A COUNCILLOR in West Cork has reminded people in rural areas to continue to check in with elderly and vulnerable neighbours who are living in isolation.
Independent councillor Danny Collins said that elderly people living in rural areas of West Cork could be 15 to 20 miles away from their nearest town, and might not see people “from one end of the week to the next”.
“You have elderly people who are still very afraid to come out of their own homes,” he said.
“I have heard of people posting letters to themselves just to see the post person come to their house.”
Mr Collins, who also owns The Boston Bar in Bantry, said that he welcomed a number of elderly people upon reopening, before the introduction of level three restrictions forced the bar to close again.
“It did bring out a number of older people who like to come in and meet and chat with their friends,” he said.
“Any pub that I know of throughout West Cork serving drinks were doing their best to abide by the rules and regulations, and it took a couple of days for the elderly people to accept that they had to be socially distanced — but they took it on board.”
He said that elderly people in rural areas were also missing out on being able to go to Mass under level three restrictions — a ritual which for some is “so important”.
“It’s easy for the Government to say there are online ceremonies, but there’s no rural broadband, and it’s bad in many places, and not all elderly people are using computers either,” he said.
“They miss just going to Mass during the week for the morning Masses where they might have a friend pick them up and go with them.”
Mr Collins said that although it is difficult for some people in particular, a level five lockdown might be the best thing to be put in place in order to suppress the virus and allow for people to see their loved ones at Christmas.