‘If we stay safe now, we’ll be able to enjoy a lot more down the line': Cork medical student urges young people to heed public health advice

‘If we stay safe now, we’ll be able to enjoy a lot more down the line': Cork medical student urges young people to heed public health advice

“The difference between you getting a contact tracing call tomorrow or not is based on the decisions you make when you walk outside the door,” she said.

A UCC medical student has urged young people to stay the course of Covid-19 and make the necessary sacrifices to defeat the virus.

Adina Zago, 22, appealed to young people to take responsibility for themselves and to heed public health advice in a bid to curb Covid-19 case numbers.

“The one piece of advice that I’d give to people my age is that you can’t control anything except your own environment.

“The difference between you getting a contact tracing call tomorrow or not is based on the decisions you make when you walk outside the door,” she said.

“I’m definitely not in a position to give anyone any expert advice, I’m just a student… but my own advice to people would be to do what you need to do in order not to get that call, even if it means missing out on meeting a friend for coffee, even if it means missing out on a 20th or a 21st or whatever it is you’re celebrating,” she continued.

Adina, who is a second-year medical student at UCC, lives in a three-generational household.

She says that people can make the decision to take extra precautions if they are concerned.

“I think the Government is genuinely trying its best to keep everyone as equally happy as possible – to keep businesses running, to keep people in jobs, to try and prevent an even worst recession after all of this blows over. I genuinely think they are doing their best.

“It's very easy from the outside to be looking in, pointing fingers and saying we should be doing this, that or the other but I’m sure if you’re in the hot seat, it’s a lot different,” she added.

Adina Zago: “The one piece of advice that I’d give to people my age is that you can’t control anything except your own environment."
Adina Zago: “The one piece of advice that I’d give to people my age is that you can’t control anything except your own environment."

Adina is currently studying medicine from home, a feat she admits is difficult but not impossible.

“Studying medicine from home is very different, but UCC have genuinely done their best to make everything as easy and accessible for us as possible,” she said.

“You just have to make it work, that’s the attitude you have to have.

“You just have to sit down and make it work for you.” 

Adina is also the Chair of UCC’s Medical Research and Technology (MRT) society.

The society recently released the first episode of their Covid-19 web series, featuring an interview with Dr Oisin O’Connell, a respiratory consultant at the Bon Secours in Cork.

“We had this idea during the summer to start a web series where we would interview professionals, be they clinical professionals, be they people involved in the vaccine production aspect of things on what is actually happening and what has happened up until now,” Adina explained.

She said the series aims to get key insights from a range of different professionals, drive important messages home and really “pack a punch”.

Reiterating her own message to young people to stay the course of Covid-19, Adina said:

“I’m sure we can all relate to that feeling of invincibility and the living in the now, the fear of missing out, but I think if we stay safe now we’ll be able to enjoy a lot more down the line and if we don’t than we’ll miss out on a lot more than we would have otherwise.

“That would be my two cents on it!”

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