As Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council, I am appealing to our citizens to double their efforts to keep isolating for the next two weeks. Most people are doing a good job at this but we may be letting our guard down while out shopping. People must take social distancing seriously and in doing so we can beat this virus. For young and old as the days go on we will find it ever more difficult and as the cases increase we will feel more helpless and frightened. We can and will beat this virus by working together.
Social media will play a huge role in this and I am appealing to people to be upbeat and to be careful with what they share. This is also time for all in our community to realise that yes it will get worse before it gets better but we must not panic, especially by panic buying. People are coming forward to offer help and support to elderly and vulnerable people to deliver shopping and essential items and they have to be commended for this. Shops are also offering delivery services. I am appealing to people to reduce their minimum spend to help the old and vulnerable who cannot go out. It is so important that our shopkeepers do not get this virus as without shopkeepers there will be no food, so please wash your hands and keep the required two-metre distance.
In the event of a large-scale increase locally, The Hub Enterprise Centre committee in Castlerea have offered their buildings and commercial kitchen to the HSE as a possible centre. I have been in communication with the health service and they are very grateful for the offer. Hopefully the need will not arise and our county and region will see low numbers.
I want to reassure people that Roscommon County Council have put their emergency plan in place, with direction from the HSE. I met with senior management this week to discuss the crisis, and essential services will take priority, including water and sewerage. Measures have been put in place to ensure there are no problems with continuity.
Finally, I am asking each and everyone to play their part; ring a vulnerable neighbour and talk to them or see if they need any help (doing so of course from a social distance).
Cllr. Paschal Fitzmaurice,
Roscommon County Council