During this COVID-19 Global Emergency, I have felt overwhelmed, exhausted, exasperated, elated, and caught between division and uncertainty. Like a pendulum, I’m longing to jump on a plane to escape to the sea, sun, warmth of the sun on the continent to see my relatives, and then flip-flopping, looking to batten down the hatches on this island and sterilise my door handles, my hands, my children.
I want to hug friends and socialise to my heart’s content but then I want to retreat into isolation and social distance.
This I think is reflected in the division surrounding my village in Malahide. Fingal County Council has recently closed off and pedestrianised New Street, the main artery into the village, where the famed Gibney’s is a household name and many restaurants and cafes adorn the street.
Locals are at the very least not amused with this closure; and some local businesses have set up a rival Facebook page to “Save Malahide Village” from pedestrianisation. Villagers have posters poking out of windows, doors, shop windows protesting the green initiative.
Whereas before local social media would chastise those who would not keep their distance, this has now been replaced with jibes and questions of loyalty boiling down to one question : “Are you for the pedestrianisation of New street or are you against it? I think I will batten down the hatch on this one, thanks!