walking towards us. Spotting us, he deftly veered right onto the well-worn pathway that runs through the open green area behind our houses.

So respectful. Perfect social distancing and etiquette.

All fine except the previous evening we had seen the same guy practically bouncing off the group of lads that were with heading with him towards the village. They were in high old form and the social distance between each of them would have been perfect, relatively speaking, if they were gnats.

The radio and TV heads are at it too. More and more blowhards belittling the government experts advising that, despite the sharp drop in death and contamination figures, we should nonetheless maintain the lockdown and the social distancing, as we are not out of this yet.

People like Michael O’Leary pushing the economic argument.

Mike O'Leary strait
Strait-talking Michael O’Leary of Ryanair

Anyone with half a brain is aware of the financial implications of the lockdown, and the closed pubs, shops and restaurants and the rest.

But the message has been that we are in a crisis situation and we have to be safe, and know we are safe, before we can begin to pick up the social and economic pieces.

And history has warned us time and again of the terrible dangers of second wave epidemics.

And it has warned us what can happen when the influential money men lean on the politicians, and get businesses running before the all-clear.

If even one person dies as the result of a business resuming prematurely, despite the warnings, is the person who brought about this premature return to work responsible for that death?

I would think yes, but that’s not how these things work, is it?

It just never seems to be the Michael O’Learys of this world who are held directly to account when something bad that they have at least influenced happens. 

The Covid-19 is a strange illness because as we know, even those who have it might show no symptoms, and many who get it  do not need hospital treatment.

Officially, we are taking it seriously because of its severe effects on a minority.

And the weeks go on there will be people suffering financially or emotionally because of the lockdown who will want — and maybe even need — to see this whole business as an exaggeration, or some kind of weird media manipulation thing.

Heaven knows, the Cummings fiasco hardly helped people to take the government lead on things seriously, when key figures can flout the rules, and their leader stands by him. 

And that guy the other day fixing our washing-machine, and me dancing around him as he worked away. Telling me he thought it was all the media exaggerating the whole thing, and sure isn’t living full of risk everyday?

Yes, you want to risk your neck, flout and belittle all you like, but maybe a bit of regard for us who won’t see it like that.

Okay, you’re right, I am maybe virtue signalling here. My blog, my words, and I can feel the righteous indignation wafting off the screen.

Look, all I am saying is I’m frustrated, I’m fed up of this pandemic business too, and yes, I’m lucky so far in that I have been able to work from home, but I’m worried.

Maybe if I was not earning, I would be pushing harder for a return to work now, and begrudgingly supporting Mr Ryanair O’Leary’s position, and agreeing with Lord Michael Smurfit talking down from his Monaco tower giving out about the economic folly of the total lockdown.

But I would seriously hope not.

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45 comments on “Let’s Go The Social Distance

  1. It’s the same here, the voices of the rich and powerful are drip feeding into the ears of the government, who are also rich and powerful. Our government has said it is following the science – until that becomes inconvenient, of course. Then we go back to being herd members to be sacrificed to build immunity. Our PM often says he is relying on the common sense of the British people: if we had that collective common sense he wouldn’t even be the PM.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s starting to get a bit messy, isn’t it, Clive? Here and in Britain, it seems. At least BJ hasn’t dabbled in overt fascism … yet. Not like that dangerous buffoon across the Atlantic!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Isn’t it just! I think BJ has those tendencies, but is better controlled. So far…

        Like

  2. We need a vaccine ASAP, and sooner than that would be preferable.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. One of the things I appreciate about blogging is being able to hear from bloggers around the world and not just in my own country. It is enlightening and enriching. Your words about the second wave are certainly concerning a nd it is scary to see pictures of beachgoers and protestors who have thrown caution to the wind. Thanks for sharing.
    Michele Somerville, The Beach Girl Chronicles

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Michele, I enjoy that aspecy so miuch too: conversing wiht people in America and Australia, and not just that, different parts of such far away places. And what strikes is beyond the obvious surface differences, we are all concerned about the same things. Especially true at this time

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s weird and deeply unsettling watching the chaos on the other side of the world. I’m in Australia and things are beginning to settle here – covid wise – although there are a few breakouts. After the madness that saw crowds descend on Bondi Beach early in the piece, most people have tended to do the right thing. As the daily reported cases dropped, though, so too did the vigilance. At the height of it I found myself being quite judgey about those who weren’t doing the right thing mainly because I wanted to hold onto those freedoms we did have left. The next waves concern me and while I hope we’re not loosening things to early, I suppose it is a fine balancing act. Like you, though, I write from a position of full-time work from home and are fully aware of how fortunate I am.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Jo, I suppose it is only human to want to break out of the cocoon, and get back to normality … especialy when the weather is good. And many are really feeling the pinch, no doubt, with so many businesses and liverihoods affected. I realise i sound judgey, as you ut it, and truth is, I am! But I suppose it’s more cause I am worried about how it will all pan out. Thanks for commenting

