Posts Tagged ‘COVID19’

Life in Lockdown – the bad and the very good?

April 27, 2020

Car Parade - Saint Patrick Day 2020

What a strange situation we all find ourselves in.

We are all used to getting up, taking the kids to school, going to work, having the kids collected from school and then head home from work, make dinner, supervise homework…this has been our way of life for many years.

We all wondered, well, I know I did, what would it be like to work from home?

My husband does it regularly and does so with ease – little did we expect for this decision to be forced upon us, with some people thriving and others not so much.

I for one, must admit that I do very much enjoy the social interaction and before the COVID19 lockdown was introduced, when we were all initially advised on March 12th to just be cautious, only travel if you need to go to work etc, I did continue to head to work, albeit in the office on my own. I did still enjoy heading out to work in the morning.

When lockdown was introduced, that is when I had to realise that I could not travel out and needed to heed the advice and stay home, that’s when it started to feel real for me. It was going to be a long few weeks but that’s what needed to be done.

I must say I thought I would have found it hard and yes, the weekends are tough as there are hours that need filling, but overall it’s been great spending unexpected time at home with my family. We have enjoyed spending every meal together, which I know might be the norm for some, but as a busy household that just didn’t always happen.

We are now going for our daily walks, chatting more in the evenings and overall spending much more quality time together. My younger daughter who is a Junior Cert student was initially angry that the exams had been cancelled, but on reflection is enjoying the time away from the books.

My older daughter, who is studying for college exams is coming around to the fact that these are now to be done online, this is unprecedented but is accepting that is the best option at this time. She likes exercising, and we always encourage it as parents and she wouldn’t have done an outdoor 5km run previously, but just this week she completed one for charity!

I know that wouldn’t have happened unless it was on the treadmill in the college gym. Speaking of treadmills, my boss mentioned at the start of all this, that now is an opportunity for us all to step off that treadmill that we are all on, each and every one of us are rushing around and this needs to stop.

I am so grateful to work with a company that are so passionate about their employees and make it their priority to check in with us each and every day, either on Google Meet or via Zoom.

In terms of interacting with each other, the communication tools that were the norm were Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and lately TikTok, which is how my older daughter communicated. My younger daughter thankfully isn’t on social media, but they sent hand written letters to their friends this past week, something they have never done and even questioned the price of a stamp – €1 for a stamp, they were shocked, so this for me was a very welcome change!

In 2018 I set up a local private group Facebook page for the village I live in and it had been slowly gathering traction but recently it has gained many followers and with all that has been happening it has been a great information platform for the community.

On St. Patrick’s Day, I put a call out at 1pm to have a car parade around the village (population of under 1000) and at the suggested meeting time of 4pm.

100 vehicles turned up, including sports cars, old cars and even tractors, whilst everyone staying in their vehicles and practising social distancing. The feedback from parents was exceptional in that the kids loved it, we drove around their estates, beeping the horns, waving to neighbours and that sense of community spirit was really special and something we will always remember.

Another initiative the Facebook page was really useful for was when I asked for local volunteers amid this pandemic. There are elderly and vulnerable people living in our village and I was aware that they may need help and again I was inundated with volunteers who are all currently on standby, should they be needed.

Last week I asked for families if they were interested in book swapping as some parents were saying that their kids were bored at home as every book in every room had been read over and over and once again, so many came out and dropped off books in the suggested location, all sanitized and ready for delighted kids to collect. Just one online platform facilitating us to help in our local community.

So what I would like to finish with is, yes, this is not something we all thought would happen, there are family members we miss dearly, but in the meantime let’s all embrace it, this time will pass. It’s only a “pause” and we will not get this down time again.

Stay home and stay safe.

Olivia 

Olivia Trought is the Office Manager with Fuzion Communications, a full service agency providing Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from offices in Dublin and Cork.

Time for earth and its inhabitants to heal?

March 30, 2020

The earth is healing

In the midst of the horrible nightmare that is the COVID19 disease, which has so many sick and so many dying all over our world, we do need to raise our heads and wonder is there some greater purpose to all of this?

My initial thoughts were that our precious earth has needed time to heal itself for such a long time, and “we” were never going to allow this to happen due to our greed and the crazy pattern of living that we have all adopted as the norm. Has nature found a cruel way of saying STOP, while us humans have to just take our place in the queue before we start to abuse it all over again?

In the last week or so my thoughts have moved on as I observe how we are changing – I’m believing that humanity is also healing itself as we have to stop being selfish and self serving. We have been forced to jump off our respective treadmills and focus on survival and on the things that are really important.

I am seeing kindness, friendship, togetherness, sacrifice, humour, generosity and lots of love.

Do things work this way or is this all a big coincidence?

While I was living with these thoughts a friend of mine shared a post that supposedly came from Bill Gates, which pretty much captured what I was thinking in a way that I could never have:

Message in the letter:

I’m a strong believer that there is a spiritual purpose behind
everything that happens, whether that is what we perceive as being
good or being bad.

As I meditate upon this, I want to share with you what I feel the
Corona/ Covid-19 virus is really doing to us:

1) It is reminding us that we are all equal, regardless of our
culture, religion, occupation, financial situation or how famous we
are. This disease treats us all equally, perhaps we should too. If you
don’t believe me, just ask Tom Hanks.

