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SUNDAY MARCH 29th 2020: I thought about going to the shops and, then, I thought better of it.

All of a sudden, the simple things of life have become so much more complicated.

Having to discuss the safety and wisdom or otherwise of a walk to the supermarket is but one example of such.


We’re having to re-programme, reboot; think about the firewalls that might just keep this virus out.

It is every thought in every cupboard in our minds; what we do and don’t do is being determined by something we cannot see.

This time last year, we were in Donegal; walking the walk on that path from Moville to Greencastle; having a pint in Rosatos and a meal in the Foyle Hotel.

Life was so much simpler then. Now, we have this reminder of never knowing what is on the next page.

A year on – such is the fear – that every step outside has to be considered and calculated; discussed and justified with others.

In all of this, I am constantly reminding myself that we have the easy parts in this global war.

How much greater are the worries and the fears of those stepping onto the hospital frontlines; or into the briefing rooms that require and demand answers?

Then there are those on that still long list of essential services, who have to leave their homes while we shelter and shield in ours.


In this moment there should be no room for dithering; no time for a debating-society approach.

For most of us, gut instinct is our guide.

We have seen enough in other corners of the world to know what needs to be done and when; what is essential and non-essential; what a lock-down should look like.

Instructions have been needed – not advice.

That some have demanded actions ahead of others should not be reduced to some green versus orange argument.

This is too important for that crap.

The lock-down – the distancing – to which we are being asked to adhere shouldn’t cause us a second thought.

Why, a few days ago, did so many come to their doorsteps to applaud and cheer those on the different frontlines?

The answer is easy.

It is because we know they are carrying the weight of this fight for all of us; a battle in which there is not yet the means or the medicine to stop this enemy in its tracks.

We have never known the likes of this and, on the other side, whenever that arrives, we will never want to know it likes again.

#stayhome #savelives

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About Author

Brian Rowan

Brian Rowan is a journalist/author. A former BBC correspondent in Belfast, four times he has been a category winner in the Northern Ireland Press and Broadcast Awards. He is the author of several books on the peace process. His latest book (published by Merrion Press) POLITICAL PURGATORY – the battle to save Stormont and the play for a New Ireland is now available at

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