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Cork Independent


A reimagining (with constraints)

Thursday, 14th May, 2020 11:46am

It’s not often that we get the chance to do things over, to see if we can change things and make them better.

Uncertain and scary as it is at the moment, the global Covid-19 pandemic gives us a chance to do just that.

Things will forever be different as a result of what has happened so far. In Ireland, many lives have been lost and that is a huge tragedy. The friends and family of those who are gone have been profoundly touched by this.

Hundreds of thousands more of us are working from home or not working at all, as the businesses they work at have been forced to close. Some workers are preparing to return to work, while others have been working flat out since before the disease even hit Ireland.

Some people are heading back to work soon. Some are delighted to be doing so, others may not be able to. Some may have no childcare and so they cannot go back to work. Others may not feel comfortable putting themselves at risk, especially if they have an underlying condition or are at high risk.

Other ways of living, our ways of interacting with other people, including our close family have been severely impacted. This has been a profound change in countless ways, which may last for some time.

Children haven’t been to school for months and there’s no prospect of them having school or returning to creches for months. The full effects will not be known for a long while.

However, things are going in the right direction at least.

On Tuesday night it was announced that 24 people with Covid-19 have died in this country, bringing the overall death toll to 1,488.

107 more coronavirus cases have also been diagnosed, so the number of confirmed cases was 23,242 on Tuesday. However, 107 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 is the lowest daily increase since 21 March.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “We are continuing to examine the progress of the disease and though we are still making progress, which is giving us real encouragement, we need to keep going. We still have 70 people in ICU and over 500 people in hospital. We have more work to do,” he added.

Dr Holohan also said: “We recommend against non-essential travel outside of the island. We don't want to see Irish people planning to head abroad on holidays and then have to come back into the country where we're in a position where we might be contemplating some additional restrictions that might have to apply to those people.”

This at least should mean that most of us who want to and can holiday this summer will do so in Ireland, giving valuable business to a devastated hospitality sector and in the process re-discovering the beauty of our own country.

At the risk of sounding like an old timer, in the ‘80s, I remember holidaying in West Cork when it seemed full of people in the summer. Into the late ‘90s, it never felt like that and caravan parks became much smaller and emptier and some seaside towns took on an air of desolation, even in summer.

It would be great if people returned to the places that were so popular before air travel became so cheap.

Recently it was announced that Ireland’s first horse trail, the Beara Bridle Way, has been completed in West Cork (see page 6).

The Beara Bridle Way will allow visitors to take in the stunning landscape of the Beara Peninsula on horseback - a lovely idea which is another attraction to a stunning area.

Of course, us Corkonians wouldn’t want it to be too popular, too many holiday-makers from other counties would only spoil our holidays down west!

Stay safe everyone and keep up the good work!

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