KINSALE, in common with other small towns in Ireland, sees the small business outlets in crisis yet again as the Covid-19 regulations are implemented.
There is great disappointment at the seemingly selective nature of the system of closures which sees small retail outlets selling clothes and shoes, as well as books and craft items, forced to close while large, mainly city-based supermarkets selling similar items able to continue to do so.
The word ‘essential’ is being used to put small businesses under huge, even terminal pressure as most of these do not have an online alternative and will be at the mercy of Amazon and large Irish outlets. Businesspeople are asking why shops could not continue to limit the number of shoppers, enforce the directives to wear masks and follow all the guidelines laid down?
There does not seem to have been any outbreaks as a result of shopping as on the contrary many have been traced to house parties, lack of social distancing and wearing of masks. It is also depressing to see Covid-19 warning signs being defaced and cartoons defacing buildings, even the Carmelite Friary, by people who claim that there is no virus or that, even if there is it is less dangerous than the ’flu.
All we can do is to continue to obey the simple advice on washing hands and keeping a safe distance and to follow medical advice, if needed. Anyone who puts themselves or their neighbours at risk should be shunned if we are to preserve our community in safety.
On a practical note we all need to shop locally in spite of all the restrictions as many outlets will operate online or establish a click and collect system.