In recent months, the entire world has felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As governments have introduced strict guidelines to stop the spread of the virus, we have all needed to adapt very quickly to life in lockdown. We’re taking a look at the rules in Ireland and offering some tips to keep yourself entertained in isolation.
The Need for Lockdown
COVID-19 is the most recently-discovered form of coronavirus. It emerged at the beginning of 2020 in Wuhan, China and very quickly spread across the globe. The Republic of Ireland recorded its first case of COVID-19 on 29 February 2020. Since then, at the time of writing, there have been more than 20,000 recorded cases.
Given the speed and severity of the pandemic, there is unquestionably a need for drastic action to halt the virus’ spread.
As a result, schools and colleges in Ireland have been closed since 12 March. Soon afterwards, the nation’s pubs were instructed to close their doors. Unprecedented new regulations followed quickly thereafter, leading to the closure of theatres, clubs, gyms, hairdressers, and many other non-essential businesses. St Patrick’s Day celebrations across the country were swiftly cancelled too.
So far, restrictions to social activity in the Republic of Ireland have been extended until at least 5th May 2020 by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Meanwhile, the UK government has given no indication of when the national lockdown in Great Britain and Northern Ireland might be lifted. However, life in lockdown is still far from the norm.
Guidelines for Ireland
For the time being, the government guidance is that everyone should stay at home. You must not go out except in certain circumstances. In the Republic of Ireland, these include:
- travelling to and from work, where the work is an essential service
- working in an essential shop, bank, or post office
- to buy food, medicines and other health products for yourself, your family or someone who is vulnerable or ‘cocooning’
- to attend medical appointments
- for vital family reasons including caring for children, elderly or vulnerable people but excluding social family visits
- to exercise within 2 kilometres of your house. You cannot exercise with people from outside your household.
If you find that you are struggling to live independently at home, it may be time to think about whether you could benefit from a Lifeline alarm.
Life in Lockdown: keeping active
In light of the pandemic, it is important than ever to look after your health. With this in mind, here are a few things you can do to keep moving in self-isolation:
- Walking – if you feel able to go for a walk outside, be sure to maintain a safe distance from others around you and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water when you return home.
- Yoga – whether you are a novice or an expert, there are plenty of tutorials and guided sessions available online. YouTube is an excellent source of guidance for yogis of all levels.
- Chair Exercises – many older people face mobility issues, but worry not. From leg raises to bicep curls there are plenty of low-impact exercises which can make all the difference.
Life in Lockdown: keeping boredom at bay
We all understand the importance of staying physically active, but an active mind is equally important. It is especially easy for the boredom to creep into life in lockdown. Here are just a few suggestions of ways to occupy your time:
- Pick up a book, a great way of keeping the mind and imagination active.
- Exercise regularly
- Get creative and make something. Why not try drawing the view from your window or writing the next bestseller?
- Keep your mind sharp with puzzles e.g. crosswords, jigsaws, and sudoku.
- Watch films, TV shows, or listen to music. Netflix is a great place to start for movies for all genres.
- Make use of technology to stay in touch with your loved ones, wherever they may be.
We hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy during this crisis.
If you are worried about your health, or that of a loved one, a Lifeline Alarm can offer reassurance and peace of mind. Please call 1 800 937543 to find out more. One of our friendly advisors will be happy to answer any questions you may have.