Why isn’t “social distancing” working in Cork?

25 March 2020
By Elaine Murphy
elaine@TheCork.ie

Cork South West Deputy Christopher O’Sullivan is urging all people to become “obsessive” about social distancing after he was inundated with messages describing scenes of large gatherings on beaches and parks right across West Cork over the weekend.

He said it is vital people stick to social distancing measures during the ongoing crisis.

“We want the beaches to stay open, we want the walkways to stay open, but unless we start taking social distancing seriously the authorities may have no choice but to close-off everything,” Deputy O’Sullivan said.

“Let’s be obsessive about social distancing. Older people and people with underlying conditions will thank us later. The front-line healthcare workers and loved ones will thank us later.

Christopher O’Sullivan pictured during his recent term as Mayor of the County of Cork. The Clonakilty man is now a TD.

“Stay safe, stay social distancing.”

Social distancing – avoiding large gatherings and crowds, and maintaining significant space between each other on the street and in queues – are among the most vital weapons we have to fight the virus. Washing your hands regularly and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds is another potent way to fight the virus.

Businesses across West Cork have continued to make tough sacrifices for the good of public health, Deputy O’Sullivan said, as TD’s urgently consider legislation for financial aid measures to help people weather the crisis.

Some retailers are setting up tables to act as counters at their front door, allowing them to deal with customers one-on-one while observing recommended hygiene standards.

Deputy O’Sullivan also commended customers for observing social distancing while waiting for service at these stores.

“I’ve also heard of some businesses taking the tough decision to close altogether in order to disperse crowds when queues get too long and they see people not observing social distancing,” the Deputy said.

“It’s the right thing to do and I commend them for it. It’s our duty to be mindful of this situation.”

Other businesses have altered their production lines to aid in the ongoing battle against Coronavirus, with distilleries in Clonakilty and Skibbereen turning their hands to producing hand sanitisers for nursing homes and charities.

“This virus may be keeping us apart physically, but it is bringing us closer together as a community,” he said.

“Please, please do your part and maintain social distancing.”

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