      Liked by 1 person

      • It certainly is only human. It’s definitely made us appreciate what we considered as normal.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. In some past epidemics, the second wave infected more than twice as many people as the first. This may or may not be what happens next, but I’m continuing to take as much care as I can.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m just glad that it’s not all of the UK following the advice of the British government. In England, they seem to have gone relaxing restrictions far too fast and all at the same time (and I think most of us will agree it’s a ploy to get the Cummings story off the front pages). Here in Wales, they’re relaxing restrictions a tiny bit at a time. At the moment, we’re still not allowed to travel more than 5 miles, and unlike in England, the only shops still open are the supermarkets and chemists. However, it didn’t stop the hoards making their way to the beaches and beauty spots over the weekend (most of whom had forgotten what the words ‘social distancing’ mean). I expect many at the beach were looking for that second wave.
    I’m staying at home and watching the numbers over the coming weeks. I’m sure the Westminster government will soon be pointing the finger and trying to blame somebody else. Have they run out of scientist they can blame yet? Who next, I wonder?
    Stay safe.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I like your line about the beach crowd looking for that second wave, Hugh! Officially, we have been relaxing restrictions a bit, but the good weather seems to bring out the idiot in a lot of people, as regards social distancing. Keep well

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Enda – I think there are far too many entitled people in the world today. It covers every race, religion, nationality, and financial level – everyone believes they’re entitled to live life their way without any repercussions – and then they throw their hands in the air and deny responsibility when the consequences rain down.
    I would love to see the kinder and more humane world we were all promised – the one where we considered others before ourselves and made an effort to suck it up a little bit for the greater good. That all seems to have disappeared along with the teddies and rainbows – humanity makes me sad sometimes.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Leanne, I think we see the good and the bad of people — and in ourselves — at a time like this. This and events in America, if any good can come out of it all, that people may actually reflect on their opinions and attitudes, and even a small shift can change so much. We can hope! Thank you for your comment

      Like

  8. Christie Hawkes

    It’s the same here in the U.S., Enda. You see pictures of the protests and vacation hot spots, and people are shoulder to shoulder. I support the careful reopening of some businesses, if people don’t throw caution to the wind. But that’s a problem, it appears that for many people it’s all or nothing! I have begun getting out to a few public places where they appear to be enforcing social distancing. They screen me when I come in and have me wash my hands. They seem to be doing lots of sanitizing, and the new acrylic shields and masks are everywhere. I know it’s not perfect, but it’s the best I can do right now. #MLSTL

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, it does seem kind of all or nothing for some, Christie … like some just don’t believe it anymore, or feel invulnerable … or something. It’s like you get some places doing the hand sanitizing thing, fine, but then the customers reach across you in the fruit aisle, and generally abandon the social distance

      Like

  9. Our stats are really good in Australia with thanks to the politicians who shut the borders and locked us down swifty. My state is still very strict with border closures. I do worry about a second wave but it’s highly unlikely unless it comes from beyond our borders. I won’t be travelling anywhere anytime soon

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Hi Enda, The concept of “second wave” is definitely in the air. I think we are all concerned about the “social distancing disaster” with the protests. Also a huge concern about the beaches and “holiday mode.” Your post resonates with many. I like Michele Somerville’s comment on hearing perspectives from around the world. Sharing on #MLSTL and on SM

    Liked by 2 people

  11. In total agreement with you Enda. I am worried about this second wave which seems inevitable. We have stuck to the restrictions. Our eldest son lives 30 km away and we haven’t seen him in three months.
    Our youngest contracted Covid 19, took sick on 14th March, tested 17th, confirmed positive on 19th. He is young (21), fit and healthy, sick for just over a week, and made a full recovery. We kept him isolated within the house and we stayed in isolation ourselves for the two weeks. No one else in the household was affected, thankfully. We followed the guidelines. We continue to follow the guidelines, they are there for a reason, to keep us safe. But…I understand the frustration. It is difficult to stay home, especially in that lovely weather. At this stage, I long to see the coast.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow that was some ordeal, Maria, both for your youngest and for you. It’s just a pity that more people cannot just follow the guidelines. We are lucky we live beside the sea! Keep safe

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I am worried about a second wave too. I was watching the TV about people on beaches and having days out and was shouting idiots! My family and I are in no rush to get back to “normal”. I want to stay in our safe bubble for as long as possible. x

