‘A story of being trafficked’: Prince Andrew’s accuser Virginia Giuffre has a right to be heard
‘A story of being trafficked’: Prince Andrew’s accuser Virginia Giuffre has a right to be...

Jennifer McShane

‘Creative minds always thrive in adversity’: Author Louise Candlish on her latest (greatest) thriller
‘Creative minds always thrive in adversity’: Author Louise Candlish on her latest (greatest) thriller

Amanda Cassidy

Rotunda Hospital to extend visiting hours for partners of pregnant women
Rotunda Hospital to extend visiting hours for partners of pregnant women

Jennifer McShane

15 underrated Netflix gems that will distract you from the news
15 underrated Netflix gems that will distract you from the news

Jennifer McShane

‘Sleeptember’ and how to create an adult bedtime routine that actually works
‘Sleeptember’ and how to create an adult bedtime routine that actually works

Sarah Finnan

Actor Richard E Grant reveals late wife Joan had lung cancer
Actor Richard E Grant reveals late wife Joan had lung cancer

Jennifer McShane

Kitchen accessories under €30 to get you excited to cook again
Kitchen accessories under €30 to get you excited to cook again

Megan Burns

Lily Collins shares photos of her divine wedding gown
Lily Collins shares photos of her divine wedding gown

Jennifer McShane

‘Guilt and relief’: Inspired by Project Meghan, working mums have this advice for those returning to work after babies
‘Guilt and relief’: Inspired by Project Meghan, working mums have this advice for those returning...

Amanda Cassidy

‘I told my husband ‘they’ve found something suspicious in my brain, we’re going to have our baby tomorrow night”
‘I told my husband ‘they’ve found something suspicious in my brain, we’re going to have...

Amanda Cassidy

Image / Editorial

Opinion: Why the hashtag #Covidiots is making me more anxious than Covid-19


by Grace McGettigan
23rd Mar 2020
blank

Between people ignoring social distancing guidelines, and uninformed people criticising those who actually do follow the rules, my anxiety is out of control


If you’re an avid user of Twitter, you may have noticed the hashtag #Covidiots has been trending since the weekend.

The term – which is a combination of the words Covid-19 and idiots – was coined by social media users after videos of people congregating in parks, on beaches and outside chip shops were posted online. In the footage, hundreds of Irish people can be seen ignoring the HSE’s advice on social distancing. Rather than keeping at least two metres apart, people can be seen standing mere inches from one another, eager to get to the front of the queue for a portion of cod and chips.

It seems the advice to avoid non-essential social interaction has been missed by many.

Selfishness or ignorance?

I haven’t left my house in 10 days, nor has anyone in my family. We all have underlying health conditions – from asthma to multiple sclerosis – and so each of us is in the at-risk group. With our safety and that of our loved ones in mind, we’re following the HSE’s guidelines to avoid close contact outside the home.

My parents haven’t seen their grandchild in over two weeks, and I can’t remember the last time I saw my boyfriend. Our lives revolve within these four walls, not because we want to stay inside, but because it is advised by the HSE and frontline medical staff. It is for the good of our health and that of our community to stay at home. It isn’t for the fun of it.

To see so many people ignoring social distancing protocol makes us angry, anxious and sad. Why don’t these people care about us? About themselves, or anyone?

What makes these people – the ones queuing for fish and chips in Howth, or enjoying picnics in the park – think they alone are exempt from the rules? That they are immune to Covid-19? That they cannot be a vector and infect somebody else?

Is it selfishness, or complete ignorance, that has people of all ages putting themselves and their families at risk?

All I know is, seven people have died in the Republic of Ireland so far, and more than 140,000 have lost their jobs because of Covid-19. Now is the time to take it seriously. Picnics and other gatherings can wait.

Everyone has an opinion

While seeing so many #covidiots posts on Twitter makes me anxious, my anxiety is further increased by the fact that everyone has an opinion on it all (particularly opinions that aren’t factually correct).

In some tweets, people are lambasting anyone who goes out for a walk, whether they’re following social distancing guidelines or not. To be clear, the HSE says it is still okay to go for walks provided you maintain a two-metre distance from everyone else.

There is no reason to attack someone, let alone label them as a #covidiot, for following expert-approved advice. People are entitled to exercise outside if they want to, and with so many people doing so safely, it’s anxiety-inducing to see them labelled as fools. The real #covidiots are those ignoring the safety advice.

In it together

We’re all new to this Covid-19 pandemic. None of us has faced a situation like this in our lifetime and it’s going to take time to adjust to the new normal.

My family and I are trying our best to follow the HSE’s advice, as well as any recommendations by the World Health Organisation. But our efforts will be pointless if others don’t do the same.

The longer people ignore social distancing guidelines, the longer this pandemic is likely to last. We all need to do our part in containing the spread.

I’m following the official protocol, and I can only hope that others in the community will do the same.

For information on Covid-19 in Ireland, visit hse.ie/coronavirus

Feature photo: George Shervashidze from Pexels


Read more: Iceland’s Covid-19 tests prove it’s vital to keep your distance even if you don’t feel sick

Read more: We talked to two Irish brides who cancelled their weddings due to coronavirus

Read more: 6 positive coronavirus stories to help you breathe a bit easier

Also Read

blank
EDITORIAL
‘We have not heeded the warnings sufficiently’: The health emergency we’ve ignored while focusing on the pandemic

The climate change debate has been going on for so long its become white noise. But this week, the effects...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
CULTURE
Reality Bites: TV shows like Love Island are warping our minds

It may be the most unifying show on television, but shows like Love Island are promoting some pretty damaging messages....

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Suddenly alive again’: The heartbreaking joy of finding a deceased loved one on Google Maps street view

“I look at my mum’s old house on Google maps street view, the house where I grew up. It says...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
No, the Olympics haven’t given athletes ‘anti-sex’ cardboard beds

Despite some media coverage, the beds are actually focused on sustainability as opposed to intimacy restrictions. Recently, distance runner Paul...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
IMAGE WRITES
The sexist commentary at Wimbledon still remains a problem

Wimbledon in 2021 and once again female athletes are singled out on the playing field, a great deal of the...

By Jennifer McShane

Mandy Moore pumping
EDITORIAL
Mandy Moore climbed an active volcano at dawn… while pumping

Hiking a mountain and breast pumping – now, that’s what we call multitasking at its finest. Mandy Moore enjoyed an...

By Sarah Finnan

blank
EDITORIAL
This is what happens when you hypersexualise young girls growing up

Who is demanding the fetishization of young girls anyway?”When I was working in my early twenties, and even my late...

By Amanda Cassidy