Upheaval in Modern Times

April 20 2020 Nicole Clarke 2nd Year

Coronavirus, more commonly known as COVID-19 started in China at the end of 2019, and then began spreading rapidly around China.

Initially, it was described as just like the flu, and some of the symptoms are similar, such as: fever, tiredness, sore throat and a dry cough. The difference is the Coronavirus is much more contagious and has spread rapidly throughout the world, resulting in the deaths of 170,000 people to date. Symptoms can take up to two weeks before showing and some people don’t get symptoms.

It spread to other countries from people travelling around the world. Because some people don’t show any of the symptoms they may not know they have it and they might travel, which spreads it. It enters your body through your eyes, nose and mouth. At the start when it started spreading not many thought much about it. They thought it wouldn’t affect them, but it spread quickly and then the first case in Ireland was confirmed. We didn’t think it would even spread much around Ireland but every day there were more and more cases confirmed around Ireland.

We had no idea how serious it was and how much it would affect all of us. We were looking forward to school being cancelled and having a longer Easter break. My friends and I (and virtually every other teenager!) were planning things to do while at home such as going to each other’s houses and having sleepovers. Soon enough it got so serious that it was announced Ireland was going on a semi-lockdown for two weeks which meant we were only allowed go out in groups of three or four. Shops and businesses started closing which lead to hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs. Only supermarkets and pharmacies stayed open. 

Then the lockdown was extended for another two weeks, but this time it was a full lockdown, which meant you weren’t allowed meet up with anyone. You were only allowed to go out for exercise and if you needed to go to the shop.

Shops put in place safety actions where they put down tape marking two metres and you had to be two metres apart from people at all times.

Many people who were at high risk, such as old people, stayed at home at all times, people like my grand-aunt and grand-uncle. This was called cocooning.  They do not leave their house so I get the newspaper for them every morning and drop it to their house and my parents do their shopping for them and leave it at their front door.

Everything has been cancelled, including the Junior Cycle, and Leaving Certificate exams have been postponed until the end of July. Nobody has any idea about how long this will go on for and they have yet to find a vaccine for it. One of the saddest things is only immediate families are allowed go to funerals. Also, people are not allowed to be with their loved ones while they are dying.

At the beginning, it was a novelty and I was excited to try school at home for the first time, but then as the days and weeks passed, it became more and more difficult. I find it difficult to work from home without regular structure. I also miss the social engagement with my friends and the fun at school.

Now it is getting very boring because we’re home all day and there isn’t much to do at home after rearranging your room and painting.

There are a few challenges people are doing to fundraise for the HSE such as running 5k and donating €5 for the HSE. It is a fun way of staying active and getting out but also helping raise money. 

It is cool to think in the future kids will be learning about this and asking me questions on it and about how it felt to live through it. We are part of one of the most significant upheavals in modern times.

Many people are wearing masks and gloves when out shopping a walking.

One positive is it is good for the environment because people aren’t travelling so the rate of pollution has decreased massively.