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I hope there is not a second wave. I do understand that people are finding it difficult to be cooped up. It’s a shame they all decide to go to the same places. We live in the countryside and it really isn’t hard to social distance. Days out don’t have to be all about the beaches and well known tourist spots. Den making in the woods, for instance, while social distancing, will entertain the children just as well. I question the UK Government’s motives, but I think people can help themselves too. Maybe, just maybe then we can get the figures down. #wotw

    Liked by 1 person

  14. All I can add is that the more people insist on not following the guidelines, the longer I will be cooped up at home. I can’t risk going out. I really hope there isn’t a second wave but it does seem that no-one really cares anymore they just want their lives back. #wotw

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The thought of a second wave worries me too and we’re still very much staying close to home and following the guidelines as much as possible. It’s so difficult though – people struggle a lot with lockdown and social distancing and while it reduces the risk of getting Covid-19, there is a big impact on mental health too. I find the beach thing an interesting one though – I don’t live near a beach but on the rare times I’ve been at the beach on a busy hot summer’s day, I would say that we are well over 2m away from others outside our group apart from the queue for the loos and cafe so social distancing on a busy beach is possible. That said, we’re avoiding going places that I know will be busy and mostly enjoying the sunshine from our back garden. #WotW

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes the social distancing thing is getting harder … understandably so, but it it is a worry. ew aere so lucky to have some nioce places nearby

      Like

  16. mhm I think overall people are abiding by the rules, that’s at least as much as I can see from my corner of the world – although everybody is fed up with strict restrictions which have now thankfully and inevitably been lifted – the travel distance one the most difficult for most I think… #dreamteamlinky

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Part of the problem over here is that unless people have personally experienced a loss of someone due to Covid there is still this idea that its all a made up thing to practice control or some other bullshit that I never really understood. The amount of fake science being shared around is astounding. Stay safe buddy. #KCACOLS

    Liked by 2 people

    • You too, Jeremy. It really is mad to see how much social distancing aorund our own area has broken down. It’s like, as you say, unless people have had direct experience, they no longer believe, or want to believe, in the need for social distancing and all the rest

      Like

  18. Where I live right now, everything is back to normal because there is no Covid spread within our community. But commercial flights in and out still are in debate. And with this new protest going on, i don’t know when the world can become normal again. Or we must say chaos is the new normal now. Wonder if there is anything else happened til the rest of the year. #DreamteamLinky #KCACOLS

    Liked by 2 people

  19. It has amazed me to see how quickly we descend into chaos! I for one will be avoiding the beach and shops for sometime! Who knows what will show up next to test us all! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

    Liked by 2 people

  20. If you picture a chiwawa with it’s teeth out ready to chop something… chattering and hissing, that’s actually me when it comes to people breaking the social distancing rules. It might be a bit out spoken to say, but it makes me blimmin furious when I see crowds of people, big groups of teens ambling along, packs drinking in the parks, joggers getting way too close to us as we do our daily walk and so on. We’ve worked so so so hard to keep up self isolating, social distancing, home schooling, working from home and not seeing anyone… to have it all ripped away with a second wave that starts up because selfish people won’t follow the rules. Ekk! You’ve totally got me started. LOL! I think I might just retreat to my bubble of safety. Thank you for joining us for the #DreamTeamLinky- as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I am definitely worried about a second spike. In the UK lockdown is easing in a ridiculous way: I can go to the shops with hundreds of strangers from Monday but not go inside my parents’ house. Thanks for linking up with #dreamteamlinky

    Liked by 1 person

  22. This is one of those times I really hope I am wrong, but with the images of protests, crowded beaches and having seen my local park I am very worried that we won’t even get a chance to properly come out of lockdown before we get sent right back in! #DreamTeamLinky

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I do wonder how our economies (Australia and UK) are so fragile that we can’t survive 2-3 months lockdown but ebola countries seem to be able to lockdown regularly. I can’t help thinking we’re actually a house of cards and it’s all a facade (our govt lied last budget and we were actually going into recession back then, confirmed by the RBA so with the fires, we were well and truly on our economic knees prior to COVID). I’m worried about the second wave. But we’re allowing 10, 000 people to the footy, who will be drunk and won’t wear masks, so while the protestors worry me (particular on the transport to and from the march where they may not be in their masks), the footy (and casino) worry me more…#KCACOLS

    Like

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  26. Rachel Day

    I’ve been ashamed of the U.K. approach
    😞
    Fortunately I’ve been trapped in lockdown in Spain. Where things have been taken more seriously with a strict lockdown and now a planned phased return to a new ‘normal’

    Let hope the British tourism doesn’t bring about a second wave over here.
    #kcacols

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Rachel … it really does seem to be in trouble around where I .ive in north Dublin. I hope it doesn’t either lead to a new wave

      Like

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