With days as beautiful as these, it’s easy to forget that we’re all actually fighting an invisible enemy right now…
An invisible and highly deadly enemy, to be exact, and one that has already claimed 1,429 lives in this country.
And counting. As the weeks of lockdown tick by, it’s understandable, of course, that some people will become restless, and listless, and maybe even begin to see all this social distancing malarkey as largely pointless.
Sure, I’m fine, you’re fine, and me neighbour’s fine, surely we can all just meet up and be fine together? Up on Cypress Hill there in Kindlestown, for a sly smoke and a few tins. Out in the garden with a few hardy mates, for a stupidly loud barbecue. Down on the South Beach for a lazy, hazy afternoon.
Well, it turns out pandemics don’t quite work like that. Just because you can’t see the shark doesn’t mean it’s not there, waiting.
And when we finally can venture out again, we’re still going to have to be careful about how close we stand to others, and how often, and for how long.
Unless we all want to be forced back indoors to watch Jaws 2. Again. And again. And again.
So, when GG took our trusty Max out yesterday for his first walk through the town in six weeks – thanks to surgery on a now-removed toe – it was slightly surreal to see the South Beach practically hopping. Sun over beach has brought out the sons of a… Thankfully, people were generally sitting apart, but, bejiggers, there were a lot of ’em. Hanging out together. Like they hadn’t got a Covid in the world.
It came as no surprise then to learn that this afternoon, Greystones garda swooped, drawing a line in the sand as they sent frisbee friends, sulky sunbathers and piqued parents with teary toddlers off back home.
For quite some time now, beauty spot car parks have been closed up and downthe land to try and stop just this kind of mass gathering, and, despite the fact that it might feel like The Man is raining on our picnics, stopping for a quick pint just before the finish line is never a smart idea.
So, for now, we’re going to have to grin and bear this beautiful weather from the comfort of our own homes. That spectacular seafront of ours is for your daily walk, your daily splash, or watching your dog practice his ninja moves.
Just like the Power’s dog, Milo, here performing something close to a perfect pirouette down on the North Beach today.
We’re nearly there, this enforced escape from the everyday something of a gift, if you use it right.
Right around the corner is quite possibly the finest, sunniest and happiest summer of our lives…
Main pic by Liz Cusack, cover pic by Manus Hingerty, empty South Beach by Maurice Dodd, Milo by Rory Power.