YESTERDAY marked the first tentative steps out of lockdown and towards a reopening of Waterford’s businesses and our society, as Phase One of the Government’s strategy kicked into motion. Queues gathered from early at Woodie’s on the Cork Road in Waterford city, with the store carefully managing those eager to experience a semblance of normality – albeit a very controlled, socially distanced one.
Still, it is refreshing to see Waterford’s hard work in flattening the Covid-19 curve translate into a tangible result – the ability to begin the return of our businesses and our economy.
Already we have seen outstanding imagination at work from Waterford eateries, which have moved from a dine-in to a dine-at-home experience. Across social media, their efforts in redirecting their businesses are being reflected in shared photos of stunning gourmet displays and praised by households who have jumped to support them.
‘Our county’s story could have been so much worse, but deaths from Covid-19 here still remain in the single digits. This has been a phenomenal community and societal achievement.’
Even Tully’s Bar refused to accept that the pub experience can only be enjoyed on site – with a novel bring your brew home approach. It seems the large bottle has not been confined to the history books just yet.
But the biggest test of our resilience will be in our continued compliance with social distancing – as we step back out into the everyday world and support local.
Covid-19 has not gone. Two new cases were recorded for Waterford in 24 hours this week. But it is very much, currently, under control. This can change in a matter of days.
So, remain vigilant and follow the government’s advice. Enjoy your socially distant meet-ups within 5km over the next three weeks and hopefully we can look forward to the start of a somewhat more relaxed June, that can include barbecues in the back garden and visits to our friends and family slightly further afield.
Meanwhile, it is worth remembering there are still those among us battling Coronovirus. The image of a triumphant 94-year-old Danny Langford, surrounded by the kind, dedicated staff of the Little Sisters of the Poor nursing home in Ferrybank, on the front page of today’s Waterford News & Star is heartwarming. Across Waterford, in our nursing and care homes, in our hospitals – both University Hospital Waterford and UPMC Whitfield, in our testing centres and by our GPs, health care has been exemplary. Our county’s story could have been so much worse, but deaths from Covid-19 here still remain in the single digits. This has been a phenomenal community and societal achievement. Let’s keep it going as we continue this recovery safely together.