Recently the Irish Government gave police, or as we call them here ‘Garda =singular, or Gardaí =plural the power to arrest people who were out driving over 2km from their home and without a good reason. Well, I mean they can arrest someone if they are adamant about getting through or won’t turn around. Usually they just turn people back if it’s not an essential journey. Shopping for necessities or having to go to work (with a valid letter to show this) are really the only two reasons to be out.
My Dad is, as the Government calls it ‘Cocooning’; he’s not allowed to leave the house at all because he is over a certain age. He has been keeping himself busy by:
Cutting the grass
Digging up trees
Painting the house
Making a compost area
Planting potatoes and peas
Strimming the hedges
So… he is definitely keeping busy! My Mum is also in the high risk group, so she doesn’t venture out either.
So it’s up to myself and my husband to do the weekly shop for the essentials. I don’t particularly enjoy going out; it’s awkward, you always have to dodge people, and it’s just not a nice environment to be in!
Plus it takes extra long because there is a queue to enter places like Lidl and Aldi. One person leaves the shop, and only then can the next person in the queue enter. So you could wait for a while to get in! I’m sure this is the same all over the world!
We usually go during the week and get meat, milk, bread and things like that, but my Dad always enjoys reading the paper on a Sunday. That means we have to take a quick spin up to the shop to get this for him.
Myself and my husband (he comes with me just to get out of the house) went to the shop in the morning to get the newspaper (plus some milk), and on the road up ahead we saw a Garda car and two Gardai in the middle of the road. They were stopping every car that was leaving town or heading into town. So they stopped us and asked us:
What is my purpose for being out?
Where do I live?
I explained to them that I was getting milk and that I only live down the road (which is true) and we were let through. When we got our bits we were driving back home and the Gardai were leaving then!
So next Sunday came about, and my Dad asked if I would go and get the newspaper for him, which I suspected he would! So off we went.
This time there were no Gardai about, so that was great!
But as we were coming back there they were again, set up a bit further down the road than last Sunday. I stopped again and they asked me what was my reason for being out. My husband was beside me with the bread, newspaper and chocolate on his lap, and I pointed to it and said “Oh I was getting some bread”. So then he asked did I live far and I said “Oh I live about 5 minutes away”. (It’s actually not it’s prob like 1 or 2 minutes away by car).
So then he let us go. I was kind of glad we bought the bread as I doubt he would think it was a ‘necessary journey’ with me just buying a newspaper!
We decided that on Sundays we would always buy something that is deemed essential, like bread, milk, eggs or something like that! That way we can justify our outing!
On the weekday when we do our big shop we don’t see anybody, so they must reinforce this on the weekends. But it’s good though, it shows they are strict.
I check the time that we got home and it was around 11am, so I’m thinking they must set up at around that time. Next Sunday when we go I will go earlier and see if they are patrolling!