Well, we are BACK with a brand new weekly balance post. As I had to work at the weekend just gone, I didn’t get a chance to write this article for you guys. Today is St. Patrick’s Day, so for those of you recognising this holiday, my very best wishes to you! Let’s take a look at the last few days in my life.
What went on in my doctor life…
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you will be well aware of the COVID-19 pandemic which is without a doubt the single biggest global issue we face at present. Being part of the regional and national public health team to manage this pandemic is ALL of my day job right now. This situation really has taken over every part of our lives, and its changing how we go about our days and nights. I’m not going to launch into a full-blown article about what COVID-19 is, the symptoms, etc – instead, I’ll direct you to the following websites below:
- The Irish Health Service Executive (https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/)
- The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (https://www.hpsc.ie/)
- The World Health Organisation (https://www.who.int/)
- The European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/home)
- Public Health England (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england)
- NHS (https://www.nhs.uk/)
- The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/)
For those outside of Ireland, I would urge you to keep up to date with the advice of your own health authority and government. For those in Ireland, I cannot stress enough how important it is that we all adhere to the measures and advice the government have given us. Right now, the most up to date advice for those living in Ireland is summarised in the photo below.
It is CRITICAL that we all get on board with this advice, to help reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19 in Ireland – this has been termed ‘flattening the curve.’ It’s easier to visualise in graphic format, which our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan recently shared and I’ve included here below.
For those in Ireland, I can’t say it enough – we ALL need to follow the public health advice we have been given – in particular, the 8 steps highlighted below. If we do, collectively, as a nation, we at least have a chance of delaying and reducing the spread of this virus in Ireland and the potentially devastating consequences it could have on our healthcare system, our healthcare workers, and our loved ones. I’m not trying to scare-monger – but its a fine balance we have to tread between taking this seriously and minding our mental well-being. Here are the eight recommended steps below – these apply to those in Ireland which is I know the majority of you who follow me on Instagram!
You can follow my updates on COVID-19 in Ireland on my Instagram here. Please note that social media is not a substitute for staying up to date with your national health authority and government, BUT it can be a very powerful technological tool to get the right messages out there to more and more people.
What I’m thinking about…
Aside from COVID-19 occupying most of my thoughts, I’ve been thinking about the power of kindness and connection. In the last couple of weeks especially, I have been blown away by the number of you messaging me to say you’ve found my posts both helpful and positive to see on social media, and I’ve been even more overwhelmed by the amount of kind gestures and initiatives I have seen arise as a result of the pressure COVID-19 has placed on our society and our healthcare workers especially. From food companies organising deliveries to frontline healthcare staff for free to clothing companies donating products to new start-ups volunteering to help the vulnerable and elderly persons during this time, it’s just an incredible reminder of the compassion, kindness and empathy we are capable of. I’d be lying if I said the world isn’t a bit of a scary place to be in right now, but my mantras on this are to take things day by day, start each new day with hope, and to focus on what we CAN do. We have to take this seriously. COVID-19 is not going away. It is already changing how we live our lives. It is going to have an impact on our healthcare system, our healthcare workers, and on us as a population. The extent of that impact is going to come down to a few things, one of which is US. What we do. How we act. How we react. How much we commit to the protective measures we have been advised on. When we look back on COVID-19 in Ireland in years to come, I don’t want to say that we could have done more. I want to feel able to say that we did all we could, that we were kind, that we were good, and that we made a difference. That we saved lives.
What I’m reading…
This week I shared an Instagram question on my stories to ask you guys what positive things you were going to do while staying home from work, college and school, and more in general and practicing social distancing. I got SO MANY replies – it was wonderful. I shared a summary post on my Instagram – but one activity lots of you mentioned was reading! Which as you know, is something I love to do as well. Currently, I’m reading The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri. I’m about 50 pages from finishing – which I’ll hopefully do today! I have to say, it is one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read, hand on heart. I can’t wait to share a review of it – I’ll share that in my next Weekly Balance article! I bought two new books with a voucher I had to read next – the first is Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo and the second is Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.
As always, let me know what you’re reading, I’d love to hear!
What I’m listening to…
Podcasts are definitely keeping me going these days – one thing we can all do which social distancing is to get outside for a walk or run (once we make sure we are sticking to the recommended 2 metres distance from others), and Podcasts are great to listen to on the go! I have my regulars that I go back to week on week to tune into new episodes, but the most recent Pod I’m enjoying is The David McWilliams Podcast which I tune into every week. I’ll also be a guest soon on the Shane Walsh Fitness Podcast – we are hoping to record a chat this weekend so I’ll let you guys know when to listen in!
Recipe of the week
My current favourite recipe has to be my Peanut Butter Berry Bakes – photo below! With more time at home, cooking and baking can be lovely activities that occupy some time – plus, you get to taste test your creations! I’ve got lots of recipes on the blog if you’re looking for inspiration – you can find these under the Recipes tab on my blog here.
And that’s a wrap gang! Better late than never as they say. Hopefully I’ll be back writing the next Weekly Balance article this weekend – I’m just taking things day by day right now, so I will aim to get the week 12 post up if I get a day off Saturday or Sunday. In the meantime, mind yourselves, stay safe, wash your hands and practice social distancing!
Ciara 🙂 x