2) It is reminding us that we are all connected and something that
affects one person has an effect on another. It is reminding us that
the false borders that we have put up have little value as this virus
does not need a passport. It is reminding us, by oppressing us for a
short time, of those in this world whose whole life is spent in
oppression.

3) It is reminding us of how precious our health is and how we have
moved to neglect it through eating nutrient poor manufactured food and
drinking water that is contaminated with chemicals upon chemicals. If
we don’t look after our health, we will, of course, get sick.

4) It is reminding us of the shortness of life and of what is most
important for us to do, which is to help each other, especially those
who are old or sick. Our purpose is not to buy toilet roll.

5) It is reminding us of how materialistic our society has become and
how, when in times of difficulty, we remember that it’s the essentials
that we need (food, water, medicine) as opposed to the luxuries that we sometimes unnecessarily give value to.

6) It is reminding us of how important our family and home life is and
how much we have neglected this. It is forcing us back into our houses
so we can rebuild them into our home and  to strengthen our family unit.

7) It is reminding us that our true work is not our job, that is what
we do, not what we were created to do. Our true work is to look after each other, to protect each other and to be of benefit to one another.

8) It is reminding us to keep our egos in check. It is reminding us
that no matter how great we think we are or how great others think we
are, a virus can bring our world to a standstill.

9) It is reminding us that the power of freewill is in our hands. We
can choose to cooperate and help each other, to share, to give, to
help and to support each other or we can choose to be selfish, to
hoard, to look after only our self. Indeed, it is difficulties that bring out our true colors.

10) It is reminding us that we can be patient, or we can panic. We can
either understand that this type of situation has happened many times
before in history and will pass, or we can panic and see it as the end
of the world and, consequently, cause ourselves more harm than good.

11) It is reminding us that this can either be an end or a new
beginning. This can be a time of reflection and understanding, where
we learn from our mistakes, or it can be the start of a cycle which
will continue until we finally learn the lesson we are meant to.

12) It is reminding us that this Earth is sick. It is reminding us
that we need to look at the rate of deforestation just as urgently as
we look at the speed at which toilet rolls are disappearing off of
shelves. We are sick because our home is sick.

13) It is reminding us that after every difficulty, there is always
ease. Life is cyclical, and this is just a phase in this great cycle.
We do not need to panic; this too shall pass.

14) Whereas many see the Corona/ Covid-19 virus as a great disaster, I
prefer to see it as a *great corrector*

It is sent to remind us of the important lessons that we seem to have
forgotten and it is up to us if we will learn them or not.

Note: It turns out that this “letter” is fake and didn’t come from Bill Gates at all but because his name was on it, it did the rounds with many high profile people sharing it.

I don’t really care who wrote this piece, I applaud them.

After this time, however long it lasts, the scientists will be able to come to us with definite proof about the damage that we are causing this earth by our actions (and inaction) and how it can be healed and what we need to do once this period is over to achieve this.

In the meantime, let’s pray for everyone who is suffering greatly at this time and for everyone else to do the right things to ensure that the hardship is minimised and that we can recover as soon as possible.

Thank you “pretend” Bill for making sense of this…

Greg

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Not all heroes wear capes, some wear a press badge.

March 27, 2020

Media

I am very proud of Ireland and how we are responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Doctors, pharmacists and nursing staff are heroes and showing up to fight this crisis day in, day out, Ireland Vs Covid. As our Taoiseach said, “not all heroes wear capes”. Corny, but also very true.

The less championed hero is the media.

The Irish media are doing a stellar job. Behaviour change is essential in Ireland’s response to this pandemic and the press are key to this. They are the ones that set the tone and keep the message relevant and fresh in the public’s mind. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, keep your distance.

The media are also front line workers and putting their health and in some cases, lives, at risk in order to save lives.

On top of all of this, they have been forced to learn new ways to do their job.

From Newstalk’s Ciara Kelly reporting from her hot press, Claire Byrne hosting her show from her garden shed while at home suffering from Covid 19, to Ryan Tubridy presenting the Late Late Show to an empty audience.

This is all a stark reminder of the new reality of our lives. News media has been forced to work remotely and adapt and innovate in ways they never have. Print newspaper teams are working from home and are still managing to deliver breaking news and put together a daily paper from multiple locations.

Who said print news is dead and can’t adapt?

These are unprecedented times, and we all need to become accustomed to a new way of living.

It has been said several times that this is the calm before the storm. It is possible that we may all forget the new behaviours that have become our new normal as we settle into new patterns and routines. We may stop singing happy birthday every time we wash our hands. We may forget that touching our face is not allowed, or get sick of staying inside in a few weeks.

But it is the media who will ensure this does not happen by reinforcing the message and continuing to remind us that this is a marathon, not a sprint. We must all play our part.

The next time you are washing your hands for 20 seconds, think of the heroes reporting from around the country who are making sure you don’t become complacent and are who are literally saving lives by helping a nation to change its behaviour. The media play a key role in our society, and this crisis demonstrates that.

Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear a press badge.

#JournalismMatters

Ciara Jordan - Fuzion CommunicationsCiara

Ciara Jordan is an Account Director with Fuzion Communications and she leads the media training team, from our offices in Dublin and Cork.


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