By Yishi Chakrabarty
People comment on how they feel about the continuation of lockdown measures and the pandemic, while lockdown in Ireland continues to be in place till May 5 until further announcements.
More than a third of the world’s population is under some form of restrictive measure to limit the spread of COVID-19.
With 1,680 confirmed cases in Galway alone and 769 deaths nationwide, as of April 22, Galwegians have, in general, shown compliance and resolve in the face of a dire crisis.
However, the same has not been true for other parts of the world, most notably the protest marches against lockdown restrictions parading the streets in some parts of the US.
Like with every development, this one has supporters on both sides.
A large number of people with the option to be able to work from home and as a result not miss their paychecks at the end of the month remain comparatively unaffected by governmental impositions.
While owners of small businesses have no safety nets or plans in place to have their staggering losses reimbursed.
Certain public and private employers are covered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which requires those covered to provide paid sick leave or expanded family and medical due to specified reasons associated with the pandemic.
However, the losses incurred across the board are enough to jeopardise the effective functioning of a large number of businesses, where terms of the FFCRA cannot be followed due to the lack of availability of funds.
People’s Take on Lockdown:
“It’s stressful,” Nancy Doss, hairstylist and owner of Taglio Salon, laughs nervously, “I’m not making any money. We have no communication from the Government regarding when it might be safe again to go back to work. I’m taking my precautions though and ordering masks off Amazon.”
“We would like testing to be made more widely available. It would bring us more peace in our minds to know for sure either way.”
“My daughter has been home for more than five weeks now. She has anxiety, she is scared. My daughter and I have both applied for the unemployment grant. It’s been three weeks and no one has gotten back to us with an answer,” Ms Doss said.
“We would like the lockdown to be lifted as soon as possible. I mean, as soon as possible, with people’s safety in mind, of course. I’m hoping and praying.”
Rene Brito, a process engineer at Intel, Oregon, talks about how the pandemic accelerated his house hunt. He moved out of his apartment complex sooner than planned because it was beginning to teem with noisy neighbours staying indoors throughout the day due to the lockdown measures enforced.
He approves of his new house which is in a quiet part of Beaverton. However, he remains firm in his support of the lockdown.
“I think it’s necessary to have happened. Too many people weren’t taking it seriously. As far as its end is concerned, everyone is talking about the end of May, but I think it would take longer. Hopefully, things are improving enough for it to be May. But, I’m sceptical,” Mr Brito said.
He echoed a prevailing human sentiment during the outbreak by concluding, “Either way, it’s a pretty incredible world event. Nothing like this has ever happened, or at least not in recent history. It’s pretty crazy.”