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Tuesday, 24th March 2020

If we stay calm and act responsibly we can beat the virus

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Social distancing signage at the entrance to Bettystown Beach which was packed over the weekend, especially on Sunday.

Louth County Council boss Joan Martin has an unfortunate knack for getting people’s backs up. Yesterday she said that social distancing wasn’t the Council’s responsibility and that people should take responsibility for themselves.

On the face of it this may seem to be a stark and uncaring statement for someone in her position to come out with but it was said in the context of a mountain of work that has dropped on to her desk in the couple of weeks since the Covid-19 crisis erupted.

It was perhaps tactless of her to say it but actually Ms Martin has a point. We must all take responsibility for ourselves, our families and the more vulnerable people in our midst. The Council or the Government can’t do everything for us.

We must all try to carry on as best we can in these strange times of self-isolation and cocooning and that means applying a bit of common sense.

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By now everyone knows about the importance of keeping a distance between yourself and other people. It’s not a very difficult concept to grasp.

Stay at least two metres from other people so that the virus cannot be spread either to you or from you, keep washing your hands and, don’t go out unless you really have to. You are safest in your own home so stay there as far as possible. It’s not rocket science but it seems a lot of people just can’t grasp the concept.

Obviously we all need to leave the house to get some fresh air and exercise, in fact it’s important that we do so if we’re not in isolation for infection reasons, but let’s put a bit of thought into where and when we go.

A walk around the block is as good as anywhere else but keep away from crowded places, it’s just plain silly to drive to a crowded beach in a bid to avoid other people!

The grim TV footage coming out of Spain and Italy should be enough though, to convince us all that this virus is something we want to avoid at all costs.

Let’s not start the blame game, that achieves nothing, and neither does panicking.

We are social creatures though, we love the company of others and we really miss not being able so socialise. Thankfully we are lucky to have technology by which we can chat with our friends and family whether they are down the street or on the far side of the world.

My wife and I receive regular videos and videos via WhatsApp of our granddaughter who lives in England. We really love getting them and it brings us so much closer, even though we can’t physically visit her for a while.

So, it’s time for everyone to think for themselves, to basically “Cop On” to the situation. Take care of yourselves and your loved ones, keep an eye out for your vulnerable neighbours and please follow the instructions and advice of the HSE and other authorities.

It seems very likely that stricter controls will be imposed in the very near future so hunker down, find ways to keep yourself and your family occupied, and above all, stay safe.

This article was written by Andy Spearman

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