Keeping your social and physical distance from others will save lives. It might sound dramatic, but right now, this is a fact.

As Ireland tries to get to grips with the unprecedented challenge of Covid-19, many things in our lives have changed. Some of us have not been into our workplace in weeks.

Others have never clocked up so many hours at work, as they support, serve and help the public every day and every night. None of us have washed our hands as many times in in our lifetime, as we have in the last 4 weeks.

But this is what we must do – and do together, in order to overcome this global challenge. Because the one unique thing about the Coronavirus is that it effects all of us. It’s a global issue and no person, family, community or country has been immune to it’s wrath.

But now is the time for us to take a little more control. Because we don’t have a handle on the virus itself (yet), but we DO have control over how fast it will spread.

By now, you will all be familiar with the expression ‘Flatten the Curve’. This simply means that we MUST (and can) control the rate the virus will spread from one person to another. Because, if lots and lots and lots of people get very sick at the same time, our hospitals simply won’t be able to cope. They don’t have enough staff, because every medically trained person we have is already there. They don’t have enough equipment, because factories simply can’t make them fast enough.

But if only some people get very sick at the same time, then, there is a chance that the front line staff can deal with them as they come, properly and effectively. We can help this by minimising the contact we have with other people and therefore stopping lots of people catching the virus at the same time.

The HSE, our Taoiseach and our government have implored of us over the past few weeks to practice Social distancing. This has worked some of the time. But not enough. They have now asked to ‘up the ante’ as it were. Here is what we understand to be the simple things we should now be doing:

  1. Stop physically socialising outside of people we live with. When you do go out, go by yourself if you can, but otherwise, just go with one other person whom you live with. Give someone a call each evening instead. Skype, Facetime, Zoom. God knows, we have the technology now.
  2. Go Home: If you decide to go out for a walk (and you should), but when you get to the park, or the beach and there are lots of people already there….GO HOME! Come back later, or tomorrow at a different time.
  3. The supermarket: When you go to get your shopping, please keep your distance from other people. Don’t make me have to drop my shopping and walk away from the fish fridge, just because you MUST look at that same item at exactly the same time as me (drives me nuts!). Just wait. Please. 🙂
  4. Stay home: Just stay home as much as you can. Yes, I know the weather is (finally) fabulous, but we will have other sunny days. Perhaps now is the time to give in to the Netflix subscription. Try yoga…your kitchen floor is a perfectly acceptable place to practice 🙂
  5. And keep washing your hands. Especially when you come in from outside. May I recommend that you start using a hand moisturiser in the evening? Yes gentlemen, that includes you.

Finally, know that this is temporary and it will pass. So far, we have done okay, considering what many other parts of the world are waking up to every day.

We all have family, friends and colleagues around the world who’s lives are currently being turned upside down. I think today about friends across Italy, Madrid and New York and I feel helpless and heartbroken.

But together, we are not helpless.

So let us please try to do everything we are told – and everything we can, to minimise the impact that Covid 19 will have on us in this country. We can do it together, by staying apart.

Look after yourself. Look after your sanity. Look after each other.

Mary O’Sullivan, Wasted CEO