Hi everyone, we have completed our second episode of All Things In The Middle, The Podcast.
In this episode we discuss the Irish governments 5 phase plan for getting the Irish economy back to work by the middle of August 2020.
As the world’s economies grind to a halt, the numbers of unemployed people continue to rise. Coronavirus cases approach 3,000,000 and the number of deaths is forever rising, now at 200,000. It is times of crisis that require true leadership. Leaders that have integrity and government institutions that stay strong during times of politicisation. It is during this crisis that people have not been given the leadership that is required and the integrity that leaders should have.
It is important however, that during this crisis, people must come together for the common good but we must also hold to account those leaders who have put their political ideology and self-interest before the greater public interest. In the UK, we have seen the Prime Minster didder and delay at the early onset of covid-19. The UK’s government failed to respond effectively in implementing restrictions allowed the UK economy to continue on as if it were a regular business day. The consequences of such inaction have been a high mortality rate. As I write this, there have been 20,000 hospital deaths (possible death toll in the UK is expected to be much higher) related to covid-19. In the month of April, 25 days, the UK has had 18 days were the death toll was greater than 600, of those 18 days, 9 of which has had over 800 deaths.
Boris Johnson and his Cabinet have been heavily criticized for their refusal to be part of the European Union procurement process during the covid-19 pandemic. The decision not to participate was a “political decision”, said Simon McDonald, who is the under secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, during questioning at the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. What he means by a political decision is, the ideology of the brexiter Prime Minister and his cabinet took priority over the practicality and public interest of being part of the process. The hard line brexiter Prime Minister could never be part of an EU programme just weeks after officially leaving the European Union.
The ‘go it alone’ attitude has potentially put many lives at risk in the UK and the delay in bringing in restrictions on movement and restricting large crowds from gathering has progressed the number of deaths and the spread of covid-19.
The Prime Minister attended an international rugby game on March 7th and the following week, the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup went ahead with 3 days of festivities starting March 16th with a crowd of 150,000. These two occasions are central to the understanding of how slow the UK was in taking action and making decisions. Cheltenham has since issued a statement which citied the Prime Ministers attendance at a rugby game a week earlier as one of the reasons the festival went ahead but there’s no doubt that profit making was central to the event going ahead and a sheer disregard for public health.
What is now required is a public inquiry into the decisions that were taken, when they were taken, who knew, who decided on what and why. The high death toll in the UK is a direct consequence of the Boris Johnson government and they should be held responsible.
Hi everyone, my apologies for the lack of posts since December 2019 but with the current situation bringing society to a stop, I am sure you understand. As my title suggests, yes, I have gotten lost in the days. Allow me to explain: In late February, my partner and I travelled to the Philippines to visit his family as this was his first return home since arriving in Ireland some 3 years ago. At the point of our departure, there were no reported cases in Ireland of covid-19 and 1 reported case in the Philippines. Due to the lack of cases in the Philippines, we felt it was safe to continue our journey which had been in the planning for months. I will not go into too much detail regarding our stay in the Philippines as I will write about that another time. This piece of writing is more so about how on our return, I personally have begun to lose track of my days. We arrived back in Dublin, Ireland on March 20th and since that date, I have been confined to my apartment. In mid-March, the Health Service Executive (HSE) issued guidelines that all travellers returning to Ireland should enter self-isolation for 14 days. This was not quarantine so much as it was about limiting the number of people I would have met. For 14 days from March 20th I remained at home, only leaving my apartment on two occasions to buy essentials. While I was in public, I would wear a mask to protect myself from people coughing (In Ireland wearing a mask wasn’t a common thing and to this day it still isn’t), I would also carry alcohol wipes and alcohol gel. I used the wipes to clean shopping trolleys and baskets and the gel was used after leaving the store. During these 14 days of isolating at home, I was able to work from home. My employer provided a laptop, a monitor and other tech essentials. The 14 days at home was not too tough, I worked, I cooked, completed chores, slept and so on. Then came the hard part, the Irish government issued stay at home orders for those who can and those not deemed essential workers, this came into effect from midnight March 27th and would last an initial period of 2 weeks until April 12th. I work in financial services which is deemed an essential sector, however, luckily for me, I was able to remain at home while still working. My presence was not required in the office right now, so I continued to work from home. So, at this point, I am one week into isolation and it is ok. As I mentioned, I’m only back from vacation, I just moved into my apartment on March 23rd so I needed to catch up on work, with friends and family so I had lot to do which kept me busy for that first week.
At this point, I am two weeks into the returning traveller isolation (which means I have completed the 2 weeks), and one week into the governments two week ‘lockdown’ still it is not too tough on me or on us. I am trying to keep busy each day, but repetition is starting to frustrate me because what I do is so limited. In my mind I am planning to attend the office one or two days to break up my week and trick my mind into thinking differently. My partner is due back at work April 4th, two weeks after returning home from vacation in the Philippines. The 4th of April is a day shift for him, and he would begin night shift on the 7th. I need to mention, my partner is a nurse at a major hospital in Dublin.
Tuesday the 8th of April my partner was at work, his second night shift out of seven nights. While in work that night, he is made aware that a colleague is positive for covid-19. He knew then that this was the colleague he worked with on the 4th of April and was advised that he could contract the virus and that I must stay in isolation for 14 days. At this point, it is now 18 days I have been in isolation since returning home and I must extend that for another 12 days. As I write this, I have 3 days remaining in isolation and have been inside my apartment for 27 days! During my new 14 days, my partner was told to continue to attend work and avoid people outside of work. We did not have any symptoms, because my partner had no symptoms, they deemed it safe for him to travel. This period was very nerving, we just did not know if we were going to get ill or if we had the virus but no symptoms. As the days went bye, I began to lose track of them. I began to lose my focus and my motivation. I failed to be productive when I was not on my laptop working. It took me a few days to begin to think clearly. To help me get back to being productive, I began operating my blogs twitter account and the Facebook page I created. I started to share news stories, good news stories, statistics and offer some opinion on the current global situation. This is what has helped me through this time. It is now 12 days since my partner was likely in contact with his colleague and we remain healthy and thankful for that. We still have a few days to complete before we are officially out of isolation. However, since April 12th, the original end date of Irelands lockdown, the government extended the lockdown by another 21 days. This means, staying at home is still advised for those who can and those who must as they may be vulnerable to the situation.
My new goals are to progress my WordPress blog by posting more and discussing with friends about them taking on certain categories to expand the blogs content and readership. Alongside the blog I will increase the content and engagement both on twitter and Facebook. My newest goal is to begin a podcast, it will be the voice of All Things In The Middle where I plan to discuss ‘all things in the middle’ with friends and guests. The topics will be like my blog. Politics, current affairs, sports, art and whatever else comes to mind. The podcast will be wide ranging, I will not restrict myself to specifics topics. I welcome advice on how to begin a podcast, I welcome guests’ suggestions and topic recommendations.
Until the next post, stay home, stay safe.
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