Lockdown like never before

Jessica Woodlock

Gone are the days of lounging about for hours on end and taking somewhat peaceful five kilometre walks with your family. Now, with level five restrictions well and truly among us and the clear lack of sunshine apparent, it is fair to say that this lockdown has completely different challenges.

Despite the rampant uncertainty surrounding the country about whether or not we will be able to curb this virus for a second time, we are in a better position than we were in the first lockdown according to Mairead Twohig, Quality and Patient Safety Officer in the HSE.

“The first lockdown was based on a virus we knew very little about. It basically closed down everything in an effort to reduce the spread. Now, only non-essential businesses have closed and things like education and childcare remain open which is brilliant. We are far more in control now compared to March,” Twohig told The College View.

People should still remain vigilant in following government restrictions, but if they do fall ill hospitals are more equipped to deal with it.

“We have a much better knowledge of the virus this time around in terms of how it spreads and how to control it. We have better staffing and equipment available such as ventilators in hospitals,” Twohig said.

It is a comforting thought that our health sector, although struggling, is capable for this pandemic, however it does not take away from the fact that this time around, our mental health could be the victim.

March and the following summer months were scary. However they also brought a sense of stillness, family time and what now feels like a calm before the storm.

This lockdown is proving more difficult due to the fact that schools, colleges and work  have resumed apace. We seem to have very little time on our hands when we are not on our laptop screens and what little time we do have cannot be spent with our friends or basking in the sun.

It is important to remember that while this is a different level five than that of the past, it is brought about for the same reason – to curb the pandemic and save the health and lives of many in our country.

This also applies to our mental health, which is why the government’s announcement that visits can be made to older people on compassionate grounds, is a welcome one nationwide.

In what little hours of sunshine we have it is important to go outside, exercise and enjoy some screen free time. Perhaps even rewatch Tiger King for a nostalgic blast from the past.

Don’t get too burdened down with work or assignments. It’s important to remember that it was merely months ago that, quite literally, everything stopped. When it came down to it, nothing else mattered apart from your wellbeing.

Jessica Woodlock

Image Credit: Logan Weaver on Unsplash